I love a great challenge, this month's theme is one board project. I decided to make a small step stool using one reclaimed board.
How to make a simple stool. It's perfect to reach those upper kitchen cupboards, rest your feet, extra height for a closet. Also great for kids who may need a little time out.
- (1) 2x10 by 6’
- Wood Glue
- (6) 1 ⅝ wood screws
- Paint or stain (optional)
- Saw (I used a sliding compound miter saw, you could use a circular saw)
- Tape measure
- Carpenter’s pencil
- Nail gun and 2” brad nails
- ⅛” bit for pilot holes
- screw bit for wood screws
- adjustable combination square
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- (1) 12” cross cut (for the top)
- (2) 9 ½” bevel cut (legs)
- (1) 10” x 4” miter cut (brace)
This is the reclaimed, perfectly weathered one board I chose to use for this month’s Power Tool Challenge. Make a project out of any ONE board.
Cut the seat (top) of the stool
Cut the seat/top of the step stool 12” in length.
TIP: If you are using reclaimed wood, double check for nails.
Cut two stool legs
You will need two (9 ½”) legs cut on a 15° angle. Cut the left side of the first leg. Slide the board to the left and cut the other side with the same angle (do not flip the board-lesson learned). Repeat for the other leg.
Cut one middle brace for small step stool
I cut the middle brace at 10”, then trimmed it up to be 4” wide. So, I figured if I messed up the angle, at least I had a spare piece to try again.
Measure distance for step stool top
I used a measurement of 2” from the edge of the stool the the top of the leg using my adjustable combination square. This will assure that the left side matches the right side.
Mark step stool brace
The brace is not miter cut yet. Place the scrap piece under the top (for support) and the brace under the legs. Measure to make sure it’s mostly level. Mark the angle. The miter angle is also 15°. Marking with a pencil will make sure that you cut your board correctly when you get to the saw.
Miter cut middle brace
When you get to the saw, make your miter cut at 15° using your pencil marks simply as a guide.
Assemble your step stool
With your boards cut, now it’s time to assemble your easy step stool! Because the legs are at an angle I chose to use my nail gun as a “clamp”. I used Gorilla Wood Glue and my brad nailer to secure my boards until I can secure it with screws. Be sure to use the combination square to make sure everything is equidistant. I shot two 2” nails through the top into each leg.
Insert stool brace
Turn your step stool upside down to assemble the brace. Using the combination square will assure that the brace is in the middle.
TIP: the fresh cut of the brace faces the floor. When you look at the stool, you see the wonderful weathered wood and not the fresh cut.
Install the brace
Use Gorilla wood glue and brad nail gun to secure the brace between the legs of the step stool
Drill pilot holes in the brace
Drill a pilot hole at a slant, repeat on the right hand side.
TIP: to drill at a slant, start your bit upright until you have a dent, then angle your drill bit.
Secure brace with wood screws
Secure with a wood screw, slowly countersinking the head of the screw. Repeat on the right side.
Drill pilot holes in the legs
Drill 2 pilot holes on the inside of the leg, and secure with screws, slowly countersinking the heads. Repeat on the inside of the other leg.
Ta Da! I have a new step stool that will allow me to get items out of the upper cupboards, or the top shelf of the closet. Someday when there are small kids in the family, who knows—it may become the perfect spot for time out.
Paint or stain to your preference
This easy step stool only took about an hour to make. It was easy because I did a prototype first. I had ONE scrumptious reclaimed board and I didn't want to ruin it by making wrong cuts.
Tip: use scrap wood to test your angles if you’re unsure
Here’s my inspiration for this project. It’s a Japanese bath stool. I found this listing where it was for sale years ago. It’s very small at less than 5” in height.
Small Step Stool | Japanese DIY Reproduction
I did a whitewash on my stool by thinning white paint and applying it with a cheap chip brush.
I use this stool in my bedroom, you can see updates here Small Updates | Big Change
See MORE variations of this easy step stool here.
My friends have been really busy making their own awesome One Board Projects. Be sure to check out what they’ve made.
Scroll Saw Wooden Basket by Kim Six Fix
Small Step Stool by My Repurposed Life
DIY Pizza Bread Board by Refresh Restyle
Do it Yourself Glue Gun Holder by Virginia Sweet Pea
DIY Wood Letter Jewelry Hanger by Designs By Studio C
Easy DIY Picture Frames by Domestically Speaking
Easy Wood Pumpkin Cutout by H2OBungalow
DIY Wooden Movie Projector by Thrift Diving
Circle Back Kids Chair Plans by Her Tool Belt
sharing here: Creativity Unleashed Thrifty Decor Chick
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
Thanks Barb! I appreciate you stopping by to check out the one board step stool! It's so handy!
That is awesome Gail!!! I never knew what that little tool was used for with the ruler and the level. I have one and now I know! Thanks for all your great inspiration!
That's why I'm here! 🙂
I love this stool!! Thanks for the tutorial-maybe I'll make one for my kitchen!
I highly recommend making several Allison! 🙂
Gail, I love your little stool and love the white wash I think it is so cute.
I'm so glad you are doing Glendale, maybe I will get to meet you face to face. I used to live in Glendale, right there on Main Street. I used to get up at 4 AM and bake muffins and fix coffee for the dealers setting up in my yard, they would start between 5-6 AM. I always enjoyed that day so much.
I sure hope so! I am always right outside Bennie's Barn front porch. 🙂 We'll talk as it gets closer.
Marie, The Interior Frugalista
Being vertically challenged, I could sure use one of these in my kitchen. Love it's rustic charm too! Pinned to share and bookmark because I need to replace the ugly metal one I inherited from my mother that hides in the closet until I need to use it.
We all need a little boost now and again Marie! 🙂
Sometimes even a couple of inches makes a huge difference. I was thrift shopping today and wanted to buy a nice picture frame, and I needed just a couple of extra tippy toes to snag it off the wall. I had to move a dining chair out of the way, so I could remove a stacked side table to allow me to get close enough to the wall so I could STRETCH with all my might to tip that frame off the wall! whew! It was touch and go there for a minute. But I got a great $3 deal on a super frame!
Serena @ Thrift Diving
This turned out so cute, Gail! And the best thing is that it's easy as heck. It's a great project for a newbie, but a seasoned DIYer could enjoy making it too! 🙂
Gail this is sooooo adorable! I love everything about it!! Great job! Why are stools so dang cute?!
Debbie @ Refresh Restyle
I wish I had such awesome weathered wood!! That's what I really needed for my project!!
Great tips and tutorial!
I love your footstool design and especially love that you used a reclaimed board to make it. The reclaimed wood makes it look like something that you've been using and enjoying for years and years. Making a prototype is a great idea so that you don't waste good wood.
Maryann @ Domestically Speaking
What a cute little stool!
DeDe Designed Decor
I love that you used a reclaim board. What a fun project and I like the chunky look of the stool. Great job Gail!
Cher @ Designs by Studio C
I love this little stool, Gail!! The style of the stool fits the rustic board perfectly! They will be huge sellers at your flea market show!!
I really need a saw like that one next! I love stools and yours is beautiful!
Funny thing is, I rarely use this saw.... but when I need it-it sure does the job. Because it's so big, I don't keep it in the garage with all my other tools. I keep it next door where I store my projects.
I love stools too Susan! That's why I HAD to make this when I saw that tiny japanese bath stool.
I'm making this! This is the most unique and yet rustic looking stool I've ever seen. I cannot believe it was as simple as you've shown. Fun, fun, fun!!
Thank you Wendi! I have more wood.... I think I will sell these at Glendale in the fall.