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
*this post contains affiliate links for your convenience*
- (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
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
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.