Simple Step Stool for a Child

About: I am a freelance translator living in Japan. I like to create furniture and signs etc. using reclaimed wood. See my blog for photos of other projects, and a link to my 3D models on the 3DWarehouse. My "How t...

This is a very simple step stool that can be used for a child (or an adult as well as it is very strong).
I made this step stool from one piece of 1" x 5" reclaimed lumber, and 12 wood screws.
You could use  a piece of 1" x 6", or 2" x 6" to make it a little taller.
(Click on the [i] at the top left of photos to see an enlarged version.)

Materials used
- One piece of 1" x 5" reclaimed cedar about 152 cm used (approx. 5')
- 12, 3 cm (1 1/4") wood screws

Tools used
- Table saw (a handheld circular saw, or a hand saw is also fine)
- Electric orbital sander (or sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood)
- Power drill
- Phillips screwdriver ("+" tip)
- Countersink drill bit

The attached Sketchup file shows the 3D assembled stool, and can be used to modify dimensions etc.

Step 1: Cutting the Wood

I cut the 1" x 5" into the following lengths:
- 2 x 40.5 cm (top pieces)
- 2 x 22.5 cm (legs)
- 1 x 26 cm (support - also cut it to 8 cm width)

After cutting I sanded the edges to remove any rough burrs.
I sanded the surfaces of the wood with about 180 grit as I did not want it too smooth (people will be using it with socked or bare feet).

Step 2: Assembling the Stool

Top: I drilled holes 2 cm from the edges, and 6 cm from the ends.
Legs: I drilled holes 2 cm and 6 cm from the edge, on the centre line.
I used a countersink bit next as I wanted the screws to be slightly countersunk (looks better and screws will catch on feet or socks).

I screwed the legs and bottom support together first, then attached the two pieces on top. That's it, you're done.

For use in a bathroom, you could added some decorative bathtub non-slip stickers on the top.
And you could stick on some little rubber strips under the leg pieces if you are worried about slipping on the floor.
(This stool easily supports over 94 kg/205 lbs.)



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    10 Discussions

    Using your plan, I'm making 8 step stools for my grandchildren all under the age of 5. I used up my 3/4" MDF scraps, but not sure about how strong it is compared to wood. I cut 9x12 for the top. I cut 2 legs at 7x9. I cut 3x9.5 for the top brace. Because I wasn't sure about the strength of MDF, I cut 2 top braces for each stool. Now I'm not sure whether to place my braces together or spread them apart. I'm not sure which is better. Any suggestions? Once I'm done, I'll paint their names on them and give them for Christmas.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Thnx appreciate it I. Needed something for wood1 thx


    3 years ago on Step 2

    I love the simple design and now my kids love using the step stool I made them. Thanks for sharing.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    The topplate shout have the same length as the stool.
    Now you could flip the stool if you step on the edge.
    I use it in this shape already many years to sit up when a i am reparing my car or motorcycle.


    6 years ago on Introduction

       A very simple, necessary thing.

       Actually, I would estimate that this construction should hold well above 500 lb / 225 kg. Just make sure that everything ends up square. Using a bit of rubber as specified will help to prevent rocking if the floor surface is a bit less flat than the shelf itself.

       This is important, because someone using this might be putting something heavy on a high shelf.

       Making the middle support less wide than the legs is also an excellent idea, allowing you to use in in a doorway or someplace where you need to bridge over something on a floor.

    1 reply

    Thanks. I made this for my kids, but if intended for mainly adult use, I would recommend making it a little wider.