How to Build a Kids’ Step Stool

diy kids step stool

After every project that I work on, there’s always some leftover scrap pieces that I collect in a pile. Then once in a while, I go through the pile and find some pieces from which I could make a small project for our house. This time I’ve built a DIY Step Stool for Kids. From cutting the pieces and attaching everything together, this project takes less than an hour to complete. The step stool is very sturdy for both indoor and outdoor use. I took a picture of my daughter reaching for apples using the step stool. Now she doesn’t need to call her older brother for help.

You also might be interested in DIY Toddler Step Stool that I’ve built to my niece.

girl reaching for apples on the step stool

Kids Step Stool PDF


This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are in imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

Kids Step Stool

This PDF is free of charge, but if you are feeling generous today, you could give a small tip to help me create more projects. Thank you!

Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size.  See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links. 


diy step stool for kids dimensions

Cut List

cut list for the diy step stool

Step 1 – Cut 4×4 Legs

The first step is to cut the four legs. Take 4×4 construction lumber and using a miter saw cut four pieces to 12” in length.

leg dimensions of the diy step stool for kids

Step 2 – Cut 2×12 Top

Next, take 2×12 board and also cut it to 12” in length. If you don’t have a 2×12 you could use two 2×6 boards and attach them together with wood glue and pocket holes.

top board of the diy step stool for kids

Step 3 – Drill Pocket Holes

Drill one pocket hole on each side of 4×4 leg using a Kreg Jig that is set for 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.

drilling pocket holes for diy step stool for kids

Step 4 – Attach Legs to Top

Apply wood glue on top of the leg and then attach the legs to the 2×12 top with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.

attaching legs for diy step stool for kids
diy step stool for kids

Step 5 – Cover-Up Pocket Holes

To cover up the pocket holes, take 3/8″ dowel rod and cut eight 2” long pieces. Dip one side of the dowel into the wood glue and hammer it into the pocket hole. The rest of the dowel that is sticking out cut it off with dovetail saw.

cutting off dowel rod to cover pocket hole

Step 6 – Sanding the Step Stool

Using a random orbital sander, sand both the top of the stool and legs with 80 grit sandpaper to eliminate any rough areas. Then use 220 grit sandpaper before applying the stain.

sanding diy kids step stool

Step 7 – Staining and Painting the Stool

To prevent stain blotching use the Pre-Stain conditioner before applying the stain. Follow Pre-Stain and stain instruction for the best results. After Pre-Stain, apply a coat of Dark Walnut Stain using a brush. Wipe off any excess with a clean cloth. Follow the stain recommendations on how long to wait before applying a coat of Polyurethane to protect the wood and the stain. I used a layer of Chalked Country Gray paint before applying Polyurethane. Spray water on the bench and apply Chalked paint using a cloth. You could place as much or as little as you want to give the desired look. Once the Chalked paint dries, apply a coat of Polyurethane. You’re done with this simple DIY Kids’ Step Stool.

stain and pain on the step stool

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