Every kid’s playroom should be a place where fun and imagination run free. The best kind of playroom is one where all the furniture is kid furniture. If you’re looking to build something creative for your little ones, try this DIY kids table made like a jigsaw puzzle. You could take this table apart and use it as an individual stepping stool, or just a chair to sit on.
Time to Complete
Download Printable Plans in PDF
Tools for this project
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.
Step 1 – Print and Cut Out Puzzle Template
This project requires a lot of cutting with a jig saw to make the puzzle pieces.
First, download the PDF and print out the template. You have an option to print it on one 11×17 paper or split in half template on 8 1/2×11 paper. If you’re printing on 8 1/2×11 paper, you’ll need to tape both 8 1/2×11 pages together with a tape.
Take scissors and cut out the puzzle template following the outline.
Step 2 – Trace Template on Wood
After cutting out the paper template, place it on the 1×12 board and trace it with a pencil. Make sure that the board is straight and not warped or twisted. All puzzle shapes will be exactly the same, so use the same template to draw four puzzles.
Step 3 – Cut Puzzle Pieces with Jig Saw
Clamp the board to your workbench and cut out the puzzle shapes with a jig saw following the outline of the pencil. Take your time to get these shapes cut as best as you can. It might take you longer to cut out the shapes with a jig saw, but will save you time on sanding the edges.
Step 4 – Sand Rough Edges of the Jigsaw Puzzle Stool
Once the puzzle shapes are cut with a jig saw, take a random orbital sander and sand the outer edges first. Do not sand the top just yet, because you want to see the pencil outline of the puzzle and use it as a guide for sanding. When you have the outline of a puzzle you will see how much you need to sand to get the perfect shape.
To sand the inner edges of the puzzle, you could use sandpaper and sand it with your hand. Or you could use a small sanding bit with a rotary tool. Again use the pencil outline as a guide for sanding. The puzzle pieces will need to fit well with each other. So it’s important to check every piece to make sure they all connect.
Step 5 – Make a Jig for Legs
Each puzzle piece will have four legs that are ripped at a slight angle. This angle makes the upper part of the leg wider and the lower part of the leg skinnier.
To rip the legs at an angle you will need to make a simple jig, that you could use on a table saw. Take a 2×6 board and cut it to 14” in length. Then from the bottom left side, measure 1 1/4″ to the right and 2″ up, and mark it with a pencil. Then from the top left, measure 2 1/4″ to the right and mark it with a pencil. Place a 2×4 or a ruler connecting the two points and draw the lines as shown in the picture.
Next, take your jig saw and cut out the piece as shown in the picture.
Step 6 – Cut Legs Using a Jig
Take 2×4 and cut 8 pieces to 12” in length using a miter saw. Then take the jig you made in Step 5 and place it on your table saw between the blade and the fence. Adjust the fence to make sure the jig slides easily without being cut by the blade. Then insert the 12” long 2×4 into the jig and cut thru the 2×4. Since the 2×4 is positioned at an angle to the fence, the blade will slice the 2×4 in half with a 5-degree cut. Repeat this process to cut through all of the 8 pieces. After cutting all the 2x4s in half you should have 12 legs.
Step 7 – Trim Legs at 5-Degrees
Now the top and the bottom of each leg also needs to be cut at 5 degrees. This makes the legs spread out wider at the bottom and narrower at the top. Having the legs spread out at an angle makes the stepping stool more stable and looks much better.
Rotate your miter saw to 5 degrees and cut off just the tip on both ends of the leg, see picture. Make sure to clamp a stopper block on your miter saw to ensure all legs are exactly the same length. See photo, I used a clamp for my stopper block.
Step 8 – Drill Pocket Holes on Legs
Take your Kreg Jig and set it to 3/4″ wood thickness. Even though you’re drilling through a 1 1/2″ thick wood, the top puzzle piece is ¾” thick. Because of that top piece, you should have the Kreg Jig set to ¾” wood thickness. Otherwise, the screw will go through the top of the puzzle board, and you don’t want that.
Drill two pocket holes on both sides of the upper (thicker) end of each leg. Then use a random orbital sander to sand the legs.
Step 9 – Attach Legs to Top Puzzle Boards
Now it’s time to attach the legs to the puzzle boards. The legs cannot be too close to the edges because when connecting the puzzle pieces to make a table, you don’t want the legs to clash with each other.
On the backside of the puzzle piece, find the center and mark it with a pencil. Then take a compass and lightly draw a 5″ diameter circle based from the center mark. The legs will be placed on four corners around the circle. This will ensure that the leg placement on all stepping stools are consistent and they are not too close to the edges.
Apply a small amount of wood glue on the top end of the leg and then place it so the leg touches the 5” circle. Then secure it to the puzzle piece with 1 1/4″ pocket holes screws. Repeat the process for all legs. Let the glue dry before staining.
Step 10 – Stain the Top and the Legs
Before staining the boards, take a 350 grid sandpaper and lightly go through the boards. Then apply a coat of pre-stain with a brush and wipe it dry with a shop paper towel. Pre-stain will prevent the stain from being blotchy.
Then take the Briansmoke stain and apply it over the pre-stain and wipe it off with a cloth or a shop paper towel. After the stain dries, apply a coat of polyurethane to protect the wood. Let it dry, then sand it lightly with 350 grid sandpaper before applying a second coat. Sanding between the polyurethane coats will make the boards smooth. You’re done with a DIY Kids table made like a jigsaw puzzle.