Remodelaholic | DIY Reclaimed Wood Stool + Plans

Remodelaholic | DIY Reclaimed Wood Stool + Plans

Hi friends!  It is Mindi from MyLove2Create. Today I am excited to share my latest build, a simple wooden DIY stool made from reclaimed wood.

See my recent Elevated Planter Box and my other contributor projects here. 

Isn’t this little farmhouse wood step stool fun?!

You can’t beat the character of reclaimed wood.  I used this same wood for shelving in my Teen Boys Bedroom Reveal, it is just so pretty!

The idea for this DIY step stool came from these cute wood stools I spied in Target one day.  I snapped a quick photo, because that is what I do when I want to build something.

It is a good thing I did, because I have not been able to find this stool online, anywhere…so I don’t even know if they sell them anymore.

Never you fear!  You can make your own following the plans I put together — you can use actual reclaimed wood or new wood, either will work!

How to Make a DIY Wood Stool

click here to see the photo tutorial at Mylove2create

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. See our full disclosure policy here. 

Wood Stool Dimensions

Following the woodworking plans and using 3/4″ thick boards, the farmhouse wood stool measures 17” W x 11” D x 14” H.

Note: If you use thicker reclaimed wood, the height will vary a bit due to the added thickness of the top — Mindi’s stool is closer to 14 1/2″.

If you need a taller step stool, build a flip-over barstool step ladder (24″ tall) or a DIY ladder chair (~46″).

DIY Wood Stool Materials

The longest length of wood needed for this DIY wooden stool plan is ~17″, so this is a great scrap wood project, too!

I used different widths of boards that I pieced together to get the widths I wanted for the top and legs, but the material list includes the widest readily available boards to make it easy if you’re buying new wood.

Using reclaimed wood makes this DIY stool so beautiful with the automatic character of the old wood!

You can use new wood, too, of course, and give it a reclaimed look by beating it up a bit like I did on my console table or by using a rustic layered stain technique like I did on the super easy farmhouse wood bench. 

*Please note I am giving the dimensions for 3/4” thick wood in the supply list and in the woodworking plan cut list.  The wood I actually used is 1” thick reclaimed wood, and it can be more difficult to find, but the cut list can be used for either thickness, or you use a thicker wood too, modify to fit your needs/wants, the true beauty of DIY. 🙂

Tools needed

** You can build this stool without pocket holes as well, just pre-drill and using 2 to 2 1/2” screws (more details below).

Tips for ripping boards using a circular saw

Using reclaimed wood meant I was working with boards of different widths than you can buy at the store, so I pieced boards together to fit the cut list dimensions from the plans.

To make the legs wider, like my inspiration piece, I needed to rip one of the three leg boards in half for an extension to be added to the two leg boards.

Rather than getting out the table saw, I grabbed my trusty tool combo, my Ryobi Circular saw and my Kreg Rip Cut to do the job.

If you are using 1×10 boards you don’t need to do this step the wood is the perfect width for the legs.

In the top left photo you can see how I have clamped my wood, this will enable me to use my rip cut around the clamp (see top right photo).

I set my rip cut so that the board will be cut right in half, and the 2×4 support board is over enough so that my blade will not hit it while I rip the board.

Tips for ripping boards using a jigsaw

When I did a dry fit on the wooden stool pieces, I realized I didn’t like how wide the apron pieces were and I wanted them much smaller (which is why I listed 1×2 boards in the plans instead of thicker).

Without my table saw set up, I knew it would be dangerous to rip a narrow piece like this on a miter saw, and impossible with my rip cut, so I busted out my jig saw!

I used a scrap piece of 1×2 as my thickness guide, and marked it on my apron (top left).  Then I clamped my piece on one end and cut as far as I could with my jig saw.

I unclamped it and flipped it around and cut the rest of the line.  I followed the same process with both apron pieces to get the width I wanted.  Done, and so easy!  And safe. 😉

Tips for Pocket Holes on 1″ Thick Lumber

My reclaimed wood was 1” thick and so I need to adjust my Kreg Jig and depth collar on my drill bit accordingly.

If you are using 3/4” thick wood you will need to set the adjustments for that thickness.

You can see how easy it is to drill pocket holes with an angled cut, just make sure the cut end is flush to the bottom of the jig when you clamp it in.

Here is a shot of all my pocket holes.  The ones on the top of the legs will screw into the top seat board.  (And all of these pocket hole locations are detailed in the woodworking plans!)

I also want to point out that I had to adjust my screw length to 1 1/2” in order to match my board thickness. This it very important to remember when using a pocket hole jig.

Again, if you are using 3/4” wood you will use 1 1/4” pocket hole screws.

Building a Simple DIY Wooden Stool

Get the full cut list and dimensions in the printable wooden stool plans. The plans include the full assembly instructions as well, which are also detailed in the photos here.

Step 1: Assemble Wood Stool Seat

After you’ve cut the pieces to length with the dimensions and bevels listed in the plans, you’ll attach the 2 seat pieces together using wood glue and pocket holes screws.

I always make sure to clamp my boards in this process so my boards don’t shift while drilling in the screws.

Step 2: Assemble the Stool Legs

To build the stool, I started by adding the two apron pieces to the top of one leg, making sure they were flush with the top (top photos).

Then I glued and clamped the other leg to the apron pieces and added my screws.

I did need to use a shorter drill bit for this, because the space was tight. Using or Drill Attachment is really helpful.

I want to note that you can build the stool legs without pocket holes as well, just pre-drill and screw through the legs from the outside into the apron pieces using 2 to 2 1/2” screws.

I measured and marked where I wanted my support board on the stool legs and attached it with my pocket hole screws.

Step 3: Attach Leg Assembly to Seat

On the bottom side of the stool seat I measured and marked where the top of the legs needed to be placed.  I love using a combination square for quick accurate marking.

Next, I attached the legs to the seat using pocket hole screws with the pocket holes on the legs.  I also nailed through the aprons into the seat with 2” nails, you could use screws too.

That’s it! Just 3 steps to build your own DIY wood stool!

Finishing the DIY Reclaimed Wood Stool

Since I had exposed fresh edges with my cuts, I needed to stain them to match the natural reclaimed wood look.

I decided to go with a natural vinegar and steel wood stain (like this recipe) to help unify the pieces with a nice natural grayish color.

On the left I tested it on a scrap piece to see if I liked it, on the right I am applying it to the stool.

I have used this same stain on several projects like my Chalkboard Coat Rack and my Marvel Subway Art.

You may have noticed that I filled in my pocket holes with wood filler…I wasn’t entirely sure I should have done that, I think they might have blended better without being filled.

Oh well, life lessons, I did try and paint them with some craft paint to try and blend them better, but totally forgot to take photos of that process…but I don’t think I did a very good job anyway. Ugh. Thankfully they’re not that visible now at least.

The cut side of the legs I ripped were also very different in color, but hey, I think it adds character. 😉

I sealed it with three coats of poly, sanding with 400 grit sandpaper between coats one and two for a nice smooth finish.

This shot is by my front door right under the mailbox, and it might be a good home so my kids aren’t moving the porch chairs to get the mail every afternoon!

I love the rustic live edges of the reclaimed wood boards… And the fun thick legs.
It could make nice addition to any room in the house. (See more of that pallet letter here.)

It looks great in my boys room, but I might steal it for the kitchen! 🙂  It’s a good thing I am not indecisive! (wink wink)

This really is a simple build especially if you use the dimensional lumber I provided in my cut list.

You can always get creative with your finish and make it look like reclaimed wood (using a method like this or this or this homemade stain), or just paint it!

I have a great love to DIY, repurpose, and create! I am constantly seeking to make things more useful, effective, and beautiful in my home one project at a time. My projects are done in tutorial form so I can inspire others to create too!
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This content was originally published here.