How to Build a Step StoolUpdated: Jun. 25, 2019
The versatile flip-flop stool just might become a permanent fixture in your bathroom, especially if you have kids.
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- A full day
Step 1: Mark the two side pieces
How to build a step stool
Begin by cutting the two sides to length and laying out the boards (Photo 1 and Figure A, check out the wooden step stool plans below). Note that the sides will be mirror images. To mark the curved sides, hook your tape over the lower corners then swing 15-in.-radius curves on each side. Use a paint can to create the rounded inner edges of the legs. The positions of the pivot and dowel holes are critical, so measure carefully. The pivot hole goes all the way through the board, but the dowel holes are only 1/2 in. deep. Drill the holes, then use a jigsaw to cut out the parts. Use a 1/4-in. round-over bit or sandpaper to soften all the edges.
Step 2: Assemble the stool with 2-in. screws
Connect the 1×10 bottom shelf and 1×4 back brace to create an ‘L.’ Secure this assembly to the sides so the top edge of the 1×4 is flush with the upper back corner of the sides. Use 2×4 blocks to ensure the right spacing (Photo 2).
Step 3: Install the back
Cut the three parts for the back assembly (Figure A). To create the curved back, drive a pair of finish nails 3-1/2 in. from the edge of a 1×6, and flex a thin piece of wood upward between the nails to create an arc. Mark the arc with a pencil, then cut it out with a jigsaw. Secure the back to the two 1×4 sides to create a U-shape. Use 2-in. bolts (Photo 3) to secure the back assembly to the sides of the stool. (Tip: To install the washer between the back assembly and the stool, tape it over the hole in the side before installing the assembly.) Finally, position the top far back enough-about 1/2 in. from the front of the sides-so the back doesn’t hit the front lip as it pivots.
Figure A: Flip Flop Stool Plans
Additional information and wooden step stool plans
Required Tools for this how to build a step stool project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- 1/4-in. round-over bit
- Cordless drill
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- 1/2-in. dowel
- 1/4" x 2" bolts
- 2-in. screws
- 2' 1x6
- 4' 1x4
- 6' 1x10