• Ruth

DIY Color Block Kid's Stool

Being in month 2 of quarantine (I think--I can hardly keep track of time these days), I am finding new and creative ways to use what I have on hand instead of running to the store multiple times a day for a project and all the things I need or forgot. This led to 'No Money May' as a sort of friendly challenge. If you'd like to see more about this and the other ladies I'm participating with, make sure to check out my instagram @olivegreyavenue. The reason this stool was chosen as the project I wanted to start off May with is because our son is getting bigger and bigger but he is still little so he's been dragging a squatty potty all over the house to help him access places he wants to go. Yes, you read that right, a squatty potty. If you've ever seen one of those, it's not very stable and something from the bathroom that you don't really want drug all over the house. So, I went into our scrap wood pile and looked for the perfect pieces to make the stool I had envisioned in my mind. I had exactly what I needed to make this idea work!

Keep in mind, this is a project that I built out of scraps but I'm going to tell you everything I used so that if you don't have it on hand, you still are able to purchase what you need to create this cute color block stool for toddlers and kids! Plus, you'll have specific building instructions and measurements.

How to Build a Color Block Kid's Stool


- (1) 1"x6"x4'

- (1) 1"x4"x4'

- (1) 2"x4"x6'

- 1" Pocket Screws

- Kreg Jig for pocket holes

- Wood Glue

- Stain (I used a combo of Early American and Weathered Oak)

- Paint (I used the color Heritage Park by SW)

- Polycrylic Wood Sealer

- Painter's Tape

- Drill & Impact Driver

- Sand paper (60 and 120 grit is what I used)

- Clamp

- Table Saw

Since I made up this design as I went, I cut the wood pieces one by one to fit perfectly. I'm going to give you the dimensions I ended up with but just keep in mind to check as you go as well!

Stool Dimensions

These are a couple angles of the dimensions of the front and side view of the stool so you can have a visual of what you're going to be building.


It's usually cheaper to get long cuts of wood instead and cutting them to size but you can also use scraps if they're long enough. The 1x6s will be your steps, the 1x4 will be your riser and the 2x4s we will cut into your legs and support.

Take your 1"x6"x4' and cut it to these lengths:

  • (2) 16 inches

Cut the 1"x4"x4' down to:

  • (1) 16 inches

Cut the 2"x4"x6' down to:

  • (2) 4-1/2"

  • (2) 8-3/4"

  • (1) 6-3/4"

  • (1) 13-1/4"

  • (1) 1-1/2"

For the legs, you'll need the 2x4s that are 4-1/2" and 8-3/4" long. Now, we want square edges (not rounded like 2x4's come) so you will need to rip the long, rounded edge off each board. I used a table saw for this step and set my fence to 3-1/4" this way when I run my "legs" through they are all the same width and cut off one (1) of the the rounded edges. Make sure the board is laying flat on the wide side. Then set your fence to 1-1/2", flip the leg over, and run your leg through on each side to get it square at 1.5"x1.5". Do this for each leg.

For the bracing, you will need the 2x4 that are 6-3/4", 13-1/4" and 1-1/2" long. You will use a similar method to cut down the rounded edges as the legs, to square them off but instead of cutting them to 1-1/2"x1-1/2", you will cut them to 1-1/2"x3/4" (half the width of the legs). The 6-3/4" length board will yield two pieces. You should now have (2) 1-1/2" x 3/4" x 6-3/4", (1) 1-1/2" x 3/4" x 13-1/4" and (1) 1-1/2" x 3/4" x 1-1/2".

Sand all surfaces down. I used 60 grit sandpaper for this step but we use a finer grit sandpaper later on.


On the backside of your riser (1x4), you'll create (8) pocket holes on the top and bottom of the long sides of the board. (4) holes on top and (4) on the bottom spread evenly and 1" from the ends. I used a Kreg Jig to make my pocket holes but you should refer to your specific tool's instructions. Since our board is a 1x4 then the screw length I used is 1" and I set the jig to 1/2" thickness (nominal thickness and all that).

** Make sure to put wood glue in between any two pieces of wood you are connecting for a strong hold**

Once you have your pocket holes drilled, line up the riser (1x4) by sitting it on top of one steps (1x6) and screw in the 4 bottom pocket screws. The holes are the inside of the stair make sure its facing the correct way and not visible when looking at the stairs. Flip over the two pieces now attached and connect the top stair tread (1x6) by placing it on the top of the stair riser (1x4).


Make pocket hole on the top, inside side of each of the legs. Inset the legs 1/4" from the edges. I used a spacer that was 1/4" thick along the bottom and the side to help me out. You can also mark 1/4" in from the edge and make sure it lines up when you secure the leg. Don't forget your wood glue! Repeat this for each leg. Shorties in the front and long legs in the back!


Now you add the bracing to go in between your legs to make a sturdy little stool! On the three longer pieces, (2) 1-1/2" x 3/4" x 6-3/4", (1) 1-1/2" x 3/4" x 13-1/4", drill (1) pocket hole on each end on the side that will face inward.

Note: I connected all of these differently but will explain the easiest way to connect all of these pieces together.