Simple Farm Stool tutorial out of a single piece of lumber.
This post has been a long time coming. I was out of town and when I sat down to write it for you, I didn’t have internet. Please forgive me for being absent for longer then normal. What can I say, sometimes life is out of my control.
This stool is so awesome. My kids use one in the kitchen and in the bathroom. I am sort of short so I find that I use it too when I need to reach something from of the top of the cupboard or off of a piece of tall furniture.
My dad created this pattern and he made the first stool few years ago. It was inspired by an old stool he saw one day while out doing a construction job. He has given me permission to share it with you.
After my dad made the first stool he then helped my son who was 7 create one for himself. It wasn’t long before I needed one too because my son would not let me take his out of his room.
this stool is so awesome
I love the shape and that it hasn’t chipped the paint off my kitchen cupboards while in use. This stool can age and still look right at home in almost any decor.
I also love how it is made from one 6′ 2×6.
You can finish it however you like. My son’s stool is varnished. My stool is untreated. We have painted some and we have stained some. No matter how you decide to finish yours it will look rustic and be a great addition to your home.
Here is your shopping list
For this build you really only need to have a drill, circular saw, jig saw and a measuring tape.
It is nice however to have a table saw and a miter saw for a couple of cuts. If you don’t have one or both of these you can still make this project if you are careful with you circular saw.
The picture below shows all the pieces you have just cut.
Here is your cut list
This is the basic cut list is for a 2×6. You will want to get your pieces cut and prepared and double check everything to make sure it will fit. We have had to trim a few things from time to time to get everything snug and flush. Sometimes wood is warped or swollen so just make sure to double check before you glue and screw it together. You may have to make a few minor adjustments and cuts right before assembly.
When picking out your wood look for a straight piece with good edges.
Take your 7 inch piece and your 12 inch piece and rip them in half. I prefer to use a table saw for this. When you are done you will have two 7″ pieces and two 12″ pieces of the same width.
Take the 4 8 1/2″ pieces and miter off one corner at a 45 degree angle. Get rid of the small pieces you cut off they are not needed for the stool.
Take the two 15 inch pieces and mark on one a 5″ by 1.5″ square in the middle on one edge. There will be 5 inches on each side of the mark to the corner. Round the corners inside the marked small rectangle and cut it with a jig saw. Make sure to clamp it down to a table top surface.
Use the first piece that you just cut to mark the second piece so that they are cut exactly the same. These cut outs will be the handle of the stool when it is all assembled.
If you have a rough time with the jig saw and you ended up with some jagged cuts inside the handle you can use a metal rasp to smooth it out.
Now you will want to assemble the stool in two parts. Do each half separate. Make sure you drill your holes for the screws so you don’t split the wood. Also you need to make sure everything is flush and even as you assemble.
We did two screws on each board and we screwed into the leg pieces from the top. This picture is with the pieces upside down so you can see how to put in the side piece but unfortunately it doesn’t show the screw holes. The supply list says 20 screws but in all reality you will most likely use just 16. We threw in a few extra on the list just in case you drop a couple mid project.
When the stool is finished you will see 8 screws heads from the top and they go down into the the legs. Two screws in each leg piece.
Then the 12″ side piece is screwed on in between the legs and the screws go on the underside up into the bottom of the top pieces. You should not see these screw heads from the top. They will be on the bottom.
Again this picture is from right before we drilled the pilot holes. We drilled them in from the bottom just as the stool is laid out in the picture.
Now you will want to get everything lined up and take the two halves and put them together. Use the two 7″ pieces to attach everything into one unit. The two 7″ pieces go up next to the legs on the underside. They are screwed into the legs from the inside. Again, just 2 screws into each piece to assemble and remember to drill your pilot holes first.
You can see the screw heads in the picture below. You can also see how the underside should look.
In the image below you can see the finished stool completely assembled.
Now you get to decide how to finish the stool. We have stained them, We have left them raw, and we have painted them. We have also just put a sealer on them. The options are endless.
If you do decide to stain or seal the wood you will likely want to sand it first.
We like a more weathered and rustic look so its OK if the stool is not finished to perfection.
How to make chalk paint when you can't buy it
When I build the stool with my dad for this tutorial I decided I wanted to chalk paint it. I was however, about 30 miles away from the nearest store that “might” carry it.
So I decided to make my own chalk paint with what we had on hand. I actually really enjoyed the process because it felt true to the nature of the stool. The original stool built from this pattern was old and beat up. It was pretty cool and I am sure they didn’t’ have fancy paint back in the day when it was made.
BASIC CHALK PAINT RECIPIE- no special ingredients:
23/ cup latex paint
1/3 cup baking soda
So I searched through the buckets of leftover paint until I found a color I liked and I found some baking soda.
I mixed up 2/3 cup of paint and 1/3 cup of baking soda.
It was really thick and chunky. I painted it on thick and it took only one coat. The paint was so thick I had to leave it to dry overnight.
The next day I did a quick sanding job to knock off the extra paint and get the stool ready for the wax. I used a heavy grit and worked in circular motions taking care to expose some raw wood on edges and in raised grain areas. Then I used a fine grit to make it nice a smooth. Remember I waned my stool to look old and original.
After I sanded it I wiped it down with a damp shop towel.
When you paint with chalk paint you need to put a layer of wax on to protect it.
Again, I was a long way from the store so I went on a hunt for an alternative. I ended up finding this tub of Carnauba wax in my dads shop. Apparently you can buy this at almost any hardware store.
There wasn’t much left in his tin but a little goes a long way. I rubbed it on to cover all the parts of the stool and then I let it dry for a few minutes. Once the wax was dry it filmed over and looked white. Then I buffed it with a shop towel.
The next day my 9 year old boy saw the finished stool and the words out of his mouth were “that looks old!”
I would say that this build was a success. I hope that you can use this tutorial to build a stool for your home. It’s a fun, simple, useful project that will add instant character to any room.
Let me know how it goes in the comments below.