DIY Modern Kid Plywood Storage Stool

The Boy’s room here in Texas has been getting a full furniture makeover.  We’ve been busy making him a Montessori inspired closet, house bunk bed, lego table, and stools to go with the lego table.  Eventually there will be posts for all these pieces.  The Boy is now 4 years old, and it has been SO MUCH FUN  making furniture he wants/asks for.  While we were making the lego table he spent almost the entire time in the garage with JG building it.  It has been such a blast, and I can’t wait until The Girl is old enough to start requesting furniture 🙂

If you follow us on Instagram you know that the last few months I’ve been filling most of my spare time making wood name cut outs.  It started out as baby gifts for all the new babies at JG’s work but quickly morphed into making signs for friends, family and customers.  We’re hoping to kick off an Etsy shop in 2017 and start selling these and a few other fun things!  These signs are made out of 3/4″ plywood and they produce a TON of scrap wood that I can’t bring myself to throw away.

 


 

About 3-4 weeks ago we found out we’d be moving as early as April (this was a big surprise to us).  We  don’t even know where we are moving, but will hopefully find out in the coming weeks.  Which means we need to use up scrap wood ASAP.  So while brainstorming stools  ideas  for the lego desk I decided to try and use up as much scrap plywood (produced from the name signs) as possible.

These stools were  easy to  make and work perfect for the kids. While looking around for inspiration I wanted the stools to be small, mobile, and have storage.  Since we move a lot we’ll always need to be flexible with space and I think these stools are perfect for us!  I drew inspiration from The Berliner Stool, and This Bench(I couldn’t find where the bench was made).

Matierals/tools:

  • Wood Glue
  • Polycrylic
  • Nails (or screws)
  • Plywood
  • 4 Casters
  • Clamps
  • Puddy knife
  • Nail gun
  • Drill (w/ bit and screw bit)
  • Table saw (or circular saw)
  • Orbital Sander (180 and 200 grit)

Cut List for One stool:

  • (2) 3/4″ plywood   11″x 15″ (top & bottom of stool)
  • (32) 3/4″ plywood 2 3/4″x 11″ (legs)
  • (4) 3/4″ plywood 4″ x 4″

Step 1: Cutting and Glueing the legs

I started by making the legs.  Cut 32 pieces of plywood @ 2 3/4″ x 11″ I used my table saw for this, but you could easily make these cuts with a circular saw.  To attach the plywood I tried two different methods on each of the stools.  On the first stool I drilled a pilot hole and a countersink hole and after glueing a few boards together I drilled (3) 3″ screws every 3-4 boards.  I used clamps to hold everything together and glued each board.  The second method I used was just using my nailer/glue to attach the boards.  I preferred using the nail gun.

 

 

After everything was nailed/screwed/glued up I let it set for 24 hours.  I used my orbital sander to get everything smooth (it took forever).  I used 80 grit sand paper on this step knowing I would use a higher grit at a later time.

If you want your bench to be taller or shorter, simply stack more/less pieces of plywood.

Step 2: Attaching the top and bottom

I don’t have any pictures of this, but it’s pretty simple.  I attached the two 11″ x 15″ pieces to the legs with glue and my nail gun.  If you don’t have a nail gun you could use a screw, or a hammer w/ a nail punch.

Step 3: Attach feet and Casters

I cut four pieces of 3/4″ plywood at 4″x 4″ and attached them with glue and screws on each bottom corner of the stool.

I then attached four casters to the bottom with screws.  At first I worried the wheels would be too “rollie” and the kids would hurt themselves by standing while on the stools and them tipping over.  But with the carpet we have it works fine, the stools don’t move unless the kids want them to and are very sturdy and do not easily tip.  If you’re worried about casters rolling w/ kids on them, they make casters with breaks, or you could just skip the casters and make your stool taller with more plywood.

Step 4: Sanding and Finishing

Next up I filled all the nooks and crannies with wood glue using a puddy knife.  On the first stool I used a clear glue, and on the second stool I accidentally used a yellow glue, I definitely preferred the clear glue over the yellowing glue.

After letting the glue dry I sanded it all again  starting with 120 and working up to 220. After that I put two coats of Polycrylic on each stool.

You can see in the final picture that one stool ended up much yellower than the other, I think part of that is the glue and part of it was using more oak plywood scraps on the yellow stool.  The whiter stool is made up of mostly maple and I used the clear glue on it.

 

Note:  The Boy’s name is not  ‘Scarlott’  For his privacy we don’t share his name on the blog, so I took down his sign and just stuck an extra name sign I had laying around as a place holder.

 

 

The stools have been such a hit and I am so happy with them!  I was shocked when most of his books ended up fitting in the stool!  I am so excited to share the rest of the furniture in this room!  If you’re interested in the desk we got the plans from Homemade Modern.

 

-Dorris

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