How To Build a Storage Step Stool


This storage step stool is great for 2 to 5-year-olds who need that extra boost to reach the sink and also need a convenient place to hold their bath toys.

We want to thank our friends Aaron, Rebecca and their son Leo for modeling this stool in both their bathroom and kitchen. He took to the stool instantly and as expected, Leo used it to store all of his bath toys. He likes the green color and loved peeking through the handles to look at his stuff.

They are using it in the bathroom so Leo can brush his teeth and wash his hands and now that he’s getting older he can also use the stool to help out in the kitchen.

Build a Storage Step Stool

A storage step stool has the ability to magically reveal a whole new world to a toddler. Suddenly, brushing their teeth and washing their hands poses no problem for their diminutive stature, and the once daunting kitchen counter becomes a new frontier for kids to explore their inner chef.

You may want to build two of these step stools: one for the bathroom and another for the kitchen.

This is a great project to involve the kids, so let the creativity soar and have fun with color and paint. Your child may even want to customize the stool with his or her name or go wild with stencils and stickers.

Tools and Materials


cordless drill and 1/2″ bit
square or ruler
2″ wood screws
wood glue
sanding block and medium-grit sandpaper
1x12x8 pine board (11-1/4″ wide is standard)
2 standard hinges
paint if desired

Cut List

2 sides at natural width of the board at 11-1/4″ and cut length 14″
2 storage panel pieces (front and back) at 11-1/4″ and width 11-1/4″
2 storage box bottoms and kick panel pieces at 11-1/4″ and 5-1/4″
2 step stool tops 14″ width and 7-1/2″ length


Mark the Cuts


After assembling the tools and materials, use a square and pencil to measure and mark the cuts for all sides of the step stool as well as the handle holes. All pieces of this stool can be cut from one piece of a 1x12x8 pine board.

Cut the Wood


Using the jigsaw, make each straight cut. For the best results on the handles, first drill a hole a bit larger than the jigsaw blade in the center of the area to be cut out. Then insert the jigsaw blade and follow your markings around the circular handle openings. Finish by cutting out the bottom decorative arches.

Sand It Smooth


Sand all edges using medium-grit sandpaper. Remember, this stool will likely be moved from room to room and handled by precious toddler skin, so take extra care in making sure all edges are as smooth as possible.

Dry Fit All the Pieces


Line up all of the cut pieces and make sure they fit together nicely. If any adjustments need to be made, do that now.

Note: If you choose to paint or stain your stool, you will get the most professional results by doing this before each piece is assembled.

Attach the Back to the Sides


To assemble the pieces, start by attaching the back of the stool to the sides by first gluing the pieces together, then securing them with the screws.

Add the Bottom

Attach the bottom of the stool to the back and the sides using that same technique.

Attach the Front Piece and Step


Secure the front section of the stool storage area, then the front kick panel. Attach the bottom step.

Add the Hinges


Prepare the lid by installing the hinges. Line up the hinges 3″ from the outermost end and attach them to the bottom of the lid. Finally, attach them to the inner side of the back panel.

For added safety and traction, consider adding grip tape to the tops of each step. Since little hands aren’t very adept at doing anything gently, you can add a felt strip where the top lid touches the stool to reduce “slamming” the lid when it is closed.

Paint and Decorate


Lastly, paint, stencil, engrave and decorate your storage stool to your heart’s content.

Time to have fun with your new storage step stool!


Keep an eye out for more projects on the DIY Network and here’s a sneak peek of a DIY Snow Sled we just finished.

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  • Jessica Blackman
    21 Mar ’13 at 11:49 am

    i need one of these!

  • Karen Shaffer
    3 Apr ’13 at 11:29 am

    Absolutely love this!!!

  • Tez
    3 Apr ’13 at 11:29 am

    Cute kid and stool

  • Brian from Noblesville
    22 May ’13 at 8:08 am

    I built this step storage last night. However the width of the front and back storage pieces had to be trimmed down to 11 1/4″ wide instead of the 12″ wide listed in the cut list to match the width of the kick panel and storage box bottom pieces. Otherwise great project thanks!

  • Built by Kids
    28 Aug ’13 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for making this project and we’ll update the post. Would love to see your photos!

  • Built by Kids
    28 Aug ’13 at 10:26 am

    This has been updated. Thanks!