If you’re looking for some quick, simple DIY bar stools – these are the plans for you.
Bar stools are actually the second project I ever built back when I started this whole journey a couple years ago. I didn’t have much experience back then, so it was kinda a trial and error project and took much longer than it really should have. I didn’t cut any corners (woodworking punnnnnnn 😉 ) and went with the traditional slanted legs. Needless to say, there were a lot of angles all over the place. It took a while to figure everything out and put it all together, but they turned out decent in the end. Feel free to check that project out over here – DIY Basic Bar Stools.
That first set of stools was extra tall in order to fit the counter in our town home. When we moved into our new home, we added a kitchen island with a standard bar height counter. So it was time for some new ones!
And let me tell ya, this set of bar stools went much smoother! All the pieces went together like peas and carrots.
Just a few tips for any first-time stool builders: take your time, make sure your angles are correct and all boards are the exact same length, measure 37 times and cut once.
Enjoy the free plans! I’ve written the plans for ONE stool. Adjust as necessary.
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Tools & Supplies
- Kreg Jig
- 1-1/4” PH Screws
- 2-1/2″ PH Screws
- Double Bevel Miter Saw
- Orbital Sander
- Tape Measure
- Safety Glasses
- Hearing Protection
- Wood Filler
- Varathane Weathered Wood Accelerator in Brown
- Semi-Gloss Polycrylic
- 2 | 2×2 @ 8′
- 1 | 1×2 @ 8′
- 1 | 2 x 12 @ 15″ (all you need is one 15″ seat)
- 4 | 2×2 @ 28″ with a 5° miter and 5° bevel parallel on both ends (see Step 1 below) – legs
- 2 | 1×2 @ 10.5″ with 5° miter (short side) – bottom rungs
- 2 | 1×2 @ 12″ with 5° miter (short side) – bottom rungs
- 2 | 1×2 @ 7 1/4″ with 5° miter (short side) – top rungs
- 2 | 1×2 @ 9″ with 5° miter (short side) – top rungs
- 1 | 2×12 @ 15″ – seat
To cut the legs, set your saw to a 5° miter and 5° bevel. Cut the stock end off the board, slide the board down (no need to flip it) and make your next cut at 28″. Repeat for the next leg.
To keep track of what’s what, mark the tallest corner of each leg as you cut. It’s a super helpful tip I picked up from Ana White the first time I built stools. The angle is so small that it’s hard to keep track once all the boards are in a pile. Marking them saves a ton of time and headache. The tallest corner is the inside edge of the leg.
Align the top 9″ rung flush with the top of two legs and attach with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. Make sure the marked corners of the legs are pointed toward the inside.
Position the 12″ bottom rung according to the diagram below and attach with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.
Repeat for the second set of legs.
Once you’ve finished both sets of legs with top and bottom rungs, join the two sets with the 7 1/4″ top rungs.
Attach the final bottom rungs according to the diagram below with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.
Fasten the stool legs to the seat from the bottom side in order to best hide the screws.
There are a number of ways to attach the seat. I drilled 2 1/2″ pocket holes into the inside edge of each leg before attaching the rungs and fastened them down with wood glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws. You could also drill straight through the bottom of the top rungs into the seat (just make sure to pre-drill to avoid splitting). You could also use brackets. Its up to you!
Fill the visible pocket holes, sand, and finish as desired. I used stainable wood filler in the visible pocket holes and they covered up nicely.
I finished the stools with a new finish from Varathane called “Weathered Wood Accelerator” in the brown tint and sealed it with a semi-gloss polycrylic spray.
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Thanks for stopping by!
Don’t forget to pin it for later!