How to Make a Combination Step Stool and Storage Bench

Build this storage bench with a slide-out step. It can be used as a step stool as well as seating. This woodworking project is great for beginners and is one that you can build with your kid's help.

Cost: Low
Skill Level: Easy
Time: A few hours

Tools and Materials

  • (2) 2x2 x 8’ pine
  • (2) 1x8 x 8’ pine
  • (1) 2’ x 2’ 1/4” plywood sheet
  • 2” wood screws
  • (2) 12” drawer slides
  • wood glue
  • paint
  • painter's tape
  • measuring tape
  • (2) faceless Euro hinges
  • miter saw
  • drill and various sized drill bits
  • 1-3/8 Forstner bit
  • brad nailer with 2" brad nails
  • circular saw
  • pocket-hole jig and 1-1/4 pocket-hole screws
  • C-clamp

Step 1: Cut List

Cut all the boards to the following sizes:

  • Piece A: (4) pieces of 2x2 @ 17” for the legs
  • Piece B: (4) pieces of 2x2 @ 11” for the legs
  • Piece C: (2) pieces of 1x8 @ 17-1/2” for the storage box
  • Piece D: (2) pieces of 1x8 @ 14” for the storage box
  • Piece E: (2) pieces of 1x8 @ 11-1/2” sides of step
  • Piece F: (1) piece of 1x8 @ 18-1/2” for the step
  • Piece G: (1) piece of finished pine @ 19-1/2” x 14” top of the storage box
  • Piece H: (1) piece of 1/4” plywood at 19-1/2” x 14” bottom of the storage box

Step 2: Assemble the Legs

Use all the A Pieces and B Pieces to create the legs. Lay the two shorter (horizontal) pieces inside the longer (vertical) pieces. The top horizontal piece should be flush with the two verticals, and the lower horizontal piece needs to sit 4” up from the bottom. The lower piece will serve as a rung and a support for the drawer slide. Assemble the pieces using wood glue and 2” screws. Predrill the screw holes to avoid having the wood split.

Step 3: Build Storage Box

Build the storage compartment (upper part of the bench). On the inside ends of both the C Pieces, attach a pocket-hole jig using a C clamp to hold it in place. Drill two sets of pocket holes on each side of both C Pieces.

Step 4: Assemble Box

Create the box by attaching the two C Pieces and two D Pieces, using 1-1/4” pocket-hole screws in the pocket holes.

Step 5: Add Box Bottom

Piece H is the bottom of the box. Attach it using wood glue and a brad nailer or a hammer and nails.

Step 6: Attach Legs to Box

Attach the legs to the short ends of the box using 2” screws.

Step 7: Assemble the Step

Create the step stool section by attaching the two E Pieces (vertical pieces) to the Piece F (step). Attach the Piece F flush to one end of the two E Pieces. Apply wood glue then secure the pieces with 2” wood screws.

TIP: To avoid having the wood split, make sure to predrill the holes using a 7/64” drill bit.

Step 8: Attach Drawer Slides to Rungs

Attach drawer slides to the lower support rungs of the legs. Most packages will come with the necessary screws for assembly, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 9: Attach Drawer Slides to Step

Attach the drawer slides to the sides of the steps. Add furniture pads on the bottom of the step pieces to keep it from scratching the floor.

Step 10: Attach Storage Box Top

Lay Piece G on top of the box and determine then mark the placement of the hinges. Use a Forstner bit to drill a circular, flat hole on the mark (be careful not to go all the way through). Attach the hinges to the top as well as the inside of the box.

Step 11: Paint or Stain

We used painter’s tape to create a design on the step and on the top of the storage box. Use contrasting colors to make it fun. Set it aside and let it dry.

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