Sutton Custom Outdoor Bar Stools

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Plans for Ballard Designs Inspired Sutton Outdoor Bar Table Stools

OK - I figured out how to upload the plans/tutorial. My first try.

This project came about because we purchased some Ballard Sutton outdoor furntiture for our covered porch. Then we looked at a matching bar with stools and it was going to cost (gulp)... $2,500. Next! But then after watching Ana's site and learning some tricks of the woodcrafting trade, decided to take the plunge and build console bar table myself. So I posted the plans in case they might give anyone else ideas, to copy, or just maybe an idea that could be further modified to suit for someone looking for similar options.

We were going for a natural finish to mimic the teak look. So I basically stared at the Ballard photo of the bar for about a week, started scratching out my building plan and what I would need. The bar table turned out great with Minwax Puritan Pine finish, followed up with Spar Urethane for outdoor clear coat to protect against humidity and temperature change (won't get wet).

Then, instead of wicker stools (Ballard were $350/ea), I made the outdoor style bar stools (with slatted tops) to look like the table. Finally finished all three stools, working an entire three-day weekend. Doing three stools at once meant a *lot* of wood cutting, sanding, etc, before I even got to the assembly. Of course, I learned from the bar table to stain the wood before putting too much together.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out. The stools are 17 1/12" square, so they are a little larger seat size than a typical pull-up bar stool. But they feel quite comfortable this way.

I haven't added up the true cost to build, because I added in a new tool or two, had to replenish screws, sand paper, glue, etc. But my two receipts (table, then stools), came to about $200 including tools and various supplies I needed. Figure the lumber was about $100 for the table plus 3 bar stools! Not bad!

On a side note, this plan calls for a lot of 2x2 lumber, and I can *never* find good 2x2s unless I want to splurge for the finish grade pine or poplar (and I don't at 8x the price). 2x4s however, are quite good, cost $3, and are straight. So I started rip cutting the 2x4s into two 2x2s using a circular saw and setting up my own fence. That was a pain but well worth it, because I ended up cheaply coming out with great 2x2 legs and leg braces. If you have a table saw, this would be so easy.

Anyway, hope this helps someone. If not, I had fund doing it! Spring is here, cannot wait to use them.


***NOTE: Uploaded my own tutorial PDF instead of loading individual photos and writing instructions into the web portal. It was quicker and easier this way.

26 1/2" H x 17 1/2" W x 17 1/2" D (square)


Shopping List

See tutorial.

Common Materials
2 1/2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
Cut List

See tutorial.

Cutting Instructions

See tutorial.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Finish Used
Minwax Puritan Pine



Mon, 03/30/2015 - 10:52

Thanks Ana! I didn't sufficiently thank you for your help in getting me to the point where I would even try something like this. What a fun website. Now it's off to the drawing boards for the next project... Wife has caught on and now I have a full sheet of things to build! So much fun... And saves a ton of $$$.


Thu, 04/09/2015 - 06:25

This set is amazing!! Is there a tutorial for the table as well? It was mentioned, but I am unable to find anything. Thank you!!


Fri, 04/10/2015 - 19:26

Hi. Thank you for the kind comments! I have some hand sketched plans for the bar, but probably need to touch them up and upload to the site. Will have to see what kind of pictures I have, but I took enough to probably get you through. Maybe after tax season. :-) I will say, it wasn't terribly hard to build, and I used common lumber. So it's pretty cheap!


Thu, 03/24/2016 - 11:21

This set is beautiful. I would love the plans or additional pictures for the table.


Wed, 07/29/2015 - 08:09

There are a few places where 1/12" is typed which is not a common measurement. I believe it to be a typo for 1/2" since most of the pieces should be cut to the same size and I assume the width of the stool is 17 1/2" and not 17 1/12" since the long seat slats are 17 1/2".


Anyway, thanks for the stool design!