Wood Storage Stools

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Easy to make DIY wood storage stools with reversible top for seating or surface use.  Free plans by ANA-WHITE.com

Our latest tiny house, The Open Concept Modern, is all done and the video tour is live.

One of the most versatile pieces in this tiny house are these wood storage stools.

Each offers almost two cubic feet of storage inside.

Their home is base is the coffee table area in the lounge.  Since the storage stools are on casters, they can be moved freely around the lounge area, to allow for more or less legroom with ease.  Use them to serve snacks, hold drinks, work from a laptop or play a board game.

The tops can also be flipped over to reveal a built in cushion.  The cushions can be used to prop feet up comfortably.  They can also be used as a lap desk with the cushion down, or easily set on the sofa as a side table.

And of course, they can be rolled over to a desk or table and be used as a very comfortable chair.

They are sturdy enough to be used as a step stool (with locking caster wheels).  We opted to keep the lowest position of the elevator bed to give some room for the lounge area pillows, so the wood storage stools work perfectly as step ups to the bed.

When the beds are in "bunk mode" the step stool can be used to step up to the console, and then on to the bed.  The storage stool then doubles as a nightstand for the lower bed.

Not just for a tiny house, these little storage cubes could be extra guest seating, stools, lap desks, and of course storage, in any home. 

I made each one for about $40 in materials.  Here's how -

I purchased these foam pieces first (so I could size my stools accordingly).  These guys were $7 at Walmart.  

Then I purchased these 12" wide project panels at Lowes in 6 foot lengths (one per each stool).  They were $13 each.  I could have also purchased the 18" project panel for the top and bottom but opted to burn up scraps from my shop.

I cut the wood using a compound miter saw (plans below have exact cut lengths). NOTE: I matched up my cuts so the different colored wood patterns lined up.

Then I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes on the shorter board ends.

The Kreg Jig simply drills these pilot holes that are hidden on the inside.

It makes building fast, easy and precise.

For the bottom, I'm going to nail it on.  The reason for staples instead of screws is staples are cheaper and faster than screws for this type of joint.

But you always have to use glue with staples or nails.

I then stapled the bottom of the storage stools on with 1-1/4" crown staples in my Ryobi Airstrike stapler.  

Box is done, on to the seat/top.

I cut a scrap piece of 3/4" plywood to the same size as the foam.  I layed the fabric down first, right side down.  Then the foam, then the plywood.

I then stapled the fabric to the plwyood with staples no thicker than my plywood (I used 5/8" staples).

Then I just stapled the rest on neatly, carefully folding corners.

I then pieced together scrap 1x boards (you could also use an 18" width project panel) to create the tops.  You can faintly see that I screwed the finished top to the plywood under the cushion.  It was not a fun experience, adding screw holes to the top.  If I could do it again, I would use industrial strength velcro -

The velcro would attach the 3/4" plywood to the tabletop underside.  Then you could easily remove the upholstered pad, and reupholster if needed.

To protect and bring the color and texture of the light wood ceiling down, I used my favorite polyurethane, Varathane in Crystal Clear.


For such a simple project, these storage stools were huge winners!  I love how they turned out and am excited to share the plans with you.  Do share if you build, it's very gratifying seeing your work.

Thank you much!

XO Ana


PS - Don't forget to PIN to your build list!



Shopping List


1 - 1x12 project panel 6 feet long

1 - 1x18 project panel, 3 feet long

1 - 3/4" plywood scrap 16" x 16"

1 - 16" x 16" piece of foam, 2" thick

Industrial strength velcro

24" x 24" minimum fabric, batting recommended if thin fabric

5/8" and 1-1/4" staples

4 - 2" caster wheels (2 should be locking if used as step stool)

3/4" screws to fit caster wheels if not supplied with casters

Cut List

2 - 1x12 @ 16-1/2"

2 - 1x12 @ 18"

2 - 3/4" thick project panel 18" x 18" (top and bottom)

1 - 3/4" plywood @ 16" x 16"


Tape Measure
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Staple Gun
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Build the box using 3/4" pocket holes and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 2

Attach bottom with nails or staples and wood glue.

Step 3

Attach caster wheels to bottom.

Step 4

Upholster the 3/4" plywood and attach to top with industrial strength velcro.

Step 5



Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:10

Approximately how long did it take to build these.  I'm thinking of building one for the elementary school's library as a book return with a slot in the top for the kids to drop their books into, then adding a hinge and a latch so only the librarian can get into it.  I just want to budget my time accordingly.


Fri, 08/07/2020 - 05:44

Anything you’d recommend to adapt them to make these weatherproof to use outside? I love the idea of flipping the top so there’s a cushion ready to go when you need it.