DIY Kitchen Helper Step Stool

We were looking at buying a step stool to help our toddler reach the kitchen work surface. They’re a neat design – essentially it’s just a step stool with a surround so they don’t fall off. There are loads of different versions you can find online but I figured I could build one for a fraction of a cost of any of them (factoring my time as free of course). I used all shop-bought timber for this one rather than any reclaimed/upcycled wood but it was something like £25 in total.

I started by marking out the profile in tape to get the dimensions and cut the wood for the sides first. I glued one side together first before adding screws as well. I figured if it was going to be used for climbing on then I’d better make it as strong as possible. Gluing it first also meant I could adjust the whole alignment while the glue was still wet. My square tool was invaluable here as I had to get everything very precise. I then used the first side as a template for the second before putting it together with the back part of the frame.

I fixed together some decking board for the steps and just gave them a bit of varnish to contrast the white paint I used on the frame. The top step can be fitted at three different heights so it should stand the test of time while the kids grow.

I made a cross-brace part way through and added another supporting bar, as it felt a little bit wobbly on the first try. It would probably have been fine for kids but if it’s sturdy enough for me to use as well then it’ll definitely be strong enough for them. I finished the steps off with a few extra details that were more intricate that I would usually build – a removable bar across the front and pegs to hold the step in place at the different heights. I also added adjustable feet as our kitchen floor isn’t perfectly flat.

Overall I’m really satisfied with how it’s turned out. It did take me longer than I anticipated but I’m still glad I opted for the challenge to build it rather than buy one – I always like knowing it’s a one of a kind. Hopefully we’ll get a lot of use out of it – in the pictures below you’ll see someone was eager to test it out before I’d quite finished it.