One of my favorite things about building DIY projects is being able to make something that would otherwise be quite expensive.
You can save a lot of money by making your own furniture.
A major advantage to this is that you can customize your build in any way you like.
You can pick the dimensions. You can pick the color paint or shade of stain. And, you can pick the materials – whether you want a higher quality wood than the store provides or maybe you want a chemical-free piece.
You can make your DIY project any way you like.
Build It Cheaper Than Buying It
Every month we have been sharing a themed DIY project. Last month, we installed solar power outdoor lighting!
This month’s theme was “Build It Cheaper Than Buying It.” Eileen found a simple round stool, which can also serve as a low-end table, that she loved at West Elm.
It retails for a couple of hundred bucks, and we made this West Elm-inspired one for just $15!
How to Make a Color-Dipped Easy Round Stool
Making a stool is pretty easy. You just need a top to sit on, some legs, and leg hardware. The West Elm stool that Eileen was inspired by had a round top with 3 legs.
So the first step in this stool project was crafting the round top.
I wanted the round top to have at least a 10″ diameter.
However, I didn’t have any scrap wood that large and I didn’t want to buy an 8′ length of 2×12 lumber at Home Depot just for a small stool top.
Looking around the garage for a solution, I came across some scrap 2×6 wood.
I decided it would be perfect for a stool top if I joined two of the 2x6s with pocket hole screws to form 10″x10″ block.
The pocket holes would be on the bottom of the stool, so no one would see them.
Here I cut two 10″ pieces of 2x6s:
2x lumber normally comes bevelled on the edges.
This wouldn’t make for a smooth join of the 2x6s.
So I used my table saw to trim the 2x6s and remove the bevelled edge as shown below:
Next I used my handy Kreg pocket hole jig to drill four pairs of pocket holes in the 2x6s:
To join the 2×6 wood pieces, I held them together with a bar clamp while inserting several pocket hole screws:
Now that I had a square block of wood to work with, I proceeded to get an outline of a circle on it.
The easiest way to get a circle on some wood is to just trace around the perimeter of an existing object.
However, I couldn’t find something around 10″ wide.
So I resorted to a reliable wire and pencil trick to draw a circle by hand. I attached a temporary screw in the center of the wood.
Then I wrapped a piece of wire around the screw and tied the other end of the wire to a pencil.
Using the screw as a pivot point, I moved the pencil around the screw, keeping the wire tensioned to produce a circle.
With a circle outlined on the wood, I used my jigsaw to make the cut:
To smooth the top, I gave it a good sanding with my random orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper.
Next, I flipped over the stool top and prepped the underside for the leg hardware.
I had to divide the circle into three equal segments, as shown below:
Then I arranged the leg hardware so I could pre-drill the mounting holes:
For the stool legs, I used three 1 1/4″ diameter dowels, cut to 16″ lengths:
Since the stool legs were angled, I needed to cut the bottom of the legs at an 11-degree angle so the legs would be flush with the floor:
Next, I used a 3/8″ drill bit and drilled a hole in the center of the legs (on the opposite side of the 11-degree cuts I just made).
The holes were just deep enough to hold the attachment bolts from the hardware kit.
After the holes were drilled, I used a hex wrench to screw some threaded bolt inserts into the legs:
Finally, I started screwing on the legs one by one:
Stool construction was now complete. I took a break from my hard work, sat on the stool, and thought about how nice the stool turned out.
Here’s the stool so far:
How to Color Dip the Stool
I did a few coats of Tung Oil on the stool’s legs.
Then, Eileen painted the top of the stool white, along with the top of the three legs.
To get a perfect line on the stool’s legs, she just used masking tape around the legs and painted above it.
For the paint, she used just DecoArt acrylic paint. Then she went over the painted part with a beeswax sealer. It turned out so nice!
Time and Cost
The cost of making the stool was less than $15, and it took a few hours of time.
The simple round stool can serve as a stool or even as a low-end table.
And, if you love the stool/end table from West Elm, you can make this yourself and save $200!