Start With These Shaker Step Stool Plans!
Page 1 of 2

Simple woodworking projects includes this Shaker step stool plan.


This is one of the simple woodworking projects we recommend as a great plan for the beginner woodworker. The design is intended to be functional and have a furniture appeal. The top step is only 12" high, but in most indoor cases that is all you need. These step stool plans are built using the pocket jig from Kreg Tools. 

Page 2 shows you how to assemble
these Shaker step stool plans.

Page 3 shows you the steps
we did to finish these
free wood project plans with milk paint.

The woodworking plan PDF is done in easy to understand SketchUp diagrams.

The link to the SketchUp pdf for these free wood project plans is at the bottom of this page. 

Only a few woodworking tools are needed for these simple woodworking projects.


The woodworking tools needed for these simple woodworking projects are the very basic. That is the good thing about using the pocket jig from Kreg Tools. If you don't have a table saw, or other big, expensive tools, the Kreg pocket jig will compensate, and give you the strong pocket hole joint you need. 

The hand woodworking tools you will need are:

  • speed square;
  • tape measure;
  • pencil;
  • compass (or other method for circles);
  • Kreg pocket hole jig; and
  • woodworking clamps.

The only power woodworking tools that are absolutely essential are a jig saw and a drill. 

If you have an electric sander or a router, you could also use them. 

Kreg screws used for these step stool plans are the 1 1/4 inch coarse.


The only materials needed for these step stool plans are:

  • (1) 1x12, 6' long pine board;
  • (1) 1x3 4' long pine board; and
  • (16) 1 1/4" coarse thread, pocket jig screws.

If you haven't purchased pine boards previously, you can learn more about selecting pine boards here. 

Only five pieces of wood are needed for these simple woodworking projects.


The only type of pocket hole joinery used in these beginner woodworking project plans is right angle. 


The approximate cost to build one of these simple woodworking projects is $20 - $25. 

These step stool plans can all be cut with a jig saw.

These free wood project plans have only 5 pieces. Cut those pieces as follows:

  • (2) 11 1/2" by 12" sides;
  • (1) 11 1/2" by 12" bottom step;
  • (1) 7 1/4" by 15" top step; and
  • (1) 2 1/2" by 12" brace.

When cutting with a jig saw, put the best side of your board down. 

The side pieces each have a cut out.  They should be mirror images of each other.

The next step is to make the step stool plans cutouts on the 2 side pieces. 

For the larger cutout, make a mark 6" from the back along the top edge. Then mark 5" from the bottom along the front edge.

On a sheet of paper use your compass to make a 6" radius quarter circle. Cut that quarter circle out, and position it so that it lines up between your 5" mark and your 6" mark. Trace, and then use your jig saw to make the cutout. 

Use that first cutout to trace the cutout for the 2nd side. Then, cut that out, too. 

If you don't have a compass, you can use a bowl or pan. Line up the pan so that it touches the 6" mark and the 5" mark. Then, trace and cut. As before use your first side to trace the line for the 2nd side.

The bottom of each side of these step stool plans has a half circle cut out of it.

The next step is to make the bottom cutout on the 2 side pieces of these simple woodworking projects. Find the center point on the bottom on one side piece - 5 3/4" from each side. Use a compass and a pencil to trace a 2" semi-circle from that center point. Then use your jig saw to cut out that semi-circle. Use that cutout to trace onto the other side. 

After the jig saw cutouts, the step stool profile is complete. 

After the cutouts, the side pieces for these simple woodworking projects should look like this. 

When you lay your side pieces nose to nose, it should look like this.

Your two side pieces should be mirror images of each other with the grain matching as in this photo. 

Remember, the sides will face each other, so put the best side of each piece on the outside. 

The Kreg pocket hole jig drill bit should be set for 3/4 inch.

Set up your pocket jig from Kreg Tools to drill the pocket holes in these simple woodworking projects. 

The first step in setting up your Kreg pocket hole jig is to set the collar for the step drill bit at 3/4". 

Drilling the pocket holes for these simple woodworking projects is easy.

The next step is to set the Kreg Tools pocket hole drill guide to 3/4", which is the thickness of all of the material used in these step stool plans. 

If you are not sure how to do these settings, review the pocket jig set-up process. 

The pocket holes for the top of the side pieces should be towards the front because you have a back brace.

Drill the pocket holes. 

You will drill two pocket holes along the top edge of the side pieces. Make sure you drill into the poorer side, so that the best side will be on the outside. Also, keep in mind that your side pieces have to be mirror images of each other. You don't want two right side pieces and no left side. 

You will drill 4 pocket holes on the short sides of your bottom step, and 2 pocket holes on the short sides of your brace. There will be no holes drilled into the top step. 

Sanding your step stool pieces is much easier if done before you assemble them.

The next step is to round the edges of your step stool that will be showing after assembly. You could use several methods to accomplish this. 

If you have a router, you could use that. If you don't have a router, you could use an edge planer.

If you don't have that, you can sand the exposed edges with a sander to make them rounded. The edges will not be as even as with the other 2 options. 

You also want to sand your pieces before they are joined together. This is true whether you use an electric sander or are sanding by hand. 

Page 2 Has Your
Step Stool Assembly Instructions.

You Can Print Out the PDF
for This Free Woodworking Plan.

You can print out the woodworking plan PDF for this beginner woodworking project to take with you into the shop or garage.

Click here or on the photo
to go to the free download of that PDF. 

Click on this photo to take you to the woodworking plan PDF free.

Page 3 Shows How Milk Paint
Was Used to Finish This Step Stool.

There are other Simple Woodworking Projects
in our free Shaker furniture plans section.

Kreg Tools has made some
free, simple woodworking projects.

Learn how to build a bookcase
with our free wood project plans.

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