Build This Simple $20 Stool or Side Table

Stephanie Abbott
by Stephanie Abbott
14 Materials
1 Hour

I definitely wish I had a few of these when I was a poor college kid and 20-something. This build works great as a side table. And, it doubles as a stool when you have guests over. Yay! It's also pretty great as a nice guest room side table that I can pull out for extra seating for big family get together's. The best part is how quickly you can build one. This can be built in about an hour.

You can watch the Video above to get a quick overview of this build.

Start by building 2 identical X's out of 2x2's. I used pocket holes made with my Kreg Jig to connect the pieces. I used my Miter Saw to make quick, straight cuts.

Full dimensions for this table/stool are on the tutorial on my site. You can also find recommended standard heights for seats, bedside tables, and using these next to chairs or couches.

Once the X's are built, you can attach the 4 2x2 legs to the X's. One X will be flush with the top of the legs. This is the X that the wood round top will sit on. The other X will be attached 3/4" up from the bottom of the legs. Using wide clamps can be a big help with this build.

Once the frame is fully assembled, fill in all pocket holes with wood filler, let dry, then sand smooth. Also, sand the frame and wood round for finishing. I sand to 120 or 150 when painting pine. And, up to 220 when staining pine.

Paint and apply poly to the frame. Stain and poly the wood round. Once dry, attach the wood round to the frame. You can drill screws through the frame into bottom of the wood round OR apply glue to the whole frame top and brad nail the wood round in to place at all 4 legs. Use a matching wood putty to fill the holes.

If screwing, be sure to use a countersink bit to hide the screw heads.

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Stephanie Abbott
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2 of 7 comments
  • Ann Ann on Apr 03, 2019

    Wonderful! I also have 2x2 pieces of wood out back, found small glass top as well, you know what I’ll be doing this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration. ;)

  • Shawn K Shawn K on Apr 09, 2019

    Oooh! I love the red!!!