Do it Yourself Bar Stool


You just built a bar in your finished basement, and you need bar stools before you can throw your first party. You can save money for your party by building your own bar stools in an afternoon. Buy the materials at your local lumber store, or use existing supplies from your wood shop. Paint your homemade bar stools to add extra flair to your basement decor.

Things You'll Need

  • Plywood board, 13 inches square, 3/4 inch thick, finished on one side
  • 1-by-4 board, 5 feet long
  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 2 large C-clamps
  • Wood glue
  • 24 wood screws, 2 1/2 inches long
  • Screw gun and Phillips head bit
  • 2-by-2 boards, 15 board feet
  • Belt sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Rag


  • Measure and cut two 1-by-4 boards to 13 inches long and two 1-by-4 boards to 12 inches long, using a circular saw.

  • Cut four 2-by-2 boards to 30 inches, and four 2-by-2 boards to 13 inches.

  • Build an open box using the plywood board for the bottom and the 1-by-4 boards for the sides. Lay the 13-inch-square plywood board, finished side down, on a flat surface. Apply a line of glue along the narrow edge of a 13-inch 1-by-4. Mount the 1-by-4 lengthwise, along the glue edge, to an outer side of the plywood square. Clamp the 1-by-4 upright to the plywood, using C-clamps at either end of the board. Secure the 1-by-4 to the plywood by screwing two equally spaced wood screws through the edge of the finished side of the plywood board and into the narrow side of the 1-by-4, using a screw gun. Remove the clamps.

  • Attach the remaining 13-inch 1-by-4 to the opposite side of the plywood board using the same procedure. Attach the two 12-inch 1-by-4s upright, to the adjacent edges of the plywood board. You should now have a 13-inch-square box, with 1-by-4 sides. This box will be the stool's seat.


  • Fasten the legs to the stool's seat. Lay the plywood box, open side up, on a flat surface. Stand a 30-inch 2-by-2 vertically against an outside corner of the box. Make sure the bottom of the 2-by-2 is flush with the bottom of the box. Apply glue between the 2-by-2 and the box. Fasten the 2-by-2 to the side of the box using two equally spaced wood screws and a screw gun. Attach a second leg to the same side of the box, in the other corner, using glue, two wood screws and a screw gun. Using the same procedure, fasten the two remaining 30-inch 2-by-2s to the opposite sides of the box, in the corners. Stand the stool upright, on its four legs. The 2-by-2s should be flush with the top of the stool.

  • Attach the cross supports to the stool legs. Mark a 14-inch height on each stool leg, measuring up from the floor. Fit a 13-inch 2-by-2 between two legs at these marks. The bottom of the 2-by-2 should be even with the marks on each leg. Apply glue between the 2-by-2 ends and the inner sides of the legs. Fasten a wood screw through the outsides of each leg, into the ends of the 2-by-2, using a screw gun. Fit a second 13-inch 2-by-2 between the two opposite legs, with the bottom edge even with the 14-inch marks on each leg. Fasten this 2-by-2 in a similar manner.

  • Fit a third and fourth 2-by-2 between the legs on the adjacent sides of the stool, applying the same procedure that was used for the first two cross supports. Position the top edges of these 2-by-2s even with the 14-inch marks on the legs. Fasten each 2-by-2 to the inner sides of the legs using glue, wood screws and a screw gun. The stool should now have four cross supports, staggered to accommodate the screws.

  • Sit on the stool, and rock slightly back and forth. If the stool wobbles, determine which legs are excessively long, causing the wobble. Using a belt sander, remove 1/8-inch increments from the bottoms of legs to correct the wobble. You can also use sand paper.

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