What little toddler wouldn’t love these super Cute DIY Animal Toddler Stools? Are you ready to make this adorable project today? I hope so! They’re made from REAL wood! Scrap wood! Just those little wood cut offs hanging around your garage, so you can build these little stools for free. But, if you don’t have some scrap wood, you can easily make two stools for less than $10 and 30 minutes.
There is no pattern, because the charm is in the imperfections. Feel free to customize it any way you like. I designed a bunny and a fox, but you could easily use those round ears for a dog, the pointed ones for a cat, maybe even get a little crazy and try out some antlers for a deer? Or rounder ones for a squirrel. . . or bear. You get the picture. Change up the shape of the ears and get decorative with the paint and you’ve got an endless array of possibilities ahead of you!
Keep the ears large (each about 6½″ tall and 3½″ wide) to create a back rest. I don’t recommend allowing your children to lean back on them very far, because kids like to tip out of chairs.
Let’s Make these Cute DIY Animal Toddler Stools!
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- 1″ x 10″ x 2′ pine or scrap plywood (I used leftover PureBond plywood since it’s formaldehyde free)
- 1″ x 2″ x 3′ (or you can cut down your scrap 1″ × 10″ to size for the legs)
- Kreg jig
- 1 ¼″ pocket hole screws
- Wood glue
- Latex paint and/or stain
Step 1 – Cut out face and ears:
Cut a circle for the face and the ears out of the 1″ x 10″. The seat is an oblong shape, a little wider in the front. My stool seat is 11 1/4″ wide by 9″ deep. Draw one ear: 6.5″ tall and 3″ wide. I advise not making the ears too pointy or you’ll have to sand them down a lot for safety. Cut your shapes out with a jigsaw, then use the first cut ear to trace another ear for a perfect match.
You could make templates ahead of time if you like, but I like the charm in the irregularities.
Step 2 – Legs
Cut legs to 7″ long. Set the miter saw at a 5 degrees off square angle. Cut both ends, parallel (which means you don’t have to do any flipping, just cut your first angle, slide the leg down 7″, and cut your second). This gives the legs an outward splay so the stool is sturdier. The bunny stool (which was my prototype) has straight legs made from scrap 2×2’s, and they’re not as strong and sturdy as the angled, thinner legs. It’s still good, but the splay and thinner width is better.
Use the Kreg jig to drill pocket holes into the top inside edge of each leg. Add a bead of glue to the top of each leg. Secure the legs to the bottom of the seat with a 1 ¼″ screw.
Step 3 – Ears
Drill two pocket holes into the back of the ear shapes.
Attach each ear with a bead of wood glue and two 1 ¼″ screws. This should make for a sturdy back on the stool.
(NOTE: Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT have your ears come to a point like this. They are very sharp. Round them off slightly so they are not pointed. I’ve already poked myself in the shin passing by, and my daughter poked her cheek picking up the chair. Do yourself a favor and blunt those tips!)
Step 4 – Paint
Now to have some fun! For the bunny, I just used water with a bit of apple green RIT dye so the grain would show through. For the fox, I used a sample of Valspar paint I had on hand, Terra Cotta Red (also diluted with water) to act like a stain. After the stools dry, use untinted semi-gloss white paint and apply one coat for the ears and fox face. Also use white paint for bunny’s eyes and whiskers. (I kept it to one coat so it’s a bit streaky, because again, I like the charm.) Use some black paint for the fox’s face.
These stools are so stinkin’ cute, I want to make an adult sized version just for me!
The total height of these toddler stools are 14″, with a seat height of 7.5″. They are the perfect size for an 18 month old up to a four year old. Keep in mind, you can easily upsize them by adding leg height and increasing the seat width just a bit, as well as enlarging the ears. You can shrink it down the same way. It’s really a customizable piece with a lot of wiggle room.
I’m really excited to make even more! The bunny stool was a gift for a friend. My little one is already asking for a puppy chair to add to her lone fox. I’m hoping to make some for friends and family as I get scraps (because us DIYers always have some scrap lumber lying around, don’t we?)
I hope these cute toddler stools inspire you to make chairs for the munchkins in your lives. If you do, please share some pictures! I’d love to see all the fun animals and creations.