Toddler Sized Animal Stools: A How-To

Fox and Bunny Toddler Animal Stools


Are you ready for a crazy adorable, super cute project today? I hope so! Last week I saw an image online that inspired me to make some sweet little stools for Charlie. They’re just her size, and just so darn cute. And again, the best part? They’re made from REAL wood! Scrap wood! The kind you have hanging around your garage so you can build these little suckers for free. But, if you don’t have wood just lounging around your home like I do, you can easily make two stools for less than $10 and 30 minutes. Including painting.



I didn’t include a pattern, because the charm is in the imperfections. The “template” for this project is so that you can customize it any way you like. I chose to make 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!


animal stools

As you can see, you’ll need to keep the ears large (each about  6.5″ tall and 3.5″ wide) to create a back rest of sorts. I don’t recommend allowing your children to lean back on them very far, however, because kids like to tip out of chairs. Or maybe that’s just mine?

Ready to see just how easy it is to make this amazing little chair? Read on!

- 2′ of 1×10 pine or scrap plywood (I used leftover PureBond plywood since it’s formaldehyde free)
- optional: 3′ of 1×2, or you can cut down your scrap 1×10 to size for the legs
- pocket hole jig and 1 1/4″ screws


Step 1 – Cut Pattern



I had a square of plywood leftover from my End Play Table project, so I used that for my template. The seat is an oblong shape, a little wider in the front. Mine is 11 1/4″ wide (the width of a 1×12) by 9″ deep. I drew one ear, 6.5″ tall and 3″ wide. I cut both shapes out with a jigsaw, then used the ear to trace another shape so they would be nearly identical. You can make templates if you like, but I like the charm in the irregularities.


Step 2 – Legs



My legs are 7″ long, cut 5 degrees off square on 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. My 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. My pocket holes were able to be tighter on the 1×2 width. I only needed one hole per leg. Use a 1 1/4″ screw and glue to attach. You can get even fancier (and sturdier) and add a 5 degree bevel so the legs splay out to the sides as well as front and back, but I tend to get confused when I attach them and they don’t sit correctly.


Step 3 – Ears




Each ear has two pocket holes, attached with 1 1/4″ screws and glue. They are very sturdy. 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 Charlie poked her cheek picking up the chair. So do yourself a favor and blunt those tips!


Step 4 – Paint



This is the really fun part! 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. I like that it acts more as a stain than a paint. After it dried, I used Olympic No-VOC untinted semi-gloss white paint and applied one coat for the ears and fox face, as well as the bunny’s eyes and whiskers. I kept it to one coat so it’s a bit streaky, because again, I like the charm. Sometimes when I try to get too perfect it looks forced. Which is also why I didn’t add edge banding to the plywood. I decided to use black for the fox’s face and it was a great choice! This stool is so stinkin’ cute I want to make an adult sized one just for me!



So let’s talk size. The total height is 14″, with a seat height of 7.5″. Perfect for my two and a half year old. You can easily upsize it 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 tried really hard to get a photo of Charlie sitting in them, but she’s getting really possessive of things and didn’t like me moving “her” stools around! So the best I could do was snap one of her rearranging them.



And here’s a nice fuzzy Instagram of her carrying it around and sitting in it, for scale.



I’m really excited to make even more! We mailed off the Bunny chair for our Secret Santa kiddo exchange, and my little miss 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 it seems I always have some scrap lumber lying around, begging to be turned into something useful. I hope these inspire some of you to make chairs for the munchkins in your lives this holiday season! If you do, please share some pictures! I’d love to see all the fun animals and creations.


Killer b. Holiday Gift Guide

Happy Holiday season everyone! It may come as no surprise that this year, I’m focusing on hand making as many gifts as possible for the loved ones in my life. I get a little overwhelmed by the whole shop! shop! shop! mentality, so I’m slowing down and really thinking about what people will appreciate. And while every gift won’t be hand made, I’m focusing on small local businesses, sustainability, and personalization. So, let’s get to it!


Cast Iron Cookware


I’m trying to move toward chemical-free cooking and phasing out my nonstick pans. Bonus points if they’re thrifted and I’m giving someone’s castoffs a new life. I’ve even searched how to reseason them so they’re ready for use!

Reusable Kitchen Gear


I bought a few of these NeatOs reusable snack and sandwich bags, and would love to have some gallon sized ones as well. I’m also looking for reusable baking mats so I can stop wasting aluminum foil.

Canning Supplies


I’ve been growing my very first garden, and am really excited to start storing my own fresh produce! I already have a water bath kit, but a copper pot for making jams and jellies would be great. And one can never say no to canning jars!



A Holstar Beer Holster


My husband loves him some beer, and holsters. He’s also a huge fan of the Chive so I had it personalized and stamped with KCCO in kelly green.

KitchenAid Sausage Attachment

Screen shot 2013-11-28 at 3.14.42 PM

Lately the Mr. has been processing his own meats, and we have a freezer full of wild venison and pork. Yum! He’s been interested in trying out sausage, and the meat grinder attachment worked so well that I’m excited for him to receive this one!

A Straight Razor


These straight razors are so beautiful, and he’s been really interested in straight shaving. I’m a bit nervous to try and pick something for him since I’ve read that there are different options based on preference. But I think a gift card to a shaving store would be a good solution!




I mentioned above that my husband is an avid hunter, and a good pair of binoculars can be crucial. Not only that, it’s great for watching wildlife in the off season.


Photo Fleece Blanket from Shutterfly

I saw these and knew they would be perfect for all the grandparents. Who wouldn’t like to snuggle up with their favorite kiddos whenever they can?

Homemade Ornaments


I never had much luck with the salt dough recipe, but this cornstarch and baking soda clay recipe works great for handprints and stamped letters. We’re going to make a big batch for all the Christmas trees in the family.


Donations to Charities


My father is a Vietnam veteran, so I’m making a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, who help injured veterans with rehabilitation and reintroduction into homeland life. Heifer International is also a great organization, they bring aid to communities by teaching them husbandry and farming.


Homemade Play Dough


My daughter LIVES for this stuff, but tends to go through it so quickly because she smooshes all the colors together and leaves it out to dry. So instead of buying the packaged stuff, I’m making her a batch of her very own custom dough!

Outdoor Cedar Teepee


How amazing would it be to have your very own play house shaped like a teepee? I’m planning to build ours without the base using cedar fence posts and pickets so it’s lasting yet chemical-free so it won’t leech into my garden.


Play Table

modern end play table and stools

I spoiled the surprise a bit by setting it out early, but I built my girls a modern style play table and stools that also works as an end table for our couch. It’s a big hit! We’ve already had tons of Play-Doh dates and tea parties here.

Fabric Memory Game


I saw these fun little games and decided to make my own using some fabric scraps. It’s a great stocking stuffer! And if you’re not great at sewing, you could repurpose a deck of playing cards with some pretty scrap paper or family photos and mod podge it on.

Are you making gifts this holiday season? What are you making?



Modern End Play Table and Stools: A How-To

modern end play table and stools


I love building. I love being able to express my creativity in a functional way. The best part is when I can combine multiple functions into one piece of furniture. And this one? This one is amazing in its simplicity.




We recently needed to pass on the trundle daybed that my parents loaned us to my sister, and decided that a sleeper sofa was a better option for our office/guest/play room. The added space left me the perfect spot to build a little table. One that’s great to set a drink or a snack. And while my style tends to be very rustic and primitive, this time I really wanted a clean, modern look to match the lines of the sofa.



Not only is it lovely, it’s so easy to build! That’s the best kind, right? Well, what if it also has another function? Like a spot for my little misses to have tea parties and serve up delectables from their play kitchen nearby?




And not only that, but the stools would be a great height for growing kids, but still sturdy and big enough for mamas and daddies too?



Yup. This table takes the cake. Oh, and did I mention you can build it for less than $50? True story. It’s always a bonus when an affordable project looks like a million bucks. So, how easy is this to build? Try 15 minutes and a few basic tools. Here’s what I did:

- 1/2 sheet 3/4″ birch PureBond plywood, cut into 15.5″ strips
- 3 sets of L brackets (to add stability)
- 1 1/4″ screws
- edge banding (optional)

Cut List:
- 1 @ 34″ (table top)
- 2 @ 17″ (table sides)
- 2 @ 12″ (stool tops)
- 4 @ 12″ x 7 3/4″ (stool sides)


Assemble the table by drilling pocket holes into one end of each table leg, attach to table top with pocket hole screws and glue. Repeat for stool legs into stool tops. Add L brackets into each corner for added stability and to reduce wobble. That’s it! You’re done. Sand and finish as desired.



It’s always amazing for me to see a simple stack of cut lumber made over into something beautiful and functional. And what parent doesn’t love a piece of multi-functional furniture? Plus one that’s kid-friendly and not garishly bright or plastic? Plus, the PureBond is formaldehyde free (try finding that in the mountain of pressed-”wood” junk at the big box stores), sustainably harvested and made from hard woods. That’s the kind of materials I want around my kids! And that’s why I love building for myself :)



And have I mentioned a few (dozen) times how gorgeous PureBond looks stained?





I believe lustrous would be the right word.

I was able to use the leftover strips from my Schoolhouse Desk Bases, but one sheet of plywood would be enough to make two tables. You can even increase the height of both table and stools if your couch arms are taller than mine. My total cost for supplies (factoring in the half sheet of plywood, edge banding, stain, sealer and brackets) was just under $50. Not bad for a perfectly-sized and styled dual-purpose table! Not bad at all.




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