How to Turn a Step Ladder into a Stool for Extra Seating

A step ladder.  It’s not quite a full blown ladder that you have to climb up and hope you don’t loose your footing on. It’s the little one with just a few rungs to grab that our of reach item on the top shelf. Every house could use one.

I remember the old chrome folding step ladder stool my parent’s had. It was used for everything from feather dusting cob webs off the ceiling to the family “hair cutting” chair.  

How to turn a step ladder into a stool or chair for extra seating - StowandTellU.comI’ve been collecting a few wooden step ladders myself. And what I really like is that, in my house, at least, they are going to double as chairs or stools in the kitchen.

As empty-nesters, in a small home we don’t have plans for a large kitchen seating area. The plan is more of a breakfast nook type deal.

Our step ladder chairs will be used as extra seating for when friends and family stop by. No one ever sits too long in one place at our parties anyway.


I found the all white step ladder as-is. It already had a nice “top step” that was comfy enough to be used as a stool or chair.

The second step ladder, the all wood one… not so much.

Trying to sit, or even stand for that matter, on the top of this step ladder seemed a little dangerous.

Made me ask myself when it was that I had my last tetanus shot;)

How to turn a wooden step ladder into a stool or chair for extra seating -

How to turn a step ladder into a chair or stool for extra seating

Turning this step ladder into a chair was pretty easy to do, of course, I had Ken’s help to cut, shape and attach the scarp wood piece to the step ladder.


Here is what we used:

Scrap wood piece cut 13-1/2″ x 7″

Router with a Round Over Bit

Circle temple (or a small can will do)

Power drill (with a standard drill bit and counter sink bit)

Counter Sink Screws 1-1/2″

Wood clamps

Sand paper 100 grit


White paint, paint brush, painters tape (I painted it after it was attached to the ladder.)



Cut piece of scrap wood to size – about 13-1/2″ x 7″ for a standard two rung step ladder. Our piece was warped. We used that to our advantage by letting it warp upwards for the seat.


Used a circle template to mark off the corners with a pencil. A can or something round will work if you don’t have a template.

A router and round over bit were used to cut out the corners and bevel the top and bottom edges.


The wood piece was clamped to the ladder top.  Next we:

Drilled pilot hole.

Created counter sink holes.

Drilled in counter sink screws so that they go slightly deeper than level with the wood.

Sanded down smooth and painted.

DIY Step Ladder Stool-Chairs for extra seating. Space saving seating ideas | StowandTellU

Now we have two quick stowaway seating options that can still be used to reach the top shelf, as well as for seating in the kitchen, garage or out by the fire pit when we have friends and family over.

PS: My kittens love climbing all over them, too.

Would you like to add a printed graphic to the top of the stool?  To see how to add a graphic to the top of the stool, see this pretty DIY French graphic stool project from Design Dreams by Anne.

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2 Responses to How to Turn a Step Ladder into a Stool for Extra Seating

  1. Anne February 1, 2017 at 7:46 am #

    Cute! I use mine all the time as a quick bar stool in the kitchen. And thank you so much for the shout out! xoxoxo

  2. chris February 2, 2017 at 2:48 am #

    cute and useful project amy, we could all use extra seating xx

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