Josh & Sarah’s Modern Stool

Subtletakeover stoolHi there! I'm Sarah from Arrow & Apple. Although I'm a photographer, I mostly work at home in front of my computer, and I get really tired of sitting all of the time. I asked my clever husband Josh of Subtle Takeover if he could build me a standing height desk, as well as a tall stool in case I do need to sit. Today Josh is going to share his tutorial for building the stool and the optional workspace! I really love my new workspace and I know you will too!Modern stool diy from subtletakeoverSupplies:
4' x 8' (3/4" thick) Sheet of hard wood plywood or similar
wood screws aprox. 1 3/8" long
wood glue
drill bit slightly narrower than screws for pre-drilling
miter saw
jig saw
table saw (optional)
measuring tape
straight edge (T-square would be awesome)
3 shelf brackets

Tip: Measure and mark a line (with a pencil) down the center of all the boards so you have a  reference for when you pre-drill and screw in the screws. Subtletakeover diyStep 1. If you buy you wood at a place like Home Depot, they can rip pieces that you need, so you don't have to deal with that at home! Have them rip the plywood vertically into 3 pieces. the first being 13" by 96" (for your stool) and the other 24" by 96" (for the work surface), leaving you with a piece the is about 11" by 96" (scrap, save for other projects!).
Step 2. Take the 13" by 96" piece and cut it into 3 pieces:
Piece A (will be the seat): 12" by 13"
Piece B (will be the back leg): 30" by 13"
Piece C (will be the front leg): 30.5 " by 13" (each end at a 15˚ angle for the angled front part of the stool.)

Step 3A. Mark (as shown) on Piece C Drill holesStep 3B. Drill out a couple of holes.
Step 3C. Cut out with jig sawWoodworkingTIP: When pre-drilling and screwing, make sure you pre-drill and screw in the outermost screws first, and then you can pre-drill and screw in the middle screws. This will help you to make sure everything is attached straight.

Step 4. Glue pieces A & B together (the wood should be aprox. 3/4" thick, half of the is 3/8", so measure and mark a line about a 3/8" from edge so that when you screw in, you're hitting the middle of bottom piece). Pre-drill holes every 2" or so, and screw in.
Step 5. Glue pieces A & C together, then pre drill holes every 2" or so, and screw in.
Make something today!Step 6. Measure and cut for Piece D. I included my measurements, but I would re-measure just to make sure it's a nice tight fit.  Apply glue to three sides.
Step 7. Pre-drill and screw three screws through Piece B
Step 8. Pre-drill and screw in three screws through Piece C Subtletakeover teaches how to make a stool

Step 9. Pre-drill and screw in 5 pieces through Piece A Subtletakeover shows how t o wood work

Step 10. An easy way to find out the dimensions for Piece E is hold it against the upright still and mark with pencil (as shown) you may need to mark both sides as Piece B may not be at a 90˚ angle. Cut.  10Step 11. Pre-drill and screw in through Piece B every 2" or so. 11Step 12. Pre-drill and screw in through Piece C every 2" or so.  12

Step 13. Let glue dry, sand all edges and surfaces, then apply polyurethane (optional)
Optional Step. To create a standing height workspace, take the 2' foot piece (sanded and polyurethaned) along with your brackets and install (just like a shelf) a standing height work surface! We installed ours at 42" high, but make sure the height is comfortable for you.
Diy modern stoolThanks so much Sarah and Josh! We love your beautiful stool.
  • I used your design ideas and made a stool with 1” Cherry. I used Kreg screws so all the hardware is hidden. Instead of a cutout for the footrest, I attached a 4” shelf at heel level. Very sturdy and beautiful. I can send you a photo

  • Love the design. It inspired me to make this.


  • Thanks for the tutorial! I work at my computer all day from home as a freelance designer and find that sometimes I just want to stand up! I bought a mobile desk/tray that lifts up but this is much more attractive! Great DIY post!
    lynne, a.k.a.

  • Yeah dudes, these instructions are way more detailed than usual. You should keep this up!

  • This looks so easy. 🙂
    I would love it if you checked out my beauty and fashion blog here. 🙂

  • I love this! It looks so cute, seems easy to make, and I feel like this is something you could easily make a cushion (or two) for.

  • Way too cool! I absolutely love it! I’ll have to convince my mister to make me one 😉

  • This is an awesome tutorial and DIY. Although I would need some strong man to be able to help me.

  • I want my very own modern stool! I’d love to add a little cushion to the top, too!


  • love love love it! Yup, the man will need to get these materials ready and start building! 🙂

  • what a fantastic idea! my dads a woodworker i’m sure he would appreciate this alot. going to ask him to make one of these for me. xx. gigi. food and beauty blogger @

  • Beautiful! Looks so easy! Now if I could only summon up the courage and the time.


  • Love the simplicity and how raw it is! I have a desk that’s just raw like that so I’m going to have to try my hand at making this stool!

  • This is a fabulous idea, thank you! I have sent the link to my husband and asked him to start this weekend!

  • This is so cute and deceptively simple-looking!! However I might just be super oblivious but where is the included diagram?

  • I love the captain thunder in charcoal grey and the square one sunglasses in silver! I dont’ have sunglasses but these look like they would be a great first pair!

  • I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE functional modern art and this is beautiful! Well done, you two!

  • Such a unique shape! Definitely something you couldn’t find at IKEA. Beautiful!

    Juliette Laura

  • What an awesome stool! I love the instructions, they are so clear; I especially like that the pictures are marked with the step number and are right under the step they are describing.
    It would be helpful if all diy posts featured here had such detailed instructions! 🙂

  • Love their resourcefulness and the rawness of the stool! What a handy husband.

  • What a clever idea. I just lie on the sofa with a blanket with my laptop ha x


  • So cool! I would totally paint it a crazy color. 🙂

  • This is great! Thinking this will be my fiancés next project 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lulu xx

  • I love it! It’s very modern and clean, yet a little raw and rough. And standing by your desk is much healthier than sitting down all the time.

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