Build a Flip-Over 2×4 Bar Stool Step Ladder AKA Hoosier Step Stool

We’ve been hard at working making our work area in the garage at our Birch House feel more like a workshop and less like a storage unit that also houses our tools — it’s slow going, but we’re making progress! Today’s video will show you how we built this simple but smart flip-over bar stool step ladder to work double duty as both a workbench seat and a step stool to help us easily reach the upper cabinets in the shop. Inspired by the popular Benjamin Franklin ladder chair that Scott built, we sat down to design our own version of the Hoosier step stool: a simple 2×4 bar stool that flips to become a step stool, no fancy hardware needed. Perfect for our workshop or for any other small space that needs double-duty furniture! Watch the video on our YouTube channel and let us know if you need one for your shop, too — or if you’d like us to design one with a bit more style to use in the kitchen and inside your home, too.

How to Build a $20 Flip-Over Bar Stool Step Ladder Using 2x4s

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This style of step ladder stool is sometimes called a Hoosier step stool, since it originated from the same small house necessity and design ideas as the Hoosier cabinet of the early 20th century. Our version is so simple and easy to build, and the best part is that we built it for $0 using 2×2 and 2×4 scraps from our other projects (like our 2×4 and More building series where we only used common dimensional and construction lumber). Even if you don’t have an extensive scrap pile like we do, it’s really affordable and simple to build in just a couple of hours following our building plan.

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Build A Hoosier Step Stool DIY Bar Stool Step Ladder Combo Using 2x4s #remodelaholic

So far in our workshop video series, we’ve cleaned up and organized the shop, organized our ever-growing collection of work clamps, added a mobile dust collection system, and — the crown jewel (so far!) — built this amazing (if I do say so myself) table saw workbench. We’re lucky enough to have some great cabinets already, and we’ve maximized the space by hanging them high, but even at above-average height, we needed a boost to reach the top shelves and make that storage space work more efficiently for us. This bar stool step ladder makes it even easier to get to work in the shop and get things DONE! And it fits just perfectly on the storage side of the workbench.

What would you like to see us build in the workshop next?

build an easy 2x4 step ladder bar stool combo that flips between seating and stepstool - building plan and video tutorial #remodelaholic

Materials and Tools to Build a 2×4 Hoosier Step Stool or Bar Stool Step Ladder

To build one Hoosier-style step ladder stool that is 24″ tall and 17.5″ wide, download the printable woodworking plan — click here or use the button below to add it to your cart from the Remodelaholic Shop.


From your scrap pile or the hardware store: 

Have extra 2x4s but no 2x2s? Cut them down like we did on the table saw — tutorial here in our favorite 2×4 tips and tricks.

And then on the workbench you’ll want our go-to basic building tools:

If you’ve done many previous building projects (like these) you can likely get some or all of these building materials from your scrap pile like we did! It’s a great feeling to build something for FREE and save both money on additional materials and time on a trip to the store. Even buying all the materials, you’ll only pay about $20 for the wood and the screws to assemble the step ladder bar stool — around $2 for each 2×2 and $3 for each 2×4, plus $10 or less for the screws (with many left over for future projects).

REMODELAHOLIC TIP: Since this build features multiple cuts at the same lengths, use a clamp and piece of scrap wood to set up a stop (like you can see in the video) to make the cuts fast and accurate.

DIY 2x4 Bar Stool And Step Ladder Combo Hoosier Step Stool Building Plan #remodelaholic

We left ours raw and plain — not beautiful, but functional for the shop. If you want to class it up a little bit, you can spend a bit of extra time sanding and then stain (purchased or homemade) or colorwash the stool. A bit of woodburning pattern would look really cool as well!

Want to see a prettier, fancier version for your kitchen? Leave us a comment and if we have enough interest, we’ll post another version of this bar stool step ladder!

If you just need a quick step-up, build this easy reclaimed wood step stool, too!

More double-duty space-saving furniture: 

Benjamin Franklin style ladder chair step stool

Building Plan Diy Ladder Chair Stepstool Inspired By Benjamin Franklin #remodelaholic

shared hidden workspace IKEA desk hack for kids and families

Easy Diy Ikea Desk Hack With 2 Hidden Compartments For Kids Work Areas And Storage #remodelaholic

hidden storage coat rack

Amy Baesler Sliding Coat Rack Hertoolbelt Finished Open

kids block letter seats with storage inside + activity table




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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

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  1. What a brilliant idea! I’m what I refer to as vertically challenged, so this is an awesome idea that I hadn’t thought about. Thanks 🙂

  2. Any way you could mock one up using all 2×4’s. I just don’t trust 2×2’s and don’t like using them.

    1. We don’t currently do custom modifications of plans, but you’d be welcome to swap 2x4s for the 2x2s — depending on how you orient them, you could minimize the adjustments needed to the other pieces, too. We have had no problems with the 2x2s we used.