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How to Create a DIY Ballard Designs Knock-Off Stand or Stool

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As I was browsing through the Ballard Designs catalog (which I love!), I saw the cutest little stand/stool! I figured I could make a similar stand for a fraction of the cost… let me show you how to create your own DIY Ballard Designs Knock-off Stand / Stool.

I used scrap wood to build this project, and it is a really simple build. I used my paper/vinyl cutter to create a stencil for the top and the entire stand is painted with chalk paint. This little stand can be used for plants or for little ones to help in the kitchen – with supervision, of course!



  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws (16 total)
  • 1-1/2″ screws (4 total)
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (100, 150, 220 grits)
  • Finishing supplies (primer & paint, or stain, sealer)

Tools Needed:


  • 1 – 1″ dowel rod at 36″
  • 1 – 1×2 at 16″
  • 1 – 2×2 at 26″
  • 1 – 2×12 at 11-1/4″

Cut List:

  • 4 – 2×2 at 8″ – Legs
  • 4 – 1×2 at 4-1/2″ – Upper Connectors
  • 4 – 1″ dowel rods at 5-3/8″ – Lower Connectors
  • 1 – 2×12 at 11-1/4″ – Top

Step One

Cut the pieces for the legs. On one side of each leg, draw a line 2″ up from the bottom and mark the center of the line. Using the drill with the Forstner bit, drill a hole 1/2″ deep (approximately the depth of the bit itself) in each leg. Lay the legs side by side with the holes facing up. Turn two of the legs to the left and turn two of the legs to the right. Draw a line 3″ up from the bottom on the face of the legs, mark the center of the line and drill a 1/2″ deep hole with the 1″ Forstner bit.

Forstner drill bit for making your stool legs

Drill your holes to attach your stool legs

Getting pieces ready to connect with kreg jig making a stool

Step Two

Cut the pieces for the upper and lower connectors. With the pocket hole jig set for 3/4″ material, drill pocket holes in each end of the 1×2 connectors. Secure an upper connector to one of the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Use the rubber mallet to tap one of the dowel pieces into one of the holes. Position another leg on top of the dowel rod and tap into place. Make sure that the hole for the dowel corresponds to the hole in the other leg. In other words, if the dowel rod is tapped into a lower hole (2″ from the bottom) with the upper hole facing up toward you, the opposite leg should have the lower hole facing in toward the other leg with the upper hole facing up. Secure the other end of the upper connector with glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Using the same method (and the same corresponding holes) create the other leg assembly.

Connecting piece to build your stool


Step Three

Secure the remaining upper connectors to one leg assembly on the same face of the leg as the hole that is facing up. Tap the dowel rods into place, then secure the upper connectors to the remaining leg assembly tapping the legs with the mallet to seat the dowels in place.

Building your own stool

Step Four

Draw diagonal lines from corner to corner on one face of the 2×12 piece to find the center. Using a compass or the string/push pin method, draw an 11-1/4″ diameter circle. Cut out the circle with a jigsaw – or if you are adventurous, cut the circle with a jig on the bandsaw. (I created the top to my stand using two 1×12 pieces because that is what I had on hand.) I forgot to photograph this step but I’m sure you get the idea…

Step Five

Paint or stain the stand pieces as desired. I created a stencil from vinyl but any stencil can be used. I used black chalk paint to paint both pieces, then used white chalk paint for the graphic on the top. I sealed both pieces with wax, using one coat on the base and two coats on the top.

Once the paint and wax are dry, flip the top over with the face down and center the base on it. Use the drill to toenail a 1-1/2″ screw through each upper connector into the underside of the top.

Easy to Build Ballard Inspired Stool get the complete plans to make your own

Plans to build your own stool / stand - super cute Ballard Designs inspired stool with all the DIY details

That is all there is to building this cute little stand! Super-easy, right? Hope you enjoyed this project – until next time… Visit me at Designs by Studio C for more fabulous furniture plans or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest!


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