I thought about what I wanted to do for a while. When making something like this you can make a quick easy throw away piece that will end up in the fire place in a year or two or...invest some time and effort and make a notable piece of furniture that you hope will have a long life.
Before you begin the project I suggest that you have a clear vision, and so know whether it is a throw away or a keeper and use materials appropriate to the task. I didn't.
The stool began in my mind as a throw away, after all she will be tall enough that she can reach the light switch shortly. Since this was not to be a long term thing I used some standard grade 2 x 6 and a bit of pine for the side rails.
As I worked on the stool concurrently with the pant hanger I decided that I should make a nice little stool and if she keeps it fine, and if not that's fine too. You can never know what thing will catch a person's fancy.
This is how the step stool ended up. I used my Bosch Colt to plough 3/8 inch dados and I inset aromatic cedar strips and carved her name on her stool.
If you compare first and second photos you can see that I also changed the shape of the legs, after the stool was glued together. Had I planned ahead I would have cut the legs on my band saw, since I didn't plan it was a bit more of a production.
First I laid out the design and then used my brace and bit to drill 7/8 inch holes in the legs. There are times when old school tools are a good solution. This was one such time.
Then since I couldn't use the band saw to cut away the waste I turned to my rip saw. I clamped the stool solidly to the bench and used muscle power to make the four short cuts.
There was lots of sanding and knot filling before I carved the name in place and varnished the stool/bench.
At this moment all I have on my work bench are repairs from 10,000 Villages but spring is coming ...slowly and I think I need to make a couple of flower boxes and planters. I plan to continue with basic carpentry and...additional bling. I liked the process of inlaying the cedar and I enjoy wood burning too.