EP8 $5 Bucket Stool

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Postcard

The $5 bucket stool epitomizes exactly what we are trying to do at HMM. The stool is durable, simple to make and aesthetically pleasing. It looks like something that could retail for $50 but you can make it for $5. What’s great about this project is that there is very little waste. The bucket serves a vessel for mixing the concrete and as the form for the stool. When the stool has cured it can be removed without damaging the bucket. A 48″ dowel cut into three 16-inch pieces provides legs without waste.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Supplies 

SUPPLIES:

HomeMade ModernQuikrete 5000 Concrete Mix
Purchase at Home Depot
Quikrete 5000 is my go to concrete mix for all sorts of DIY projects. It’s stronger and cures faster than standard mixes and has a nice grey color. Quikrete 5000 is available at Home Depot. The only thing challenging about working with Quikrete is the moving the 80lb bags it comes in.

HomeMade Modern1 ¼” Diameter Wooden Dowel 48″ long
Purchase at Home Depot
A single 48” dowel is all you need to make three sturdy legs. 1” diameter and 1 ½” diameter dowels would also work just fin. If you have some old tool handles you can try that as well.

HomeMade Modern5 Gallon Bucket
Purchase at Home Depot
I picked up a bucket in the paint aisle at home depot. Look for a bucket with a smooth bottom.

HomeMade ModernCopper Pipe Caps and Washers
Purchase at Home Depot
Copper Pipe caps and washers can be used to even out the legs if you don’t get them to set evenly in the concrete. Simply put more washers in the caps that go on the shorter legs. Construction adhesive can be used to keep the pipe caps on the dowels.

HomeMade ModernClean Tap Water
Always use clean water for mixing with concrete.

INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1: Cut the legs
Cut the 48” dowel into three pieces 16” long each.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Step 1 

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Step 1 

STEP 2: Put 3 inches of concrete mix in the bucket
Make sure the bucket is clean and dry before opening up the concrete and scooping 3 inches of concrete mix into the bucket. Add some water and start mixing. Be careful not to over water the concrete or it will be weak and crumble. Thoroughly mix the concrete so that every grain of the mix is wet. The mix should be the consistency of cookie dough.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Step 2 

STEP 3: Shake out the bubbles 
Mixed concrete has air bubbles trapped inside. Shake and tap the bucket to bring the bubbles to the surface.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Step 3 

STEP 4: Place the legs
Once the concrete has settled, place the legs in the bucket. Stick the legs about 1 ½” past the surface of the concrete and let them rest against the sides of the bucket.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Step 4 

STEP 5: Wait 20 hours then remove
Bend the sides of the bucket outwards a few times in each direction to loosen the concrete; then pull the stool out by the legs.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Step 5 

STEP 6: Sand the edges
The concrete has not yet fully hardened and is pretty easy to work with. 120 grit sand paper can be used to smooth the edges.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Step 6 

STEP 7: Dip dye the legs
I dip dyed the legs using white semi-gloss low VOC house paint and a cut-off plastic water bottle.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Step 7 

OPTIONAL STEP: Level out the legs with pipe caps
My stool came out even but if your legs don’t quite line up simply put more washers in the caps that go on the shorter legs. Construction adhesive can be used to keep the pipe caps on the dowels.

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Optional Step 

HomeMade Modern DIY EP8 $5 Bucket Stool Options 

Good luck making your own $5 bucket stool, and please email or tweet photos to @benuyeda or ben@homemade-modern.com. For more detailed instructions, dimensioned drawings and different variations of the project, check out our soon-to-be-released book.

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