Sunday, July 21, 2013

5 Gallon paint bucket stools- father/daughter project

Last year I bought stools for my classroom at Ikea. They were terrible. The screws always came loose and the stools fell apart. This year I decided to take a different approach to stools. 

While I was in College Station, Texas (Home of Texas A&M University!!!) visiting my parents, I went to Lowe's and bought  six 5 gallon paint buckets with the Texas A&M logo on them. My dad bought sheets of 1.5in. thick plywood. He measures the circumference of the paint bucket lids and went to town on cutting them out with a saw. Next he placed the newly cut piece of plywood on top of the lid and drilled a hole through both of them. He labeled each lid to its matching plywood with numbers. 
Next, he placed a screw through each piece of plywood.

To make cushions for the stools I bought a twin size egg crate mattress topper. This was cheaper than buying individual pieces of foam at Joanne's. I used the cut plywood as a stencil on my foam. 

Then, I also used the cut plywood as a stencil on my fabric that I would use to cover the entire seat. I bought a chevron black and white patterned fabric. I cut out 6 of these circles of fabric for my bucket seats.

Next, we took the circle plywood that had a screw through it and placed the egg crate on top of it. Make sure the flat side of the crate is up so you aren't sitting on bumps. Next, we wrapped the fabric around the plywood and foam and used a staple gun to secure it all together. 

After we had secured the foam and fabric to the plywood using a staple gun, we took the newly made cushion and a lid and pushed the screw through the hole that was previously made with a drill. Next, we put a washer flesh against the lid.
On top of the regular washer my dad added a different kind of washer to double secure the lid and the make sure when we tighten the bolt onto the screw it won't break the plastic.
The last step is to add the bolt and tighten it all the way until it bites up against the washers. Done! Now, you have a great cushion for your buckets and they can be used as stools! 

I know that many teachers have secured their cushions to the lid by using hot glue, but I feel like that will only last for so long. With the students constantly wiggling around on them, they need to be very secure. My dad is such a smarty pants for coming up with this great way to make cushions!

I went back later and hot glued some ribbon onto my buckets. 

You could also paint your bucket and jazz them up! Get creative!

Below is a pic of my dad in his taxidermy studio where we made my stools. He's awesome!!!!


  1. How were you able get the bolt on without holding screw still (screw under padding & material)?

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  4. I am making these now! I love the idea of being able to remove the bolt and recover with a new fabric whenever i want a new look! What kind/size bolts did you use?