Introduction: Child Size Leather Tripod Stool

Picture of Child Size Leather Tripod Stool

I have been looking for ideas for Christmas presents when I came across some super cool leather tripod camp stools. Then I saw the price. $90 geez that is just a leather seat with 3 dowels... and it hit me the CMC Rope rescue guidebook tells how to tie a tripod lashing for 3 poles. I could try making one and seeing if it will be upsized into presents.

The resulting stool is about 6 inches tall and about 12 inches from point to point on the triangle. I am most likely going to extend the leg dowels as even this short height was sturdy enough to support my 275 lb frame. For a adult size one I am most likely going to use 16 inch widths from point to point with one point between my legs in the crotchular area. The cool thing is that it just rolls up and weighs less then a pound so in theory one could roll it along with a blanket hammock and a tarp for some super primitive backcountry camping.

I am going to warn you right now this one is going to be heavy on pictures and pretty light on words. So if something is not clear please ask in the comments.


  • Leather punch
  • Rotary cutter.
  • Cutting mat
  • Lacing Needles.
  • Protractor
  • Metal Ruler
  • silver sharpie. ( for the black leather I had.)
  • Wax


  • Heavy weight latigo leather (probably 16 -18 oz weight)
  • Artificial sinew (basically a waxed thread for leather crafts)
  • 1 inch poplar dowel rod. For the adult version I am going to use 1 1/4" dowel
  • 550 Paracord.

Step 1: The Design Stage.

Picture of The Design Stage.

Ok with some constants if you take a compass and make a point then make another point a set distance where you create 2 intersecting arcs you get a Isosceles triangle. If that just confused ya check out the pictures above.

I started with making a super small version out of paper just to see if the idea I had to mark it out on leather would actually work. Happy with the results I broke out my leather remnant and sketched out a 12" triangle on it using the silver sharpie I discussed earlier. Then I made 3 parallel lines .5 inches from the existing lines as I had some extra leather. Sort of like a slow moving vehicle sign.

Step 2: Cutting It All Out.

Picture of Cutting It All Out.

Using a metal ruler as a straight edge I cut along the outer lines marked until I had my triangle for the seat.

At this point I was thinking I could either sew the ends together to make a pocket when I noticed that I had a bunch of small scrap that would be waste and cut little trapezoids to form the pockets the tripod will fit into.

Step 3: Sewing the Pockets

Picture of Sewing the Pockets

Ok now it is time to sew it all up.

I used a leather punch set to the smallest hole that it had and made a series of holes along the edge of a trapezoid then using a needle i scratched their locations to the larger triangle.

When I had one full set of holes matching up I threaded a large gauge lacing needle with some artificial sinew and stitched the pieces together one direction with a running stitch then following back through the other direction so that there are no voids and each hole has been threaded twice.

Ok so I was not so perfect with my lineup. That is ok as I am going to round off the corners and seal the edge with a little paste wax.

Step 4: Trimming the Corners and Ensuring the Edges Are Smooth.

Picture of Trimming the Corners and Ensuring the Edges Are Smooth.

Back to the rotary cutter and mat.

First trim off any excess material overhanging the edges. Then using the rotary cutter like one would a band saw make a series of cuts trimming each corner into a gentle radius.

Then after the corners are trimmed I used a bit of paste wax to seal the edges. I did not have any bees wax and as this is a prototype I did not fully burnish the edge. The semi raw look is not as finished as a full burnished edge but i like the results.

Step 5: Tie the Tripod Legs.

Picture of Tie the Tripod Legs.

I cut a 36 inch dowel into 3 12 inch sections. On one end I cut them on a miter to present a bevel for the seat pockets. Now you may notice that this makes a rather short stool with 3 12 inch dowels. I suggest using 3 24 inch dowels so that for the finished product you can dress the knot how you like and adjust seat height to taste.

Weight pressing down on the seat along with the pockets and knot tightness all work together to provide the tension to keep the tripod from collapsing.

Start by tying a clove hitch on one section of dowel. Then lay the running end off to one side and place a dowel above and below the running end.

Wrap the cord around the end dowel and weave it back up and over the middle section. Place the extra end from the clove hitch along the first dowel and proceed to weave the cord back and forth through the dowels until there are about 4 or 5 wraps around them.

The next part to this knot is called frapping which is basically a fancy term for wrapping the windings into one bunch at each joint. So take up any slack from your weaving and wrap the cord around the middle of one side of the center dowel about 2 times. Then feed the cord along one side of the center bundle and frap the other pivot. Tie off your cordage and work the knot down into the frapping.

Cut off any extra and melt the ends to prevent fraying.

Fold out your tripod fit the ends into the pockets and try bearing for weight.


wheeljam (author)2015-10-05

Very nice. Post an Instructable for the adult sizes when you get it.

MoTinkerGNome (author)wheeljam2015-10-06

Will do, I am trying to figure out dimensions, I want it big enough to support me comfortably but small enough to pack easily. I am thinking 16 or 18" point to point but I am going to have to go to St Louis to pick up more leather. The closest place that sells it is about 180 miles away :(

Canvas does not hold my weight well :)

pyanfars (author)MoTinkerGNome2015-12-22

I've purchased leather from this site, shipping not very expensive either.

About This Instructable




Bio: Howdy, I am a bit of a tinker gnome. I like playing with hardware/technology along with making stuff I want out of old stuff ... More »
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