The Scrap Stool





Introduction: The Scrap Stool

A little bit about the stool

The goal of the scrap stool is to reconsider the manufacturing process and labor costs in making a stool. I began this project by asking local paper businesses to put their paper waste into trashcans that I pre-filled with a slow drying glue.

By discarding their paper waste into the trashcan, the employees ended up creating furniture! Without changing their routine, I was able to transform the workers from being wasteful into furniture makers….who vigorously recycled. and since the stool uses waste material and labor that is already paid for, there is no cost to produce them. The stools are continuously being produced in Providence Rhode Island, however I would like to show you how to also make your very own Scrap Stool!

The stool's aesthetic is intrinsic to its manufacturing technique. For many of the products that are out right now, the workers, the manufacturing techniques and environmental costs are completely separated from the utility of the object. The scrap stool is an exploration on recycling waste but also reconsidering manufacturing processes.

You can learn more about the stools here! Designboom, Design Daily, Design Indaba.


Step 1: Tools You Will Need

  • 5 gallon Bucket

Here is an Amazon link to one that works just fine.

  • Belt

A generic belt for pants will do.

  • Universal Mold Release

Here is a Amazon link.

  • Smooth-On Smooth Cast 305 or 310

Here is an Amazon link.

  • Scissors

Must be strong enough to cut 100 lb paper.

  • So-Strong Coloring

Any color you would like! Here is a link to a sampler kit which has plenty of coloring to color many stools.

Step 2: Collecting Paper

You will begin by collecting materials.


You can collect paper material from almost anywhere. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Many typical offices use paper which is perfect to make a scrap stools.
  • Go to your local paper store/supplier. Usually they will be happy to lend you their scrap materials.
  • Your local print shop will typically have plenty of left over scrap perfect for the stool


The majority of your collected paper should be...

  • 17 inches and above in one dimension.

This does not mean all your paper must be 17 inches in length. It is good to have variation.

  • relatively sturdy.

I have found that paper which is around or above 100 lbs (270 g/m2) is the best size for a sturdy stool. Otherwise the paper can be any color, size, shape, etc.


You should collect enough paper to tightly fill the bucket if all the scraps were standing up longways.

It should end up being a little under two square feet of material. This sounds like a lot but your average paper cutters usually goes through many times this amount in scraps daily.

Step 3: Setup

1.) Lay paper the down flat over the belt. Make sure the paper is straight to each other.

2.) Once you have all the paper piled together. Slowly put the belt together and lock it tight.

3.) Bang the bundle on a flat surface to get the scraps flat on the bundle's bottom side.

Step 4: Preparing the Bucket

1. Place bucket face up.

2. Spray the bucket with a coat of Universal Mold Release.

3. Open up your Smooth-Cast 305 or 310 and pour part A and B mixtures completely in the bucket slowly without adding too many bubbles.

4. Open up your dye and drop a few drops of dye. The dye is extremely strong so add only 3 or 4 drops.

5. Begin to mix the mixture (trying to not add bubbles) for about 3-4 minutes.

Step 5: Dropping the Bundle of Paper Into the Bucket

1.) You have about 5-10 minutes before the resin will begin its curing process. So quickly (but carefully) take the bundle of paper and slowly drop it into the bucket.

2.) Make sure as many strands as possible are touching the bottom of the bucket. You can even push the strands down with your hand to make sure they are touching the bottom.

Step 6: Trimming

While your stool is drying, trim the pieces of paper that are sticking out on the top of your stool. The surface should be flat once you are done.

Step 7: Popping the Stool Out

1.) After 30 minutes, turn the bucket over.

2.) Grab the rim of the plastic bucket and lift it slightly off of the ground. If the stool does not come out, simply jiggle it a little and it should pop right out!

Step 8: Final Touches

1.) Take a paper towel and wipe down the surface of the stool. It might be a little slippery from the mold release.

2.) Once your are done wiping, sit down on the stool for a job well done!



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We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




I'm collecting scrap paper and chopping it on our school gilitine

I'll post some pic's of it on here when done.

I checked out your website, and man I'm in LOVE with some of your work! I like the reactive clothing line (aerochromics) the best!

From your description,you have made a block of paper with a heavy leather belt glued around it.

haha, different strokes for different folks!

Awesome initial project! I love that you did this with local business', and that they participated! Are you writing a paper on the wider issues you discussed? And thanks for translating your grand scheme into an instructable we can all try. I'm going to one of your mentioned links (designboom etc) to check this out further;-)

Thank you! My work revolves around social issues. So maybe a written paper is in my future!

By saying put paper waste into trashcans that I pre-filled with a slow drying glue I had the impression that they tossed trash in the basket as they acquired it not saving it, wrapping it in a belt and having five minutes to stuff it in the bucket. What is the real cost when you add the mold release and the glue. Would it not also be very heavy. basically you have a solid bucket of glue.

When I first looked at this I was very disappointed.

It doesn't look like the construction matches the title of the article. Scrap? It looks far from scrap paper. Please correct that title as it gives the wrong impression, with scrap gone it's very impressive (rather than very misleading).

This is scrap from printing shops. They produce probably hundreds of pounds of scrap strips trimmed from the edges of their print jobs every day. If you cut strips of paper you bought to make a stool like this, then no, your stool will not be made of scrap. But the author's stools are made from scrap.