Every December, we, as an agency, throw money into a hat to give our founding partners a gift to thank them for a great year. Over the years, these gifts have included a neon sign shaped like our logo, a phone booth, an entry rug (featuring our logo), a table set (again, logo), a fishtank, an old exercise machine, and a disco ball. This year, we decided to tear a page out of our agency equity "Good. Clean. Fun." and our website, which features a clawfoot tub, and create The Tubble.

What's a tubble, you ask? Simple, it's a tub, filled with bubbles, that we turned into a coffee table.

Tub + Bubbles + Table = Tubble.

It all started with a rusty tub on a neighbor's porch.

He was gutting his house and graciously gave us this old clawfoot tub. While the structural integrity of the tub was sound, it needed some work. The porcelain inside had some rust spots, the feet and fixture were rusted, and the outside of the tub had about 12 coats of paint on it.

So how did we get from rusty old tub to Tubble?

You'd be surprised at how easy (and relatively inexpensive) it was.

Step 1: The Cost

First things, first. Before you begin, you probably wanna know how much this little baby is gonna set you back. Before you wince at the cost, however, remember that this is a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture (currently) and you're not likely to find another one within a 2000-mile radius of your home. Having a unique piece of furniture sometimes comes with a cost. That said...

We were fortunate in that we got an old tub for free, but you may be able to pick one up from a local junkyard or find one on Craigslist or Freecycle for next to nothing. A quick perusal of eBay turns up vintage clawfoot tubs in much better shape than ours for as little as $20. So we'll just assume you already have a tub.

The major expenses are the glass table top (custom cut glass, especially tempered safety glass can be expensive), a new fixture, and the stuff to fill the tub with (to create the illusion that it is filled with a soothing bubble bath). We splurged on a nice fixture from Signature Hardware for $120, but you can find a fixture for a clawfoot tub at your local big box hardware store for around $50 or find a good deal on Craigslist or eBay. We had some extra bubblewrap lying around from packing Christmas presents, but you can get a couple of sheets at a local shipping store for minimal cost or buy a whole 602 roll for around $12. The Christmas lights were $3.99 a box or $8+tax for two. The rubber ducky was on sale at Bath & Body Works for $1 (normally $4). The Christmas ornaments were also on sale at Michaels we bought $50 worth, which was about 10 boxes of large (6 in each box, ornaments about the size of a tangerine) and 10 boxes of small (9-12 in each box, ornaments about the size of a ping pong ball). We had the glass tabletop cut at Oakley Paint & Glass here in Cincinnati and it was about $180. The cost of the glass is largely dependent on what kind of glass you elect to get, but we opted for tempered safety glass because we have some clumsy people walking around the office.

Additional costs for this project include tools, cleaning supplies, and paint. Depending on the state of your tub and what you already have around the house/office, this may be a little or a lot.

We already had all of the tools, so we were just left to purchase the paint and cleaning supplies (prices listed next to each item).

So, the total cost for the Tubble? If you had absolutely nothing in the house, including the tub, and had to go out and buy all of your tools and supplies, you could end up spending as much as $600.

Because we splurged on the fixture and table top (and we already had a tub), it cost us about $400.

But, assuming your tub was in better shape and you already had some of this stuff around the house, you might be able to do it for the price of the glass, fixture, and bubbles, or around $200.
got to make one
Ok, so I wasnt too sure on this one at first, but POW. the finished product is crazy cool.<br />
Fantastic!! Brilliant (so now questions that you've probably already answered-I read too fast) Are the bubles made from the bubble wrap, or do they hide the lights.&nbsp; Your creation is inspirational.
The bubbles are made from the lights and rest on top of the bubble wrap (which masks some of the cord and blurs the light a little bit, giving it a nice soft glow).<br />
just as a point of clarification, if there was rust present the tub is not porcelain, it is cast iron with an enamel over it
As a point of clarification, it is indeed porcelain, the iron tub is heated to t he melting point of the powdered porcelain and it is sifted onto the hot metal until it melts and fuses into a solid coating of porcelain.<br />
Thanks for the clarification... After we lifted this tub several times, we just knew it was heavy... we weren't sure the entire thing was cast iron ;)
Very creative!&nbsp; Thanks for sharing this excellent instructable.
Is it worthwhile to check for the presence of lead paint? &nbsp; Sanding and scraping that stuff will throw off dust.<br />
That looks really great! I really like how warm the bubbles look. But if I were to find a nice cast iron tub like this, I'd make it into a couch.
That sounds awesome. Unfortunately we didn't know any welders or people who could cut through this with a torch. If you do that, let us know!
Looks good. Although I do have a concern about the heat from the Christmas lights if left on for a while. Have there been any issues with the Christmas lights melting the bubble wrap?
Good question. We have had no issues in 2+ months. These are pretty low-watt bulbs and this thing is on for 8+ hours a day. If you really want to be safe (and environmentally friendly) you may want to consider LED holiday lights, although they put off more of a bright white glow than the soft glow we were looking for.
led strands are available in 'warm white' - almost indistinguishable from your excellent strands there. Awesome 'ible; and you probably wont want to - but depending on the thickness of your tempered glass, you can lay on a sheet that size - my friend used to do that to sell glass furniture; when people would ask 'isnt that gonna break' he would hop up and SIT on various desks (and hes not a small guy).
Thanks for the heads up! When I bought the lights, the only LEDs they had left made it look like a UFO was bearing down on me.
Definitely avoid ufo led's. They can scan your brain, and if successful, the probe comes next.
I'm tempted to go seek out an old sink and make a scaled-down version of this... :-) This was such a well written Instructable. I especially like the "You'll need" at the top of each step.
Table + Sink = Sinkable? Thanks, Number09. <br/><br/><em>Number09. Number09. Number09. Number09. Industry allows financial imbalance</em><br/>
Just Wonderful! What does "Space zots at 12-163 intervals" mean? Why has no one else asked this question - is it that obvious to everyone else? Is is something like a clock face with no "9"?
Sorry about that... it's supposed to say 12-16" intervals, I think it got bungled in the Instructables editor ;)
We should add speakers to it...kidding, but an old tube contemporary radio would look great on that. Something like <a rel="nofollow" href="http://blog.makezine.com/e-clec-tech_1899_274864.jpg">http://blog.makezine.com/e-clec-tech_1899_274864.jpg</a>. Great job by the way...<br/>
That radio is awesome. We'd have to make it something to do with bathing, methinks, maybe a washboard radio?
I'm not exactly sure where I'd put this in my house, but it's pretty sweet. : D
We have a waiting room/entry area where the Tubble resides now, we probably need to make some "toilet" recliners!
Wow!!! That is so awesome!
That rocks I so would love to have that kind of furniture. I've been trying to get my wife to give me the okay on a 44" super swamper tire coffee table. No go.
That is such an inventive way to use an old bathtub, Thumbs up!
Nice, it looks awesome!
Great effect! L

About This Instructable




More by seamusiv:How To Update Your Blog When You Don't Have Time to Write International Travel with the iPhone The Tubble 
Add instructable to: