Make a Stool From Reclaimed Materials




Introduction: Make a Stool From Reclaimed Materials

About: Welcome to my page! Here you will find creations done by myself or my friends. What's on the menu : Learn how to make anything ! I'm not a professionnal in every field, but I will show you how to make furnit...

I recently broke my desk chair and I wanted to make something new out of it. The cushioning foam and the fabric were on good condition so I decided to collect them and make a stool as I have some cable drums lying around my house.

Material :
- Cable drum

- Cushioning foam

- Fabric (About 5 centimeters bigger than the drum diameter)

- Paint (Optional)


- Marker pen

- Box cutter

- Stapler

- Sanding paper (Optional but recommended)

- Brush (Optional)

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Sand It (and Paint It)

I used to work on building site and I noticed that the electrician were throwing away all their empty cable drums, so I asked them and collected a few. The only flaw they had was that they spent a few nights outside and got dirty from the weather, meaning that they now need a bit of sanding.

The first thing to do is to decided which side will be up and which one will be down, that way you can spare time sanding the apparent sides only. The faces you need to sand are the cylinder and one of the inner discs which will be on the lower part of the stool. Of course you can sand the others sides too, but the two outer discs will be hidden (One will face the ground and the other will be covered), and the other inner side will be partly covered and hidden by the angle of view.

Then sand it until you get something smooth and clean. Finally you can apply varnish or paint (It can help hiding some flaws in the wood).

Step 2: Resize the Foam

That's an easy one, just put the drum on the foam and trace a circle around around it, then cut it and go to the next step.

Step 3: Fix the Fabric

For this one you might need a friend:

Lay the fabric on the floor, center the foam on it and put the drum above upside down. You will now need to apply pressure on the the drum to compress the foam in order to get the fabric well taut once it's fixed. You can try to put heavy objects on it, but the simplest way to do so is to ask a friend to stand on it (Your friend doesn't have to be heavy).

You can now proceed stapling the fabric on the drum. Stretch the fabric as you staple it, the method to get it well taut is to staple alternately on the opposite side while you turn around the drum.

Step 4: Adjustments

In my case, the stapler wasn't strong enough so I had to use a hammer to fully push/mash the staples inside the wood. By the way, if you have a better solution for that, I'd be happy to learn it =)

Because the fabric is a bit larger than the drum diameter, it can be seen hanging loose (As in the picture). If so, use the box cutter to remove those parts, but do not cut too close from the staples or it can loosen the whole fabric.

You're done now. I've thought about some improvements I could make, like pads underneath to avoid scratches on wooden floor. I also thought about cutting the upper disc of the drum to make the seat square instead of keeping it round. If you have any other idea, please tell me !

Be the First to Share


    • Sculpting Challenge

      Sculpting Challenge
    • 3D Printed Contest

      3D Printed Contest
    • Motor Vehicle Contest

      Motor Vehicle Contest

    5 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I made one of these before but I used a crayon theme.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Seems nice, do you have any picture of it?


    Reply 3 years ago

    No I don't have pictures of it right now but I will look in my files and I will send a picture later.


    3 years ago

    Looks really good! They make electric staplers that would staple into the wood.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Yeah, I thought about that, but I wasn't sure the problem came from the stapler because it works fine on regular wood. I think I'm gonna buy one of those electric stapler/nail gun to give it a try.