Sunday, March 17, 2013

A really cool concrete stool

I'm a huge fan of making things and challenging your creativity. Every thing about a project excites me and gets me pumped!! Every so often I'll come across an idea that has a great result with minimal effort.

Here's a really fun and simple weekend project to help fuel you; a heavy duty modern concrete stool. It will cost you about $15.00 bucks for material and the final product is pretty cool.

Materials required:
  • (1) bag of Quickcrete 5000 cement
  • Plastic tub
  • (3) legs of any kind
  • polyurethane (if desired)

final product

Stage 1,  acquiring your legs.
There's several directions we can go for legs. You can use a dowel and cut it into three equal lengths. If you choose this option just be sure to use one about the diameter of a closet rod. You can make your own, or do as we did, and find a junked chair with able legs. What ever you decide to do make sure they all have equal lengths (16" makes a good stool height).

stage 1, our leg choice
stage 1, my three legs all cut to equal lengths @ 16".

Stage 2, choose your tub for the concrete form.
When looking for the perfect tub form you want to make sure the bottom is smooth with minimal indentations. You can get a toy tub at the big box stores for a few bucks or just use a five gallon bucket. Either one work's really good. The only difference is the final product size. The bucket is a bit smaller, I personally like the bigger tub version.

stage 2, the concrete form

Stage 3, mix your concrete.
Mixing concrete isn't as intimidating as one might think. It's actually pretty simple. Using a five gallon bucket add just a bit of water (this helps prevent concrete from collecting around the outer edge unmixed and sticking to the bucket). Scoop in some Quickcrete 5000 concrete then add a bit more water (go slow with the water) add just enough to mix. You want to have the final consistency of pancake batter. Adding to much water can make for a weaker final product. You can manually mix with a big paint stick or something of the sort. If you prefer buy a mixer attachment for your drill, it makes quick work of mixing just don't gun the drill motor or concrete will be all over.

Stage 4, pour the concrete in and set your legs.
Find a good safe place to locate your form so it wont be accidentally touched. Once you have the right concrete mixture pour it into your form. You want to have no less than 2" thickness (the more you use the heavier your stool). you may want to mark the inside of your form so you don't exceed your determined thickness.

Once the concrete is in the form agitate it with a palm sander. Go all around the form with the sander to remove air pockets. It makes for a better cure and a better looking product.

Now take your legs and push them into the concrete. Be sure to hit the bottom then lift up just a bit to allow concrete back under the leg. Then rest each leg on the inside wall of the tub/bucket form in the position you want. I chose to place mine about 2" from the edge.

stage 4, legs set and ready to let cure

Stage 5, let stool cure for a minimum of 2 days.
Don't be tempted to touch until you reach that second day about 40-48hours later.

Stage 6, turn over and lift off form.
This is where you'll get a chance to feel how heavy your project is. Gently turn it over and work the form off by squeezing, turning, and lifting. it should slide out pretty easy.

stage 6, turned right side up
stage 6, with the tub form lifted off

Stage 7, Keep as is or polyurethane.
Adding poly will give the project a more polished look. If you choose to add poly apply a thin coat let dry do a light sand and then repeat.

stage 7, adding poly

Our final product is a really cool modern stool that you can make for yourself. I liked this project so much I'm making custom bar stools. Same process with just a bit longer legs...


  1. Love this project. I need a heavy stool like this. Have you ever noticed that when you put your feet on a stool, it will slide around and you have to constantly adjust it. This is perfect. Like it with poly application, you could probably also color your cement and get some good looks.

  2. That's funny about the stool moving, this one takes a bit of effort to move (40lbs of dense weight). The super cool thing for a few bucks you can get a slight urban look with concrete.


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