Thursday, June 19, 2014

Cheap and Easy "Rustic" Bucket Stool

Have you seen the $5 bucket stool?  It is ingenious!  Well, I decided to make one of my own but with my own twist since I like creating things with what I happen to have on hand.  In fact, the $5 bucket stool probably cost me less than $2 in supplies.  Not only is it cheap-it is easy as pie to make!  So here is how I did it.
Rustic bucket stool made of concrete
My rustic bucket stool

Supplies needed:
1.  A 5 gallon bucket
 2.  Bag of concrete or cement recipe of your choice (I am going to try hypertufa next)
Concrete for bucket stool

3.  3 or 4 legs at least 16 inches long (I made mine about 24 inches so I can cut off to level when done) and at least 1 1/2 inches around (I wish I had used larger sticks to make it sturdier).  I used some strong sticks I had laying around my yard, but you can use pipe, dowels, old chair legs, bamboo, the list is endless!
My pile of sticks

4.  Gloves (always)
5.  Dust mask (always)
6.  Tub to mix concrete or you can mix it in the bucket you are going to use
7.  Decorative items like shells, leaves or rocks.  I used clean river rock from my yard for the top.

Here is how you make it:

1.  Cut, clean and seal the legs if you are using wood.
2.  When dry, mark the sticks at the end you are going to insert in the concrete at 1 1/2 inches-this is how far they need to go in the concrete.  Also, to make it easier mark the inside of the bucket at 3 inches (that is how much concrete you will need).
3.  Spray the bucket with cooking spray.
4.  If you are going to "decorate" with rocks or shells put it in the bottom of the bucket now.
5.  Mix your concrete.  You can do this in the bucket if you do not have any "decoration" in the bottom.
6.  Let the concrete rest for about 10 minutes so that it can hydrate.
7.  After 10 minutes check the consistency of the concrete-it should be like cookie dough.  If the consistency seems good you can begin filling your bucket.
Press it down as you fill:
8.  When you hit the 3 inch line smooth the concrete, then start tapping the sides to release air bubbles (or you can vibrate the sides to release them).
9.  Let the concrete sit for a few minutes then insert the legs-either at an angle like I did or you can insert them closer to the sides of the bucket so they are straighter.  Do not move them once you insert them!  Trust me on this:-))
They do not have to be perfect-that is why I call it "rustic".
10.  What at least 10 hours to unmold.
11.  After 10 hours (or more) you can unmold.  If you are concerned about getting it out of the mold let it sit in the sun for about an hour-the concrete sweating inside the bucket will help release it.
When you are ready turn it up on it's legs-hopefully they are strong enough to hold it:-))
It should lift right off.
12.  Next, I cleaned up the top-knocking off the extra concrete with a hammer and chisel to expose my rocks.  If you unmold while the concrete is still somewhat wet you can just use water and a brush to scrub off the concrete.
13.  Trim legs to make level (or shorter).
14.  After you level it out mist the top with some water, wrap the top in a plastic bag and let it cure for a week or two.  Check it daily to make sure it is damp in the bag.  Curing is very important!
15.  After you let it cure you can seal it and then set it out in the garden to enjoy!
Rustic bucket stool
Rustic bucket stool
There you go-my version of the bucket stool-this is another project that can have sooo many personal variations!  You could even make a bar stool height if you wanted to!  I hope you try this awesome garden project for yourself-it is way easy!

Until next time-Happy Planting!