Rhonda B
Rhonda B
  • Hometalker
  • Muscatine, IA

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.
My "rustic" bucket stool
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)
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 stick pile
My stick pile
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.
cheap and easy rustic bucket stool, concrete masonry, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
cheap and easy rustic bucket stool, concrete masonry, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
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 down as you fill.
cheap and easy rustic bucket stool, concrete masonry, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
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:-))
cheap and easy rustic bucket stool, concrete masonry, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
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.
cheap and easy rustic bucket stool, concrete masonry, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
When you are ready turn it up on it's legs-hopefully they are strong enough to hold it:-)) It should lift right off. If not, tug (pull out) on the sides of the bucket to loosen it.
cheap and easy rustic bucket stool, concrete masonry, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
cheap and easy rustic bucket stool, concrete masonry, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
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!
cheap and easy rustic bucket stool, concrete masonry, gardening, outdoor living, repurposing upcycling
Visit my blog to see more detailed photos of this project:

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Rhonda B

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Lan2933862
    on Apr 16, 2016

    Can this really be used to sit on..or is it just for looks.

    • Shana
      on Apr 16, 2016

      Doesn't look too comfy!

    • Diane Simpkins
      on Apr 17, 2016

      I think it would be cute to set a plant on.

    • Beth
      on Apr 18, 2016

      very cool & your directions & pictures made it so clear. TY

    • Rhonda B
      on Apr 18, 2016

      Thank you:-))

    • Kathleen
      on May 16, 2016

      But, really, a person couldn't sit on this, right? I'd hate to go to all this work and then have someone sit on it and break it! One could get hurt doing so! I think putting something on top that defines it as a table would be the best.

    • Renee
      on May 23, 2016

      No I think those legs would give right out......I would not let anyone sit on it. Only cute plant holder

    • Aimee P
      on Jul 19, 2016

      I would use thicker branches or go with more around the sides. I think this would be a neat idea around a garden so someone could sit and weed instead of moving a seat or sitting on the ground. They could also be used for potted highlight plants.

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