DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool

2 Hours
Recently I tried embossing concrete using cardboard (you can find that DIY experiment post in my HomeTalk profile).
I figured I could combine concrete embossing with the $5 bucket stool idea from Homemade Modern.
This is an easy DIY that uses a bucket to make the stool and cardboard to make the design.
Check out the short video I made for this DIY.
What you'll need:

- Cardboard

- 1 1/4 inch dowels

- A bucket

- Packing tape

- Exacto knife

- Sandpaper

- Concrete. Either get two different colors of concrete, or you can buy dye to change the color of white concrete.

- A print out of your design
The first step is to cut out your design. Then trace it onto cardboard and cut it out. I did this on 2 sheets of cardboard so I could get a thicker mold for the concrete.
If your bucket isn't flat like mine was, you might want to cut a circle out of cardboard to have a flat surface to stick the template on.
After glueing the pieces to the circle, the next step is to waterproof the cardboard. This is done by covering the whole thing in packing tape.
Make a mark from the bottom of your bucket upwards at 3 inches. This lets you know when to stop pouring the cement.

Make a mark on your dowels 1 1/2 inches from one end. This will let you know how deep to push them in.

After pouring the cement (use a bit of a wet mix) into the bucket, push the dowels into it. Space them evenly around the bucket. My dowels wanted to float up when I pushed them in, so I used some tape to hold them in place.

Tap and shake the bucket gently to get the air bubbles out.
Leave it to dry for over 20+ hours. If you are lucky, you might be able to pull the stool out of the bucket without breaking it. Bend the sides to loosen the cement. I had to break mine apart.
The next step is to mix up your colored cement and pour it into the design. You'll want to have a bit of a wet mix.

Use a tooth pick to push the cement around and make sure it gets into all of the corners.
The next step is to gently sand down the top of the stool, to reveal the design.
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • JB JB on Mar 10, 2016
    How do you insure the dowels are level on the ground when the stool is turned over. Also, can the stool actually be used or is it decorative?

  • Monica Trundle Monica Trundle on Mar 21, 2016
    I've seen on other posts involving concrete/ cement where they've sprayed their container with cooking oil to make removal easier. Would that work here?

  • Caroline Caroline on Jul 18, 2016
    I know its been awhile since this was originally posted- amazing job by the way- I just had a quick question about sealing your cardboard template with parking tape. When you stretch the tape from the raised areas onto the white circle, there would be a slope connecting the two which I would think would distort the template. When you add the concrete, does it push the packing tape into the crevasses or is there another way I should be applying the tape? Again, amazing and creative! You inspired many others with this DIY! Thanks!

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