Broken Chair? Make a Cooler/Planter Bucket Chair

11 Materials
3 Hours
One of the many things I love to do is entertain. I love dressing up the picnic table my husband made for our backyard by laying out burlap table runners, candles, centerpieces, and turning on our string lighting that stretches from our garage to our beautiful magnolia. Instead of running in and out of the house this summer--letting bugs in in the process--this cute little drink bucket chair will help with keeping our drinks cold and within arm's reach. What's even better is it will fit right in with my outdoor entertaining decor!
Oh, the possibilities with this cute bucket chair! Whether using it to plant your next summer flowers, herbs, or filling with ice and drinks to keep cool, this chair will surely be a conversation starter.

-antique chair

-party tub







-spray paint

-measuring tape


Out of all of the supplies, I only had to purchase the party tub for this specific project--I had all other supplies on hand so it only cost me a total $8.62.

Aside from the tools used, this project should only cost you about $35.
STEP 1: Figure bucket placement

First, I sat my bucket on my antique chair to figure out where it would sit.
STEP 2: Measure

Next, I measured the distance between the back of the bucket and the back of the chair.
STEP 3: Mark

This next step is a little trick my husband taught me in order to mark where my bucket would sit. Hammer a nail where you'll want the center of your bucket to be. To determine the size of your circle, you need to use the following formula:

Average of diameter of top of bucket and bottom of bucket

(ex: top-->14.5"+ bottom-->11"= 25.5/2 = 12.75")

Take a piece of twine or string and tie it around the nail, then measure out the average you got for your bucket (in my case it was 12.75") and at that mark, tie your twine or string around a pencil. Then, hold your string/pencil tight and draw your circle--MAKE SURE YOU KEEP YOUR PENCIL AT THE SAME ANGLE ALL THE WAY AROUND. After you draw your circle, drill a hole just inside one part of your circle--this will help you get started on cutting the circle with your jigsaw.
I messed up my first attempt at marking my circle because I didn't hold my pencil in the exact angle all the way around, then my second attempt wasn't going to work because my jigsaw wouldn't clear the rungs in the back so I had to re-figure where my bucket would sit. Ultimately, I went with a "farm sink" style (see the mark I went with in the photo above).
STEP 4: Cut

Take a jigsaw and cut the circle you marked.
STEP 5: Sand

Clean up the edges of your circle with a piece of fine grit sandpaper.
STEP 6: Paint

Next, paint your chair. I used a pretty green spray paint I had on hand.
STEP 7: Seal

If your chair is going to be outside, be sure to seal it in order to protect it from rotting and weathering. Mine will stay in our garage until we need it for get-togethers but I wanted to seal it just in case. I used Minwax Finishing Paste Wax--I use this stuff on a lot of my outdoor wood projects and have always had a good result from it.
Finally, add any extras to your bucket that you wish. I wanted to see what it would look like to put mine and my husband's monogram on my bucket with outdoor vinyl (I have a Silhouette machine) and I loved how the mock-up came out, so I think I'll add it. I just haven't quite figured out what color I want to use. Just leaving it plain will work too, though! You can drill holes in the bottom of your bucket in order to use it as a planter, or you can fill it with ice and drinks for your next cook out. I can't wait to have friends over so I can use this for just that!
Suggested materials:
  • Antique chair   (antique junk store)
  • Party tub   (WalMart)
  • Nail   (Home Depot)
See all materials
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Kaye Thurstom Kaye Thurstom on Jun 22, 2016
    Why not put tub on chair, draw around it and cut out the hole?

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3 of 31 comments
  • Wendy D'Agostino Wendy D'Agostino on Aug 11, 2019

    Great idea, I love to repurpose things for use as a planter or decorative support. I have used complete toilet seats. I will set them on an old broken chair or just the ground. I paint them first then use different different stencils. I open the lid and set a plant in its pot in the opening. Depending on what colors or stencils/designs you have on the underside of the toilet lid it can really bring out the colors of the plants. You can paint it decorate them to match other elements in your garden. I even put some led lights around some of them. Not one person has noticed exactly what they are made from just that they like them.

    • Misty Misty on Aug 14, 2019

      Can we see pictures? I have an old toilet seat still not properly disposed of. Lol

  • Joanie Joanie on Mar 25, 2020

    I have seen toilet seats used for frames..........especially in a bathroom with a child bathing in a galvanized tub. Cute idea !!!