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DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY

The simple bucket stool DIY, where you fill a bucket with cement and poke in some dowels, comes from Ben over on Homemade Modern. I wondered if there was any way to customize the face of the stool. So I ended up experimenting with debossing / inlaying an image into the cement – using cardboard.

You can check out my other experiments trying to emboss cement (again, with cardboard) here: DIY Experiment: Embossing Cement Challenge.

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY

Home Tree Atlas DIY Projects

TOOLS

  • Saw

You’ll need a saw jigsaw/circ saw/hand saw to cut the dowels to length

MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES

  • Bucket

Ben uses a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot, with a smooth bottom. I used what I could get my hands on. You basically need a bucket wide enough that you can sit on.

  • Dowels

1 1/4 inch dowels 48 inches long. For mine, again I used what was available – which was much thinner dowels – they are still sturdy stool legs.

  • x2 Concrete

I went ahead and mixed my own cement – buying concrete and sand. You can always get Quikrete 5000 concrete which is premixed for you, so you just need to add water.

You’ll also need another color of concrete to pour into the inlay. You can do this by buying a bag of white concrete such as Quikrete Countertop mix in white. Or just buy the white concrete and a concrete pigment dye (like red) – instead of buying 2 bags on concrete.

  • Illustration

I found my illustration by searching for ‘koi fish black and white illustration’ on google. You’ll need to print this out (in reverse) the size you’ll want it on your seat – I did this at home with on an A4 sheet of paper.

  • Cardboard, Packing Tape, Compass (or String and a Pencil)

You’ll need enough cardboard to make 2 templates of your design and to make a circle the size of your bucket. The packing tape is going to be used to cover the template to make it waterproof.

  • Fine Grit Sandpaper (around 100-grit)

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1: The Design

So you’ll need to print out your design. Remember it needs to be in reverse since it will be a mirror image when you are done.

I ended up cutting two sheets of cardboard to create the mold shape for the cement pour. I did this so I could double up the cardboard to get a deep inlay in the seat. I saved the scrap piece of the template (the outside) to create the embossed cement plaques DIY (seen at the end of this post).

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 1 The Design

Step 2: The Mold

The next step is measure the size of your bucket and cut out a circle using the cardboard. A compass or a piece of string and a pencil can be used to mark out the circle.

Then glue the pieces of your design together and onto the circle.

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 2 The Mold

Step 3: Waterproofing

Use the packing tape to cover the the mold to waterproof it. Then put the mold into the bucket. I went ahead and put taped up the sides where the cardboard disk meets the bucket.

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 3 Waterproofing

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 3 Waterproofing

Step 4: Cutting the Legs

I ended up cutting the legs to the right height I wanted them. Ben’s instructions are to cut them 16″ long.

Step 5: Pouring the Cement

Mark 3 inches from the bottom of the bucket upwards. This will let you know when to stop pouring the cement.

Mix up your concrete with water and start pouring. You want the mix to be a bit watery so that it covers the mold well. Shake the bucket gently and tap on the sides of it to bring up the air bubbles.

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 5 Pouring the cement

Step 6: Adding the Legs

Make a mark on the dowels 1 1/2 inches from one end. This is how far into the cement you’ll want to push the dowels in. Then place them equally around the bucket.

I used tape to hold down the dowels, since they kept wanting to float up.

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 6 Adding the legs

Step 7: The Reveal

Wait for over a whole day (20 hours+) for the cement to dry. Now depending on the bucket you have, you might be able to pull out the stool by the legs by bending the bucket to loosen it. In my case, I had to break it apart.

And carefully peel off the cardboard. The cement is still not fully dry – so right now you can either use sandpaper to smooth it out, or what I did was to leave it with all the wavy marks and waited another day for it to fully dry.

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 7 The reveal

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 7 The reveal

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 7 The reveal

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 7 The reveal

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 7 The reveal

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 7 The reveal

Step 8: Pouring the Inlay

Here comes round two of pouring the cement. This time use the colored/white concrete, and carefully pour it into the inlay. You can use a tooth pick to push the cement into the corners and move it around.

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 8 Pouring the inlay

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 8 Pouring the inlay

Step 9: Going Fishing

Wait another day for the cement to dry. Then use the sandpaper to carefully sand the new cement to unmask the design.

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY - Step 9 Going fishing

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY

DIY Remix: Koi Fish $5 Bucket Stool DIY

That’s it. I’m curious to know if anyone else will try this with another design. Email me at jacob@hometreeatlas.com with photos if you make your own, or if you have any questions.

Home Tree Atlas DIY Projects

Check out my experiment in embossing cement here.

DIY Experiment: Embossing Cement Challenge

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March 2, 2016 in DIY, Made By HtA
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