Wednesday, October 19, 2011

DIY wood stools

I teased you guys with this DIY project last week, and these stocky guys were not only easy to make, but they were a huge hit with all the wedding guests.  So much so that we had several guests putting dibs on wanting to take them home after all was said and done.

What you'll need:
  • 12 solid wood stumps big enough to hold one person (we used oak that was roughly 14" in diameter) 
  • Drill with a 1/4" wood drill bit
  • Plywood to create the base of the cushion (my friend Aaron had a bunch of plywood laying around that was leftover from other house projects, in all different shapes and thickness, which he then cut into 12" circles; but you can go to Home Depot and buy sheets of plywood in your desired thickness)
  • Wood saw
  • 12 2" X 1/4" lag bolts, 1/4" nuts and 12 washers 
  • 3/8" Staple gun
  • Cotton batting (we had a five pound box of cotton batting on hand that we used at our discretion)
  • 12 cuts of fabric in 14" X 14"squares (weather proof fabric is ideal)
  • Protective eye-ware  
  • Pencil
  • Drafting compass
  • Pliers or monkey wrench (for tightening nuts and washers)

Always wear your protective eye-ware when doing any sawing or cutting projects!

Take plywood and using your compass, trace a 12" circle, then cut with a wood saw.  You'll need 12 of these.

Using a drill with a 1/4" drill bit, drill center of each  piece of wood then insert lag bolt into what will be the top of seat. On the bottom, place washer on lag bolt and tighten nut securely in each wood base.

Lay out a piece of fabric face down on work bench or table. Take one of the 12" wood bases and lay so that the lag bolt is facing up.

Using the staple gun, pull fabric toward you and staple to the bottom of the wood base, leaving one small section open / un-stapled.

Take cotton batting and begin stuffing the batting into the open hole, making a cushioned seat. Once you get it to your desired thickness, lay the cushion face down and pull the open ends of fabric toward you and staple to the bottom of the base.

Repeat with all remaining cushion bases. Once they have all been assembled into cushions, take your drill and 1/4" drill bit and drill holes into the top of each wood stump. Brush off wood shards and then take each cushion and affix lag bolt-side down on top of each stump.  Voila!  And if you want, you can paint or stain each stool (before affixing the cushion, of course) with weatherized paint or stain so that you can leave these guys outside year-round.

A HUGE thanks to my best friend, Aaron Martin, for all his help and creative vision with these stools.


  1. These are so cool. I saw this on Pinterest and just wanted to stop in and say how cute these are.

  2. Yes, they are sweet looking! i have 2 stumps in the middle of my garden, and this would look cool! Thanks!

  3. so the bolt is just sitting in the hole you drilled into the stump? Does this keep the seat on secure without being loose? Thanks

  4. I would like more detailed pictures and assembly instructions too please?

  5. I am curious about how you conditioned the stumps. Do you recommend removing the bark before painting/staining? I have a ton of stumps from a fallen tree and was using them as stools around our fire pit, but they are beginning to decay and become homes for bugs. Any advice how to prevent this for the ones not yet effected?

    1. Give the stump a good borax bath, let dry and clean with a bristle brush. Kills bugs.

  6. Wow! Belle idée MerciNathaly:-))))

  7. These are super cute. The half cushions are so fun and quirky! And the use of old stumps is fantastic.

  8. Since these are under a porch, I don't guess they would work sitting around the fire pit as it doesn't appear that you used material that would be weather/wet resistant...but I supposed you could purchase the outdoor tablecloths that are vinyl/flannel backed and use those. I love these!

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