About 6 months ago I was at a gorgeous little cafe and homewares shop up at Belmont, NSW and they had these concrete stools.
They looked so good and I decided they’d make just as good a bedside table, so I added them to my project list and here they are.
The concrete stools I first saw had one flaw, the legs had fallen out and been glued back in. This got my mind ticking, trying to work out the best way to improve on this design.
After many brainstorming moments, which usually tend to happen right when I’m trying to get to sleep, I came up with the idea of using bits of dowel through the ends to make a small ‘T’ shape. Once set in the concrete this would act as a brace preventing the legs from falling out as well as a little bit of reinforcement for the concrete.
The best thing of all with these concrete stools/bedside tables is that they’re really cheap to make. I bought everything I needed from Bunnings Warehouse for less than $25 and was able to make 2 of them.
The ones I’ve seen for sale are in excess of $60.
Also by making them yourself, you can customise them to suit the use you have in mind for them.
So here’s how I did it:
The Required Tools & Materials
– Quick set concrete
– 3x 15cm lengths of 12mm dowel (If you buy from Bunnings most of them have an electric saw and will cut everything to size for you)
– 3x 50cm lengths of 42x19cm pine
– 1x Flexi tub (I used a 42L tub)
– 1x painter bucket with the bottom cut out
– Separate bucket and stirring stick for mixing the concrete
– Drill + 13mm drill bit to make the hole for your dowel
– 120 Grit Sand paper
- Drill a hole through the narrow side of the 3 legs. Make sure you centre it and have the top of the hole no further than 1cm from the top (any further and you start having to use a lot more concrete than necessary just to ensure the dowel is covered). Place the dowel through the hole and centre. It will be slightly loose but this is ok because once in the set concrete it won’t be going anywhere.
- Mix your concrete. I tried 2 different methods for this, 1 mixing it in a separate (but similarly sized tub) and 2 mixing it in the tub that it’ll be setting in. Both of which worked but the one mixed separately left the edges a bit neater.
I used half a 20kg bag of concrete (5cm deep in bottom of tub or just as long as the dowel is fully covered when left to set) for one stool and gradually added the water until I had a consistency similar to biscuit dough but slightly wetter. Or you can use the ratio given to you on the back of the concrete bag.
- Shake and tap the tub a bit to help make the concrete settle and make any air bubbles in it come to the surface. Position the legs into the centre of the concrete and shake a bit again to let the concrete settle around them. Place the cutout bucket around them sitting lightly on the concrete. This is used to hold the legs at a suitable angle. The shallower the bucket the more splayed the legs are going to be.
- Let set for 24hrs (or recommended time on back of concrete bag). Move the sides of the tub around to free the set concrete from it and lift it out of the tub. It should come out of the tub fairly easily.
- Sand the rough edges of the concrete to make a smoother finish.
- If it isn’t as sturdy as you hoped just sand down the offending leg/s until it is.
And BAM you have a stool or bedside table!
You can use this basic guide to branch out a bit too. Try making a square or rectangular table by using a storage bin.
My next challenge is to work out a method to make it lighter. I’m thinking maybe mixing some bean bag beans into the concrete, we shall see how it goes and I shall keep you posted!
Good luck with the creating and let me know how you go.