If you're a tenant on a budget and with limited space in your apartment, seating furniture can sometimes be a problem. This is especially so, if you have unexpected guests dropping by your apartment unit. An easy solution to this is to have stools to augment your apartment's limited number of chairs.

Here's an easy to do project requiring just a few used materials and some construction adhesive.

The main body used for this do-it-yourself (DIY) project is a used plastic electrical cable spool. This big plastic spool is that used by communications or power utility companies for ther wires and cables.

How to Make the Stool

  • Used Cable Spool - 1 pc.
  • Old Puzzle Mat Tile (also called Interlocking Floor Mats) - 1 pc.
  • Construction Adhesive
  • Pencil
  • Heavy Duty Scissors

  1. Clean the used spool thoroughly. Use an old toothbrush, scrubbing pads, soap and water to clean out dirt from all nooks and crannies of the spool.
  2. Lay the puzzle mat tile on the floor. Take the seating side of the spool and place this on the puzzle mat tile.
  3. Pressing the spool firmly against the mat tile, trace the seating side's shape with a pencil on the puzzle mat tile.
  4. Cut the traced circle on the puzzle mat with a pair of heavy duty scissors. Smoothen out the rough edges of the cut circle with the scissors. You may need to do several passes around the circle. Ensure the cut circle fits on the seating side of the spool.
  5. Identify which areas of the seating side of the plastic spool will be in direct contact (touching) the cut mat.
  6. Thinly spread construction adhesive on the identified areas of the seating side.
  7. Carefully position the smoother side of the cut mat on the seating side of the spool (with the adhesive). Putting the smoother side of the cut mat on the construction adhesive will ensure a stronger bond.
  8. Lay the matted seating side of the spool on a flat surface, like the floor - so the stool is inverted.
  9. On the top (the spool's bottom), carefully place some heavy weight to press the construction adhesive as it cures and dries.

Here are a couple of homemade stools I assembled out of used electrical cable spools and foam rubber puzzle mats.

Load Capacity of the Homemade Stool

I cannot attest to the seating load capacity of this stool so this is just word of caution. This homemade stool is not for the overweight. People with big butts may not feel comfortable in sitting on one stool as it may be inadequate.

Because the spool has essentially only one foot, it is not as stable as a four-legged stool. Do not step or stand on it.

Advantages of using the Homemade Stool
  • Durable
    Puzzle mat tiles are typically made of high density EVA foam for impact sports and recreation. They can take a lot of beating yet remain comfortable to sit on. The spool is made of heavy duty plastic and doesn't crack easily.

  • Waterproof
    The materials used for the stool are all waterproof which makes it easy to clean and brush the stool with just a scrubbing pad, soap and water. Although the stool's parts are waterproof, avoid storing them outside the apartment for extended time. The mat's color could easily fade under the sun.

  • Easy to store away
    Because the spool has a flat top and bottom, you could stack them on top of another. Put them in a quiet place in the apartment that isn't busy to foot traffic. You can stack them up near posts or corners of your apartment.

  • Extremely light and portable
    Made out of plastic and foam rubber, a child could carry the stool anywhere. You could even bring and use them for picnics or any outdoor activity. I bring my homemade stools to a memorial park on All Souls' Day for the kids to use.

Apartment living doesn't need to feel lacking when it comes seating furniture. These small, portable homemade stools are inexpensive and easy to assemble. Your guests and friends will find multiple uses for it, in or outside the apartment.