Organize & Clean

How To DIY A Multipurpose Footstool From A Barrel

updated Mar 12, 2019
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We apartment dwellers know the value of a good multipurpose piece of furniture, and this budget DIY ticks all the boxes, providing compact storage, seating and a footrest in one easy project using toolbox basics and commercial discards.

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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What You Need

An industrial barrel with lid. I got mine from reverse garbage and they have mountains of them.
Fabric. Enough to cover the body and lid of your barrel, the ones pictured are industrial offcuts.
Stuffing. Again the stuffing used was an industrial offcut from reverse garbage.

Equipment [OR] Tools
Nail Gun
Flat knife


1. Measure the height and circumference of the barrel body.

2. Cut your fabric to cover the body of the barrel, allow an extra centimetre at each end to be safe.

3. Staple the fabric down the length of the barrel to secure it.

4. Wrap the fabric around the body, slipping the fabric under the lip on the top of the barrel as you go.

5. Staple the fabric around the top.

6. When you’ve wrapped the fabric and the ends meet fold a small hem and staple it in place. The bottom of the fabric should be hanging just over the base lip of the barrel.

7. Using a flat knife or anything similar, perhaps something designed for these jobs, push the fabric under the lip on the bottom of the barrel. Do this the whole way around the base, stapling as you go.

8. When the base is finished unclip the lid and remove the centre piece of wood.

9. Cut the lid fabric and stuffing to size. Allow a lot of extra fabric for the lid, you can trim it later.

10. Staple the fabric to the underside of the lid. Add the stuffing as you go and pull the fabric tightly over the top. Do this until the lid is covered and add extra staples to smooth it out as needed.

11. Secure the lid to the base and you’re ready to go! One stool three ways and a barrel of extra storage!

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(Images: Sarah Starkey)