Thursday, October 20, 2011

How To Make A Chair Out Of A 5 Gallon Bucket

I took Georgia to see a therapist at Now I Can (where they do intensive therapy).
He taught me how to make a chair for Georgia out of a 5 gallon bucket.
I improved his model a bit and thought I would post how to do it.
First get a 5 gallon bucket.
I bought this one at Home Depot, they have a lot of really cute colors.
Measure a slot for your child to sit in, be sure to leave about 2 inches at the bottom so your baby doesn't slide out (on my first prototype I didn't do this and she just squirmed her way out).
Make it wide enough so that your child can easily get in and out and to grow a little.
I used a scroll saw to saw off the front of the bucket.
Don't worry if the edges are jagged they will get covered.
You'll also need to cut out some additional holes to attach straps to hold your child in.
Measure the width of your child from hip to hip and the height from bum to armpit and cut corresponding holes.
My daughter has poor trunk control so I put straps around her waist and around her chest.
The next step is to pad the inside to make it nice and comfortable
I used a foam mattress pad but you could also use cotton batting.
Use your bucket to trace a pattern on the foam pad.
Cut the foam pad just a little inside your pattern.
You'll need a circular piece for the bottom.

And a rectangular piece for the sides.
I just laid the bucket on the foam and then rolled it across to get the width for the rectangle.
Secure the pieces with glue.
I used craft glue on the inside and then secured the edges with a glue gun.

The next step is to pad the edges.
I used a pool noodles to pad the sides.
This project requires 2 Funoodles, one for the front and one for the top.
Cut one side of the foam pool noodle.
Mold the foam pool noodle around the exposed edges of the front and top.
Cut off excess pool noodle.
I also hot glue gunned the pool noodle to the bucket.
I made sure to put the noodle over the padding.
Next, for safety, apply straps.
Also a warning. Always have your bucket grounded to something. I lean mine against the couch but you can also use small sandbags to anchor it in place. You don't want your child tipping over in the chair.
I found these straps and buckles at a fabric store.
They are similar to what you find in high chairs.
Just web the straps through your precut holes in the back, you also have to cut small holes in your padding.
And apply buckles or clasps to the end.
I did have to do a small amount of sewing to attach the buckles but it wasn't anything too difficult.
And voila! You have a little chair that is light weight and portable (I even left the handle on mine for easy carrying).
You can also make some sort of fabric cover for your chair but I'm not all that into sewing so I just throw a blanket over mine.
Enjoy! And best of luck.

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