Paper ball barstool


These cost almost nothing to make, and they put a lot of old newspaper to good use.

Recycled items

  • Plenty of newspaper (sheets must all be the same size)

  • 5—6 cm-thick sponge (enough to cut a circle to match diameter of buckets)

  • Fabric to cover the stool seat (45 x 45 cm)

  • 5 cm-wide upholstery webbing (length determined by bucket circumference)

    Also needed

  • 2 buckets of same size (± 50 cm high and with the same circumference at top and bottom)

  • Petroleum jelly

  • Clingfilm

  • 5 litres strong PVA glue

  • Small foam roller and paint tray

  • Fabric scissors

  • Pins, round needle and thread

  • Fabric glue


  1. Smother the inside of both buckets with a thick layer of petroleum jelly, then line each bucket with two layers of clingfilm. Make sure you cover it properly and leave some overhanging clingfilm to remove the paper later in the process.

  2. Pour the PVA glue into the paint tray and, working on a flat surface with one sheet of newspaper at a time, apply a layer of glue over the entire sheet with a roller. Scrunch the sheet into a ball and place it in a bucket. Continue this process until you have filled both buckets to the brim. Leave to dry for 3 days. Do not be tempted to rush it; the newspaper balls at the top of the bucket will be completely dry, but the ones in the bottom will still be very wet.

  3. Place some clingfilm on a flat surface and turn the buckets upside down. Pull the paperwork out of the buckets, remove all the clingfilm and leave to dry for another 4 days.

  4. When completely dry, stack the two paper cylinders on top of each other, and secure with a thick layer of PVA glue, then leave to dry.

  5. In the meantime, measure a circle the same diameter as your paper stool onto the sponge. Use a pair of sharp fabric scissors to cut out the sponge circle, or ask your supplier to do it for you.

  6. Measure and cut a fabric circle with a diameter 12 cm larger than your sponge one.

  7. With the fabric circle right-side down, place the sponge circle in the centre of it. Fold the edges of the fabric up and over the edges of the sponge and secure with pins. When you are satisfied with the fabric’s positioning, sew it to the sponge. Once secure, remove the pins. For a neat finish, use fabric glue to paste webbing around the edge of the sponge seat.

  8. Secure the seat (wrong-side down) to the stool with fabric glue and leave to dry.

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