How to Make a Footstool With Cans


A footstool or ottoman is a great piece of furniture to have--putting up your feet makes the most uninviting chair more comfortable. You can make your own inexpensive footstool out of old coffee cans and upholster it exactly to suit the rest of the furnishings in your home. You should start collecting the cans as soon as possible because you will need quite a few. You can also ask friends and family for their used cans.

Things You'll Need

  • 14 coffee cans
  • Duct tape
  • Stiff plastic
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Batting
  • Glue gun
  • Fabric
  • Stuffing
  • Decorative trim
  • Place one coffee can on a table and place six more cans in a circle, with the first can in the center. The cans should be in a formation that looks like a flower.

  • Wrap duct tape several times around the sides of the cans to hold them together. You should also pass tape around the top of the cans until the shape holds tightly.

  • Make another flower shape out of seven more cans the same way and tape the two shapes together, with one stacked on the other.

  • Trace around the taped cans onto three pieces of stiff plastic with a marker and cut out all three circles with scissors.

  • Place a plastic circle on the top and the bottom of the cans and tape the circles in place and set aside the last circle for later.

  • Wrap the batting all around the sides of the taped-together form and secure it in place with hot glue from a glue gun.

  • Cover the sides of the stool with a fabric. The fabric should extend over the top and the bottom of the stool. Glue the seam of the fabric along the vertical side and then pull the material tightly and glue down to the top and bottom of the stool.

  • Cut out a circle of material 4 inches bigger than the top of the stool and spread it out on a table with the right side of the fabric facing down.

  • Make a small hole in the center of the remaining plastic circle and place it in the middle of the circle of fabric on the table.

  • Fold the edges of the fabric circle over until they just meet the edge of the plastic circle and glue the material in place. The fabric should be baggy and not taught against the plastic circle.

  • Push stuffing into the hole in the plastic circle until the material is packed and quite firm. This will be the top of the footstool, so make sure the stuffing is solid enough to support your feet.

  • Place a small piece of duct tape over the hole you filled with stuffing to keep it from coming out.

  • Turn the stuffed fabric top over so the material is on top and the plastic circle is on the bottom and glue it onto the top of the footstool. Glue a piece of trim around the footstool where the stuffed top is attached to the base to cover the seam.

  • Cut out a piece of fabric the same size as the footstool.

  • Turn the footstool upside down and glue the material on the bottom to cover the exposed plastic and fabric ends.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use other cans that you have available of similar size, like the ones from baby formula or hot chocolate powder.
  • Do not stand on the footstool or try to use it as a ladder of any sort.

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  • Photo Credit Aluminum cans on end image by Jeffrey Studio from
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