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DIY Stool

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Everyone has a few of these old plastic crates around the house, whether you're using them to corral your vinyls like my little brother (who's much cooler than me) or one's kicking around your workshop. It turns out, they'll make for some pretty cool seating in a pinch.

Plastic crate (a square crate is easier to work with than a rectangular one)
Wood scraps (lengths)
Cord rope, seaweed cord or rus

Saw, hacksaw or jigsaw
Drill or Stanley (utility) knife
Spring clamps

Step 1: Using a saw, hacksaw or jigsaw, cut out the bottom of the crate, leaving a border of about 5 cm (2 in).

Step 2: Cut 4 cm (1 5/8 in)-wide slits along each side of the crate near the bottom (the part which will now be the seat). This can be done by drilling a hole and cutting out the rest with a jigsaw. If you don't have these tools, a bit of perseverance with a Stanley knife would work too. Don't cut through the ribs, as these give your crate structural strength.

Step 3: Make a square frame to fit between the slits and the seat. This is just 4 lengths of wood nailed or screwed together at the corners and doesn't need to be pretty as it won't be seen in the end, but it needs to fit snugly. This reinforces the structure and protects it from the tension the weaving will put it under. The create is now ready for weaving.

Step 4: Referring to the diagram, tie the end of the cord around beam A and close to leg 1, making sure the knot is hidden inside the crate. If the cord is in a ball, it won't fit through the cut in the side, so unravel a good length of cord and cut it off. When this runs out, simply tie on a new piece, again making sure the knot is hidden underneath.

Tip: If you're using seaweed cord, soak it in room-temperature water for 10-15 minutes. This will make it more flexible and prevent the fibres breaking.

Step 5: Now pull the cord from A towards beam C around and into the slit beneath it. The cord is now coming out of the middle of the create, making a 90 degree turn towards beam B, going around the beam, out through the slit and heading in a direct line towards beam D. Pull it over and around the beam, out the slit and turn 90 degrees towards beam C, over the beam, into the slit and straight towards beam A. Turn 90 degrees towards beam D, straight towards beam B, then 90 degrees to A. This completes one turn and brings the cord back to the start.

Step 6: Keeping constant tension on the cord, repeat the process, working round and round. Using spring clamps to hold the cord tight will allow you to rest your hands. Every four or five rounds, push the cords on the beams in towards the legs, beam A towards legs 1 and 4, etc. This is important as it keeps the cords parallel to each other and avoids making a wedge-shaped spacing in the weaving. This will make more sense once you start working.

Step 7: When you reach inside the center, tie the final end into the center, on the inside.

via thesnug

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