A few years back our neighbour updated his bathroom and he offered us the old bath. I have to admit he did look rather amazed when we said we would take it (as was I!). The bath was added to the vegetable patch as an additional raised bed for our children to plant flowers in. However, after clearing some trees and bushes, and a lack of interest from the children, we decided that the bath needed to be upcycled. Its perfect for making an upcycled gardn chaor – bath chair!
This spring my husband has been working hard in the garden, clearing areas, cutting back plus adding a touch of upcycling around the place. My son has gained a mud kitchen from old pallets. As a family, we have gained an upcycled fire pit (a dugout flower bed lined with old rocks from former projects).
Over the years I have seen upcycled baths often converted into chairs. My husband kindly took the upcycled bath chair project on – a perfect chance to try out his new angle grinder!
So if you fancy having a go at making your own bath chair here’s how we approached it.
Upcycled Bath Chair
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Firstly consider which end of the bath you wish to use – the sitting end of the bath looked distinctly more comfortable. We marked 29 inches in from the back of the bath.
Slowly cut through the bath using an angle grinder.
The cut edge was then sanded.
Remove any remaining silicone sealant.
Spray the bath any colour you like. We sprayed the underside of the bath cream with cream acrylic spray from Novasol Spray UK to match the front of the bath. Ensure you fully cover the cut edge of your bath. I was amazed to find chipboard sandwiched in between the plastic layers when we cut through, the acrylic spray forms a water-resistant barrier on the chipboard too.
Create a chair like frame for the bath to sit on. This particular bath had a gap between the rim and the bath tub itself, so the frame was built so that the rim would just sit on the frame at the back.
To build the frame start by assessing the height of your new chair by resting the bath on a standard dining chair and considering the height in comparison. Make your back legs and horizontal supports for the back legs to ensure that the bath rim will sit properly on this part, before starting to build the rest of the frame.
Add the front legs with horizontal supports that connect to the back legs. Once this basic (and fairly wobbly) frame is made, consider strengthening the frame with more screws and diagonal side pieces. What is going to support the base of the bath? Add support in the middle that the base of the bath can sit on.
At one point the bath base was going to sit on the middle supports, but we modified the design to lift the height of the front of the chair to give a more reclining position. To achieve this position we added the short horizontal support to the front which supports the bath base.
Once your frame is completed consider the finish of the wood, add a finish of stain or paint to protect the frame. Our frame was built using a mixture of wood from our wood pile, which had a dark stain on it, plus some new wood. The frame was sprayed with Novasol brick red acrylic spray. Although the wood has slightly different tones I love being able to see the history of the wood through the red.
The basics of the chair are now complete. We have not attached the bath to the frame because it is such a good fit, but you could if you need to.
If you wish to make cushions make templates out of newspaper, use old curtains and an old duvet for filling.
The cushions are filled with three layers from the former duvet, not easy to cut through but you will get there!
Sew three sides of each cushion, right sides together, turn right side out. Insert your stuffing. Hand stitch closed the cushions.
Finally time to sit back, relax and enjoy our combined hard work!
We enjoyed working on a project together, although my husband did most of the construction, and I focussed on diplomatic design input, painting and cushion making! Needless to say, I prefer the second upcycled life of this bath because it doesn’t need weeding !! Do you have a favourite upcycled garden project? Sign up to the newsletter for monthly updates.
The Novasol products have been provided free for this project, all opinions are my own.