DIY-er Transforms Rusty Old Tub Into Two Cool Backyard Chairs

by Rebecca Landman
Rebecca is a writer living the Los Angeles dream. She loves hiking, music, and crocheting on her couch to the background lull of Netflix. She believes our world is complex. By sharing and listening to each other’s stories, we unpack that complexity layer by layer, learning more about who we are and how we want to live our lives. She writes to keep learning.

During most home renovations, construction crews generally label old household items as trash and throw them away.

But Instructables DIY-er bricobart is not a fan of wasting materials. So during his latest bathroom renovation, he saved the rusted old tub and decided to reincarnate it into an entirely different piece of statement furniture.

However, right at the start of his upcycling project, bricobart encountered a huge problem. His tub didn’t fit around the home’s curved stairwell.

Fortunately, when a roadblock like this crops up during a DIY project, the obstacle becomes a genius opportunity for unparalleled creative problem solving. Whether you are trying to keep objects from going to waste, or trying to get a bathtub down a flight of narrow stairs, limitations like these force you to look for solutions in places you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

Scroll through below to see how bricobart cleverly solved this DIY problem and breathed new life into his old tub.

During his bathroom renovation process, Instructables user bricobart decided early on that he wanted to save his old bathtub and upcycle it into a new and improved piece of furniture for his home.

However, he quickly realized that this DIY project wouldn’t be quite as easy as he would have otherwise hoped.

Once bricobart started moving the tub down from the second to the first floor, his plans hit a snag. The tub would not fit around the stairwell’s curve. As a cast steel tub, weighing in at around 440 pounds, any sort of other advanced jockeying was simply out of the question.

This is right about when he pulled out his saw.


Unfazed by this obstacle, bricobart cut the tub in two and decided to make bathtub chairs!


He opted for cutting the tub asymmetrically to give his new chairs even more character. This way, he would also be able to save as much steel as possible — a prime sign of a pure-hearted upcycler at work.

bathtub chairs

With the cutting complete, bricobart brought the chairs outside and began phase two of his project — the woodworking.

Originally, he thought he’d make the bases for his chairs out of steel, sticking with a metal theme.

However, he eventually chose to side with his wife who felt wood would work best for this particular project.


Bricobart used a few heavy oak beams — salvaged, of course — to build cradles for each half of his iron tub.

Thanks to ample amounts of wood glue and heavy wooden plugs, the chairs quickly took shape.

These chairs now live in his backyard, and are the perfect place to wind down, enjoy a nice cold drink, and take in a beautiful sunset.

Bricobart’s upcycled chairs have undoubtedly inspired countless dinner-party conversations. DIY pieces like these tend to really captivate guests, not just visually, but also thanks to the exciting stories they carry about their past lives and uses.

As these chairs now live outdoors, they are, like all outdoor furnishings, vulnerable to Mother Nature’s whims.

After weathering their first rainstorm, bricobart did have to go back in and reinforce each chair’s corners with wood screws.

finished chair

He and his wife now have the most unique pieces of backyard furniture, great for lounging all summer long.

bathtub chairs

Just think, if that full tub had fit down the stairs all in one piece, these fabulous chairs would not exist!

This story is a great reminder that what may seem like an insurmountable challenge can turn out to be a glorious gift in disguise.

But turning one bathtub into two chairs isn’t the only route to take when upcycling an old tub.

Bathtubs can also make great landscaping accessories, beer coolers, couches, and coffee tables.

bathtub bar

Bathtubs also make lovely wedding decorations.

If you’re interested in incorporating an old bathtub into your next DIY project, Bricobart suggests scavenging at your local steel collector, landfill, or secondhand store. Estate sales are also prime locations to snag cool finds.

bathtub coffee table

For those fortunate enough to find one, a tub can even make a gorgeous front porch addition.

Despite facing obstacles blocking his path, bricobart found a creative way to upcycle his old tub into a pair of awesome outdoor chairs.

What do you think of these bathtub chairs? How would you upcycle an old bathtub? Let us know in the comments.

Please SHARE this clever DIY project with your friends and family!