Homemade 5 Gallon Bucket Seat

My IT day job takes me various places but every now and again, I’ll spend a couple days terminating data and telephone jacks that end up with me sitting on a 5 gallon bucket for 8 hours at a time. At the end of the day, both my back and tailbone can feel the discomfort.

At one time, you could walk into any Walmart or Sporting Goods store and pickup a molded plastic seat to fit a 5 gallon bucket for about $9. Apparently this has went out of style so unless you want to do Site-to-Store and wait a week or pay shipping costs at Amazon, you too will be stuck sitting on the bucket upside as I were.

Solution? Make my own Homemade 5 Gallon Bucket Seat!

Most buckets are around 11″ diameter but be sure to measure since they can vary from brand and type.


  • (3) 12″ x 12″ material (OSB or plywood)
  • 1 yard upholstery-grade vinyl seat cover (or cloth if you choose)
  • 1 yard foam (I used NuFoam)

Cost: $10-20 depending on the vinyl and foam you select

Cut three pieces of plywood.


Glue two pieces together to form the interior base


Lay the bucket on the glued pieces and trace the outline of it. Tilt the pencil inwards so the mark is closer to the actual inside diameter.

Repeat with the single piece of plywood but this time keep the pencil more vertical to better follow the contour of the exterior bucket dimension.


A bit of trimming will necessary to get a good fit. It doesn’t need to be perfect since this will keep the padded seat from sliding off from the bucket.


With more care, cut out the top piece. This doesn’t need to be perfect since you will cover it with the material.


Use spray adhesive to temporarily attach the foam to the single wood disc and trim around the circle with scissors.




Lay out the vinyl and cut it over-sized.


Fold alternating sides onto the larger disc and staple it inwards about 1″ from the edge.


Once finished with the entire seat, trim the excess vinyl away.


Attach the two pieces with either glue or screws.


Your back and bottom will thank you several times over for providing them a cushioned space to spend your time doing whatever you do while working on your 5 gallon bucket!