There are more than just bananas in there...

Recycled 55 Gallon Barrel Chair

Does everything a "normal" chair does and more!!!

UPDATE: After voting closed we were lucky enough to be selected as one of fifteen finalists. Our design went on to win Second Prize in this international Green Design competition, pretty cool, huh? I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who supported this project, we could not have done this without you.

I know I should not use this site for my own evil schemes, but since I am asking other people to help support this project, I figured I had better support it myself.  So here I am asking for your help, trying to mobilize the Monkey Nation for the greater good of simians and simian enthusiasts everywhere. So what do I need? I need your votes.

Here is the deal. When I am not working on real work or GeoWoodstock or writing this blog or taking pictures or coming up with other crazy schemes, my hobby is working on real-world problem solving, on a small scale. A couple of months ago, my friend, Seth and I were trying to find a way to recycle or reuse 55 gallon drums from my work and hit upon several things, but among those we designed and built some pretty cool chairs.

On Monday April 20th our chair design was featured on and the same day we were added to the MakeBlog and featured on the front page of Make Magazine’s website. This is the “holy grail” of the maker subculture, so I am extremely proud of this. We have since been featured on,,, the Discovery Channel’s and several other environmentally friendly and design related websites. As I said before, I am very proud of the fact that our little project has enjoyed such widespread popularity and exposure.

This exposure brought us to the attention of the voters in the Epilog “Green” Design Challenge and I am proud to say that out of the 485 projects selected for the competition, we are currently ranked 11th in the voting, with only three days to go. The top ten vote-getting projects are automatically finalists, so I need your help.

So, PLEASE, if you can take a minute to go to:

Recycled 55 Gallon Barrel Chair

or if that link does not work go to:

and take a minute to look over our project. If you think it is worthy please vote for us in the Epilog challenge. You will have to register to do this, but it is free, only takes a moment and they do not spam you. This is a fairly small contest so EVERY vote counts.

It would also be helpful if you will take a moment to “rate” the post, mark it as a favorite and/or leave comments. They are grading on lots of different criteria, so every little bit helps.

So pretty PLEASE with sugar on top, take a moment to look over our post and give us your vote, forward this link on to your friends, post it on discussion boards, bribe people, stuff ballot boxes, anything you can think of to help get the vote out. I would really appreciate it.

And I apologize in advance to you all for the hours of time you will spend looking through once you get hooked, it is worth it though, there is some really great stuff out there.

and like the old guys on the Bartles & James commercial always said,

We thank you for your support.As seen on

Addendum: Well, we did not win it all, but we were awarded Second Prize in the Epilog Green Design Challenge, and that is cool enough for me.  A few months later, we got an even better award. Our chairs were chosen as the seating for the Instructables Restaurant, the world’s first open-source eatery, located in Amsterdam. To see our design in use, is the best reward of all. So, if you get to Amsterdam be sure to stop in and check them out.

Barrel Chairs in Amsterdam

Look at all the barrel-ly goodness.


  1. Sybil

    Good for people to know.

  2. Johnna Barrett

    You are definitely worthy. Very cool!

  3. quantumcat

    I’d followed this make from several sources without ever knowing that I knew the people behind it.

    The chair is great.

    I’d like to see about getting a few dozen for use by game players when we have folks over to do tabletop games,RPGs,boardgames and cards.

    (Not to mention crafts.)

    Despite our being a somewhat sedentary lot,we manage to be a bit too hard on furniture to use either heirloom quality furniture or cheap department store goods.

    These would fit our budget,our decor,be comfortable,efficient,attractive and,yes, might even get adapted for use as a compost comfort station.

    I suspect they might also serve well for toy storage in children’s rooms or,when used with a sterile liner,hold ice or bulk foodstuffs.

    Since I am excessively lazy and maladroit and my husband is five years behind on his DIY projects (thanks to the miniatures and terrain he must address),is there a way to purchase these readymade?

    If so,please reply at

    Thank you for sharing all your talents and insights.

    P.S. Best of luck with your latest and greatest production.

    With you and Laura in charge,I’m sure that “Baby Boy” will be a hit.

  4. quantumcat

    P. S.

    There is an underscore between terrain and sherlock that isn’t very visible.

    Thanks again!

  5. Monkeybrad

    We built a few more while working out some refinements to the design, but once we got a design we were really happpy with we quit building. We had planned to build a few more for ourselves and so far have not gotten around to it. Of course, we can be bought, but since anything we build would be a one-of-a-kind, signed by our master craftsmen work of art, I am afraid they might be prohibitively expensive. The good news is, they are really easy to make yourself, so get a couple of friends together and have a chairmaking party.

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