Hashi Stool: Cardboard Chair Du Jour

We’ve been on a sort of hiatus this past week. Isis and Electra have both come down with massive head colds while I’ve been trying to get all our packages shipped to the States so that they make it back before Christmas. Pair those events with rain, 45 degree F temperatures, and bike and train as our sole modes of transport and at times the cookie was starting to crumble. The good news is that today the sun came out, we had an amazing day at the park, Isis cut her top front tooth (looks like her Christmas wish will come true) and we finished this awesome project that’s been in the works for a while. Click through the slideshow for tips on how to make a Hoshi Stool for your kids.

(If you are reading this in Reader, click back to the site for the slideshow and tutorial.)


This is a great project for anyone who wants to make something for a child by hand, but doesn’t have a wood shop, knitting skills, or a sewing machine. You can put this project together in the most studio of apartments, and put your leftover cardboard out (or collect the cardboard that you need) on recycling day. We used a total of 32 layers, but you can vary the width based on your preference.


Click the pictures above to download free PDF patterns for the Hashi Stool

15 thoughts on “Hashi Stool: Cardboard Chair Du Jour

  1. I just stumbled across your blog and love it! I would love to try this for my toddler. One question I have is do the pieces on the inside have to each be made of a single piece of cardboard or can two pieces be used to make up the shape? I’m thinking if it is all glued together and if the place where the two pieces are joined varies perhaps it would be strong enough, but I am not sure.

    • You can definitely piece together the cardboard to make this work just as you said. I had to do that for the original Hashi stool I featured in the blog post. I always use cardboard that is available to me for free, so I make do with whatever I have. It’s good to stagger the places where the cardboard pieces join within the layers, and also to get as many whole pieces with the grain running vertically as possible. The stool is so strong I use it myself to reach things on the top shelf in the cupboard and the girls absolutely love rocking on it still. The stool has really held up well since we made it, and it’s just plain fun!

      I would love to hear all about your experience if you make the Hashi Stool. Please send a picture, and any feedback to thecardboardcollectiveblog@gmail.com.

      Ganbate Kudasai! (go for it)

  2. Finally I’ve just about finished Eli’s Hashi Stool. I’m blogging about it and plan to link back to you. Thank you so much for sharing this project here. Eli is already having so much fun with his and it is still not even quite finished! I found I had to make it wider than I did initially so it wouldn’t tip over so easily when in bridge mode, and now I still have one side left to decorate. I really like how you decorated yours with the album covers! In the absence of such a bonanza I resorted to wrapping paper.

    • Karen,
      I’m so excited to see how your hashi stool turned out! It’s been so great getting to know you through your blog and all of your creative projects for your son Eli. I’m really looking forward to reading your post and also thanks for the link back!

  3. Pingback: It’s a Bridge… It’s a Rocker… It’s a Stool! « Folk Haven

    • Hi Kerry!

      I have not tried Elmer’s, but I would suggest something a little bit heavier like a wood or craft glue. The glue I used I got in the hardware department, and I believe it is wood glue (I can’t read the Japanese details to be sure). It has a thicker consistency than Elmer’s. Please send me a pic via email, twitter or a link in the comments section when you finish the stool. I’d love to see you Hoshi Stool turns out!

  4. I followed a link from Ikat Bag and you have solved my “what to make for a two year old” dilema! When we have our annual gift giving for our three boys, I always like to make them something along with a store-bought gift. I have a feeling even my soon-to-be ten year old will use this “bridge”, too!

    • Jen, this is still a huge favorite in our house! Even I use it as a stool to reach the upper shelves in our kitchen cabinets, so it’s very strong. It takes a while to cut out all the layers, so I suggest doing some every night until you reach the desired thickness that you’re looking for. Start stockpiling your cardboard!

  5. Hi Amber,
    Is there a slideshow / tutorial to make the Hashi stool? I can’t seem to find it.
    Thanks, it really is a great idea

    • Hi Ajar,

      This is an older post and I’m just realizing that my slideshow did not transfer over when I moved my blog last fall. I’ll try to get it up and running as soon as I can. In the mean time, the short version of the directions, is to just print out the PDF template and glue about 30 layers of cardboard together!

  6. Hi…I love the look of this stool and am going to try and make it soon. Unfortunately, I don’t have a printer so I am attempting to recopy the pattern by hand. I couldn’t find the tutorial, and was wondering if you might be able to provide some measurements about the finished stool. E.g.the length of the base, the top height of the cut-out curve at the bottom, where a child could put their hand through (what is the height from base to the top of the curve), and what is the height of the side, before it starts to curve? Thanks very much.

    • Hi Liz,

      You can totally draft this by hand and customize it!
      Here are some of the measurements:

      length of the base: 29″
      top height of the cut-out curve at the bottom, where a child could put their hand through: 6″
      total height: 10


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