Inner tubes aren’t just for water or snow. They also make a great DIY reading chair!
We made these by using the same method you use for those no-sew fleece tie blankets. You choose the fabric—maybe to match your classroom theme or school colors—then just cut, tie, and go.
You might think that an inner tube won’t stand up to kids jumping and bouncing around in your classroom, but we tested them out, and they do! The key is to buy a heavy duty tube to start with, like this one on Amazon. This smaller adventure tube is also a good option. You can also pick up an inner tube in the tire section of your local store. Have fun making these!
What You Need
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Inflate your tube.
It’s important to choose a good quality tube. We recommend a tube that’s smaller in size (24–36 inches is good). Then inflate it. Remember the key is to get a THICK tube—the summer pool ones probably won’t hold up for long.
Measure your fabric.
The amount of material you need will depend on the size of your tube, but in general, we recommend about two or three yards. Then layer your fabric with the dull sides up to give you a top and bottom. Using a pencil, lightly trace the inside and outside of your tube. Then, five to seven inches from the outside tracing of the tube, trace another circle.
Prep your strips.
Lightly trace strips onto the inside of your circle and then the outside, where you added five to seven inches. Keep in mind that you want to trace a small circle on the inside area before you trace the strips. Don’t worry about it being too perfect. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t want your strips too thin.
Make your cuts.
You’re ready to cut. First, cut out that small circle on the inside of your tube. Then cut your strips. You want to cut the strips about three-quarters of the way to the outlined edge you made earlier. You can always cut more if you need to. Repeat on the outside, also cutting about three-quarters of the way.
Separate and layer.
Now that you have your strips, pull apart your two fabric layers and place one on top of the inner tube. Try to line up the fabric as best as possible, having the top and bottom match. If you’d like to add extra coverage to your tube, you can attach a strip of scrap fleece material to the inside of your tube. This will keep the inner tube from showing through in spots.
Tie it all up.
Tie everything together! This is the fun part, and you can definitely solicit help from a friend or your students. Be sure to tie around the air valve. That way if your tube gets slightly deflated, you can just add more air.
Watch our video for more info on making these DIY inner tube chairs.
Have you made our DIY reading chair? Come and share how it went in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.