You Need to Make This DIY Inner Tube Reading Chair ASAP

Give your reading nook a makeover with an inner tube!

DIY reading chair

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 Need to Make this DIY Reading Chair Today - WeAreTeachers

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. 

You Need to Make this DIY Reading Chair Today - WeAreTeachers

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. 

You Need to Make this DIY Reading Chair Today - WeAreTeachers

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.

Plus, how to make a pool noodle reading chair!

You Need to Make This DIY Inner Tube Reading Chair ASAP

Posted by Stacy Tornio

Stacy Tornio is a senior editor with WeAreTeachers. Nearly everyone in her family is a teacher. So she decided to be rebellious and write about teachers instead.

2 Comments

  1. Cheryl Stanke June 30, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    This is adorable. Where can you get those inner tires from?

  2. Wendy Haroldson July 21, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Just a few details that I wanted to share. I purchased my inner tubes at Fleet Farm. They were Trailer size 450/530-12. I would say about 24 inches across and a 12 inch diameter middle circle. I used fleece, and purchased a yard for each side ( I used MN Wild fleece for the top and a plain red fleece for the back to keep it cheaper). The fleece was about 60 wide, so I cut it in half and each yard made two tops, and each yard of the red made two bottoms. Each inner tube was about $15 for the tube and the fabric. I hope this helps.

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