How-To: Slick, Sturdy PVC Furnishings

PVC Table from MAKE Volume 30

PVC Table from MAKE Volume 30

The latest issue of MAKE, Volume 30, is on newsstands everywhere, and one of my favorite projects is actually four projects in one, titled “Pipe Dreams” by Larry Cotton and Phil Bowie. Humble, readily available, and inexpensive, PVC drain pipe can be used to make a variety of unexpected projects. As the article states, PVC “is strong, works like wood, and accepts various fillers and finishes. It’s also thermoplastic, so it can do something wood can’t — bend into new shapes with the application of heat.” Cotton and Bowie share tips and techniques for cutting, drilling, bending, fastening, and finishing PVC, and show you how to make a kids’ table with a dry-erase top and matching stool, a two-faced clock that displays two time zones, a plant holder, and an accent lamp that appears to float on light. These projects are so accessible that you could tackle them all in a weekend. You can find “Pipe Dreams” starting on page 96 of Volume 30, but we’ve also shared the how-tos with you on Make: Projects.

Check them out:
PVC Kids’ Table and Stool
PVC Plant Holder
PVC Two-Faced Clock
PVC Floating Accent Light

PVC Plant Holder from MAKE Volume 30

PVC Two-Faced Clock from MAKE Volume 30

PVC Lamp from MAKE Volume 30

From the pages of MAKE Volume 30:

MAKE Volume 30Until recently, home automation was gimmicky, finicky, and user-hostile. But today, thanks to a new crop of devices and technology standards, home automation is useful, fun, and maker-friendly. In the special section of MAKE Volume 30, we’ll show you: how to flip any switch in your home with a smartphone, home automation without programming, controlling your HVAC with an Arduino, a webcam security system, and a wall-mounted Notification Alert Generator (NAG) that plays timely reminders as you walk by. Plus, you’ll build a Yakitori Grill, a robust R/C flying-wing airplane, sturdy furnishings from PVC, and more!


2 thoughts on “How-To: Slick, Sturdy PVC Furnishings

  1. phlamingo (@phlamingo) says:

    Well, you can bend wood by applying steam, but it’s a whole different learning curve than the standard cut-sand-glue process of simple woodworking.

    In general, though, hot wood smells better than hot plastic.

  2. Skill Builder: An Introduction to PVC Pipe Sizing | Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers says:

    […] it, I’m a little biased, but searching a little further reveals that you can, for example, make home furnishings of this material. There’s even a technique to stain it in a new color if you […]

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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