Simple Stackable Outdoor Chairs

These simple chairs stack! And match our Simple Modern Outdoor Collection. Build a few to match the tables, or just extra seating for outdoors.


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

Author Notes: 

I get it. You want to be outside, you want not just Vitamin DIY, you want your Vitamin D! And up here in Alaska, it’s a little more challenging to get in the summer mode when the snow keeps changing it’s mind. But after today, a perfect spring day with dripping snow and clear bright sunshine, I’m feeling like it’s time to build some outdoor furniture.

I especially love West Elm’s Wood Slat Collection. Clean and simple lines means simple to build, and will be a nice visual relief when contrasted with the organic softness of your beautiful flowers and plants.

Yes, these chairs are stackable. And yes, you can build, quite easily. But I’m gonna warn ya, cutting chair legs can be, well, less than fun, especially if you’ve got a stack of chair legs to cut. But much less painful than say paying $150 a chair . . . especially if you are say buying a stack of 4 . . . yikes, $600!

I’ve got one of these chairs waiting for paint, can’t wait to share photos. You probably will beat me too it! Here’s the plan.

Shopping List: 

2 – 1×4 Boards, 8′ Long
1 – 2×2 Board, 8′ Long
1 – 2×4 Board, 8′ Long
1 – 1×3 Board, 8′ Long
2″ Screws
2 1/2″ Screws
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
Paint suitable for exterior applications

measuring tape
hammer (can be substituted for brad nailer with a nail punch)
safety glasses
hearing protection
General Instructions: 

Work on a clean level surface. Check for square after each step. Use proper safety equipment and precautions. Predrill and countersink you screw holes. Use glue.

Overall Dimensions are shown above.
Cut List: 

2 – 2×4 @ 30″, Chair Backs cut from these boards (see step 1 if you are making multiple chairs)
2 – 2×2 @ 19 1/2″ (Chair Back Supports)
2 – 2×2 @ 18″ (Chair Front Legs)
2 – 1×3 @ 17 1/2″ (Side Aprons)
1 – 1×3 @ 16 1/2″ (Front Apron)
1 – 1×3 @ 18″ (Back Apron)
5 – 1×4 @ 19″ (Seat Boards)
5 – 1×4 @ 15″ (Back Boards)

Step 1: 

Chair Back Legs. From the 2×4, mark out your chair back legs. Keep in mind that the back legs will be 1 1/2″ wide everywhere, and one leg takes up the entire 2×4. If you are building multiple chairs, it may make sense to use a 2×6 as shown above on the right to get more legs per less board and cuts.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Chair Backs. Build the chair back as shown above. Fasten with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Chair Seat and Front Legs. Build the aprons and front legs as shown above. Start on the back apron and work your way forward. If you have a Kreg Jig™, it would come in super handy here, or else you can just use screws and glue, 2″ screws.

Step 4 Instructions: 

Chair Frame Assembly. Using a level on the side apron, attach the front of the chair to the back, as shown above, using 2″ screws and glue. You may wish to complete step 5, the seat boards first, but the above diagram illustrates how the chair is assembled.

Step 5 Instructions: 

Seat Boards. Predrill and attach the seat boards to the aprons and legs as shown above.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Back Boards. As you did the seat boards, fasten the back boards to the back supports, as shown above.

Step 7 Instructions: 

Finishing. Fill any holes with wood filler and sand and finish as desired.

Project Type: 
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 


THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for posting a chair plan!! I'm planning on not using slats and upholstering the top and bottoms for dining room chairs! I'm ecstatic!!!!

Yup, I think the shopping list needs tweaking - according to the cut list, you should have 2x4, 2x2, 1x3, 1x4 and the shopping list lists 1x4, 2x2, 2x3. However, I still think the plan is fantastic and will certainly be enhanced with some seat pads! Can you imagine a patio with these chairs, some bright chair pads and the wonderful outdoor table you also designed??!!

Thanks guys, all fixed! I guess this is what happens when you are working with a kiddo on your lap way after bed time. Anyone else have a little one that will not go to bed without you?

lol! yes mine is 12 but I think that's the age when they finally stop needing you for bedtime. My 17 yr old proved that HAAA Thanks for your chair idea! It's wonderful to have wood here in the windy city and to stack things so they dont blow away!

looks wonderful! how about a matching recliner/lounge chair for those that want to get a little more relaxed outside? That would be awesome! :)

I was hoping for outdoor patio furniture. Even better that they're stackable. And I love the beautiful simplistic design.
Thanks again!

I'm so excited to see more outdoor furniture! I've always wanted a patio set but only the cheap ones were in my budget so I'm excited to make these, as well as so many other things on your website!

I was looking at crappy plastic patio chairs the other day because they were the only ones comfortable and in my budget. Now I'm really going to have to get crackin' on making some of your plans. These are great. Thank you again for taking the time to write up and post these plans!

so I'm excited to try this one out!!! my first wood project... but I wondered, has anyone built this yet? anything advice to look out for?

I have one built (sans back slats while I tweaked things). Noticing that the point at which the back legs attach to the apron is a pivot point. If you lean back, the back legs try to tilt inward. Any suggestions?

Thanks Ana. I ended up finding a spot to put a few more screws to solve the issue for the most part. This project has now justified the purchase of the kreg jig kit though as I think both the quality and ease of assembly will be far superior.

I made one today out of PT pine. I call it the prototype,because I want to make some out of cedar. I also noticed the "lean". I'm going to add some gussets on the side ti sturdy them up. I'll get my wife to pin them later.

great site. I built the bunkbeds for my girls, they love it.
Is there a way to put arms on the stackable chairs? I know this eliminates the stackable feature, but really want arms for comfort when sitting around the table after dinner.
Love your site and thanks for the great plans.


Yes! I would love to see how you would add arms to these chairs as well! I'd like to make 4 stackable and then 2 with arms!

Any tips on what tool to use to make the cut on the back legs? Jig saw work ok? Thanks!

Wow, just finished the first chair, and it was a lot of work... will be worth it to have my nice patio set, though. My husband used a jigsaw to cut the back legs out, he found it difficult with the circular saw. I will post a brag post when I'm done.

Seems to me that if the back legs were cut out as indicated, that the bottoms would not sit flat on the deck (ground/floor). There needs to be a tiny wedge cut off the bottom so that the the bottom of the legs are perpendicular to the vertical part.

This project was actually more challenging than I expected it to be -
One of the biggest problems was the rear legs - it turns out that cutting a 2x4 at an angle while keeping the sides at 45deg while using a circular saw is NOT easy. After destroying a fair amount of wood trying, I actually went so far as to try just cutting two pairs of back legs out of 1x4s and just gluing the things together.
In the end, I ended up finding the easiest way to do it was to cut them out of 2x6 boards with additional boards along the sides to support the saw (and a sacrificial board underneath). I cut as close as I could to the corners and then finished the job with a jigsaw (I also tried cutting the whole thing with a jigsaw, but the saw couldn't handle it).
This was also the first project I've built using the pocket hole jig, and I HIGHLY recommend it. A couple of my prior projects would have been SO much easier if I had just broken down and bought one. Just be careful about screw sizes - I wasn't as careful as I should have been at first and ended up breaking out of the other side...
Anyway I'm planning to make one more to have a pair of these to go with the matching table I did last year... hopefully the second one will go much smoother :)

Ana, I desperately need your help. This chair has caused be great grief. I did the bench and table with no problem. The problem I am having is where the frame attaches to the 2x2 post in the front. I use the Kreg and regardless of how I tweak the jig, it splits the 2x2. So I cut down a 2x4 (much sturdier) and tried it that way. It still split but not as much. I also tried to drill a few more screws from the inside to the outside without much luck as the pine is just truly hard to work with in this design. I ended up doing most of the chair at mortise and tenon joints in all the structural areas and of course it doesn't get any stronger than than. But the Kreg jig or pilot and screw has not worked for me :( Mortise and tenon is ages longer of time compared to Kreg or other suggestions not considered. Any help is appreciated. Thanks Ted Moyer.

Ted Moyer RN