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Ana's Adirondack Chair

May 18, 2010 |
posted by Ana White
PDF versionPDF version

Finally, an Adirondack Chair that is easy to build and stylish and comfortable! This do it yourself project plan to build a DIY adirondack chair is simple, and easy. Inspired by polywood furniture, build your own affordable adirondack chair. Special thanks to Amy for sharing her photos.

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Additional Photos

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Handmade from this plan >>

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


Ana's Adirondack Chair
37 1/2" x 30 5/8" x 19 1/2"

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

1 – 1×8, 8′ Long
4 – 1×4, 8′ Long
1 – 2×2, 8′ Long
1 – 1×3 8′ Long
1 1/4″ Screws (I would get pretty self tapping outdoor deck screws so that you don’t have to refinish your chair after you put it together)
2″ Screws
Wood Glue

wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
circular saw
compound miter saw

Cut List

Cut List: 

2 – 1×8 @ 32 3/4″ (Stringers)
1 – 1×8 @ 21″ (Front)
5 – 1×4 @ 21″ (Seat Slats)
2 – 1×4 @ 20 3/4″ (Front Legs)
2 – 1×3 @ 24″ (Arm Supports)
5 – 1×4 @ 30 1/2″ (Back Slats)
1 – 1×3 @ 19 1/2″ (Top Back Trim)
1 – 1×4 @ 19 1/2″ (Bottom Apron Back)
1 – 2×2 @ 22 1/2” (Center Back Support)
2 – 1×4 @ 25 1/2″ (Arm Rests)
2 – 1×3 @ 6″ (Decorative Front Arm Supports)

General Instructions

Work on a clean, level surface. Use good, straight boards. On outdoor projects such as this one, it’s a good idea to paint your boards first (or invest in a tiny paint brush to get in between the cracks) so, sand and give your boards a nice paint job first. Remember, you can click diagrams for larger views. Pre-drill and countersink all of your screws. I would use a screw pattern so that your screws look nice and even (and you don’t have to finish the chair again after it’s assembled) Be safe and have fun!

Step 1

Ana's Adirondack Chair

From the 1×8 stringers listed in the cut list, cut your stringers as shown above. You may wish to create a pattern and then copy the pattern for both sides. This is the trickiest step. If you can do this, you’ve got it made!

Step 2

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Attach your front apron with 2″ screws and glue as shown above.

Step 3

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Lay your seat slats as shown above, starting with the first flat seat slat. Leave a 1/2″ gap between the slats. Screw down with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 4

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Use 1 1/4″ screws and glue to attach the front legs as shown above.

Step 5

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Attach the arm supports as shown above.

Step 6

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Build the back as shown above.

Step 7

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Attach the back as shown above. This isn’t an exact science, I purposely choose to use a 1×3 for the arm supports and a 2×2 for the back support so that it would be super easy for
you to get the back to line up just right with the seat and arm supports. You may want to enlist your neighbors assistance.

Step 8

Ana's Adirondack Chair

Attach your arms with 2″ screws and glue. Then attach the arm supports.

Finishing Instructions

Preparation Instructions: 
You should be done! This chair will fit a standard cushion, sized anywhere from 18×18 to 20×20. Can’t wait to see your photos!

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Now the only question is

Now the only question is should I paint them in all different colors so everyone in the family can have their own shade?

posted by teamshield (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 15:31

Great plan Ana! Remember,

Great plan Ana! Remember, don't knock yourself out with a killer schedule. We will all be waiting whenever you can get to them! (you have some serious great Karma heading your way after all your generosity - remember us when you are rich and famous! lol)

posted by Catherine Hansen Peart (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 16:06

sounds good to me!! I'd

sounds good to me!! I'd rather have plans than brags any day anyway. :) The chair looks amazing!!!

posted by Heather (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 16:10

Thank you so much! But we do

Thank you so much! But we do recognize your job first is wife then mother....then furniture planner :) You're the best.

posted by Ange (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 16:13

Thank you for posting this,

Thank you for posting this, Ana!!! I was going to buy one of these one day, but now I just might build one!

posted by Cheryl (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 16:44

If you're 25 plans behind on

If you're 25 plans behind on posting then I'm 100 plans behind on building!! I've only finished the bigger kids picnic table and I'm working on the modern outdoor table. Wish I could build one thing every day! I have to keep reminding myself it's okay to take it one project at a time.

posted by Tanjia (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 17:39

Ange had it right, Ana! Wife

Ange had it right, Ana! Wife and mom first - everything else comes after that. You rock! The fact that you do all this with no cost for the finished plans totally blows my crazy mind.

I'm thinking teal and red chairs myself! I'm loving this plan.

Thanks again!

posted by Leslie (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 18:13

You're amazing! I just found

You're amazing! I just found you three days ago and have stayed up until 3am each morning obsessing over your site! We are moving to a new town in three weeks, and I CANNOT WAIT to start building once we get there! You are such an inspiration to women (and men) everywhere! Thank you for giving so freely of yourself, your plans, your time, and your inspiration!!

posted by Waner Family (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 18:34

too funny..

I think anyone who has ever come across Ana's site has had this happen to them.

The funny thing is, even 1.5+ years later, I still find myself obsessed, inspired and spend hours browsing.

posted by slp higgins (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-05-26 22:24

Ana, you know that I love

Ana, you know that I love everything you do. I think you are a very talented woman...please odn't worry about getting the plans up right away we will manage...we understand that you have a family...once again thank you Ana.

posted by Sophia Almejo (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 19:01

Just a suggestion, but I love

Just a suggestion, but I love polls. How about a poll with, say, 20 plans you're considering doing (then you can keep a few juicy ones to yourself) and which ones we want the most? Then you'd have a little guidance as to what to do first. Because maybe we're all just absolutely dying for five of those plans for next week, and then you could take a vacation or a staycation at least :) I'd also love a poll on people's favorite ways to finish different kinds of wood. Polls are fun for us and less work for you. :)

posted by Jen (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 19:51

Was reading the "details" on

Was reading the "details" on that other place that makes chairs like these (can't remember name-Poverty Shack?). Care instructions are:
* Dust often using a soft, dry cloth.
* Protect from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
* Blot spills immediately with a clean, damp cloth.

I'm sure glad I'm building and finishing my own Ana White chair instead. Dust! Did they say to dust it? My children will be dripping smores on these babies! And protect from direct sunlight? I will be placing mine in direct sunlight to enjoy. I'll enjoy it even more knowing I can build four for the price of their one. Thanks Ana!!!

posted by Jen (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 20:14

I love all of your plans. We

I love all of your plans. We are getting a new house soon and I can't wait to begin on some great projects using your ideas. Can you do a corner hutch design? I love these and really want one in our new home.

posted by Melissa (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 20:21

Making the Ana Adirondack

Making the Ana Adirondack chair just moved to the top of my summer to-do list! Now my only problem is what color to paint it--so guess I'll have to make one is each color :) Thanks a gazillion for this one, Ana!

posted by pogonip (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-18 21:50

Thanks Ana!! Don't stress

Thanks Ana!! Don't stress yourself out though. I have been down that road myself. I used to offer a freebie a day on my blog (Digital Scrapbooking Kits is what I offered). I ended up stopping because it was too much for my family. That won't happen to you I am sure because you are much more energetic than I am but just be careful. I for one would rather have some plans from you than no plans from you. Thanks again :)

posted by Urban Dragon (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-05-19 08:01

Ana, I totally love the

Ana, I totally love the Adirondack chair plan, it's on my list to build!! Thanks, Big Z


posted by Ahren (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-05-19 08:49

I can't wait to make these

I can't wait to make these after I move this summer! Are you going to post plans for a matching side table (like in the Pottery Barn Kids link - http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/adirondack-chairs-1/popup/more-v...)?

posted by Allison @ House of Hepworths (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-05-19 18:54

In the nicest possible

In the nicest possible non-weird way, I love you. And your site. Five picnic tables later (the MOST appreciated birthday gift I have ever given) I'm ready to make something for us. Thank you!

And you take your time- Mom first, then all the other stuff. We'll be here waiting patiently. Okay, not so patiently because we adore what you do, but we'll be here waiting.

posted by Kristi (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-05-20 04:01

Thanks for the plans! I now

Thanks for the plans! I now have 2 adult sized chairs and 2 kiddo sized chairs to build. Hubby keeps telling me we don't have the tools, and while he may be right, I WILL build me a chair just me and my hand saw! I CAN do it! (it just might not look quite as pretty!

posted by Jaime (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-05-20 14:54

Thank you thank you thank

Thank you thank you thank you! Ana, You are so freaking awesome. What you do for us is not only showing us a method for building our own furniture. You are also inspiring us, motivating us, making dreams come true, and most importantly (to me anyways) you're boosting our self esteems. Thank you a hundred times.

posted by Loni (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-05-20 17:57

Hi Ana, I just bought cut and

Hi Ana, I just bought cut and painted my wood today! I'm super excited to put it all together tomorrow :) I had a little problem with the shopping list but I am wondering if it is my mistake because I doubled the list (except for the 2x2) to make 2 chairs. I ended up being short about 106 inches of 1x4, I ran out just before I cut the arm rests at 25 1/2". I'm thinking that maybe this happened because I cut all my boards of the same length at the same time so my scrap amount was different, I don't know. I just ran back to Home Depot and bought a 10 footer - no biggie but I thought you'd like to know.

posted by carie (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-05-21 19:28

To save some math and rearranging

The 1x4's had me a little confused when I came up short so I did the math...here are the cuts so they fit on each board. Yes, you still only need 4 --1x4, 8' long:

Board 1: 21",21",30 1/2",19 1/2"
Board 2: 21", 21", 25 1/2 ", 25 1/2"
Board 3: 21", 20 3/4", 20 3/4", 30 1/2"
Board 4: 30 1/2", 30 1/2", 30 1/2"

posted by msk171 (not verified) | on Sat, 2012-06-02 21:02

I am new to your site and

I am new to your site and LOVE this plan! I have all my boards cut and they are finishing drying after painting and priming as I speak! I can't wait to put it all together! I have never built anything really--besides helping my dad when I was a kid. I used my hubby's radial arm saw for all of the cuts--worked but not the best I'm sure--and only spent $1.50 as we had most of the wood and paint. Thanks so much for a fun project, can't wait to do more!

posted by Drama Queens (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-05-23 14:24

OK--so my question is--I was

OK--so my question is--I was screwing the 2x2 back support on using the 2" screws-predrilled my holes--and SOMEHOW I went all the way through the back slats! The 1 5/8 screws I have are too short, the 2" screws are too long--what do I DO???

posted by Drama Queens (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-05-24 11:11

It sounds like you may have a

It sounds like you may have a deep countersink bit. What I would do is fasten from the front face of the back slats into the 2x2, instead of from the back.

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-05-24 12:28

thanks--I actually wound up

thanks--I actually wound up improvising and cut 1/2" slats into small squares and put them between the 2x2 and the back slats and then filling the holes in the back slats. it worked for now--it was still an awesome 1st project and i learned A LOT!

posted by Drama Queens (not verified) | on Tue, 2010-05-25 08:05

I have been wanting a pair of

I have been wanting a pair of Adirondack chairs for our front yard. However the only versions in my price range have the rounded tops. The straight lines on your version will look great and echo the strong horizontal lines of our house.

posted by Claiming Our Space (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-05-27 13:44

Wow! This is great! Thank you

Wow! This is great! Thank you for all your hard work put into these plans. Your amazing! I will have to try these plans and about 100 other ones. I will be linking. Thanks!

posted by Brooke (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-05-29 04:39

I was able to assemble 2

I was able to assemble 2 chairs in one day. I had already cut and painted all the pieces previously. They went together well, although I did have to do some math since the widths on my boards were slightly smaller than the dimensions in the plans. No biggie, though! I'm very happy with them. I need to put on another coat of paint and find some cushions and they're done!

posted by Jodi@homegrownhearts.com (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-06-05 11:51

I'm making a "big man"

I'm making a "big man" adirondack for my dad, so I'm modifying your plans a bit, I'm widening it and adding some extra stringers and legs for bottom support.

My problem I'm having now is how to beef up the back to hold more pressure. I was thinking maybe extra "legs" going from the middle back support straight down to the ground? But I'm not sure if that would really add support unless I angle them back?

Thank you in advance!

posted by Loni (not verified) | on Sat, 2010-09-04 17:07

Hi Loni, If you were to use a

Hi Loni, If you were to use a 2x4 for the back support (the piece that connects the arms to the back slats, it should take care of support. Perhaps use 1x4s for the under arm supports too.

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-09-06 08:44
emmarosemc's picture

so they sell these at HD for

so they sell these at HD for $28 dollars, is it worth it to build them? I have so many other plans still to do i dont think this one is worth making over buying

posted by emmarosemc | on Sat, 2011-06-04 21:22
claydowling's picture

Make vs. Buy

You should be able to build these for less. Even if you can't, there is a satisfaction in building it for yourself. My least useful chair is a stool that I built with my dad's help on his lathe. It's also my favorite because I made it, and I don't know anybody else with a chair like it.

Although given the state of my dining room chairs, I might need to start making that stool some grown up chair brethren soon. Too many broken spindles.

posted by claydowling | on Sun, 2011-06-05 08:36


I did the design of the Adirondack chair in Google SketchUp. The link is as follows.


And the animation is in 3D on Youtube at the following link.


posted by Emilio (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-06-19 19:17
mrhelton's picture

Thanks I appreciate this! I

Thanks I appreciate this! I just downloaded sketchup today and am in the process of learning it. I started work on the table I'm making to go with these chairs, and you've made it easy to drop the chairs in there!

posted by mrhelton | on Mon, 2012-09-03 20:14


Hi, my husband and I are anxious to make chairs for us and kids and alsoo a bench for the porch- he'd love to have a glider and I wondered if you had ideas of how to modify the bench into a glider? Thanks for all your hard work, i have such a to build list from you site! Cant' wait to start getting them done!

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-09-30 13:28

I love this site!

I love this site!!!! Thank you ! I wish I could find a plan for a half circle diner booth for my dinning room, but I had so many of these plans on my wish list! Thank you so much!

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Fri, 2012-02-10 11:48


Would it be possible to do this project with a jigsaw and not the fancier saws that I don't own (yet).

posted by Andra (not verified) | on Sun, 2012-02-19 13:58
Lady Goats's picture


Andra, my first few projects were built only with a jig saw! So you definitely can! a piece of advice is to draw the full cut that you need to make, use a straight board as a guide to slide your jig saw against to get straight cuts, and (if needed), sand the cut to smooth it out. They'll be rough looking... but use a little caulk on the "seams" before you paint, and it'll look great.

Gina - Lady Goats
DIY Blogger (when I'm not procrastinating)

posted by Lady Goats | on Sun, 2012-02-19 14:53
claydowling's picture


You could use a jig saw for this, but I wouldn't recommend it. You can make all of these cuts just as easily with a Japanese ryoba or a hand saw, both of which are sold at Lowes and Home Depot.

You should also check Sawing Secret, an episode of The Woodwright Shop that did a really nice job of showing how to use hand saws successfully for a variety of situations.

posted by claydowling | on Sun, 2012-02-19 18:16

I was looking through your

I was looking through your page and noticed the Little And chairs... for some reason I can not post under their pictures. Do you by any chance have th plans for building them?

posted by Katrinaelizabth (not verified) | on Mon, 2012-04-16 21:30


i love all your plans, thank you very much

posted by annemarie (not verified) | on Sun, 2012-05-06 08:52


question . how much of a angle is the seat part ... the reason I ask with a BAD back , its very hard to get outta some of these , an they are very uncomfortable as well... Also wish to tll you what a great site , an great job your doing !!!!!! thank you jimmyp

posted by jimmyp (not verified) | on Mon, 2012-05-07 13:39

1x4 cuts

To save some headaches, here are the cuts as they'll need to be done on the 1x4's so they fit on 4 boards:
Board 1: 21", 21", 30 1/2", 19 1/2"
Board 2: 21", 21", 25 1/2", 25 1/2"
Board 3: 21", 20 3/4", 20 3/4", 30 1/2"
Board 4: 30 1/2", 30 1/2", 30 1/2"

posted by msk171 (not verified) | on Sat, 2012-06-02 21:08
markdude's picture

built this chair!

I love your plans, I made the Chaise Lounge first then I saw this and had to have one! Great plan, easy to build and very comfortable! Thanks!!!!!!!

posted by markdude | on Wed, 2012-07-18 15:58

I'm currently in the process

I'm currently in the process of building these, just as described in the above article. How has everyone else's seats fared over time? I'm just a little skeptical on the primary use of screws. So, does it hold up well? Thanks for any responses, and I must say, with the local agway selling Adirondack chairs at a price tag og roughly $200,to be able to make one of these chairs at $70 roughly, kudos on that

posted by Kevin Chapman (not verified) | on Wed, 2012-07-25 17:18

Hi! I just found this site


I just found this site while googling these chairs, and loved the way your instructions were laid out. I built one and am thrilled with the results! I'm going to be building more later this weekend and probably a smaller one for my son! Great site!

Here is a picture of my chair: http://i.imgur.com/0EOcO.jpg

posted by Mike H (not verified) | on Sat, 2012-09-01 21:05

Hello , Could anyone plz

Hello , Could anyone plz help me on a question on the chair ??? ,, does anyone have any idea what angle the seat is ??? Are they hard to get down or up from the sitting position ??? thank you ... GREAT SITE

posted by jimmyp (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-10-02 13:30

Thank you Thank you Thank you!

Just have to say that I LOVE your site, Ana!! Thank you so much for all your hard work and most of all for sharing it with all of us! You and all your followers have given me such inspiration to build things that I never knew I could!! Have made a couple pieces and I am super excited about these chairs! :)

posted by blessedmess (not verified) | on Sun, 2012-11-18 08:41

Ana's Adirondack Chair Plans w/ Straight legs in back

Where is the plan with the chairs that have the straight legs in the back, as shown on page 5 of Bragging Posts by tsrico?

posted by engel6797 | on Wed, 2013-04-03 08:21

Ana's Adirondack chair plans w/straight legs in back

Plans for these are in Ana's book The Handbuilt Home. The adult size plan is on page 174 and the children's size plan is on page 179. These are beautiful - I want to build them too!

posted by JoanneS | on Sun, 2013-04-07 06:54


I am new to this and I plan on this being my first project. Can I use any type of wood if I plan on painting it? Also can anyone recommend what size miter saw a beginner might want?

posted by mheuer | on Thu, 2013-04-11 21:03

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