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Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

November 7, 2010 |
posted by Ana White
PDF versionPDF version

Stackable economical lightweight children's chairs.

Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Additional Photos

Handmade from this plan >>

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

Dimensions

Dimensions: 
Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs
Dimensions: 
Dimensions are shown above.

Materials and Tools

Shopping List: 

2 – 1x3s, 8′ long (Furring strips were used for my chair, about $1.50 each)
1 – 1×2, 8′ long (furring strips again, $1 a stick)
1 1/4″ screws
2″ screws OR 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws for pocket holes
wood glue
finishing supplies

Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
sander
level
countersink drill bit

Cut List

Cut List: 

3 – 1×3 @ 11″ (Front and Side Aprons)
2 – 1×3 @ 11 3/4″ (Side Supports)
2 – 1×2 @ 13 1/4″ (Front Legs)
8 – 1×3 @ 12 1/2″ (Seat Slats and Back Slats)
2 – 1×2 @ 26″ (Back Legs)

Step 1

Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Side Supports

Predrill holes and screw the side supports to the front aprons. I built mine with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws, but you could also use 2″ screws. Use glue.

Step 2

Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Front Legs

Now just screw the legs to the front apron and supports. Use 1 1/4″ screws to screw into the side supports.

Step 3

Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Side Aprons

Now simply add the side aprons with glue and 1 1/4″ screws.

Step 4

Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Back Apron

Back apron is the same length as the seat slats. Just attach the back apron with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 5

Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Back Legs

Simply screw the back legs to the back of the chair, on the outsides, as shown above. Use 2″ screws and glue. Make sure the chair back legs are square with the chair seat.

Step 6

Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Back Slats

Predrill and attach the back slats to the back legs. I spaced mine 1 1/2″ apart. For a different look, you can cut an arch shape out or use three 1x2s for back slats.

Step 7

Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Seat Slats

Predrill two holes in both ends of each seat slat. Then screw the seat slats to the chair frame, with 1/8″ gap (evenly spaced between all seat slats) between seat slats. Use glue.

Finishing Instructions

Now that I've designed quite a few adult chairs (for example, this squared chair, plans here), thought I would take some time to work on a childrens design.  Specifically, one that met these requirements:

1.  Under $5 a chair

2. Stackable

3.  Super easy to build

4. Lightweight enough for my 18 month old niece to carry

5. But still sturdy enough for me to sit on.

And after a couple of prototypes and some redesigning in the garage, I think we've found our winner.

And yes, they do stack.  Not sure exactly at what point the chairs would tip forward, but at least four high would work.

And because we went with a slatted seat, this chair would also work well outdoors if finished appropriately.

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ABSOLUTELY!!!!!

ABSOLUTELY!!!!! BEAUTIFUL!!!!! I am so making these for my niece......they are amazing.

posted by michelle (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-11-07 23:10

I love these, and you cant

I love these, and you cant beat the price !!! Thankyou for taking the time to create and post these plans it gives us not so handy moms the confidance to make something for our children and homes

posted by elizabeth (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-11-07 23:33

LOVE this! I was going to go

LOVE this! I was going to go today to get a newspaper to get a 40% off coupon to go to michaels and buy a chair to go with the table I built for my toddler last week. Now I can build a chair at a fraction of the cost!

posted by Niki (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-11-07 23:34

Sweet I have been looking for

Sweet I have been looking for some easy childrens chairs to create for photography props this is awsome...

posted by Michelle (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-11-07 23:40

Thanks so much! I bought a

Thanks so much! I bought a huge 3 seater lego table for my son at a garage sale and have not been wanting to spend $15 a chair for it. I know ikea had plastic chairs for $8, but it's two hours from my house and I didn't like the colors (and I'm not a fan of plastic furniture). So glad that he can finally have chairs for his table at an affordable price! Thanks!

posted by momma2three (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 05:06

great plans. I was just

great plans. I was just thinking about a homemade lego table for my son for Christmas and these chairs would be great! Any plans for a table to go with them?

posted by Christine (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 05:10

Love these! I have several

Love these! I have several friends with little ones, I am thinking Christmas presents!
THANKS ANA!!!!

posted by Angel s. (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 06:20

I am going to build a

I am going to build a couple!!!http://cleverlyinspired.blogspot.com/2010/10/sweater-repurposed.html

posted by Tracie (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 06:40

Could these be stools, if you

Could these be stools, if you didn't extend the backs?

By the way, I LOVE them!!!

posted by Debbie (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 07:27

These are awesome. I love

These are awesome. I love that they stack.

posted by Yolanda (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 07:35

I LOVE these!!! I'm adding

I LOVE these!!! I'm adding them to my ever-growing list of Ana White design projects! My 2-year old is definitely getting these for Christmas. Thank you! :)

posted by Kristy (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 07:52

I'm not sure that only using

I'm not sure that only using screws to hold the back to the seat is good enough. Eventually the seat will give and someone will get hurt.Pretty looking though.

posted by duane bergstrom (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 08:23

Thank you Ana! :)

Thank you Ana! :)

posted by nancy (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 09:33

Dang, I've still got to get

Dang, I've still got to get my modern bookshelf sanded & painted, and the modern desk built & painted (pieces are all cut out) before I make these for my kids...I better get a move-on!!!

posted by Michelle (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 12:00

I think these will be my

I think these will be my first build. I have a bunch of other plans that I would like to try, but I think these would be a good jumping off point. Plus I can knock out some Christmas presents while I'm at it! Yay!

posted by Amanda H. (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 16:51

love these, can't wait to

love these, can't wait to sell our house so that we have room for me to build these.

posted by lindsey (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 18:09

So cute! Is there a plan for

So cute! Is there a plan for a doll chair like that? Also, I thought I saw a plan for a doll bed for the American Girl dolls. Can you tell me where that is?

posted by Ashley (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 19:24

thank you! Try

thank you! Try www.piecesforreese.blogspot.com

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-11-08 21:27

Love this! Is it possible for

Love this! Is it possible for you to show where you recommend the screws go on these plans? Thanks!

posted by Ela (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-11-10 23:05

Is it safe for me to modify

Is it safe for me to modify these plans for cheap and easy adult chairs?

posted by Stacy (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-11-12 17:26

Stacy, I wouldn't . . . maybe

Stacy, I wouldn't . . . maybe try a 2x2 leg instead of the 1x2s - just too flimsy for an adult chair.

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Fri, 2010-11-12 22:14

Ana, I'm going to try to

Ana, I'm going to try to build these for my son's birthday. One question... do you predrill with the countersink bits for every step or just when your instructions say predrill? This will be my first hand at countersinking and my first real project of yours (I did the pallet shelf but that seemed to easy to count;). I want to get it right.

posted by kate @ www.brownleeallday.weebly.com (not verified) | on Sun, 2010-11-28 12:37

Anytime you are going to use

Anytime you are going to use a screw you want to countersink the hole first. This allows the screws to go below surface and not stick out above the surface.

posted by Jonel (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-12-02 10:45

I am DYING to try to make

I am DYING to try to make these!!!

posted by Tanya (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-12-09 13:17

I started this tonight.

I started this tonight. Cutting went fast. This was the first time using the kreg. I am very disappointed, it was hard to keep clamped and the drill bit kept comming out of the drill. Hoping to make several for Christmas gifts but this is starting to look more like firewood. : ( Anyone else have problems with the kreg? I am using the small one.

posted by Theresa (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-12-09 22:17

This is the project that

This is the project that inspired me. I am using this as my basis for an article on my eco blog. www.greenertoday.blog.ca . You are doing more than you know for women. On top of inspiring them to take on projects themselves, you are also giving them an affordable, healthier alternative to cheap plastic sets that off gas in our homes and are bad for our children and families. Finishing items yourself allows you to select low VOC paint. You are a green inspiration too, and you may not even realize. Saving money, saving the planet. I like what you are doing here Ana.

posted by Lynne1 (not verified) | on Mon, 2010-12-13 10:42

You rock. Thanks so much for

You rock. Thanks so much for all you do.

I'm making these for my daughters for Christmas (these and the table).

I LOVE it!!!

posted by kimber (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-12-15 23:11

I just built this chair, and

I just built this chair, and it was not quite as easy as the table! getting things clamped to be square while getting the back legs on wasnt quite as simple as i had hoped ;) but they are sturdy, and they will look pretty nice once i fill all the holes and paint! I was able to get all the pieces while my daughter napped :)- that's how quickly it went.

posted by Ellen Farrow (not verified) | on Wed, 2010-12-15 23:47

I was wondering what sort of

I was wondering what sort of age-range these would be for. I have a 2½ year old and a 7½ year old. I've been looking for the perfect wooden table and chair set for them for what seems like forever now. These looks super cute and easy, but would they be suitable of an older child as well as a toddler?

posted by Nicky (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-12-30 10:29

Nicky, my seven year old

Nicky, my seven year old niece sits at them (and I do too) but I would say seven is at the upper age limit. Perfect for a toddler though. My 1 1/2 year old niece carries hers around :)

posted by Ana White (not verified) | on Thu, 2010-12-30 15:49

Ana, I think I stumbled upon

Ana, I think I stumbled upon your site when blog hopping play kitchens. Totally doing a kitchen for my daughter's second birthday. However, her first birthday hasn't passed yet and I love these chairs. I know table/chair sets are $100 and look cheap!

do you have a table tutorial to go along with these chairs??

thank you - love love love your plans and totally book marking everything for later!

posted by Mindy (not verified) | on Wed, 2011-01-19 15:25

nvm - i found Clara's table!

nvm - i found Clara's table! totally going to beg my dad to make these for his grandbaby ;)

posted by Mindy (not verified) | on Wed, 2011-01-19 15:30

One of my daughter's broke

One of my daughter's broke her $17 chair similar to this over a year ago. She has been asking for a new one ever since, but we just never found one cheap enough that was the size we needed. I found your plans last night and bought the wood today. Exactly $4 at Home Depot if you don't count the jigsaw I threw in, lol. I was tired of using the circular saw and being intimidated by it.

posted by Becky (not verified) | on Mon, 2011-02-14 10:40

So, wondering how big these

So, wondering how big these need to be to fit under the LoN Kid's elementary table plans? Thanks so much for any help!

posted by Robin (not verified) | on Sun, 2011-02-20 13:25

A few tears in my eyes

Just built this chair, my first building project ever! I'm 21 weeks pregnant and have a 3 year old boy. I've been reading your site for a while now and my son peered over my shoulder, then asked me sweetly to make this chair in blue for him. All I have left is to sand and paint the chair, but it already looks wonderful.

Thanks so much for sharing your story and inspiring others to build! I have a few tears in my eyes (although, the pregnancy hormones may have a little to do with that) and am so proud that I made a chair for my son. My grandpa loved woodworking and he would be so proud of me if he were alive today. After this one's painted, I'll be working on a pink one for the little baby girl that will make her appearance around August.

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Thu, 2011-03-24 16:40
clips
tracysmith's picture

Dear Tears

It does feel so great to build something with your own two hands, doesn't it.  I've often felt the same way about our building adventures (the tears - and I don't even have the pregnancy to blame it on :-) )  I had grandparents and uncles that were really into woodworking and it does bring a little something extra to the piece when you can think back on the nostalgia - sort of like filling those shoes that you loved so much.  

Congrats on the new baby, the new build and many more builds to come! Keep up the good work and don't forget to share those pictures!!!  Hugs!

http://www.simply-designed.us/blog

posted by tracysmith | on Thu, 2011-03-24 19:49

I think for anyone going to

I think for anyone going to build these chairs or anything out of 1x2 and 1x3 material they should buy the higher grade lumber than the cheap stuff. You can see from the photos that the wood is likely to warp or be warped by the time you get them together. Using kiln dried lumber will mitigate this to a significant degree and the chairs will still be both affordable and hand made by you.

BTW, the Kreg jig is great. I can't wait to use it on more of my projects around the home

posted by Guest (not verified) | on Fri, 2011-05-27 19:38

Making this for 18" Dolls

I am making a set of four of these doll sized for some 18" AG dolls.

The over all dimensions are going to be 14 3/4" H (back), 8" H (seat) X 8 1/2" W X 7" D.

The main change for this is using 1 x 4 for the slats on the top of the seat (with no gap). The back slats and apron will still be out of the 1 x 3. The number of "Seat Slats and Back Slats" drops from 8 to 3. The 1 x 4 is new to the cut list for the seat.

Cut List:
3 - 1×3 @ 7" (Front and Side Aprons)
2 - 1×3 @ 7 3/4" (Side Supports)
2 - 1×2 @ 7 1/4" (Front Legs)
3 - 1×3 @ 8 1/2" (Back Slats and Back Apron)
2 - 1×4 @ 8 1/2" (Seat Slats) - NEW
2 - 1×2 @ 14" (Back Legs)

posted by Paul H. (not verified) | on Mon, 2011-11-14 16:42

Doll sized plan updates...

I finished assembling the four chairs for 18" dolls last night but made them smaller than my original post stated. The over all dimensions are now 12" H (back), 5 1/2" H (seat) X 6" W X 6 1/2" D

Cut List:
2 - 1×2 @ 4 1/4" (Side Aprons)
2 - 1×2 @ 5" (Side Supports)
3 - 1×2 @ 4 1/2" (Front Legs and Front Apron)
7 - 1×2 @ 6" (4 Seat Slats, 2 Back Slats and Back Apron)
2 - 1×2 @ 12" (Back Legs)

I also made a doll sized version of the table. Once Christmas is over, I will post them on the brag boards. I don't want any picture evidence around before the big reveal...

posted by Paul H. (not verified) | on Tue, 2011-11-22 13:28
clips

Posted pictures of the Doll sized version...

I have posted pictures to the brag board so you can see the finished product. I think they turned out great.

posted by pjhaan | on Mon, 2011-12-26 12:26

thankyou ana you are the best

thankyou ana you are the best ever¡¡

posted by edgar ulate (not verified) | on Tue, 2012-04-03 22:35

I am new here and I love it!

I am new here and I love it! I have made a picnic table from this site so far and this will be my next project! I am double teaming these chairs with my grandpa. I will be building and he will be painting. =]

posted by Lexi Williams | on Fri, 2012-04-13 20:18

Kiddie play table and chair set complete!

Yay! I just built this (with a few modifications): http://jenwoodhouse.com/blog/2012/07/19/pair-kiddie-chairs/

posted by JenWoodhouse (not verified) | on Thu, 2012-07-19 11:28

Guide for pocket holes??

I was wondering where to do the pocket holes on the aprons in order to avoid hitting the pocket holes on the supports. There is no guide for this and it seems like they would hit one another. I am a beginner so I may be looking at it wrong. Any advice would be great!! Thanks:)

posted by Carrie Stratton (not verified) | on Sat, 2012-10-13 11:09

Please help!!!

I'm confused about where your placement of screws and pre drilled holes go? And also, when you predrill holes are you always using the kreg jig because we are and some of our screws are splitting the wood. I'm confused about what the seat slats are screwed into. Please help! Only 8 days til Christmas!

posted by Kassi (not verified) | on Mon, 2012-12-17 09:55

It was wondering if I could

It was wondering if I could use this write-up on my other website, I will link it back to your website though.Great Thanks.
https://www.rebelmouse.com/acnenomorebook/

posted by paulmak1122 | on Tue, 2013-12-31 07:01

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