Restaurant High Chair

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 10/04/2010 - 17:06
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My four year old loves to sit in this chair, we had to remove the front and back supports so that she could fit into it. Cause she still want ot sit in it.

Well, it's not the one you keep asking for  :(  but I think many of you will love it just the same.


Or at least as much as Grace loves her newest chair.


She's faster than the camera can focus, so excuse the picture quality.  It's really the high chair we are after anyway  :)



Here is the side view.  It's so simple, and made mostly of 1x2 furring strips (less than $1 each) but is surprisingly sturdy.


Am I done yet mom?



Cause this is way more fun.



Okay I'm done.  Where's the candy you promised.  (yes, I did, I bribed her with candy.  I'm a mom, not a parenting expert).


And one more close up of the simplicity of this chair.  Yes, that is pink paint on her legs.   It's amazingly easy to build, inspired by the simple but useful high chairs found at restaurants, and loves a bright paint.

And here is the best part.  After building the high chair, I decided that it need a few slight tweaks for you.  These tweaks are shown in the above diagram.  By making the seat a 1x10 instead of a 1x12, getting chubby legs into the leg holes will be much easier.  You can add a strap to keep your child from falling through.  Then I brought the bottom supports up so that your toes could fit under them making it easier to pick the chair up and move it.  And lastly, I made the entire chair just a tad narrower to fit more compact spaces and to remove unnecessary side room.  I love Grace's chair - but yours is going to be even better!

Dimensions are shown above. Composition is pine boards – mostly 1x2s with a scrap 1×10 and 1×4 in there. Yes, you could join 3 – 1x4s together (13″ long) to create a seat, making your shopping list simply a 1×4 and a couple of 1x2s. The trickiest part about this chair is getting your boards cut correctly. If you can do that, you are good to go. No joke – mine took about 20 minutes to build (with four kids running around the yard).


Shopping List

3 – 1×2 boards, 8′ long
1 – 1×4 board, 15″ long
1 – 1×10 board, 15″ long (you can substitute 3 – 1x4s joined instead if you don’t have a 1×10 laying around)

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

4 – 1×2 @ 26 3/16″ (Legs, both ends cut at 5 degrees parallel to each other)
2 – 1×2 @ 15″ (long point to long point, ends cut at 5 degrees NOT parallel to each other, bottom sides)
2 – 1×2 @ 11 3/4″ (long point to long point, ends cut at 5 degrees NOT parallel to each other, middle sides)
2 – 1×2 @ 10 11/16″ (long point to long point, ends cut at 5 degrees NOT parallel to each other, top sides)
2 – 1×2 @ 16″ (long point to long point, ends cut at 5 degrees NOT parallel to each other, bottom supports)
1 – 1×4 @ 12 9/16″ (long point to long point, ends cut at 5 degrees NOT parallel to each other, seat back)
1 – 1×2 @ 12″ (short point to short point, ends beveled at 5 degrees NOT parallel to each other, front)
1 – 1×10 @ 13″ (short point to short point, ends beveled at 5 degrees NOT parallel to each other, seat)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1


Build the sides as shown above. Drill pocket holes in all the horizontal boards ends, two per end. Mark the sides, clamp, and glue and screw together with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step 2

Bottom Supports

Now here is where things get a little tricky. Drill pocket holes on both ends of the bottom supports, two per end. Mark the sides 3 1/2″ up. Then glue, clamp and screw with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws the bottom supports to the sides. Center the bottom supports on the width of the legs. A right angle clamp would be super handy here, but I don’t have one, and was just fine.

Step 3

Seat Back

Drill pocket holes in the back of the seat. Attach with glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step 4


Drill pocket holes on both ends of the front and attach to the tops of the legs with glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Step 5

Step 6


I finished mine by filling pocket holes with wood filler. It took three applications of wood filler to completely fill the holes. Then a thorough sanding with 120 grit sandpaper. Then primer and paint, followed by a spray on top coat. Add a strudy strap to the center and a safety belt (tip – use a dog leash or a belt)


Heather - Hope… (not verified)

Mon, 10/04/2010 - 17:34

Love it! When someone makes this, could you *pretty please* test it with a car seat? In restaurants they can flip these upside down and use them to hold an infant car seat, and I'd love to know if this one accommodates the same. My sister in law is having twins and is short on space, so these would be a great gift!

Cindy (not verified)

Mon, 10/04/2010 - 18:26

Grace needs a cross bar to rest her feet on. Trust me, at just over 5 ft my feet are always looking for a place to rest as the floor is usually not an option.
Love your blog and your design and plan rendering ability! I too build and remake furniture for our home although most often winging and tweaking the design as I go.
Thanks for all the ideas and for sharing your readers successes!

Kelly (not verified)

Mon, 10/04/2010 - 18:53

Wow! Love this and Grace is adorable! Just a tip for anyone who might build this and want to add straps, has everything you would need to add a strap and clip. They even have pink straping! I order from them all the time for purses and other things I make. I can't wait to make this highchair!

Tania (not verified)

Mon, 10/04/2010 - 22:51

Heather, I thought I would add my two cents here - I used to work in a restaurant industry for quite a while and we too were flipping those high chairs upside down to accomodate infant seats, however - please be super cautious by doing that!!! The high chair was never designed to hold infant seats - it just conicidently does, and not all models at that. Also, years ago we were (I was mostly affiliated with one of the major "americana dinning" chains) instructed to stop flipping high chairs upside down for the purpose of holding infant car seats for 3 main reasons; one was since the inverted high chair is not stable these things were tipping over (imagine rumbunctious toddler bumping into it). Also - it wasn't sanitary since those restaurant chair legs are filthy! And last, the restaurants thought it just wasn't esthetic to have dirty chairs upside down while people were dinning.
Perhaps we can have Ana design an infant car seat holder with a wide base and all :).

N. (not verified)

Tue, 10/05/2010 - 00:52

Great job! Could you tell me what kind of paint you used? I just painted my daughter's desk pink, but I couldn't find the exact shade of pink I had really wanted and settled for a "blossom pink". The pink you used is the shade I've been looking for!!

chrisandpatience (not verified)

Tue, 10/05/2010 - 01:43

I think i have enough lumber lying around to make this. Going to check when i get home. Might make it this week. Thanks Ana.


Margie (not verified)

Tue, 10/05/2010 - 02:42

My Girls don't need high chairs!! But I want one anyways!!!! :D Great Job!!! Love it! and PINK!! WHAT!!!!! :D


Jeannie (not verified)

Tue, 10/05/2010 - 02:50

Love the chair, but your adorable daughter steals the show! Seriously..she is beyond cute! I loved her skirt as well, and btw, I bribe my kids with candy all the time:) Your site has been such a blessing for us! Thanks for all you do!!

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