Simple Modern Outdoor Chair

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 05/21/2020 - 11:03
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Stylish modern wood outdoor chairs in a compact footprint!  Reclined seat and back for comfort, wide armrests.  Fits a standard size chair pad.  These chairs are smaller in size, more of the size of a dining chair, not oversized like a living room chair.

modern wood outdoor chair


This plan has been updated, the original plans are still available here.

diy wood slat chair plans

Wood chair outdoor dimensions
Sized more like a dining room chair than a living room chair, fits standard chair cushion pads (NOT deep seat)


Shopping List
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 10 feet long
  • 2 - 1x4 @ 10 feet long
  • 36 - 2-1/2" pocket hole screws for exterior use (can be used as the "longer screws" in this plan)
  • 40 - self tapping (star bit) exterior screws, length at least 1-1/2" long (used for attaching the back and seat slats to the frame, referred to as shorter screws in plans)
Cut List
  • 4 - 2x4 @ 20-1/2" (for use with a dining table, cut at 24") - legs
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 27-3/4" - arm rests
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 24-3/4" - side supports
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 20-1/2" - front/back aprons
  • 3 - 2x2 @ 20-1/2" - seat supports
  • 5 - 1x4 @ 25-1/2" - back slats
  • 5 - 1x4 @ 20" - seat slats

Cut the longest boards first to make sure you get all your cuts out of the boards called for in the shopping list

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


Step 1

Build the arms using the longer screws (or Kreg Jig on the 1-1/2" setting with 2-1/2" exterior pocket hole screws).  The two legs are built identical.

Step 2

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of all the boards in this step, and attach with 2-1/2" exterior pocket hole screws.

Step 3

Attach the 2x2 seat cleat with pocket hole screws inside the chair frame, place screws on bottom or sides (NOT top to prevent water pooling inside the pocket hole)

Step 4

Lay out the chair back and attach to the chair back base with the shorter screws.

Step 5

Set the chair back inside the chair, leaving a small gap for water drainage from the seat base 2x2.  Attach with the longer screws to the arms.

Step 6

Lay the seat slats inside the chair and attach with the shorter screws, two screws per joint, with 1/2" spacing in between.

Project Type


Tracy (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 02:39

You are a mind reader Ana! I was looking at the Sunday ads yesterday and I saw some outdoor furniture, and I seriously thought to myself... I wonder if the outdoor furniture on knock-off wood is sized right for cushions? Thanks for everything you do. I have not started a project yet, but hope to soon. Love your site!

Hannajoy (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 03:03

I LOVE this chair! I'm so excited about the loveseat size... my patio is going to look JAZZED thanks to you!!

Shanna (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 03:21

I love this chair and can't wait for the loveseat plans too!! I have been wanting new patio furniture, but they are so expensive, especially those made of wood. I was introduced to your site by my husband because I've always wanted to make my own furniture and now have a list started of all the pieces I want to make. Thank you!!!

3Janes (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 03:26

Looks Great!! Can't wait to see the loveseat plans! Hope you do those next! And THANK YOU for thinking about the cushions!! That will make life MUCH easier. I would hate to make the chair to save $ only to find out later that you woud have to spend more $$ to buy cushions. What were those designers thinking?? Ana, you ROCK!!

Mary (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 03:29

love the chair! Can't wait to see the loveseat- would LOVE to see an ottoman to go with the set as well!

Chantelle - Th… (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 03:40

Absolutely would love the couch and loveseat!! And an ottoman, as stated earlier! Simply fantastic!!

Beth (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 03:52

The first things I thought when I saw this was: "I wonder if I can hack this to loveseat size?" I've wanted an outdoor loveseat for a while now, but it's never made it into the budget...

Laura Fox (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 03:56

I love your site. We move into our new home in about a month and I am SO excited to start building things. This will more than likely be my first project as well as some beds for my girls. Can't wait.

Thank you for all the hard work you put into this and for giving them away free!! LOVE IT - I check your site at least 3x a day.

Patricia (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 04:07

Yes! Please do a loveseat! I have been eying patio furniture for my new covered patio, but haven't found anything as lovely as this. Maybe I should get out my saw and hammer!

Tara M (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 04:09

I love that you know your readers so well to realize that we would want to buy a standard size cushion. Can't wait to see the complete plans for all the outdoor things so I can plan my 'room.' We also need Rayan to do a guest post on finishing our outdoor items. Thanks so much.