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


sharon (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 07:07

Love it! I have been looking for a simple chair plan. Would love the couch and loveseat too. Thank you!

*MICHELLE CAUDLE* (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 09:12

Thanks for continuing to hack more outdoor furtniture...I look forward to seeing the larger couch-sizes, too! On Saturday my hubby and I built the Modern Bookcase...I will make sure to post a pic in the Flickr group when I get it all painted!

Yolanda (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 09:42

We live in a condo and only have a patio as our outdoor space. For the 8 years I have lived here I have wanted to have furniture outside that we could use to expand our living space. But it’s always been way out of my budget. These plans show the possibility that exists in just a little time and energy. I hope to be sitting in this chair (and snuggling on an outdoor love seat!) real soon.

Deb (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 10:59

I love this chair! and the idea to tile the top of a table, SO EXCITED. I can't wait to start these projects to finish making our new back porch beautiful!

Thank you SOO incredibly much!

Rachel (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 15:20

I'm trying to open the plans as a .pdf file (through the PRINT/PDF link at very end of the post), but none of the diagrams show up when I do that. The text comes through fine, but I don't think I can use the plans without the diagrams as I am far from a professional and I need the visual aids. Has anyone else had this problem? How did you fix it? Thanks! :)

MaryJanes and … (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 16:34

This one's going in my to do. Question for you, I love that you put everything in price categories, but when it's new like this I don't see the price or what category it belongs to. Is it possible to list the aprox. price with the materials list like you do with the kid's picnic table (even if you don't break it down by board like you did there). I saw the table and built it that weekend because it specifically said $15 and I said I can do $15! If I know something is affordable I make it a lot faster. I have no clue what these chairs would cost to build.

BTW- built your pallet shelves today! They are hung and awaiting a photo shoot. Will send pics.

The Trees (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 17:18

I love this chair and would love to build it in a loveseat and couch size also. And thanks for taking the time to fit the standard cushion.
It's beautiful!

Heather - Hope… (not verified)

Mon, 05/03/2010 - 21:18

MaryJanes - For an estimate, the lumber for this project is $24 in Kentucky. (Not sure how much prices vary by location)

I've been wanting 2 chairs to go by my grape arbor, and I think these may be the ones! Now I just need a little table to hold the wine glasses...

Kariner (not verified)

Tue, 05/04/2010 - 02:47

I can't WAIT for the loveseat version! I've been scouring the web for a suitable outdoor bench to put under the pergola I made, and the pickings are slim. Pretty please? :)