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


Rachel (not verified)

Wed, 05/12/2010 - 16:03

Ana! Just wanted to let you know i finished construction of chair #1! First off, I've never built anything like this in my life and let me tell you .... Its fabulous! Super comfy, cute and incredibly sturdy. I'm going to build a second one and (hopefully) the love seat (post plans, pretty please!) Once i get my chairs stained and buy cushions, I'll send a picture your way! Thanks for all your plans - everything fit perfectly and I love this crazy feeling of accomplishment :)

Jennifer (not verified)

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 18:43

Ana, could this chair plan (loveseat size) be used to do a porch swing? I'm about to build a small arbor and am dying to hang a porch swing underneath. It seems like this loveseat sized plan would be "almost" perfect for that... Right?

Ana White (not verified)

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 19:01

Jennifer, I don't see why it wouldn't work, just make sure you reinforce where you choose to hang the loveseat. Let me know how it turns out!

Jennifer (not verified)

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 05:53

I can't wait to see a loveseat size!

I love your plans and can't wait to get started building these chairs and the simple modern table/benches for my backyard area!


Valerie (not verified)

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 09:47

Has anyone who made this posted pictures? I'd like to see! And especially how it looks with the cushions. Thanks!

Mallory (not verified)

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 18:05

I am making two of these chairs this weekend! I am so excited! This will be my first project - I can't wait to post pictures!

Brandon (not verified)

Wed, 05/19/2010 - 19:04

Great chair. Done with the single but would like to do a sectional in this style. Any chance we can see some plans, specifically on how to construct the corner (or L) piece?
Great site.

Hilary (not verified)

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:33

I made this chair over the past few days. I absolutely love it. The only issue that I had was laying the slats for the seat and the back. I started screwing down the seat and realized that I had too much space for only 1/2" in between. My upper and lower slats don't quite match up. But a cushion on the chair, and no one will ever know! Just make sure you lay them out first and measure. I haven't built anything from scratch since I was 15, I forgot how much I loved it. Thank you Anna! I posted a picture in the brag section under hilarychad. Would love comments and suggestions!

4-H Mom (not verified)

Sun, 07/18/2010 - 17:55

My son and husband are making this chair for his 4-H project this year. It is perfect for them! :) We are using pressure treated wood and am wondering what kind of sealant or stain we should use on the pressure treated wood? Thank you so much for the awesome plans! Maybe they will add to the collection next year! :)