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


LB_Building (not verified)

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 17:57

So, we did something wrong but I can't figure out what! On step 6 where you assemble the "seat supports" it says that the right has to be flush with the inside of the leg and the left flush with the outside of the leg. I can't imagine it would be one on one side and one on the other. But the "seat supports" seem too thick to match the width of the frame. The back doesn't fit now (We'll just trim it) but would like to fix it for the next one.


MacTFL (not verified)

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 14:11

What do you think? Our new house (new to us) has some beautiful porches, but a standard height chair puts our eyes inline with the railing not out at the landscape/chickens/ etc. I was thinking of just extending the legs on these 11". What do you think?

Brad334 (not verified)

Wed, 10/10/2012 - 23:52

Could you please put the wood measurements in cm or mm or are they in inches? Not sure but I need to know soon because it's for my project :) please


Sat, 01/12/2013 - 12:14

Thanks for this great article, I wanted to build a few backless stools for a long time and this gave me some great ideas. I just have to find the perfect wood.


Tue, 08/20/2013 - 13:07

I only have the bare essentials, a saw, tape measure, sander, drill, couple of clamps, and the wonder tool, a Kreg Jig. Without the jig there would be no woodworking here. It makes it easy to assemble almost anything. That's why I'm asking to have this chair redesigned so it can be assembled using the Kreg Jig method. Not only would make it easier for beginners to build but it would be better looking too without all the screws visible everywhere.


Thu, 05/29/2014 - 05:16

I've never built anything and I came across your site, fell in love with these chairs and spent a long weekend building two. They are the most comfortable chairs ever. It took my partner and I 4 hours to make two, we love them. I dusted off my sewing machine and made cushion covers, not perfectly but that makes them more ours!!! Thank you it was wonderful fun.


Sun, 05/24/2020 - 23:17

This was a good plan I found the foot print to small for what I needed. Made the middles 24 1/2", added 1 extra 1x4. used all 2x4's no 2x2 had none on hand and did not want to rip a 2x4(lazy day).
Turned out great. Love the plans they give me an idea some days when I need them. Thanks!😁