Simple Stackable Outdoor Chairs

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 04/18/2010 - 22:17
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These simple chairs stack! And match our Simple Modern Outdoor Collection. Build a few to match the tables, or just extra seating for outdoors.

I get it. You want to be outside, you want not just Vitamin DIY, you want your Vitamin D! And up here in Alaska, it’s a little more challenging to get in the summer mode when the snow keeps changing it’s mind. But after today, a perfect spring day with dripping snow and clear bright sunshine, I’m feeling like it’s time to build some outdoor furniture.

I especially love West Elm’s Wood Slat Collection. Clean and simple lines means simple to build, and will be a nice visual relief when contrasted with the organic softness of your beautiful flowers and plants.

Yes, these chairs are stackable. And yes, you can build, quite easily. But I’m gonna warn ya, cutting chair legs can be, well, less than fun, especially if you’ve got a stack of chair legs to cut. But much less painful than say paying $150 a chair . . . especially if you are say buying a stack of 4 . . . yikes, $600!

I’ve got one of these chairs waiting for paint, can’t wait to share photos. You probably will beat me too it! Here’s the plan.

Overall Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2 – 1×4 Boards, 8′ Long
1 – 2×2 Board, 8′ Long
1 – 2×4 Board, 8′ Long
1 – 1×3 Board, 8′ Long
2″ Screws
2 1/2″ Screws
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
Paint suitable for exterior applications

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 – 2×4 @ 30″, Chair Backs cut from these boards (see step 1 if you are making multiple chairs)
2 – 2×2 @ 19 1/2″ (Chair Back Supports)
2 – 2×2 @ 18″ (Chair Front Legs)
2 – 1×3 @ 17 1/2″ (Side Aprons)
1 – 1×3 @ 16 1/2″ (Front Apron)
1 – 1×3 @ 18″ (Back Apron)
5 – 1×4 @ 19″ (Seat Boards)
5 – 1×4 @ 15″ (Back Boards)

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

Work on a clean level surface. Check for square after each step. Use proper safety equipment and precautions. Predrill and countersink you screw holes. Use glue.


Step 1

Chair Back Legs. From the 2×4, mark out your chair back legs. Keep in mind that the back legs will be 1 1/2″ wide everywhere, and one leg takes up the entire 2×4. If you are building multiple chairs, it may make sense to use a 2×6 as shown above on the right to get more legs per less board and cuts.

Step 2

Chair Backs. Build the chair back as shown above. Fasten with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 3

Chair Seat and Front Legs. Build the aprons and front legs as shown above. Start on the back apron and work your way forward. If you have a Kreg Jig™, it would come in super handy here, or else you can just use screws and glue, 2″ screws.

Step 4

Chair Frame Assembly. Using a level on the side apron, attach the front of the chair to the back, as shown above, using 2″ screws and glue. You may wish to complete step 5, the seat boards first, but the above diagram illustrates how the chair is assembled.

Step 5

Step 6

Back Boards. As you did the seat boards, fasten the back boards to the back supports, as shown above.

Step 7

Finishing. Fill any holes with wood filler and sand and finish as desired.

Project Type


Jamie (not verified)

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 03:19

Wouldn't you use the 2x6 whether you were making one chair or many? You still need to cut two back legs.Just a thought...

Baker Family (not verified)

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 03:33

I just found your blog last night, and I am hooked! Thanks for the amazing ideas! I am your newest follower!

Mrs. G (not verified)

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 04:20

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for posting a chair plan!! I'm planning on not using slats and upholstering the top and bottoms for dining room chairs! I'm ecstatic!!!!

Chantelle - Th… (not verified)

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 05:37

Yup, I think the shopping list needs tweaking - according to the cut list, you should have 2x4, 2x2, 1x3, 1x4 and the shopping list lists 1x4, 2x2, 2x3. However, I still think the plan is fantastic and will certainly be enhanced with some seat pads! Can you imagine a patio with these chairs, some bright chair pads and the wonderful outdoor table you also designed??!!

Ana White (not verified)

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 06:27

Thanks guys, all fixed! I guess this is what happens when you are working with a kiddo on your lap way after bed time. Anyone else have a little one that will not go to bed without you?

Linda (not verified)

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 06:38

lol! yes mine is 12 but I think that's the age when they finally stop needing you for bedtime. My 17 yr old proved that HAAA Thanks for your chair idea! It's wonderful to have wood here in the windy city and to stack things so they dont blow away!

Michelle L. (not verified)

Mon, 04/19/2010 - 09:35

looks wonderful! how about a matching recliner/lounge chair for those that want to get a little more relaxed outside? That would be awesome! :)

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