How to Build a Patio Chair

The ultimate easy chair: Easy to build, easy to tote, easy to set up and store.

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A full day






Whether you're staking out a curbside spot for watching a parade, heading to the woods for a weekend or simply trying to catch a few rays, you'll love the portability and comfort of this chair. Interlocking legs and gravity keep the two sections together when in use. And when it's time to pull up stakes, the seat section tucks neatly inside the back. A handle cutout in the top slat makes for easy carrying and storing too.

Tools Required

  • Belt sander
  • Carpenter's square
  • Combination square
  • Drill/driver - cordless
  • File
  • Jigsaw
  • Phillips bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Table saw

Materials Required

  • 1/8-in. x 24-in. x 48-in. Hardboard (for templates)
  • 1x6 x 8 ft. cedar boards (2)
  • 2-in. galvanized screws
  • 2x6 x 8 ft. cedar boards (2)
  • Thompson's Water Seal finish (1 pint)
  • Wood glue

We made our chair from cedar because it’s lightweight, but you could use cypress, fir, treated or other decay-resistant woods. We didn’t want knots weakening the legs or seat, so we spent about $75 for knot-free “D-grade” cedar.

Family Handyman

Project step-by-step (9)

Step 1

Measure and Mark

  • Mark one-inch increments on both ends and one side of the hardboard.
  • Draw grid lines using a combination square, straight edge and fine-point permanent marker.

Measure and Mark chair templateFamily Handyman

Step 2

Develop the Pattern

  • Transfer the points to your hardboard grid where the shape intersects the grid lines in the drawing.

Develop the chair patternFamily Handyman