Though dining chairs may seem like an intimidating project to build, they are, in fact, very easy to construct. This particular chair is my favorite design by far, and I think I’ve finally perfected it! This chair features single piece back legs cut from 2x4s and a pretty wood appliqué attached to the upper back. I painted this chair a bright teal color but it can be painted or stained however desired!
1-1/4” pocket hole screws
Sandpaper (100, 150, 220 grits)
Finishing supplies (primer & paint, or stain, sealer)
1 – 1×3 at 8’
1 – scrap piece of 1×6 at 15”
1 – 2×2 at 4’
1 – 2×4 at 8’
1 – 2’ x 2’ sheet of ¾” plywood
2 – 2×4 at 42-3/4” – Back Legs
1 – 1×6 at 15” – Upper Back
3 – 1×3 at 15” – Upper Back & Lower Stretcher
2 – 2×2 at 17-1/4” – Front Legs
1 – 1×3 at 15” – Front Stretcher
2 – 1×3 at 15” – Side Framing
1 – 1×3 at 15” – Seat Support
1 – ¾” plywood at 18” x 18” – Seat
Cut the 2×4 pieces for the back legs to length. Draw a line across the board at 18” up from the bottom. Draw a line 1-1/2” from one outside edge of the board (on the line drawn at 18”) straight down to the bottom. Make a mark at the top edge of the board 1-1/2” from the opposite side. Draw a diagonal line from the top mark (the 1-1/2” mark) down the board to the opposite end of the line drawn at 18” across the board. Draw another line from the top corner of the board to the 1-1/2” mark along the line at 18”.
Cut the legs from the 2×4 boards using a jigsaw or a bandsaw.
Stack the legs and clamp them together, then thoroughly sand.
Cut the pieces for the upper back. Set the pocket hole jig for ¾” material and drill pocket holes in each end of each piece. Secure the 1×6 flush with the top edge of the legs using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws. The front face of each of the upper back pieces will be flush with the front face of the back legs, following the angle.
Secure two of the remaining 1×3 pieces in the following manner, spacing the pieces 2-1/2” apart.
Secure the last back piece to the legs using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws. This time, the pocket holes will face forward and the back face of the piece will be flush with the front face of the legs.
Cut the pieces for the front. Drill pocket holes in each end of the 1×3 piece. Secure the 1×3 piece to the legs using glue and 1-1/4”
pocket hole screws. The back face of the 1×3 piece will be flush with the inside face of the legs.
Cut the pieces for the sides and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the sides to the front and back legs using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws. The back face of the side pieces will be flush with the inside face of the legs.
Cut the piece for the seat support and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the seat support to the front and the back 1×3 pieces using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws.
Cut the piece for the seat. If using edge banding to cover the exposed edges of the plywood, it will be applied prior to securing the seat to the chair frame. The seat can also be pieced together using smaller boards and pocket holes with pocket screws.
Cut the notches in the seat using a jigsaw, then secure the seat to the frame using glue and 1-3/4” brad nails.
Secure the wood appliqué to the upper back using glue and 5/8” brad nails. When driving the brad nails, position them so they are in a recess of the appliqué. For example, the brad nails will be less noticeable if they are placed between the leaves or petals of the flowers.
Finish the chair as desired!