Squared2 Chair

| Print this plan

A stylish modern chair. Large seat, low back.

So what happens when you build one as a proof of concept . . . and you fall in love and want three more?

But in the fast paced world of building and blogging daily that I live in (intended for a giggle at my expense, being that I am still wearing the same comfy sweats I swore I would change out of at 4:34PM, exactly 10 minutes before the Ram gets home) how can I possibly build three more?

Or should this lone beauty be destined for my somewhat modern office?  As perhaps a guest chair for my most frequent visitor (who prefers a pink high chair) or as the coolest printer stand I could ever imagine?

What do you think?  A perfect fit in the printer's spot?  Or enlist the Ram's help to build 3 more?

In orange?

Or in blue?

Now I have a confession.  I made a great mistake of bookmarking PBSkids.org (pronounced peebee eskids dotorg in my household) a while back.  Sometime while I was out in the garage building this chair, my daughter hopped on my computer and started playing peebee eskids dotorg and crashed all my windows.  So you'll have to bear with me - there are a few modifications I would suggest to make your chair both easier to build and stronger.

Warning: As much as I know you are capable, chairs are so easy to mess up.  Two major issues - chairs need to be stronger and chairs are easy to get "off" square.  Don't build this chair (or any chair for the matter) as your first project.

Standard chair seat height. Chair seat is 19" x 19"


Shopping List

1 – 2×2 Board, 8′ Long
1 – 1×2 Board, 8′ Long
1 – 1×4 Board, 10′ Long OR 19″x19″x3/4″ Plywood Panel for seat
1 – 2×4, stud length or 8′ long ( pick one that is straight with minimal knots and lightweight – means it’s drier)
2″ Pocket hole screws
1 1/4″ Pocket hole screws

Cut List

2 – 2×4@36″ (Back Legs)
6 – 2×2 @ 16″ (Seat Back and Aprons)
2 – 2×2 @ 17 1/4″ (Front Legs)
1 – 1×2 @ 16″ (Seat Back Seat Top)
2 – 1×2 @ 6 1/2″
4 – 1×2 @ 5 3/4″
2 – 1×2 @ 6 7/8″
6 – 1×2 @ 3 1/4″
2 – 1×2 @ 3″
4 – 1×2 @ 2 1/2″
5 – 1×4 @ 19″ OR 19″x19″ Plywood seat top

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


Step 1

Back Legs

CAREFULLY cut out your chair legs as shown above. Use either a circular saw or a jigsaw. Sand the legs so that they match each other. Transfer the middle markings around the leg so you know where the seat goes.

Step 2

Build the Seat Back Frame
Build the seat back frame as shown above. Use 2″ pocket hole screws when joining 2x2s and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws when joining 1x2s. Make sure you set your jig accordingly. Use glue.

Step 3


Okay, this part isn’t hard so much that it is tedious and super easy to get off square. A trick that I used was to drill all my pocket holes on the back so filling pocket holes (and sanding) as super easy. If you are staining, you may consider using wood dowels. Anyway, cut out all the pieces and arrange. Drill all the pocket holes and arrange again. Start by screwing together the longer 90s first. Then build all the smaller 90s. Then arrange, mark, and attach the smaller 90s to the inside of the larger 90s. Then add the joining pieces to connect all the square. I promise, this step is quiet easy. Use glue. And yes, the chair back is super strong and looks fine with a 1×2. Looks so good, I must also put plans up for the headboard and more! Oh, yes, CHECK FOR SQUARE before the glue dries! Finally, screw the squares into the back of the chair. Set the back aside.

Step 4

Chair Front

Attach chair front legs to the front apron. Use glue and 2″ pocket hole screws.

Step 5

Step 6

Back Apron

Now the back apron. Keep using 2″ pocket hole screws and glue.

Step 7


If you choose to go the 1×4 route, join all the 1x4s together as shown above with 1 1/4″ pocket holes screws. Then screw the top to the aprons and front legs.

Step 8


Attach the seat to the chair back as shown above. I suggest using bolts, but screws would work too – especially pocket hole screws – but be warned, screws may loosen up over time. Bolts will too, but you can just tighten again.


fishdimple (not verified)

Tue, 10/19/2010 - 23:58

Oh my, I love this chair, we (fiance) and I are going to have to get a move on and start building!

Gwenevere (not verified)

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 00:35

"don't build a chair as a first project" does that rule apply for the step stool and benches too? I'm so worried that I won't square them up right and finished I'll have a "rocking" stool and a "rocking" bench. :)

K (not verified)

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 02:27

hehe... never follows directions that sound like "don't build this for your first project" :)

Bethany (not verified)

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 03:46

I'm so excited! I have been wanting to do this for quite some time now - I just need to quit my job so I can find TIME to satiate my buildies! Thanks for this great plan - it looks amazing, and expensive ;)

Kristen (not verified)

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 04:51

I wondered how you would work around the "back slant" that chairs have when people began requesting chair plans. As usual, you solved the problem--no problem for Ana!

Can I put in a pre-order for your book now???

Ana White (not verified)

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 06:13

Gwenevere, benches and step stools are different because they are lower and boxed in. A chair is easy to get off square because 1) if you slightly mess up cutting your back legs, it will be very difficult to keep the chair square and 2) when you build the seat frame, it's a 3 dimensional object and could get off square so easy ending up with a dreaded wobble. This chair was easy to build and took me only a few hours. Don't be intimidated by chairs, it's just that I'm suggesting you start with something you are more likely to have success with. In other words, it's hard to hide a mistake on a chair. The comment above was not meant to intimidate.

cindy (not verified)

Sat, 03/19/2011 - 02:59

I saw the headboard you have in this style can you tell me how I would cut the queen size bed headboard down to make a full size bed.  

My daughter loves it and her B-day is in 3 weeks. I would love to build this for her . Thanks  Your Great.   

jenny lisk (not verified)

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 11:18

wow Ana, this is AWESOME!!!

I just searched west elm's site and see they have a discontinued metal outdoor table with a glass top...thinking maybe I could copy that idea, in wood...make 6 or 8 chairs to go with...wow!!!

Thanks so much for all you do. It's really inspiring, and helpful!

Loni (not verified)

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 16:43

SO SO SO SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

Can we do these as bar stools?! (ever since you posted the picture a fellow reader did of a daybed with the floating squares, I've been obsessed with that look!)

Kathy (not verified)

Wed, 10/20/2010 - 19:06

Amazing...I am almost finished building a full sized headboard in this style! Great minds think alike! I'm just pouting b/c I'm building it for my boyfriend who wants boring black! ;)

I did do 1 thing differently and wondered if it would compromise the strength of the chair...I mitered the corners if the interior "L" pieces. Would that cause it to be less "strong"?

I can't wait to make 4 of these chairs!

cindy (not verified)

Sat, 03/19/2011 - 03:00

Anna (not verified)

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 12:00

Gosh, this is beautiful. It would look amazing in my loungeroom or my bedroom. unfortunately, i really don't have any space at all to make furniture (not even a garage....). I'll have to keep my ear out for someone in my community who'd be up for making it for me!


Fri, 03/18/2011 - 19:27

I tried to build this chair - I failed miserably, and I'm not a beginner builder... It's just.... BAD. I am going to rip it apart and build the other chair you have that is simpler back - just 2 pieces of wood with 1 inch spacer between them. Gosh, is my chair bad. I just can't express how hard this chair is to build.

calli (not verified)

Thu, 10/06/2011 - 07:29

How cool would this chair back design be to make into a table top for a glass-top coffee table???!!! I understand that the squares are quite difficult to keep in check, but by the looks of the finished product, I'm sure it's so worth it!! If you ever run out of fun planning ideas (which I'm sure you won't), I'd love to see a plan for this design on a table Ana!! :)


Wed, 11/30/2011 - 08:39

I am really wanting to build this chair for my daughter's bedroom along with a twin headboard with the same pattern. I was able to use sketch-up to create the headboard without any issues, but I am struggling with the chair back. I will try to explain the issue, hope it makes sense.... After ripping the back legs and chair back from 2x4s, the top and bottom of the of legs are parallel with the ground(as expected). The issue is that the angle of the back is at approximately 6.5 degrees leaning back from the seat bottom, so I don't see a way to use square 1x2s at the top and the bottom of the design. I would think that top and bottom pieces (6 1/2 and 6 7/8 in step 3) would need to be mitered on the ends to match the slop of the chair back. If anyone has built this chair and can offer their experiences, I would greatly appreciate it. If someone has a sketch-up rendering of the chair, that would be great. email to [email protected]


Matty J (not verified)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 08:00

Just made this chair over the weekend and my wife already requested four more (wow). It really does look great and after a few minor adjustments to strengthen it it feels very sturdy. We're planning on upholstering a cushioned seat for it. I'll post a few pics when it's sanded/painted.

Just a side note, I don't think the shopping list coincides with the cut list. You'll end up needing more 2x2 and 1x2 when it's all said and done.


Fri, 09/07/2012 - 17:09

The detail of the squares adds up to :

6 4/8 + 3 2/8 + 6 7/8 = 15 13/8 = 16 5/8 High

But there's only 14 7/8 high of space to put it in.

The horizontal dimensions are given as

5 3/4 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 5 3/4 = 15 6/4 = 16 1/2 wide.

But there's only 16" of width to fit it in.
Also the gap on the left is given as 2 1/2 but is would be 2 1/4 but even then it wouldn't fit.

I drew parts of it, as seen here : www.steponnopets.net/furniture/ana_white/Overlapping_Squares_Chair_-_Or…

Here's a revised version with a much easier Squares Motif.


Thu, 01/29/2015 - 11:43

I built this chair twice. I made it for my sister for Christmas one year, then she asked for a matched set. It's time consuming but not overly difficult. I made a square out of scrap lumber and screwed it to my work bench. Making sure The measurements were right and making sure it was perfectly square. Then placed the small pieces of the back of the chair together inside, glued and screwed them together. Left it to dry. It worked out quite well. Thought the tip might help others.