Four Dollar Stackable Children’s Chairs

Submitted by Ana White on Sun, 11/07/2010 - 19:43
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Stackable economical lightweight children's chairs.

Now that I've designed quite a few adult chairs (for example, this squared chair, plans here), thought I would take some time to work on a childrens design.  Specifically, one that met these requirements:

1.  Under $5 a chair

2. Stackable

3.  Super easy to build

4. Lightweight enough for my 18 month old niece to carry

5. But still sturdy enough for me to sit on.

And after a couple of prototypes and some redesigning in the garage, I think we've found our winner.

And yes, they do stack.  Not sure exactly at what point the chairs would tip forward, but at least four high would work.

And because we went with a slatted seat, this chair would also work well outdoors if finished appropriately.

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

2 – 1x3s, 8′ long (Furring strips were used for my chair, about $1.50 each)
1 – 1×2, 8′ long (furring strips again, $1 a stick)
1 1/4″ screws
2″ screws OR 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws for pocket holes
wood glue
finishing supplies

Cut List

3 – 1×3 @ 11″ (Front and Side Aprons)
2 – 1×3 @ 11 3/4″ (Side Supports)
2 – 1×2 @ 13 1/4″ (Front Legs)
8 – 1×3 @ 12 1/2″ (Seat Slats and Back Slats)
2 – 1×2 @ 26″ (Back Legs)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set


Step 1

Side Supports

Predrill holes and screw the side supports to the front aprons. I built mine with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws, but you could also use 2″ screws. Use glue.

Step 2

Front Legs

Now just screw the legs to the front apron and supports. Use 1 1/4″ screws to screw into the side supports.

Step 3

Side Aprons

Now simply add the side aprons with glue and 1 1/4″ screws.

Step 4

Back Apron

Back apron is the same length as the seat slats. Just attach the back apron with 2″ screws and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Back Slats

Predrill and attach the back slats to the back legs. I spaced mine 1 1/2″ apart. For a different look, you can cut an arch shape out or use three 1x2s for back slats.

Step 7

Seat Slats

Predrill two holes in both ends of each seat slat. Then screw the seat slats to the chair frame, with 1/8″ gap (evenly spaced between all seat slats) between seat slats. Use glue.


Kristy (not verified)

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 04:52

I LOVE these!!! I'm adding them to my ever-growing list of Ana White design projects! My 2-year old is definitely getting these for Christmas. Thank you! :)

duane bergstrom (not verified)

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 05:23

I'm not sure that only using screws to hold the back to the seat is good enough. Eventually the seat will give and someone will get hurt.Pretty looking though.

Michelle (not verified)

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 09:00

Dang, I've still got to get my modern bookshelf sanded & painted, and the modern desk built & painted (pieces are all cut out) before I make these for my kids...I better get a move-on!!!

Amanda H. (not verified)

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 13:51

I think these will be my first build. I have a bunch of other plans that I would like to try, but I think these would be a good jumping off point. Plus I can knock out some Christmas presents while I'm at it! Yay!

lindsey (not verified)

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 15:09

love these, can't wait to sell our house so that we have room for me to build these.

Ashley (not verified)

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 16:24

So cute! Is there a plan for a doll chair like that? Also, I thought I saw a plan for a doll bed for the American Girl dolls. Can you tell me where that is?

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