How to Build a Super Easy Little Adirondack Chair

Submitted by Ana White on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 13:29
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About Project

So fun, a cute little kids Adirondack Chair! Easy to build and inexpensive, the perfect place to start if you are worried about the angles and cutting stringers for Adirondack Chairs.

Special thanks to Dawn for sharing her photos with us.

I have a confession. I miss seeing brightly colored picnic tables popping up on our Facebook page and on our Flickr Group.  So when I designed this plan, I've got high hopes of seeing lots of color.

Like this much color!  I especially love these colors on the Pottery Barn Kids Adirondack Chairs . . . YES, these are kiddo sized!  You can see the adult sized version here.

And yes, they will fit right on the porch of the playhouse!  I've got two walls done, can't wait to show you pictures.  Each wall costed about $20 (free for me because the plywood fairy dropped a bunk of exterior 3/8" lauan off in my yard!) and took about an hour to build.  Got two to go, some roof rafters, and hopefully we will have a playhouse soon (I wanted to put my roof rafters up before I blog the rest of the plan just to make sure it's easy for you to do!).

And yes, you can easily make this chair bench size by simple adding more back slats and increasing the length of the seat slats and the back supports.  And yes, I will also blog that cute little coffee table so that you can use up your scraps.


If you haven't had a chance to watch this video, I highly recommend taking a second to see how the adult sized chair goes together.  It's the same process for the kid's chair.

For the Kid Sized Chair, overall dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

1 – 1×4, 8′ Length
2 – 1×2, 8′ Length
2 – 1×3, 8′ Length
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
1 1/4″ Screws
2″ Screws

Common Materials
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 – 1×4 @ 25 1/2″ (Stringers)
1 – 1×4 @ 15″ (Front Apron)
5 – 1×2 @ 15″ (Seat Slat, Main)
1 – 1×3 @ 15″ (Seat Slat, Front)
2 – 1×3 @ 13″ (Front Legs)
2 – 1×2 @ 14 1/2″ (Arm Supports)
2 – 1×3 @ 14 1/2″ (Arm Rests)
5 – 1×3 @ 20 3/4″ (Back Slats)
1 – 1×2 @ 13 1/2″ (Back Trim)
1 – 1×4 @ 13 1/2″ (Back Apron)
1 – 1×2 @ 16 1/2″ (Back Support)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
General Instructions

Work on a clean levels surface. Use good straight boards. One outdoor projects such as this one, it’s a good idea to paint your boards first (or invest in a tiny paint brush to get in between the cracks) so sand and give your boards a nice paint job first. Remember, you can click diagrams for larger views. Predrill and countersink all of your screws. I would use a screw pattern like done here so that your screws look nice and even (and you don’t have to finish the chair again after it’s assembled) And be safe and have fun!


Step 1

By simply doubling the number of back slats and increasing the seat width, you can get a bench. On the adult version, you can also create a bench, but you should add a couple of supports that run parallel to the stringers. The kids version won’t need these supports.

Step 2

Mark the front of your stringers as shown in the diagram.

Step 3

Mark the back of your stringers as shown here. Cut the stringers. Once you get a stringer that you are happy with, use it as a pattern for the rest of your stringers.

Step 4

After you cut your stringers, attach the front apron as shown above with 2″ screws and glue. Keep the top edges flush

Step 5

Step 6

Attach the front legs as shown above with 1 1/4″ screws and glue. The front seat board top will be at a height of 10″.

Step 7

First attach your arm supports (the 1x2s in yellow above) to the leg tops using a level and 1 1/4″ screws. Then attach the arm rests as shown above.

Step 8

Build the back as shown above, using 1 1/4″ screws and glue. Leave a 1/4″ gap between the back slats. The middle support board (shown in blue above) will overhang the sides by 1 1/2″ on each side.

Step 9

Position your back into the chair, as shown above. An extra hand would be super helpful at this point. When you are happy with the back’s position, screw with 2″ screws as shown above.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
You may wish to add wood filler to screw holes and apply a touch up coat of paint to you chair. Also, spraying with an exterior varnish or polyurethane will help protect the chair from the elements and would just cost a few dollars and take a few min