Kids Chair with Storage

kids chair with storage
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Build your own kids chairs with storage.  It's perfect for homeschool or playrooms where each child can have their own chair, with their own supplies stored right in their chair!  Solid wood design is easy to paint or stain.  Simple woodworking project requires no special tools or techniques.  

Kids Chair with Storage Features

  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • About $15 in materials to build each chair
  • Easy to build plan designed for a novice woodworker
  • Uses basic tools
  • Classic style can is beautiful painted or stained
  • Storage compartment is big enough for notebooks and more
  • Works with standard children's tables

DIY Kids Table Plans

We have lots of table plans to pair this chair with.  You can see all the plans here.

Updated Plans

This plan has been updated to be easier to build and lighter weight.  If you would like to access the old plan, they are available here.

kids chair dimensions
13" x 14" x 28 1/4"


Shopping List
  • 13 feet of 1x3 boards (Recommend buying two 8'- 1x3 furring strips and cut the good parts out for the chair and discard the bad sections)
  • 1 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 - 1x12 @ 14"
  • 1/4" plywood minimum 12" x 12"
  • 3/4" and 1-1/4" brad nails
  • 1-1/2" self tapping screws like these
  • Wood glue
  • wood filler, paint or stain
Cut List
  • 4 - 1x3 @ 11" - seat frames
  • 4 - 1x3 @ 12-1/2" - seat frames
  • 1 - 1/4" plywood @ 12-1/2" x 12-1/2" (can be 12" x 12" if you are trying to make the pieces work on a dimensional piece of plywood) - storage bottom
  • 2 - 1x2 @ 28" - back legs
  • 2 - 1x2 @ 13-1/4" - front legs
  • 1- 1x2 @ 12-1/2" - seat back
  • 2 - 1x3 @ 12-1/2" - back slats
  • 1 - 1x12 @ 14" - seat
Cutting Instructions

The best way to cut the pieces for this chair is with a compound miter saw.  You can also use a circular saw.

It may be easier to sand the boards before cutting, especially if there are rough patches.

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


Step 1

Build two frames with 1x3s.  Attach at corners with 1-1/2" self tapping screws, two screws per joint.

Attach 1/4" plywood to bottom of the frame with 3/4" brad nails and glue.

Step 2

Cut back legs in taper if desired, starting the taper at 14" from the bottom of the leg.

Attach the frames to the legs, with the tops of the frames at 13-1/4". 

Use glue and screw at a slight angle from the inside of the frames into the back side of the legs.  Screws at an angle will be stronger, and also since your screws are 1-1/2" long, there is a risk of the screw popping through.  The angle will help with that.

Step 3

Attach back rests with the 1-1/2" self tapping screws.

Then add the seat back with 1-1/4" brad nails and glue.

Step 4

Attach seat with 1-1/4" brad nails and glue.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
For a stained finish, sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Remove sanding residue. Apply stain with a foam brush (disposable) or a paper towel or disposable shop towel (or old socks work too). Screw holes can be filled later with color matched wood filler if needed. Clear coat can be added to protect the wood stain.

For a painted finish, apply wood filler to all holes, overfilling holes. Let the wood filler completely dry. Sand with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum all sanding residue off. Apply primer and paint (or a paint and primer in one). Apply as many coats as necessary to achieve even coverage. We recommend a semigloss for this project.


MamaB (not verified)

Wed, 01/06/2010 - 10:10

This is such a cute chair and I can't wait to make it, but I'm wondering.. is this too advanced for a first time project?

Sabra (not verified)

Wed, 01/06/2010 - 18:45

holy holy holy! just found you and you are a genius! my jaw has been hanging open through 5 pages of your posts. Now to just get my husband on board with helping me make some of this stuff. I can't believe you just offer these plans up for free! !!!! thought I should add a few more because I'm just that excited :)

also, your post on the jeans in your dryer? loved it.

jharmonfamilyblogs (not verified)

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 09:26

I love this chair! Would you be able to give me some tips on how I might modify it to have the storage part enclosed and have the seat hinged? I am not a carpentar by any means, but I think that I might be able to attempt this.

Ana White (not verified)

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:10

You are such a mind reader! That is exactly what I was thinking as I was building this chair . . . the seat should be hinged and the storage compartment enclosed Just use a larger board width for the apron pieces, probably a 1x6 or 1x8(you don't want the chair to become too heavy) instead of the 1x2. Forget about the existing storage compartment. Then use a 1x10 for the bottom of the compartment. Then put hinges on the 1x12 where it meets the 1x2 back top piece, so the 1x12 folds up.

I could work up some plans, but it will be a while . . . very backlogged with requests.

Ana White (not verified)

Sun, 01/10/2010 - 09:33

Mandy, of course you can make barstools, but the higher you go, the more you have to worry about structure. I would like to try to build a barstool myself before posting plans. Chairs look easy, but the only thing easy about build them is cutting the boards.

That said, I'm looking at our cheap barstools that I bought years before I became a carpenter, and they are esentially the same design, without backs, and they are still working fine.

Marija (not verified)

Tue, 01/19/2010 - 02:19

I'm so happy and pleased to see these chairs and most of all, the instructions for measures and process of making it :)

I hope one day I'll make these chairs come true, they're incredible.
Imaginative, practical and don't look complicated :)

Thank you!
Marija (Zagreb,Croatia)

Jay (not verified)

Thu, 02/11/2010 - 12:45

I love your blog. I know this is a relatively old post but i was wondering... what is the name of the paint you used on the pink chair? Its perfect! Did you put a finish on top of the paint or just paint it and let it dry?

thank you!

Sara Jayne (not verified)

Mon, 03/15/2010 - 09:00

We built this chair yesterday and gave it a little added flair. We chamfered the top of the back legs, and the tops and bottoms of the back rails and the edges of the seat (cut it at a 45 degree). We thought that it made it more kid friendly, saved lots of sanding time and gives it a very cute, different look. We still have to fill holes, sand and paint, but will be sure to send pics.

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 16:49

I love your site. I was in the middle of making my own plans for a PB Cameron cubby when I found your site. This will save me lots of time!! Do you have plans for the rectangle kids table I see in one of the pictures?

Anonymous (not verified)

Wed, 03/24/2010 - 16:50

I love your site. I was in the middle of making my own plans for a PB Cameron cubby when I found your site. This will save me lots of time!! Do you have plans for the rectangle kids table I see in one of the pictures?

Kristen McCourtie (not verified)

Mon, 04/05/2010 - 15:42

I love love love this site - Ive been looking through it for hours - choosing the projects for my new (first) house.
I really really need bar stools - and because this is my first project - I would to be able to work off a plan - I know you havnt done these yet - so Ill hold off until you do! Im searching the rest of the net for something similar - with no luck. I just want it to be plain wooden square stools with no backs so when pushed together -they could make a bench.
Any ideas??
Your newest fan!!

the letter "J" (not verified)

Tue, 06/15/2010 - 10:12

so I may be blind, but I could only see a "cut list" and not a "buy list" did I some how miss it?? I'm starting a preschool and am building these and one of the table on here....I'm soooo excited!!

The Sanchez Family (not verified)

Sun, 08/22/2010 - 05:18

I too am wondering if you have the plans for a kids table to go with the chairs. Also some advice on painting. Do you put a top coat on it or just staight paint....glossy paint? This is an AWESOME blog!

Melanie (not verified)

Tue, 08/31/2010 - 17:22

I love your website! And I love this chair! I wonder how hard it would be to make it into a one piece school desk?!

Elena (not verified)

Sat, 12/18/2010 - 04:39

Wow! Ana! I know many people told you how great you are. I just stumbled on your website and I am absolutely inspired! Thank you so much for sharing. I will try to make a chair for my 1 year old daughter. I am stay at home mom also! Oh, Ana! You are really genius!

Project Time! … (not verified)

Sun, 01/02/2011 - 18:30

[...] I used Ana White’s plans for the Four-dollar Stacking Kids’ Chair. Since I built the chairs in my living room and needed to transport them to my parents’ house, I thought the stacking chairs were the way to go. I also love the storage chairs! [...]


Wed, 04/13/2011 - 12:50

I did a pair of these chairs and am so happy they went together so easily. N ow if I can figure out how to attach pics I'll be 100% finished! One of them I did a chalkboard paint on the seat. The kids will write all over the chair anyway.

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 04/23/2011 - 16:03

I am trying to build this chair and notice that in the cut list 1x2 is mentioned. It is not included in the shopping list. Am I missing something? Please help. TIA


Tue, 06/10/2014 - 18:19

Looks like a nice sturdy chair. But I have a couple questions. I don't see a 1x2 on the Shopping List, and I'm a little confused on how the side aprons are attached to the front legs. You said to use 2 screws per leg and 1 screw per apron. Do I simply screw from the outside of the leg into the apron towards the top for one screw, and towards the bottom for the other?


Fri, 08/21/2015 - 09:00

FYI.... Your "Shopping List" failed to mention the 1x2 board. But the pieces are accounted for in the "Cut List".


Tue, 08/25/2015 - 08:03

Ana.... Love the chair plans, but the assembly Step 9 & Step 10 use the same picture, and Step 9 is supposed to show the attachment of the storage tray. I don't see a location dimension for the storage tray anywhere. Any help ?


Sat, 06/18/2016 - 17:38

I'm in the process of building our homeschool "one room schoolhouse". I'm trying to figure out what kind of chairs to make. I have a 10 year old who's almost 5ft tall, a 7 year old, and a 5 year old. Are these like, toddler size chairs, or would they work for my boys? 


Fri, 07/08/2016 - 13:06

Where can you find the 1x12x14? I tried looking online at my local lowes and home depot and it doesn't seem like they carry this board?? PLEASE HELP ASAP as I am planning to build this chair tomorrow. THANKS IN ADVANCE