Schoolhouse Chair with Writing Pad Desk

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Plans for schoolhouse chair with writing pad desk.

Hi guys!  Happy weekend!!!  Just seven weeks left until Christmas, are you busy building?  

It's Friday, so you know what that means! Handbuilt Holiday time!

I'm so happy that many of you loved the Modular Stackable Dollhouse that Jaime from That's My Letter and I shared with you last Friday!

Please do share if you build (hashtag #handbuiltholiday2015 and #anawhite) - we love seeing your projects and it inspires us to keep the plans coming! Unless, of course, you are trying to keep your gift building under wraps until after the Holidays!

We hope you love today's plan as much as we do!

It's a vintage schoolhouse chair, made from random 1x and 2x scrap wood!

How adorable is this???  This chair is actually based off this storage chair that I built when my daughter was three!

Like six years ago.  Pre kreg jig!  And the chair is still going as strong as ever!  In fact, I'm planning to repaint it for my son.  You can get the plans for this chair here (or just skip the desk part on this plan) if a schoolhouse chair isn't the perfect solution for your and your family.

Well, enough babbling on, you've got projects to tackle!  Here's what to do -

1. Head over to That's My Letter for lots more photos and building step by step tips.

2. Come back here and download the plans below (if this is the homepage you'll need to click READ MORE below)

3. Build and share, please use hashtags #handbuiltholiday2015 and #anawhite so we can find your projects!

Enjoy the plans!

XO Ana + Friends







Dimensions shown above - suitable for young children


Shopping List

1 - 2x2 @ 10 feet long

1 - 1x4 @ 2 feet long

1 - 1x2 @ 6 feet long

1 - 1x3 @ 4 feet long

1 - 1x12 @ 4 feet long

1 - 6" L bracket

Common Materials
Cut List

2 - 2x2 @ 28-1/4" - back legs

2 - 1x4 @ 10-1/4" - chair back rungs

2 - 1x2 @ 10-1/4" - seat aprons

2 - 1x3 @ 10-1/4" - storage compartment

1 - 2x2 @ 13-1/4" - short front leg

1 - 2x2 @ 19-3/4" - long front leg

2 - 1x2 @ 9 - 3/4" - seat side aprons

2 - 1x3 @ 9-3/4" - storage compartment sides

1 - 1x12 @ 10-3/4" bottom shelf bottom - (can also use 1/2" or 3/4" thick plywood)

1 - 1x12 @ 13-1/4" - seat

1 - 1x2 @ 10-1/4" - seat back spacer

1 - 2x2 @ 18-1/2" - desk support (round front edge)

1 - 1x12 @ 17" - desk




Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Use 3/4" pocket holes to build the back of the chair and the front supports.  Use a 1/4" piece of plywood as a spacer to inset the aprons/supports on the 2x2 legs.  Attach all pieces with glue and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.


SEAT ATTACHEMENT NOTE: For no exposed fasteners when attaching seat, drill 3/4" pocket holes facing upward on inside of aprons.  Just two per apron is fine.


DESK ATTACHMENT NOTE: In step 5, you will attach the desk support piece.  To easily attach to front leg, you can drill a 1-1/2" pocket hole on outside of front leg.  However, this will be very visible and is not recommended for a stained finish, but for a paint finish will work fine.

Step 2

Drill 3/4" pocket holes on ends of aprons and storage compartment sides.  Attach to front and back pieces with glue and 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.  Like back and front, these boards are all inset from outside on the 2x2 legs by 1/4".

NOTE: For no exposed fasteners when attaching seat, drill 3/4" pocket holes facing upward on inside of aprons.  Just two per apron is fine.

Step 3

Notch corners to fit inside legs.  Drill 3/4" pocket holes around the edge of bottom shelf bottom and attach inside 1x3 sides with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.  Can also be nailed and glued in place.


NOTE: If you wish to attach seat from underneath with no exposed fasteners, attach seat before attaching bottom shelf  so that you can fit your drill inside.

Step 4

Glue and nail seat to aprons with 1-1/4" finish nails.

NO EXPOSED FASTERNER METHOD: Drill 3/4" pocket holes on insides of aprons (as instructed in steps 1 and 2)  and attach seat from underneath with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws and glue.

Step 5

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Sat, 11/07/2015 - 08:12

Sorry, I can extrapolate most of it, but what is the width of the arm portion of the desktop? About 3"?


Wed, 01/10/2018 - 07:51

I've built several dining chairs over the past few years, but I fasten everything with solid dowel rods, not the cheapo store bought fluted kind and definitly not pocket screws. I tend to use yellow pine because it's cheap and plenty strong. The part I wouldn't use pine for would be the writing pad itself because of the soft areas between the growth rings. A pencil or pen tip digs in too easy.
I'm really thinking of an adult version to use in my shop although I have a feeling it will end up being more of a sawhorse than desk in the shop, but still fun and useful to have.
I'll bookmark this page and revisit if I get around to building it.