Simple Modern Outdoor Chair

modern wood outdoor chair
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Stylish modern wood outdoor chairs in a compact footprint!  Reclined seat and back for comfort, wide armrests.  Fits a standard size chair pad.  These chairs are smaller in size, more of the size of a dining chair, not oversized like a living room chair.


This plan has been updated, the original plans are still available here.

diy wood slat chair plans


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modern outdoor chair

Wood chair outdoor dimensions
Lounge chair size, seat height is 13" when finished (good for a cushion on top). NOT suitable as shown for a dining room chair, seat height needs to be increased by increasing leg length by 2" and moving seat supports upward by 2".


Shopping List
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 10 feet long
  • 2 - 1x4 @ 10 feet long
  • 36 - 2-1/2" pocket hole screws for exterior use (can be used as the "longer screws" in this plan)
  • 40 - self tapping (star bit) exterior screws, length at least 1-1/2" long (used for attaching the back and seat slats to the frame, referred to as shorter screws in plans)
Cut List
  • 4 - 2x4 @ 20-1/2" (for use with a dining table, cut at 24") - legs
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 27-3/4" - arm rests
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 24-3/4" - side supports
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 20-1/2" - front/back aprons
  • 3 - 2x2 @ 20-1/2" - seat supports
  • 5 - 1x4 @ 25-1/2" - back slats
  • 5 - 1x4 @ 20" - seat slats

Cut the longest boards first to make sure you get all your cuts out of the boards called for in the shopping list


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


Step 1

Build the arms using the longer screws (or Kreg Jig on the 1-1/2" setting with 2-1/2" exterior pocket hole screws).  The two legs are built identical.

Step 2

Drill two 1-1/2" pocket holes on each end of all the boards in this step, and attach with 2-1/2" exterior pocket hole screws.

Step 3

Attach the 2x2 seat cleat with pocket hole screws inside the chair frame, place screws on bottom or sides (NOT top to prevent water pooling inside the pocket hole)

Step 4

Lay out the chair back and attach to the chair back base with the shorter screws.

Step 5

Set the chair back inside the chair, leaving a small gap for water drainage from the seat base 2x2.  Attach with the longer screws to the arms.

Step 6

Lay the seat slats inside the chair and attach with the shorter screws, two screws per joint, with 1/2" spacing in between.

Project Type


Rachel (not verified)

Wed, 05/12/2010 - 16:03

Ana! Just wanted to let you know i finished construction of chair #1! First off, I've never built anything like this in my life and let me tell you .... Its fabulous! Super comfy, cute and incredibly sturdy. I'm going to build a second one and (hopefully) the love seat (post plans, pretty please!) Once i get my chairs stained and buy cushions, I'll send a picture your way! Thanks for all your plans - everything fit perfectly and I love this crazy feeling of accomplishment :)

Jennifer (not verified)

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 18:43

Ana, could this chair plan (loveseat size) be used to do a porch swing? I'm about to build a small arbor and am dying to hang a porch swing underneath. It seems like this loveseat sized plan would be "almost" perfect for that... Right?

Ana White (not verified)

Sun, 05/16/2010 - 19:01

Jennifer, I don't see why it wouldn't work, just make sure you reinforce where you choose to hang the loveseat. Let me know how it turns out!

Jennifer (not verified)

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 05:53

I can't wait to see a loveseat size!

I love your plans and can't wait to get started building these chairs and the simple modern table/benches for my backyard area!


Valerie (not verified)

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 09:47

Has anyone who made this posted pictures? I'd like to see! And especially how it looks with the cushions. Thanks!

Mallory (not verified)

Mon, 05/17/2010 - 18:05

I am making two of these chairs this weekend! I am so excited! This will be my first project - I can't wait to post pictures!

Brandon (not verified)

Wed, 05/19/2010 - 19:04

Great chair. Done with the single but would like to do a sectional in this style. Any chance we can see some plans, specifically on how to construct the corner (or L) piece?
Great site.

Hilary (not verified)

Thu, 06/03/2010 - 11:33

I made this chair over the past few days. I absolutely love it. The only issue that I had was laying the slats for the seat and the back. I started screwing down the seat and realized that I had too much space for only 1/2" in between. My upper and lower slats don't quite match up. But a cushion on the chair, and no one will ever know! Just make sure you lay them out first and measure. I haven't built anything from scratch since I was 15, I forgot how much I loved it. Thank you Anna! I posted a picture in the brag section under hilarychad. Would love comments and suggestions!

4-H Mom (not verified)

Sun, 07/18/2010 - 17:55

My son and husband are making this chair for his 4-H project this year. It is perfect for them! :) We are using pressure treated wood and am wondering what kind of sealant or stain we should use on the pressure treated wood? Thank you so much for the awesome plans! Maybe they will add to the collection next year! :)

manielynn (not verified)

Wed, 08/11/2010 - 13:48

This was my first knock-off project. I built it today with help from my brother and SIL. LOVE IT!!!! When it was finished, I told my SIL that I need a shirt that says "Ana is my hero"

wells angel momma (not verified)

Mon, 08/16/2010 - 13:34

I have been waiting for something like this on here but I need it in more of a sofa size for a porch swing that would hang from the roof of our porch! Please, please, please post some of the other ideas for a love seat or a sofa I would love you forever!!! Looking forward to more! I love your site!

Bradford (not verified)

Fri, 12/31/2010 - 05:01

I'd like to use a Kreg jig for the face screws on the arms and legs. Would two 1-1/4" screws be sufficient for the arm to leg joint? How about three 1-1/4" ones for the front leg to chair bottom joint?

Ben Tanner (not verified)

Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:08

Hi, I'm new to this site, and was considering building these chairs. I was wondering how comfortable these chairs would be without the cushion. Can anyone comment on that? I just wasnt sure if they were designed specifically with the cushion in mind. Also, I saw several comments about the love seat, but could not find the plans. Will there be any? Thanks so much.

Guest (not verified)

Sat, 04/30/2011 - 07:27

Thank you for posting this! IT is so awesome, we can't wait to build these today. We'll post pics when we're done!!! THank you, thank you!

Guest (not verified)

Sun, 12/18/2011 - 11:03

I am interested to know if these chairs can support someone over 200 pounds or should I modify wood to accomodate more weight?

LB_Building (not verified)

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 17:57

So, we did something wrong but I can't figure out what! On step 6 where you assemble the "seat supports" it says that the right has to be flush with the inside of the leg and the left flush with the outside of the leg. I can't imagine it would be one on one side and one on the other. But the "seat supports" seem too thick to match the width of the frame. The back doesn't fit now (We'll just trim it) but would like to fix it for the next one.


MacTFL (not verified)

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 14:11

What do you think? Our new house (new to us) has some beautiful porches, but a standard height chair puts our eyes inline with the railing not out at the landscape/chickens/ etc. I was thinking of just extending the legs on these 11". What do you think?

Brad334 (not verified)

Wed, 10/10/2012 - 23:52

Could you please put the wood measurements in cm or mm or are they in inches? Not sure but I need to know soon because it's for my project :) please


Tue, 08/20/2013 - 13:07

I only have the bare essentials, a saw, tape measure, sander, drill, couple of clamps, and the wonder tool, a Kreg Jig. Without the jig there would be no woodworking here. It makes it easy to assemble almost anything. That's why I'm asking to have this chair redesigned so it can be assembled using the Kreg Jig method. Not only would make it easier for beginners to build but it would be better looking too without all the screws visible everywhere.


Thu, 05/29/2014 - 05:16

I've never built anything and I came across your site, fell in love with these chairs and spent a long weekend building two. They are the most comfortable chairs ever. It took my partner and I 4 hours to make two, we love them. I dusted off my sewing machine and made cushion covers, not perfectly but that makes them more ours!!! Thank you it was wonderful fun.


Sun, 05/24/2020 - 23:17

This was a good plan I found the foot print to small for what I needed. Made the middles 24 1/2", added 1 extra 1x4. used all 2x4's no 2x2 had none on hand and did not want to rip a 2x4(lazy day).
Turned out great. Love the plans they give me an idea some days when I need them. Thanks!😁


Fri, 04/02/2021 - 08:46

This plan looks great, and I'm looking forward to making these with my son. Confused by a couple things, and wondering if I need clarification or if the plans/parts need updating.

There are pieces of 2x2 referenced in the cut list, but 2x2 isn't mentioned in the parts list. I'd suggest the addition of (1) 2x2 @ 6 feet long to the parts list to save people from multiple trips to the lumber yard.

Additionally (as the previous commenter mentioned), there's reference to a piece of 2x holding up the slats while you attach them to the frame, but it surprised me not to see something joining all the slats near the top as well. It's not indicated in the Sketchup drawings or in the instructions, but you can see a piece in the picture. Adding this step to the plans and illustrations would be very helpful.

The photograph is beautiful, but it looks to be an older version of this chair as the arms and legs look like 1x. It would be great to have a picture of the chair using these current plans, as they say: a picture is worth a thousand words!

And finally, if it is possible to include new photos-- showing the chair from multiple angles would be very helpful. In particular, it's hard to appreciate the angle of the back rest, which is an important detail.

I think I should be able to make all these adjustments myself, but mention them so that each new builder doesn't have to figure all this out for him/herself.

thanks again!



Sat, 07/17/2021 - 05:41

I am building the outdoor patio set. Construction of the table and bench went fine; however, I think there is an error on the plan for the chair. For use with the table the instruction say to make the legs 24" long yet the plans show the seat supports still 8 3/4" off the ground. To me it would make sense to raise the seat up to the bench height of 18". I followed the plans and now am wondering if I should fix this. This is obviously too low to sit at the table comfortably. The photo of the entire set seems to show the chairs much higher.