This post shares my modern outdoor kids chairs tutorial, including free printable build plans. These chairs are easy to make and look like something bought in a store for a lot more than I spent on lumber.
Modern Outdoor Kids Chairs Tutorial
Hey all, if you caught my modern outdoor kids table build last week, you probably noticed the adorable chairs as well. I said I had some plans coming out for those, and they’re here!
I’m partnering with Anika from Anika’s DIY Life again to bring you the rest of this project. I’m sharing the pics and a video over here, and Anika’s got the printable PDF plans for you over on her website. They are linked at the end of this post.
HERE’S A VIDEO OF THE ENTIRE BUILD PROCESS:
HERE’S WHAT I USED:
- Lumber (**see plans linked at the end of this post for a detailed cut list!)
- KregJig K4 pocket hole system
- Wood glue
- Orbital sander
- Wood filler
- Bar clamps
- Miter saw
- Outdoor stain and sealer
And here is my modern outdoor kids chairs tutorial, including free printable build plans listed at the end!
Step 1: Measure and cut pieces, drill pocket holes
So at first my plan was to do two storage levels: one for a little containers that we’re beginning to collect stickers in, and one for a fabric storage cube to match the desk. Once I got this together with clamps to eyeball it, I decided to run with it. So I drilled pocket holes (placement in a bit) and assembled everything.
However, once I got it assembled and brought it upstairs, I realized that it would be too high for Ramona’s current height. I measured, but I kind of suck at visualizing things and understanding how everything is going to go together. Alas, I wasn’t about to lose this project, so I decided to run with just one storage spot. Let’s pick up there.
Step 1: Build each set of legs
For the first step, I built a set of legs. Each of the legs is angled with one angled apron attaching two legs. These are the sides of each chair’s base.
Since I wanted the aprons to be flush with the edge of the leg, I used a piece of wood to prop it up and make up the difference. You can see that in the pics below. I attached these using clamps and a strong grip. Yes, I know I need to invest in clamps that can handle angles like these!
Step 2: Add the remaining two aprons to one set of legs
Next I took one set of legs and attached the remaining two aprons like so. This was a bit easier since right angles were the only thing involved.
Step 3: Complete the base
I added the second set of legs to complete the base. Since the wood can be a bit wonky, I used bar clamps to line everything up and hold it in place while I drove pocket hole screws through the pocket holes.
For more kids projects, check out my dollhouse bookcase build, my modern kids table and chairs, Ramona’s big girl bed, my DIY water play table, and Ramona’s nursery! And don’t miss this outdoor sandbox!
Step 4: Attach base to seat
Base complete! All legs and aprons are assembled. Next I attached the base to the seat piece. To do this, I flipped the seat piece upside down (the side you want facing the ground should be facing up here) and lined the base up on the seat.
Next I clamped it in place so the base wouldn’t move as I drove pocket hole screws down through the pocket holes to attach the base to the seat.
Step 5: Fill pocket holes, sand, and finish
I filled only the pocket holes that were visible using wood filler. I really hate filling pocket holes, so I try to hide them most of the time. But it was impossible for this build.
Step 6: Hold up!
Where’d that little back come from? Yes! After I finished each of the little stools, including filling the pocket holes, sanding them, and finishing off the chairs with an opaque outdoor stain, I decided I wasn’t done. (I used the same opaque outdoor stain as I used on Ramona’s water play table build and the modern trellis I made.)
The stools were cute, but I decided I wanted to make them chairs using two little pieces of scrap wood as backs. This was also inspired by all of the cute Land of Nod and Viv + Rae chairs. Just enough to help my daughter get on and off the chair and provide a bit of back support while she’s sitting on it. (Read: help keep her from falling off.)
I attached each small back using pocket holes, and then I filled those pocket holes, sanded everything, and painted the little backs to match. Here’s what these little chairs look like with and without the back:
And here are the adorable chairs with the table. How cute do they look? Ramona immediately climbed up on them and started banging toys on the table top. I guess it’s a good thing this outdoor sealer is so good.
And of course there is an adorable sequence I captured of her climbing up, pantsless (duh), and hopping on the chair. My little angel. 🙂
Want to make this? Head on over to Anika’s post to download the free printable plans! Enjoy!