Our family does quite a bit of camping…and we spend a lot of summer evenings sitting around bonfires. So I thought making some extra chairs to use for these events would be a good idea. These portable camp chairs are so great because they come apart and can be stored almost anywhere because they’re so thin! They’re also great for keeping in the car – you always have a chair handy for kids soccer games or impromptu trips to the beach!
The chair was fairly quick to put together – but that was with my handy carpenter doing most of the work. We had the whole thing done within a couple hours – that included taking time for step photos…and dealing with little boys. There’s also no sewing involved – I used fabric glue (my kind of project…I’ll leaving the sewing to my mama and Caitlin…).
The directions were a little tricky to write out – hopefully they make sense. I think it’s pretty easy to figure out by looking at a picture of the finished chair. I listed our chair measurements at the end, but of course the chair can be made at any size you’d like. We wanted our chair to be comfortable, but small enough so that it’s easy to pack for camping. We made sure our seat back was high enough though, so that it would be comfortable for tall folks too!
What you need:
- wood (we used reclaimed oak stair treads)
- table saw
- miter saw
- random orbital sander
- tape measure
- pilot bit
- wood glue
- fabric glue
How to do it:
Our seat measurements are listed below the directions. Cut your wood to the width and thickness desired. (Or if you’re buying wood, you can get the wood the thickness you’d like). Plane the pieces (to smooth out the saw marks). Cut wood to the length desired. We cut a 40 degree angle on the ends of the chair back side pieces and a 65(ish) degree angle on ends of the seat side pieces. Sand the pieces. Measure and mark where the screws will go. Drill and countersink holes. Screw the upper cross piece flush with the top of the back of the side pieces. Glue & screw the lower cross piece flush to the front of the side pieces, 5 inches from the bottom leg. Glue & screw the second lower cross piece to the back, flush with the side pieces, leaving a gap an 1/8 of an inch bigger than the seat piece. (We used glue for these two pieces because these are what support the seat – aka – you! Feel free to glue and screw all the pieces for extra support if you want.)
Screw the rear seat cross piece flush with the sides of the seat legs (the seat cross piece needs to be an 1/8″ smaller than the gap between the back side pieces). Screw your seat slats which are the same width as the back to the seat legs.
To make the fabric chair back, measure and cut the fabric to fit across the back, making sure to leave extra to be hemmed. Our fabric measured 24″ x 26.5″. Fold over 1/2″ along the top and glue in place using the liquid stitch. Once dry, repeat that step – folding over the piece you just glued 1/2″ and gluing in place with liquid stitch. Repeat with the bottom edge of the fabric. Once the glue is dry, stretch the fabric tightly across the seat back, fold the edges of the fabric under and nail fabric into place.
Slide the two pieces together and have a seat!
Side Pieces: 38″ x 1 3/8″ x 3/4″
Upper Cross Piece: 16″ x 1 3/8″ x 1/2″
Lower Cross Pieces: 16″ x 2″ x 1/2″
Side Pieces: 24″ x 1 3/8″ x 3/4″
Cross Piece: 14 1/4″ x 1 3/8″ x 1/2″
Seat Slats: 16″ x 1 3/8″ x 1/2″
Here’s to sitting pretty at bonfires & camp outs!