DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair

DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
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!
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
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…).
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
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!
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
What you need:

  • wood (we used reclaimed oak stair treads)
  • table saw
  • planer
  • miter saw
  • random orbital sander
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • drill
  • countersink
  • pilot bit
  • screws
  • wood glue
  • fabric
  • scissors
  • fabric glue
  • nails

DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
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!

Chair Measurements
Chair Back:
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″
Chair Seat:
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″
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought
DIY Wooden Camp/Beach Chair @themerrythought

Here’s to sitting pretty at bonfires & camp outs!


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  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 2:19 pm

    Karen | Char Co. - Wow. Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 2:53 pm

    Courtney - Love it! I love how it folds up.

    Great job as always!

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 9:24 am

    Foxtail Moss - I desperately wish I had the power tools to make this. Lovely!

    -Claire from FOXTAIL + MOSS

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 10:41 am

    Tracie - Wondering if you could make the fabric back like a pillowcase so that it could just be slipped over the back brace and be removed easily for cleaning.ReplyCancel

  • Thursday, June 26, 2014 - 10:45 pm

    Sofia - You guys & your amazing DIY’s…ReplyCancel

  • Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 12:41 am

    Colleen Pastoor - I love the fabric you chose! I’m going to start setting aside scrap wood as we reno to make a couple of these! I might try to make some mini ones for the littles too.ReplyCancel

  • Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 9:02 am

    sonia - adorei a cadeiraReplyCancel

  • Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 7:59 pm

    markjamesdesign - if you extend your legs out do you tip forward? I find with chairs like theses that have shorter seats- ie the legs dont extend far enough back, they tend to tip forward . Which just means you have to sit with your kneees closer to your chest.ReplyCancel

    • Friday, April 10, 2015 - 9:55 am

      Manda - I just pulled our chair out and sat down and extended my legs and I didn’t tip forward at all. Extending my legs actually makes me recline back more, so there’s less weight on the front of the chair. You really only tip forward when you lean forward, so maybe while standing up you may find the chair tips forward. But no tipping while legs were extended! :)ReplyCancel

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