How to Make A Modern DIY Wooden Chair

by Emma Jeffery

A modern wooden chair can be a thing of beauty, especially when it has been hand-crafted. Take a little extra time to source your own materials and use the Fiskars® DIY Precision Tools to bring it all together. Whether you are looking for the perfect addition to your living room or want a clean chair for your patio, this project will give you the result you're looking for!

How to Make A Modern DIY Wooden Chair

Sleek, functional furniture is making a comeback, and so are hand-crafted pieces. Making a hand-crafted wooden chair can seem daunting, but it can be done! Start with the right tools and materials and you'll soon be on your way to creating a project that will last.

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Tools needed for this wooden chair project:

Materials needed for this wooden chair project:

  • Wooden 14" width planks cut to the lengths listed below. You can ask your local hardware store to pre-cut your wood to these sizes.
  • Seat back – 2ft
  • Back leg/seat – 3ft
  • Lower seat – 1ft
  • Bottom leg panel – 9"
  • 16ft of 1" x 2" planks
  • 10 x 2" wood screws
  • Clear structural wood glue
  • Work bench
  • Clamps
  • Sanding block

Steps for Creating Your Modern DIY Wooden Chair

1. Cut the 1" x 2" rails. Use the saw to cut four lengths of 1" x 2" planks each measuring 40". Sand the cut ends of the wood to remove any rough bits and create a smooth edge.

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2. Drill holes into the side rails, seat back and bottom leg panel. Align one 40" side rail with the top of the 2ft seat back. Leave a 1" gap at the bottom of the seat back, then position the bottom leg panel along the side rail. Clamp both the seat back and bottom leg panel to the side rail. Using the hand drill, drill pilot holes through the side rail and into the seat back and bottom leg panel. Drilling pilot holes helps to prevent any splitting that could occur when inserting the screws into the wood in Step 3.

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3. Attach the side rail to the seat back and bottom leg panel. Remove the clamps and apply wood glue to the side rail. Screw the side rail to the side of the seat back and bottom leg panel using the screwdriver.

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4. Attach side rail to the other side of the seat back and bottom leg panel. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the other side of the seat back and bottom leg panel.

5. Glue finishing side rails to the seat back and bottom leg panel. Take the two remaining 40" side rails and glue them to the sides over the first two side rails. Gluing them will conceal the screws on the finished chair and give extra stability and support.

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6. Cut back cross brace. Measure the distance between the two side rails at the back of the chair. Cut one 1" x 2" length to this measurement and glue to the back of the chair above the 1" opening. This will help stabilize the chair and add extra support.

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7. Glue the 1ft lower seat panel to the back leg/seat. Align the end of the 1ft lower seat panel with the front end of the back leg/seat. Glue the lower seat panel in place.

8. Allow to dry. Following the adhesive manufacturer's directions, clamp all the glued wood in place using woodworking quick clamps and allow to dry and harden for at least 24 hours.

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9. Cut the chair feet. Now that the chair pieces are ready, you can cut your chair legs. Depending on the angle you want your chair to sit at, use the saw to cut through the bottom at a straight line. This will give you a solid base for the two pieces.

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10. Stain. Chose a stain color that matches your aesthetic and again allow to dry fully.

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11. Finishing the wooden chair. Assemble the wooden chair by slotting the back leg/seat panel through the slot in the seat back.

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How Much Do the Materials for This Wooden Chair Project Cost?

Considering how much you can spend on a wooden chair, this project is a steal! I spent about $50 for my materials and would expect to pay at least triple that amount if I were buying this pre-made.

How to Style Your Modern Wooden Chair

Once your wooden chair has been made, you can style it however you like. I have used this both outdoors with a pillow and blanket draped over the side, ready for a cool summer night on the patio, and indoors in my living room. When I added this piece into my living room set up, I created a pillow to match the others in the area so all of the colors and fabric tie together. I added that to the wooden chair to give a little extra comfort and prop it next to a side table for the perfect reading spot.

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