Cheap and easy to make: build a stylish chair for your patio

Build your own patio furniture: a DIY chair made of light-coloured wood stands next to a small white table on a patio. Trees are visible in the background.
A stylish DIY chair is the perfect addition to your patio

  • Difficulty
  • Cost
    < 50 £
  • Duration
    1-3 h


Do you want to build your own patio furniture? Then this DIY project is perfect for you. The chair only consists of two boards which are slotted into each other. So there's no need for any drilling. It's comfy, affordable and space-efficient. And it also fits in perfectly with a Scandinavian-style interior.

You need
  • work gloves
  • face mask
  • ear protectors
  • safety glasses
  • tape measure
  • Set square
  • screw clamps
  • spirit level
  • pencil
  • Wooden plank, rough-cut: 245 x 25 x 3.8 cm (L x W x H), Tip: the wider the board, the wider the seating area
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's go - step by step

Step 1 5

Plane and sand down the pieces of your patio chair

Build your own patio furniture: a wooden plank is planed using a wood planer.
Remove large splinters, rough areas and any little bumps on your wooden plank using a wood planer
The rebating depth is set on an electric planer
You can set the rebating depth on the planer – this means that you decide how deep the planer cuts into the wood. Note: if you're just working on the surface, don't go in too deep with your planer. Instead, it's better to go over the workpiece twice.
Build your own patio furniture: a board is sanded down using a multi-sander.
You can sand down your plank of wood more finely using a multi-sander

You need: Multi-sander, Planer, safety glasses, face mask, wooden plank

Before you can turn your wooden plank into a patio chair, you should plane it and sand it down. Often, low-cost planks of wood from the DIY store can have splinters or areas that are roughly sawn. You can remove the rough bits easily using a planer. And then you can use a sander to get a smooth finish. If the wooden plank you're working on has very sharp edges, you can sand them down using a multi-sander. When planing and sanding, you should wear work gloves, a face mask and ear defenders.

Find out more about sanding in our sanding guide.

With planing, splinters or shavings are removed effectively. You can quickly and precisely make the edges smoother or shape the wood in a certain way by planing away the corner of a piece of square timber. When sanding, in theory, it's just the surface that's made smoother. If you sand the surface thoroughly and switch to finer grits of sanding paper as you go along, you can get similar effects to planing.
Step 2 5

Draw a straight line to saw along for your patio chair and start cutting

Build your own patio furniture: a right-angle ruler is used to mark a line on boards which will be made into a chair.
It's easier to draw a straight line on the wood using a steel square or a right-angle ruler
Build your own patio furniture: a board for the DIY patio chair is cut using a Bosch circular hand saw.
Now cut along your line using the circular hand saw
Detailed view: a piece of wood is cut using a circular hand saw.
The guide lines on the base plate ensure that the saw blade stays on track

You need: Hand-held circular saw, NanoBlade saw, pencil, tape measure, Set square, screw clamps, safety glasses, work gloves, ear protectors

Cut the board into two pieces: one piece should be 115 cm long and the other one 130 cm long. Use a steel square to help you to draw a straight line across the entire width of the wood.

Now you can simply cut along the line using your circular hand saw. Secure the board to your worktop using two screw clamps before you start cutting. You should wear safety goggles and ear defenders when cutting. And you should also wear work gloves when you're handling a circular hand saw or a jigsaw.

Step 3 5

Mark the dimensions for the T-shaped piece and cut it to size

A man uses a spirit level and a pencil to draw a line on a piece of wood that lies on a workbench.
It's not easy to stay level when drawing a long line. So use a spirit level to check your alignment
A sanded piece of wood lies on a workbench. You can see a T-shaped outline that has been drawn and marked in pencil.
The T-shaped piece: a sanded piece of wood has been marked with the outline of a T shape. The shaded areas will be removed shortly
A piece of wood that has been marked with multiple Xs in pencil is removed from the wooden board using a circular hand saw.
It's best to use a circular hand saw to cut along the long straight line. But you could also use a NanoBlade saw or a jigsaw
A Bosch NanoBlade saw lies on top of multiple pieces of wood, one of which has just been cut.
You can cut the shorter section of the T-shaped piece of wood more accurately using a NanoBlade saw

You need: NanoBlade saw, spirit level, tape measure, safety glasses, screw clamps, Set square, pencil

To build your own piece of patio furniture, slot the two wooden boards together. To do so, you'll need to make an opening in the longer wooden board. And the shorter board needs to be cut into a T-shape. To cut out the T-shape, cut pieces out from left to right.

Measure a distance of 5 cm from the edge of the wooden board and mark these areas using a pencil. Now measure 84.5 cm from one end of the 115-cm-long board on both sides. These 84.5-cm-long, 5-cm-wide side pieces will be cut out later. This will create a T-shaped piece of wood that is 30.5 cm long and 10 cm wider than the rest of the board.

A spirit level will help you to join up the separate points with one other and will ensure you have a straight line to saw along afterwards. If you look at the wood now, you should be able to see a T-shape. Now cut the wood along the two short lines and two long lines. Before you start cutting, secure your board once again. Insider tip: when cutting along shorter lines, the NanoBlade saw is easier to control than the circular hand saw. You can also use a jigsaw.

Step 4 5

Mark the opening and cut it out

Xs have been drawn on a light-coloured piece of wood in pencil to mark out a rectangle. A folding ruler lies next to it.
Draw the rectangle for the opening 28 cm away from one side of the wooden board
A NanoBlade saw lies on a wooden board, along with a rectangle with Xs drawn on it that has been cut out of the board using the saw.
For this step, you need a saw that can make a plunge cut. Instead of the NanoBlade saw, you can also use a jigsaw with a plunge saw blade

You need: NanoBlade saw, spirit level, tape measure, Set square, pencil, safety glasses, screw clamps

Slot the end of the T-shaped piece of wood into the opening of the long board. Once it's assembled, your patio chair will be able to bear a fair amount of weight. To cut out the opening, measure 28 cm from the end of the board. Draw a rectangle with a length of 15 cm and a width of 3.8 cm in the middle of the wooden board at this spot.

Use your NanoBlade saw to cut it out. This will enable you to perform a plunge cut quite easily. To do so, first of all, position the saw nearly upright on the wood. The saw blade should be placed roughly in the middle of the line which you drew earlier. Now turn on the saw and plunge it into the wood. Cut along one side of the rectangle. Turn the saw around and cut along the rest of the line in the opposite direction. Do this for the remaining three sides until you've finished cutting out the rectangle.

Step 5 5

Assemble your DIY patio chair and stand it up

Build your own patio furniture: two wooden boards that have been cut to size are slotted together to make a chair.
With no drilling and no screws required, your patio chair should be quite easy to make
Build your own patio furniture: a close-up shot of the point where the two wooden planks that form the DIY chair are locked together.
The light-coloured sanded wood looks very upmarket – who would have thought that you can build this patio chair for under 20 euros?

No tools are required for this part! To use your DIY patio furniture, simply slot the two pieces together. If the sawn-off edges are too rough, you can sand them down easily using a multi-sander.

To ensure the chair lasts for as long as possible, you can also varnish the pieces. Or you can use wood such as larch or douglasie: they age beautifully and can last up to 10 years on a balcony or a patio.

And here's one final tip to finish with: do you only have a little bit of storage space and very little surface area on your balcony? Then you can simply take your chair apart and store it under a bench, on top of a wardrobe or under your bed. It also makes for a great beach chair: you can stow it in your car in seconds. We love it.

By the way, just like our DIY shelf made from wooden slats – this project was designed by product designer Kristina Steinmetz. She spills the beans on her love of upcycling in our interview.