Cheap and easy to make: build a stylish chair for your patio
- Cost< 50 £
- Duration1-3 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.
Let's go - step by step
Plane and sand down the pieces of your patio chair
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.
Draw a straight line to saw along for your patio chair and start cutting
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.
Mark the dimensions for the T-shaped piece and cut it to size
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.
Mark the opening and cut it out
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.
Assemble your DIY patio chair and stand it up
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.