Thursday, October 4

Day 4 - Build a Simple Chair with 2x4s

Day 4, here we go! You can see links to the complete series here, and read about my Lowe's gift card giveaway here. In this series, we're seeing what we can make out of 2x4s. I want to keep it cheap, keep it easy, and keep it totally doable for anyone. Today's project is super easy and very cheap. We're going to build a Simple 2x4 Chair!

This is one of my smaller projects and is pretty simple to build. It has a chunky, modern style and the 2x4 construction makes it very sturdy. Ready to build one? Or, you know, a whole set?

Shopping List:
2  -  2x4s @ 10' long 
1 -  2x4  @ 8' long

2 1/2” screws (or Kreg Jig & 2 1/2" self tapping screws)
4" screws (or Kreg Jig & 2 1/2" self tapping screws)
Wood glue
Wood filler

2x4 Cut List:
(A) - 2  @  37 3/4"  (back legs)
(B) - 4  @  10 1/2"  (back/front boards)
(C) - 2  @  16 1/2"  (front legs)
(D) - 2  @  15"  (side boards)
(E) - 1  @  13 1/2"  OR  4 scraps cut at 45 degree angles (supports)
(F) - 3  @  18 1/2"  (seat)
(G) - 2  @  17"  (seat sides)

 Dimensions: 17 1/2" wide x 37 1/4" tall x 18 1/2" deep

Please read all the directions before beginning, and cut your pieces as you go, measuring before each cut. Use 2 1/2” screws or pocket holes with 2 1/2" screws unless otherwise indicated. Always use glue. Pre-drill and countersink your screws. I have not built from these exact plans, so measure lots to make sure things work out!

Step 1: Build the Back.
You're going to start by building the back section. Grab the two back legs (A) and three of the front/back boards (B). Assemble them as shown below, with the front/back boards running between the legs. The top board should be flush with the top of the legs, the middle board should be spaced 3" down from the top board, and the bottom board should be spaced 10 3/4" down from the middle board (with 13" left underneath). You can attach these using your Kreg Jig and 2 1/2" pocket screws, or by drilling through the legs with 4" screws. Use glue.

Step 2: Build the Front.
Assemble the front legs (C) and the final front back piece (B) as shown below. The front/back piece should be flush with the top of the legs. Attach the same way you did in step 1.

Step 3: Get Connected
Use the side boards (D) to connect the two sections you just built. These boards should be flush with the top of the front section, and line up with the top of the bottom back board. It should be 16 1/2" from the floor to the top of the side boards. I set the side boards in 1/2" from outside edges of the legs (but if you prefer you can leave them flush against the edges). Attach like you did in step 1.

Step 4: Add Supports
There are two ways you can add supports (E) to your chair. The first is to install a board 13 1/2" long across the back of the seat opening. This just gives a little something extra for your seat boards to rest on.

 The other option is to cut scrap pieces at 45 degree angles and attach them in all the corners of the seat opening. (This might make the chair a little sturdier, especially if you plan to use thinner boards for seat and want a little more support under them).

Step 5: The Seat
Now you can put on the seat, starting with seat boards (F). These boards should reach into the back opening on the chair, and be flush with the back side of the chair. Attaching these by drilling down through the seat into the supports and front/back boards with 2 1/2" screws and glue.

 Then attach the seat side boards. These should be flush against the center seat boards and the back legs of the chair, with some overhang on the front and sides. Attach the same way as the center seat boards. If you have a Kreg Jig, you can attach all the seat boards together side-to-side first, then install that whole section at once. You can even use your Kreg Jig to attach the seat from below so you won't have any holes to fill on the seat.

Step 6: Finishing
Now you can finish your chair. Start by filling any screw holes, then give the whole thing a good sanding to get it nice and smooth. Sanding is so important to you piece looking neat and professional when you are finished! Don't cut corners here! Then finish with any paint or stain (and polyurethane) you want! Try a nice pop of teal or yellow, or a deep, rich stain. Be creative!

That wasn't too bad, right? :) And you'll end up with a very sturdy chair! And they are cheap enough you can afford to make a whole set for your dining room if you want!

Project 2x4 Cost:
$6.40 -  2   2x4s @ 10' long ($3.20 each)
$2.50  -  1   2x4 @ 8' long ($2.50 each)
$9.10 Total

See giveaway winners here.

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Day 3 31 Days of 2x4 Projects - Full List Day 5


  1. This would go great with the table from day 2!

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  2. I just need to make the measurements smaller for my neighbors kids!

  3. love this,, I have a chair that is really similar to this,,, I wonder if this could be modified to make taller stool/chairs for my kitchen island.??? Thanks for sharing,, I'm loving all these projects.

    1. Stay tuned...I have a feeling that may be one of the projects :-) Check out day 1 for a preview of every day. I hope to see you back soon!

  4. Cute chair. When do you sleep?

  5. These could definitely handle kids' wear and tear.

  6. Definitely trying my hand at this this weekend. If all goes well, I'll make the desk from day two to match!

    1. Good luck! Let me know how it turns out! I'd love to see pictures if you get any. :)

  7. I just built this chair.

    It is ok but I'm still not sure if it will look nice enough for my kitchen.

    One note, there are conflicting dimensions for the overall height.

    1. 2x4's do tend to have a more rustic look than other lumber. Thanks for pointing out the discrepancy, I'll get it fixed! :)

  8. Borrowed your design, but had to change it because the dimensions are wrong. I also stained the seat. The counter sunk holes look very rustic with stain. Looks really good, and is comfortable and fits with the table and benches I made (out of 2x4's and 2x6's). I am going to make another one of these but make it a taller chair for my wife's classroom. Love the rustic look!!

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  10. I just built this chair this past weekend. It was awesome with your directions. The only change I made was putting an extra 2x4 in the main part of the seat (4 instead of 3!) to make it 3 1/2" wider. We thought that would be a good idea given our wide....umm....dimensions. Thanks a ton!!!

    1. I'm so glad you like it! Hmm... you just gave me an idea for building a bench. :) If you have any pics you want to share I would love to see!

  11. Would it be easy to make an x on the back instead of the straight line?

    1. I think that would be pretty simple. You'd probably want to make the X with 2x2's instead because there isn't enough room for 2x4's. The easiest way would be to cut one end of the 2x2 at a 45 degree angle, hold it up to the back of the chair, and just mark with a pencil where the other side needs to be cut. Install that board then hold up the next leg of the X and mark where it needs to be cut. Hopefully that makes sense. :)

  12. Just made this chair and it turned out great! I used 1x4s for the seat to decrease a little of the bulk. Very happy with the simple design, thanks!

    1. Good call! It is pretty bulky with the 2x4s. I'd love to see a pic if you don't mind sharing! You can share on my facebook page or email me at morelikehome (at) gmail (dot) com. :)

  13. Do you have pictures of this chair when complete? I looked on Facebook also and didn't see one - Thanks!

    1. I don't have any finished photos yet. Sorry!