Free DIY Furniture Plans to Build a Shabby Chic Cottage Dining Chair

04.04.11 By //
You Can Build This! Easy DIY Furniture Plans from The Design Confidential with Complete Instructions on How to Build a Shabby Chic Cottage Dining Chair via @thedesconf

This piece continues kicks off what promises to be a VERY exciting new collection, the Shabby Chic Cottage Collection! I know you all adore Gina’s Site, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with her, you should head over and check things out, I promise you will enjoy! She has built some amazing pieces for her home that we will be creating step by step plans for, so that all of you might build them for yourselves! Exciting right? This first project is for the dining chairs she and her hubs built, based on our Louis Chairs and our Farmhouse Chairs, and so we have what is now our Shabby Chic Cottage Dining Chair! Isn’t it amazing?

To see the finished build, head over here, and you can read about her build and see how amazing it looks. Be sure to read up and note the wood she chose to use, because her choices saved her a ton, and allowed her to build 8 chairs for around $25! Pretty major right? If you have the ability to purchase wood products in bulk and cut them down into the sizes you need, you definitely should, but just in case that isn’t an option I have designed this plan around typical dimensional lumber sizes! Something for everyone!

As with all of our plans, you are building at your own risk and you should have a firm understanding of building in general before you attempt many of our plans (some are easy as pie and perfect for beginners). With that, go forth, have fun, take lots of pictures and share them in a showcase on the site or on social media with the hashtag #builtTDCtuff and we will share our faves! Be sure to tag @thedesignconfidential on Instagram / FB and @thedesconf on Twitter / Pinterest. If you are a blogger and you post about your build, don’t forget to include a link to your post on your showcase here. Don’t forget… for all of our newer plans, clicking on the images will let them expand to enormous sizes with much greater clarity. The older plans may need updating so please let us know if you need one fixed!

Under $25

  • 1 – 1×2 at 10’ (if 8’ furring strips are cheaper, purchase 2 of those)
  • 1 – 1×3 at 6’ 2 – 1×4 at 6’
  • 1 – 2×2 at 10’ (if 8’ furring strips are cheaper, purchase 2 of those)
  • 1 – 2×4 at 8’
  • 2 – 2×2 at 18 1/4” Front Legs
  • 2 – 2×2 at 16” Front and Back Aprons
  • 2 – 2×2 at 15 1/4” Side Aprons
  • 5 – 1×2 at 16” Kick Rests and Back Portion of Seat
  • 1 – 1×4 at 16” Back Rest
  • 5 – 1×4 at 20 1/2” Seat
  • 1 – 1×3 at 16” Back Rest
  • 2 – 2×4 at 39 1/4” Back Legs

Before beginning to build, always check in on my site to make sure you have the most up to date set of plans, I occasionally update and change the plans to make the building process easier or to allow for less expensive purchasing of materials! Read through the entire set of instructions and all comments before beginning this project. If you print out or save plans, be sure to check in on my site to be sure you have the most up to date set of plans, as I occasionally update things for ease of building or buying. If you are new to building, read through the GETTING STARTED section and other articles found under the BUILD tab in the menu on my site, it has valuable information about how to get started, tools and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the finishing process, visit my Finishing school for some tips and tricks for painting like a pro and for special finishing practices. Use glue to secure your joints and Consider Painting or Staining individual sections prior to assembling. This makes the paint application virtually flawless. Coat with a spray on Poly or Wipe on Poly to protect your finish and your piece and it will last for ages. Adhere to all safety standards and guidelines, and be sure you follow safety protocol throughout your build. If you are unsure about whether you are building safely, run a quick online search for the tool or technique you are using, or contact me via email or post to the forum before you move ahead. My contact info can be found in the menu of my site.

Build the Front Leg Unit: Use your Kreg Jigs® set for 1 1/2” stock and your 2 1/2” pocket hole screws and glue to attach the apron to the leg and then set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue to fasten the kick rest in place. If you would like to round out the bottom of the front legs for a decorative touch, you can do so using your sander, a router, or even a jig saw.

Add the Side Aprons and Kick Rests: Attach the aprons using your Kreg Jig® set for 1 1/2” stock and your 2 1/2” pocket hole screws and glue, be sure to add your pocket holes for attaching the side aprons and kick rests to the back portion of the chair at this step as well, even though you aren’t attaching just yet. To fasten the side kick rests in place set your Kreg Jig® for 3/4” stock and use your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue.

Cut out your Back Legs: This is often the portion of the chair build that SEEMS difficult, but I assure you this is very simple. You are going to mark out the basic shape on your 2×4. You will keep a 2” width all through the height of the leg and you will mark in 2” from the bottom right edge, then again at the 2” mark from the top right edge. You will then mark off the point 16 3/4” from the bottom left edge, and connect that mark with the 2” mark on the bottom right. You now have your bottom angle marked out. From the bottom right corner you will connect to the point measureed in 2” from the 16 3/4” mark. You now have the entire bottom of the leg lined out! To get the top portion of the leg marked out, you will measure up 2 1/4” from the 16 3/4” mark, then you will connect that point with the 2” mark you made on the top edge of your board. Then you will measure in 2” from the mark you made 2 1/4” up from the 16 3/4” mark and connect that with the very outermost corner of your board. That is that! Easy peasy, now you carve this using a jig saw, router or even a circular saw. To perfect both legs, simply clamp them together to sand out the shape so that you ensure they are both the same. It really only matters that you have the vertical portion of the leg (the 2 1/4” section) and that the legs are virtually identical, which you can ensure by sanding them clamped together at the same time. None of the other aspects of this step are as important as these two items. You can round out the top of both legs using your sander while the legs are clamped together (this is the easiest way in my opinion) for a decorative touch.

Fasten the Back Rest, Back Apron and Kick Rest in Place: Use your Kreg Jigs®set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue to connect the back rest boards, and the kick rest. Then set your Kreg Jigs® for 1 1/2” stock and your 2 1/2” pocket hole screws and glue to connect the apron. It is important to be sure the apron is in line with the remaining aprons on the front unit as you will be supporting the seat with all four aprons.

Attach the Front and Back Portions: Use your Kreg Jigs®set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue to attach your kick rests to the back and your Kreg Jigs®set for 1 1/2” stock and your 2 1/2” pocket hole screws and glue to attach the aprons to the back .

Construct the Seat: Use your Kreg Jigs® set for 3/4” stock and your 1 1/4” pocket hole screws and glue to construct the seat by fastening the boards together (underneath). You can see an example of this on Gina’s build here. Then you can fasten the entire seat to the aprons from underneath using 2” wood screws with a countersink bit and glue. Once you have the seat attached you can round out the front corners and the sides using your sander to create the approximate shape you see below. This is a matter of choice, and you can elect to shape this however you like. I personally love the rounded shape Gina chose for both style reasons and also for the overall functionality of the chair. A rounded out seat is less likely to be cumbersome in your living space! That is all she wrote! Isn’t this the most amazing chair? I am so glad Gina has built these and shared her work with us!

Fill any Screw, Nail or Pocket Holes, Sand and Finish as Desired. For Finishing Tips and Tricks visit my Finishing School

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