Free DIY Furniture Plans to Build a West Elm Inspired Arc Chair

12.15.11 By //
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Wow was all I could say when I first saw this chair! I love the arc detail! The arcs can be cut from a template (details below) in case you decide to build more than one! I’m going to build mine using plywood scraps and leave the edges exposed! Can’t wait to see how that turns out!

Dimensions for This Project

Tape Measure

Saw – Jig, Circular, or Miter



Kreg Jig


1-1×8 at least 22” long

2-2×2 at 8’

2-2×8 at least 32” long

2’x2’ piece of ½” plywood

Scrap ¼” plywood for arc template at least 7” wide x 32” long


2½” screws

2½” pocket hole screws

Countersink bit for Drill

Router with Flush Trim Bit

Foam and Fabric for Seat


Wood filler


Wood glue

Finishing Supplies

Cut List

2-2×2 at 15” – Legs

1-2×2 at 21½” – Front

2-2×2 at 21 1/8” – Seat Frame Sides

2-2×2 at 18 ½” – Seat Frame Support and Back

2-2×8 at 32”-Arcs

1-1×8 at 21 ½” – Back

1-21 ½ x 22 5/8 piece of ½” plywood – Seat


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.

Step 1
Step 1

Cut the pieces as listed for the front and legs. Assemble with pocket holes and glue. Don’t forget to set your Kreg jig for 1½” stock!

Step 2
Step 2

Cut pieces for seat frame and assemble with pocket holes and glue. Space the center support piece as indicated. Attach to front frame.

Step 3
Step 3

Cut the arcs using a template.

To make a template:
Draw your piece on a scrap of ¼” lauan or hardboard. Cut it out with a jigsaw and smooth any rough edges with a sander. Check the fit of the template against any pieces already built. For example, if it is a back chair leg template, the chair should already be constructed to this point. Any adjustments that need to be made can be made to the template before cutting the actual lumber. Drill a hole in the template for hanging and label it for later use.

To cut out your piece with a template:
Trace the template onto your piece of lumber and roughly cut out the shape making sure to stay outside of the lines. Attach the template to the piece with strong double-sided tape. Using a router and a flush trim bit, make sure you set the height of the bit so the guide will run along the edge of the template. Cut around the template. Depending on the length of your bit, you may have to make more than one pass around the template. In other words, if the piece you are cutting is 1½” deep and your bit is 1” deep, you will cut the piece around the template. Adjust the depth of the bit, then make another pass with the router. The guide bearing will not follow the template the second time but will follow the piece that has already been cut. Clear as mud? Here is a great demo on how to do this:…

Using a template will make your pieces more consistent and uniform, and you’ll have it in case you decide to build more than one!

Step 4
Step 4

Attach the arcs to the chair frame making sure the front of the arc is level with the front leg. Drill holes into the frame using a countersink bit and screw from the inside. You can also drive a screw through the front of the leg into the end of the arc, if desired.

Step 5
Step 5
Step 5

Cut pieces as indicated for rear legs. Cut angles as indicated and drill a pocket hole in the top end of each leg. Don’t forget – you will have a right and a left! Line up the leg with the arc making sure the leg spacing at the floor is approximately 25 7/8” and the height from the floor to the top of the seat frame is 15”. It is more important to have the seat height correct than the leg spacing. Drill holes inside the seat frame with a countersink bit and attach the legs from the inside.

Step 6

Cut the piece for the back from the 1×8 material. Drill pocket holes in each end. Two at each end should be sufficient but if you are more comfortable with three, do it! Attach the back making it as flush as possible with the front of the arcs.

Step 7
Step 7

Cut the plywood for the seat and cover with foam and fabric. The thickness of the foam is your choice… I would use 2” foam and cover it with Dacron (upholstery batting) before I cover it with fabric. After the chair finishing is complete, attach the seat to the frame by drilling countersunk holes into the bottom of the chair support and secure with screws. You could also drill holes into the bottom of the front and back of the frame and fasten it in the same manner.
You can also attach the seat directly to the chair and make a separate cushion if you want to swap it out without taking the seat apart.

Finishing Instructions

If painting, I like to sand the entire piece with 100 grit, then 220 grit, prime with any latex primer, sand again with 220 grit, and paint. Sanding the primer gives an extra-smooth finish! Finish with water-based polyurethane for added durability.
If staining, sand the entire piece with 60 grit, then 100 grit, then 220 grit. Stain as desired. For the finish, use wipe-on poly or brush-on poly.

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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**Disclaimer: Some rights reserved. Private use only. Feel Free to link to any of my plans so long as you provide an adequate link back to the appropriate post! Plans from this page are not to be used for commercial purposes or republished without the express written consent of Rayan Turner, The Design Confidential I hope to provide accurate plans, however, I cannot guarantee each plan for accuracy. Not every plan that I post has been built and tested, so you are building at your own risk. It is recommended that you have a clear understanding of how the project works before beginning any project. Please contact me if you find an error or inaccuracy so that I might fix it.

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