Thrifty and Chic

thriftyandchic.com · Jul 28, 2017

DIY Outdoor Chairs and Porch Makeover



This was one of those projects that I did on a whim. I felt the building bug, I had 4 patio cushions that I got for a killer deal literally being blown in the wind off my back patio , and well, my porch looked like heck :) So, I found some plans that I loved, and built some chairs for my porch that would accommodate my cushions. These plans are from Ana White's modern outdoor chair plans. I had to modify them to fit my Threshold cushions I got from Target. They are super thick and not quite square like the original plans allowed for.

Here are my measurements and cuts:
4 - 2x4 @ 22.25" legs
6 - 2x6 @ 25.5" side slats
2 - 2x4 @ 28.5" arm rests
4 - 2x6 @ 22" front and back slats
1 - 2x4 @ 22" back top
2 - 2x2 @ 22.5" inside cleat
5 - 2x4 @ 22" side slats
Ana has amazing plans on how to build this which you can find here, but I'm going to share with you my simple tricks to make it easier and my modifications.

Step 1: Attached the 3 side slats per side into the 2x4 legs. You can't really do a kreg jig on these since you'll see them on one or the other side, so it's better to counter sink your screws. Since I lost my counter sink bit, I just used a drill bit that was a little larger than the head of my screws, which were 2 1/2" exterior deck screws. To make this easier, I drilled all the holes first. I lined up where the 2x6s would go with 3/4" in between them and then drilled 2 holes per 2x6 onto the 2x4.

Step 2: Before attaching the 2x6's, you'll want to sand the edges now since it won't be easy to do at the end.
Step 3: Attach one 2x6 side slat to the legs; flush with the top and one side. Use 2 1/2" screws and wood glue to secure. To make this part easier, I rested it against my fire pit.
Step 4: Attach the next slat 3/4" away from the first one. I used a scrap piece of 1x3 to help with this.
Step 5: Finish it up with a 3rd slat. Then do the other arm/leg set.
Step 6: Now place the arm rests onto the top of the arm pieces. Counter sink screw and wood glue in place.
Step 7: Now add the back slats. To do this, I stood up the arm pieces and slid two long 1x3s in the slats as show below. This helped balance the arms so they wouldn't fall over so easily. It also helped with resting the back slats in place so they are easier to screw into place.

To do the bottom back slat and the front slat, I flipped the chair over and slide the 1x3 into the slat below to rest the 2x6 (just like the top pieces above).
Step 8: Attach the back top piece. In this one, I put it flush with the back top slat. After looking at it, I decided to move it to be flush with the arm rests instead.
Step 9: You can barely see the line, but I have the chair tipped upside down and measured the width of the 2x4 approx 1 3/4" up from the bottom of the bottom side slats. You'll see what I mean in the next few pictures (hopefully) :) You just want the seat cleat to sit low enough to fit the seat slats and not go above the bottom side slats when in an upright position.
Here's the seat cleat, with the seat slat, sitting right for reference.
Screw in the cleat on both sides of the arm pieces.
Step 10: Place and screw the seat slats into the cleats.
Step 11: Fill all holes with wood filler, cure, and sand.
Step 12: Paint or stain, then finish with poly for durability.
Here's a good look at the cushions. The top and bottom cushion together were only $10. I know, right?! Target was clearancing all their patio stuff back in May, and I just couldn't help get them even though I didn't need them. You CANNOT beat that price. So, they literally sat in my backyard ever since just becoming clutter. I'm so glad I made a place for them to live :)
Here they are on my porch. They are definitely a more modern piece, but I just love them!
Of course, anything would be better than what my porch looked like before :) My old patio set that I now have in my backyard was on this porch before. So, this porch was empty for awhile, and then I had company stay over, and I knew they would be using the porch since those doors open to that guest room. So, I ran to the store and bought the cheapest and nicest chairs I could find. I then didn't touch this space since. It just got cluttered and truly a mess. It was quite embarrassing, since it's like a glimpse into your house. I like to think my house usually looks better than this, so I knew it was nigh time to give it a makeover.
And after:
I'm still not sure I'm going to keep that lantern there. I actually took all the photos with it there, then moved it and loved it. Then I asked my husband what looks better and he said with the lantern :) So, there you go. I'm not sure I was wise in trusting his opinion, but I did :) haha

For the table in between the chairs, I used one of my old painted tree stumps that I used to have in our living room as a coffee table.
This "onion" as my husband called it, was a Home Goods find for $22! It matched this area perfectly. And the lantern is from Hobby Lobby. It was actually a really dark green, but being out in the sun for years changed it. I was actually going to spray paint it a few weeks ago, but got lazy and didn't. I'm glad I didn't. This sun washed color is beautiful with the space (minus the bottom wax drenched part :) )

To add more color, which is rare, I got these beautiful purple flowers to go on the tree stump.
This side of my porch also got a little refresh. The rug that's below the chairs used to be under that bench in front of the door. I got so sick of the wind blowing it and wrinkling it, so I moved it. I also added my Fresh Cut Flowers sign. My husband joked that someone is going to come back expecting to buy flowers, and then my neighbor said the same thing. So, at this point, I'm just waiting for someone to come a knockin' :)
I did add a lot more flowers to the porch, so I will have enough to 'fresh cut' if need be :)
I just love the look of this now, especially compared to how it did look. It's much more inviting!

As for all the wreaths, those were all from Hobby Lobby, and the rug, pillows, cushions and striped throw is from Target.

I was tempted to stain these chairs since it's so much easier than painting. I really went back and forth a lot. I'm so glad I painted them white, they brightened this space so much! I think if they were stained brown, they would get lost in the color of my house.
And just an FYI, these suckers are heavy and sturdy! They are great for places that have high wind :) ...like my porch!

These cost around $50 to do, really around $20 each. But that doesn't include everything I had on hand. It just includes the lumber cost. Paint, screws, wood glue, filler, etc will of course cost you more if you don't already have any like I did.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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