Have you ever noticed that it seems all baby furniture is made out of ugly neon plastic? And if you do find that rare wood piece, it costs you a pretty penny. A friend of mine sent me a message asking me to modify a couple of baby chairs she’s seen online to fit our pre-toddlerhood munchkins, and I was thrilled to oblige! I had this little chair built in less than an hour, and cost of new wood (I used scraps) will only set you back five dollars. Yep, you heard me, FIVE DOLLARS! Much better than the $50+ you’ll see in stores.
This little chair is made up of 4 pieces, all from a four foot long 1×8 board. It’s held together with glue and screws, and is sturdy enough to hold my adult weight, so any babies in it will be safe and sound.
All you need for this project is a jigsaw and a drill. Well, and an electric sander if you want to make life a little easier on you 😉 You ready for the tutorial so you can build one for a precious little munchkin in your life? Well, here it is!
• 1 – 1×8 @ 4′
• 8 – 1 1/4″ screws
• 8 – 3/8″ wood plugs
• Sandpaper, paint, sealer (optional)
• Printed Template
Step 1 – Trace your pieces
Download the baby chair template here, print it out, cut it and trace onto your board. Trace 1 back and 2 sides.
Step 2 – Cut pieces with a jigsaw
Cut your template pieces, then from the scraps measure a piece to the width of your back (should be 11″ but it can vary) and 5.5″ long for the seat. Now would be a good time to sand. Mine stayed rough, because I leant out my sander and had to pick it up after I finished building this sucker.
Step 3 – Align your seat to the sides.
Step 4 – do the same for the back
Step 5 – Align and clamp your side pieces together.
Step 6 – Drill your holes
While the two boards were clamped together, I used a 1/8″ drill bit to drill through both boards where my screws needed to be. There are two holes for both the back and seat, centered in my marks. Now you need to flip the side with the markings over, so each side piece is “outside up”. Make sense? You’re going to countersink holes where the small holes are.
Step 7 – Attach back and seat to one side
Step 8 – Attach your other side
Here’s where it gets slightly tricky. With one side attached, hold up your free side with a level on the seat. You may need a helper, but somehow I got it to work by myself. Once the seat is level, drill in your two seat screws. Then do the same with your back, setting the level on top of the back. It may have a tiny wobble, but you can sand it down so it’s all flush and sturdy. Be sure to leave the same 1/2″ (or whatever measurement you chose) gap off the front for the seat.
Step 9 – Fill the holes
You can fill the holes with putty, or for a cleaner look, you can use a 3/8″ drill bit to widen the holes and glue in wood plugs. Give everything another good sanding, then you’re ready for finishing! You can stain or paint, maybe even just seal the unfinished wood. Or you can get funky and use Mod Podge with fun scrapbook paper! The possibilities are endless.
She’s already a big fan of her chair, even though she’s close to growing out of it already. I think this would be really easy to upsize. I plan to try and use my print settings to enlarge it 150% and set it to tile so I can cut the pieces and tape them together. If I do, I’ll be sure to share the Toddler Chair on the blog! But for now, we’ve got at least another month or two in the Baby Chair.
It’s the perfect spot for her to grab a bottle and catch a little tv (she especially loves music videos) or read a book. These are perfect little play chairs since she can get in and out by herself, as well as pick it up or scoot it across the room. I’ll definitely have to build her a toddler version before she graduates into the Surfboard Table and Stools that I’ll have to build for her (remember the old one went to a charity auction). I can’t wait to build more projects for my sweet girl! The smile on her face makes it more than worth it.