Picture of Cheap Car Seat Office Chair!!!
3/28/2012 UPDATE: Wow, thanks for the feature! As an update, the chair is still going strong 4 years later. I haven't had to do a thing to it, but my needs have changed, and I'm considering converting it to a lounge chair for my man cave. Thank you all again for the kind words. It was one of my more fun projects. Keep creating!


Build a unique piece of furniture and recycle in the process!

I got the idea for this project after watching old seasons of "Top Gear". In the studio, the show hosts sit on seats taken from an old car, and recycled into living room furniture.

For my project, I wanted a unique office chair built from a car seat that could recline and rolls around like this example HERE.
Since I was a poor college student, I couldn't afford a $680 office chair, and instead set a budget of $40.

Total Cost:
  • Chair - $25
  • Base - $10
  • Hardware - $3
  • Plywood - free! (I already had it)
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The rest of the pages describe the steps I took to find the parts and build the chair. Enjoy and good luck!
saprun11 months ago

I did this with a VW Jetta leather seat. It turned out great except my feet don't touch the floor. Turns out the with of the butt cushin is a lot thicker on the VW seat than the office chair was. Did anyone else have this hiccup or did I just pick a bad seat for this mod?

BTW, I was able to re-use the plywood from the old chair and it fit real nice to the underside of the seat. Almost looks factory

stncilr2 years ago
Oops, just published a similar instructable. But yours is way more complete. Kudos!
juanangel2 years ago
Did you just center the Base or had to play with it to avoid falling/backflip. I am planning to leave some plywood for a cupholder, remote control, magazines and/or munchies holder. That way no one will comment about the extra plywood protruding from the chair. And since it is for my personal use, who cares what other will think. Great job
pmn93933 years ago
Lol, i should have known the idea was from top gear. Well, i think i know how to keep the memory of my alfa 164.
Simond1573 years ago
The plywood should have rounded corners and should be spray painted black also if you go to a fabric store and select lets say a silverish quilted fabric then get in touch with a seamstress you can cover it pimping up the look , the same applies to a backseat , remember that the back seat should be straight balanced using 2, 2x4 blocks placed in the back legs of the 2 seater or else you would be seating in a leaned back awkward position..
fortneja (author)  Simond1573 years ago
If you look at the end, I actually did paint the base black. It fades away from your view now, so you can't really see that it was mostly hacked together (ie. rounding the corners is not really necessary).

I got a leather seat on purpose, because that is what I wanted to sit in, but reupholstery is certainly an option if you're having a hard time finding a seat without split seams or tears.

As for the back seats, well that depends on the vehicle. Most van seats for example sit flat, so rear supports are not necessary, but I see what you're saying. Actually, most rear sedan seats will not work since they are simply foam moldings that use the car's unibody for support. Once you remove them, they are not able to support a person from their own structure. My WRX has seats like this.
orksecurity3 years ago
Easy to do, functional, looks pretty decent, and "why didn't I think of that" -- nicely done. (Closest I've gotten has been using my van seats as porch furniture when they're unmounted, and I really should make some snap-on feet for them.)
Good job -- you beat me to it.
My chair is broken, but the base is still good. Must find a car seat.
Biggsy3 years ago
hehehe awesome high five for you!
rkhen3 years ago
Actually, it's also a conversion piece.
toddashi3 years ago
Thanks! I've wanted one of these for a long time. I talked a friend out of an office chair with a broken back and got a nice car seat from the local Pick N Pull. The office chair had a plywood bottom inside all the foam and stuff. It's a little curved, but it worked fine.

Some pics: 

dcastor3 years ago
I think you mean to say "conversation piece".
l96470fps5 years ago
AWSOME!  i wish i could make a sofa out of the back seats! shame i probs cant afford it lol!  great ible
use the doble seat it will work as a coach try your local dump
tinker2344 years ago
hey there is a old ejctor seat at my surpleas store for 50 dollars could iuse that as a office chair
john52474 years ago
Car seats have a fortue in research and development money spent on them - how often have you heard people say they wish their house seat was as comfortable as their car! If ever a seat was designed to be sat in for hours at a time - while driving a couple hunderd miles - it's a car seat.
This is really,really worthwhile doing - not just cos its cool, but because it'll be good fo your back and posture. Also it just feeeeeeels right for those racing games !!
splatman5 years ago
I did the exact same thing last spring. My neighbor was scrapping a late-90’s Plymouth Voyager, and I took out the driver’s seat (w/ permish) and attached it to an office chair base with some angle iron from an old bed frame. I’ve used it since. I’m even sitting in it as I type this. Not that using car parts in non-car applications is anything new 2 me. I once kludged a steering wheel to a bike back in '96 or so. Unfortunately, I did not take pix. If I did, I would have something to submit to ThereIFixedIt.com, where a commenter posted a link to this ible.
Scroll up after following the link. I didn't realize the link automatically scrolls down to my comment.
twocvbloke6 years ago
Car seats look great as furniture, dunno what it is about them, but they just look cool... :)

If I had the room, I'd have a set like the one they have on Top Gear, but in a different colour... :P

Just a thought, if you ask nicely (or offer some beer money), I'm sure you could get a decent car seat, or set of, from Davesfarm... :)

chamunks6 years ago
Thank you for this I've been wanting to do this for a year now for me and my girlfriend.. I have a wonderful and faithful computer chair allready but carseats can be so very comfey. I wonder how a bucket seat will go with this sort of thing. If it were up to me i would replace most of my houses chairs with ones like these. (except for my couch)
Derin6 years ago
Not want to sound like a nay-sayer,but I think the top bond is not well balanced.Even if it is,it is probably easy to make it imbalanced.
fortneja (author)  Derin6 years ago
I'm not sure I follow. If you mean bolting the chair to the plate, I will say I had to make some blocks so the chair would sit evenly on the plate, but this will vary by manufacturer, so I didn't mention it. The chair is very sturdy, and I've been using it every day since I posted the 'ible. You do have to be careful when you lean back, since the added mass of the car chair makes it easier to tip over backwards, but the base I used can limit the extent of "rocking back" allowed, so this remedies the problem.
Derin fortneja6 years ago
I see,that seems sturdy now that you mentioned another additional fastener.
skunkbait7 years ago
That's a good idea. I have a few nice car seats in my garage (in my way!). Maybe I can make one for Mrs. Skunkbait. She always complains about the office chair I got her out of the dumpster!
=( i wish i had a mrs. wafflicious!
reedz7 years ago
I really like it. You should keep the seat belt loose and use it while you are in the chair. I can see some drunken spinning contests that would really benefit from the belt.
fortneja (author)  reedz7 years ago
Yeah, the seat belt is still on there, and works fine! I should get quite a few double takes at the office!
wozzy7 years ago
Outstanding instructable! I've often said I wish I had an office chair as comfortable as the nes in my car. Thanks!
meddler7 years ago
That, is a good idea......
bumpus7 years ago
Awesomeness! I so think its time for a new office chair... (side note) - You could make a few, and have races with your office mates through the halls with these chairs... Excellent instructable! 5 stars solid!