Poorman's Design Chair





Introduction: Poorman's Design Chair

Have you ever walked into one of these awesome design webstores? You can find some furniture by famous designers and stuff that look pretty cool. Then you finally reach the price page, and plan to come back in a few years, when you have collected enough money to get that simple chair XD.

In this instructable, you'll find how to transform an old broken chair into a stylish customized design chair, using a bunch of newspaper, some glue and iron wire.

Step 1: Undressing the Chair

First step is to find the main material for this instructable...a chair!
I found this one on the street, standing all alone near garbages, and decided to give it a new life. It looks quite correct on the picture, but the tissue was seriously ripped and the (holy stinky) foam allready turning into dust.
Of course, any old chair from your grand parents that you don't use anymore will also do the trick.
I simply used a pair of scissors to rip off the fabric, with the help of a plier to get rid of some staples.

Step 2: Design

Once you end up with the structure of the chair, it's time to take a few pictures and try some simple curves and designs above it with your favorite image program.

Step 3: The Tools

You'll need very few equipment to make this chair, the ones at the bottom have only been used to get rid of the fabric.
The main element is the newspapers, you can easily find unsold ones at your local store. A solid chair needs a lot of paper, so take at least a dozen of pieces. If you choose not to paint the chair at the end, the choice of the paper (color, typography) is important and will determine the final overall look.
The glue can be found at any DIY store, it's the powder glue for wallpapers.
You'll need also a wire roll to set the shape of your design, choose a hard one that can stand straight, but not too large, to be manipulated easily.
Eventually you can get a brush if you want to paint it afterwards.

Step 4: Shaping and Paperwork

Now just start from the structure to draw your design around in space with the iron wire. You may use some remaining staples, screws or holes in the chair to pass the wire into, it should stand right with an hard enough wire.
You can use paperboard in additon to wires to create surfaces when you need it.

Next step is the big part of this instructable: paperwork.
Cover the whole chair with glued paper sraps as you will do with paper mache. I won't detail the technique, since much websites allready explain it and because you probably did that allready when you were five :p.
In the case of such a big structure, you'll need quite a big amount of layers (around ten) to get a resistant chair. This is gonna take MUCH time, because you have to wait almost 24h between each layer (or 2-3 layers) for the glue to dry ;). Good luck.

Step 5: Result

The finished chair with its paper cover.

Step 6: Finishing

If you like the paper look, you can keep it this way, maybe with a layer of varnish.

To paint it, you'll first have to smooth the surface, wich is probably full of waves and asperities. This is done with a coating, that fill the holes and smooth the surface.
Then just paint and sit on your revived design chair.



  • First Time Author Contest 2018

    First Time Author Contest 2018
  • Sew Warm Contest 2018

    Sew Warm Contest 2018
  • Paper Contest 2018

    Paper Contest 2018

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.




Just found this project nice work it really gives me inspiration well done. I have only one question I am rather found of hammers could you please tell me what kind of hammer that is I have never seen one like that before.

looks like this: http://www.uncommongoods.com/item/item.jsp?itemId=15306

i did a google search for "bottle opener hammer"

i really like this drawing-on-picture thing.  it hadn't occurred to me to do this for design.  very nice end result, also.

Neat idea--though for once, I actually liked the wooden form underneath all the padding! Nice instructable!

Wow! I can't think of a good word, awesome and wow are used so much. How about cowabunga dude! I would love to try this, but the woodworking part is beyond my abilities. Your chair is truly a work of art and ingenuity. Thanks for sharing!!

I love the paper look! It should look awesome with some old comics!

This is really cool, I like how it looks after it is painted. Good Luck on more instructables.


With a decent amount of layers (and avoiding to customize direct contact parts), the paper and dried glue get really strong together. This chair won't be as resistant as a metal one, but with a little care, it should last very long. Actually, I'm writing this a month after the chair was finished. The last picture has been taken this week end, and as you can see, it's still in one piece ;).

you could always use paper mache which would make it even stronger right?