Shopping Cart Chair





Introduction: Shopping Cart Chair

Turn a shopping cart into a comfortable stylish wheelchair!
You'll be amazed what a nice chair you end up with.
As seen in Make Magazine volume 07
by Tim Anderson, photos by Jen Munch.

Now on Know How! Click on the steps above for more details.

Do you like this Instructable? Digg it! Then check out episodes one, three, four, five, six, and

Step 1: Find a Cart

The shopping cart. Visitors to the United States are astounded by our shopping carts, which are the largest in the world. Also amazing is their abundance miles from the stores from which they came. No homeless person will ever want for a shopping cart.

The best selection of shopping carts will be found near a "redemption center" where homeless people get paid for recycled soft drink containers.

Step 2: Through Destruction Comes Creation

Look for a shopping cart that really wants to be a chair. You won't have to cut or bend much to release the inner chair.

Let's get started. Pound, twist, and pull out the retaining rods and remove the front bumpers.

Save them. One can be used later to cover the front edge of the seat

Step 3: Plan Ahead

Plan the cuts you will make in the wire basket. Blue tape marks where the cuts will be made.

Iron origami magic will make nice arms from those weird projections. This particular cart had very high sides,

so I thought I'd try a new style of arm bending. I've been making these things for a couple of decades, but there is always something new to try.

Step 4: Cut It Up

I'm using a sawzall to cut along the lines. A hacksaw, bolt cutter or angle grinder work well also.

The right chair design will require few cuts. The chair is already there. You're just releasing it.

Step 5: (Neat Trick)

Here's how to keep your power cord from pulling out of the extension cord.

Step 6: Bend the Arms

Clamp a couple of boards to make the crease of the bend happen where you want it.

This was a tricky diagonal bend and it took a lot of leverage from the long sticks to make it happen.

Note that bending the metal work-hardens it. It's very difficult to change if you bend it wrong.

Step 7: Curve the Arms

For the next bend I made a tool from pipes and bolted it onto the protruding arm piece.

Step 8: Clean It Up

Clamp a couple of boards on the front edge of the chair and bend it down.

File all of the burrs off the ends of the cut wires.

Step 9: Finish the Front.

Clamp a couple of boards on the front edge of the chair and bend it down.

Step 10: Alternative Method of Finishing the Front Edge

Carve the inner projections of the bumper so they'll fit over the wire and
slide the retaining rod through the holes.

File all of the burrs off the ends of the cut wires.

Step 11: And Now You Have a Chair.

Two different chairs, two different styles. Don't leave them outside though, because they will rust.

2 People Made This Project!


  • Science of Cooking

    Science of Cooking
  • Pro Tips Challenge

    Pro Tips Challenge
  • Pocket-Sized Contest

    Pocket-Sized Contest

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




Sorry dude, I think you did a fantastic job with this but I use a wheelchair and I would not like to use this for more than 5 minutes. It looks MEGA UNCOMFOTABLE. Cool idea though!

P.S Am trying to make an "awesomechair" with ipod speakers, snack compartment, dvd player and a fold out table. Any ideas???    

How about a hand crank bike unit like this one I saw in Nicaragua?
Or hand cranks on the wheels like that "big wheel" plastic trike competitor,
"the thing" I think it was called?


I would sure love an 'bile to make a hand-crank trike! I have knee & hip problems, but would love to be able to cycle (and I never have ridden a bike--long story short, klutz genes)--it's pretty good exercise. My hub is pretty handy, once you get him going. So, were those ones made with shopping-cart hybridization, or what? The picture looks like the back part is a wheelchair?

There is cool and then there is F'n cool! I once mounted a kitchen sink in a shopping cart......... I thought that was cool but the security device beeped sporadically and scarred me!


This is great! We always make jokes about the carts laying out on the side of the road being asleep after a wild party they had:) Hey, its the little things in life.

I think the doge would have enjoyed the chair... he could have wheeled around under the papal chapel enjoying the frescoes with the pope on his lap. I got to ride in one back at miters long ago, it was cool. Great video!

 looks uncomfortable

Where do you get a used shopping cart? I mean, if you just took one, you'd be, well, stealing. Where did you get such a special little girl? She's soooo cute!