Picture of Sweet Dorm Furniture
a month before school started I thought it would be neat to have some old car seats as my dorm furniture instead of the crappy futons that everyone else has. after a week of planning, I started searching for seats and found some for a decent price of $25 a seat, so I bought 2 bucket seats and a bench seat out of a wrecked Grand Prix.  and here are my results. I learned a lot from this project and went into it with knowing little of how to build furniture. I think anyone who is tired of plain old furniture, has some extra cash and likes to impress there friends should try this. I some how did this project for under $100.  BUT I could see it running up to $300..

Here's my materials I used
Car seats - $75
angle aluminum - Free
Wood - Free
Drawer slides - $10
Welding - Free (knew someone)
Misc. hardware - Free-$5

That cost me around $80

Now if you choose to build something as cool as this you can use any materials you feel comfortable using, I chose aluminum because we had extra laying around,  it is sturdy when all welded together and it was free. 

Step 1: Make a plan

Picture of make a plan
here are some sketches I drew to get the idea out of my head and plan what I want my furniture to look like in the end. NOW my final project did not end up exactly like this, but it was pretty close to what I wanted. I changed it a bit

after finding the seats that satisfy you, start measuring so you know what you need to build below it. 

I got my seats out of a totaled 2007 Grand Prix. You can get what ever you like. older seats are generally cheap and new ones of course are more pricey, but it all depends who you get them from. Fortunately the place I got them from charged me $25 a seat = $75 
I have been wanting to try this for ages as there are plenty of car seats out there. But I think I will go with a wood frame as I don't know anyone who can weld it for me. thanks for the tips

In 1982 I did just exactly this type of assembly. You know, way back before everyone even knew what a cellphone is and CDs were new age technology! It cost a little more than cheap because I had a buddy who ran a reclamation yard and he made me a deal on the front seat from a 1970 Cadillac. White Leather and oh so comfortable! Great Instructable, way to go 'Green!' Recycle, re-purpose, re-claim, reuse! This phrase will help with grammar 'Boo boo's!' THEY'RE going to put THEIR packages over THERE! No big deal and I hate to sound like a 'picky ninny!' It just looks better to those of use who are a little Anal, and proud of it!

smitty500 (author)  pddonovan20111 year ago

Thank you for sharing your experience with this type of project! 70's Cadillac seats look pretty nice, I wish I could have gotten a hold of some vintage seats, but they probably would not be in the best condition or not fit the budget! I can't really say I was going green, BUT I definitely like up-cycling. I am really surprised that THERE aren't that many people who have done something like this, or at least have not shared THEIR story. lol

bpfh1 year ago
Very nice (and cheap) idea. May also be a darn sight more confortable that a cheap futon too!!!
smitty500 (author)  bpfh1 year ago
Thanks! It was cheap for me at least (I don't know about the next person who tries this.) I also believe a lot of furniture is more comfortable than a cheap futon! lol.
wiptofiz1 year ago
Really liking the car jack chair idea! Though for the bench, I can't help but to think that you could have made the frame out of wood and saved yourself alot of time/work. (Though aluminum looks nicer) :)
smitty500 (author)  wiptofiz1 year ago
Thanks for the comment! And yes I could have made it out of wood. I don't know if it really would have save me time and work. These were a few of my issues. I am neither a master at metal nor wood. The only thing in abundance I had on hand was aluminum, and wood was pretty sparse. It would have taken far more wood to offer the same amount of support that the aluminum had. I am not very good with wood either. some of my pieces were shorter than the others or a bit crooked. plus I don't trust my structures when screwed together. with metal I did not have to worry about slightly off pieces because the welds make up for it. It is also easier to ask a welder to make some quick welds rather than asking a carpenter to assemble an entire furniture piece. Also most tools I had were geared more for metal.
Though the only problem I think I will have with the metal is that I can't upholster it properly, but that is for another day. Thanks again!
zap19982 years ago
Very cool project. How hard was the aluminum to weld?
smitty500 (author)  zap19982 years ago
it wasn't hard at all! I stood there while someone else did it. lol. But watching the process I don't believe it's any harder than welding steel, just a different method. The guy who I had do mine has a couple years under his belt and he did an amazing job
xd12c smitty5002 years ago
Welding aluminum LOOKS easy, but it requires a lot more precision than steel. Used to work in a welding shop. I was told that it is very easy to burn through aluminum.
cfsunlet2 years ago
Great idea!
dlindstrom2 years ago
Love the bench design, I hadn't considered that yet! For the buckets, get an old office chair and fabricate the mounts to fit the car seat mounts. It'll swivel, adjust in height, and roll around.
smitty500 (author)  dlindstrom2 years ago
Thanks for the comment! I have considered that many times and have saw many others doing the same thing. but with my car jack design/idea, I can go low to floor like it is currently or I can go as high as a desk chair. a little bit more difficult to accomplish, but when/if I do it, I think it will turn out great!
onemoroni12 years ago
Cool idea and not overly complicated with room for improvements.
Patrick S2 years ago
Sweet! Hopefully you live on a low floor!
smitty500 (author)  Patrick S2 years ago
I live on the second
junits152 years ago
Nice! Your bunk looks exactly like the one I have in my my dorm haha
spyder20212 years ago
I like it, great idea.