Picture of Wheelbarrow Chair
Leg Joint Closeup.jpg
A knockoff of sixties-style "egg" or "womb" chairs, this recliner was made from the shell of an old wheelbarrow. I got the idea when I was working construction, and some of my fellow workers would tip a wheelbarrow forward onto its handles, wheel-end in the air, and use it as a chair. I tried it, and it's surprisingly comfortable just like that. However, a wheelbarrow won't stay balanced like that, so I redesigned the concept with new legs and a plush, upholstered interior. The cushions are corduroy, with neodynium magnets holding them in place so they can be removed for cleaning. An earlier prototype can be seen on my flickr page here.

This thing is crazy comfortable, like a big, inhabitable shell that is soft on the inside. Pretty cheap to make, though the end product is a little heavy and bulky.

Step 1: Preparing the Barrow

The first photo shows how the wheelbarrow can be tipped onto its handles and used as a chair as it is.

I got my wheelbarrow for free by posting a wanted ad on craiglist. They are also plentiful at the dump and in suburbua in general, where people tend to buy them for one or two projects and then never use them again. Ask around.

This wheelbarrow had been used to mix concrete. I removed the cured cement with a hammer and screwdriver. Light, rapid taps will crack a lot of it off; get the rest by chiseling and scraping with a flat head screwdriver.

Then I used a Dremel to cut the bolts that held the frame onto the barrow since they were rusted together. The rest is staightforward and heavy on the elbow grease: sand off the rust and old paint with 60-grit sandpaper, then 100-grit, then wash the loose rust, dust, and paint off with a stiff brush and hot soapy water. Last, clean it again with a rag and denatured alcohol.
pwnag33 years ago
It LOOKS ergonomic, but how comfortable is it, on a scale from one to ten 1 being a concrete slab 10 being an ideal seat that can be sat in 12+ hours a day with no back (or butt) pain
k24tea5 years ago
This is so cool! I'm glad I kept my big wheelbarrow after its old wood handles split. Also looks like the perfect shape for a hanging porch chair, with a couple of chains attached. Hmmm.
finton k24tea4 years ago
Yes! I'm gonna do that! Great idea.
k24tea finton4 years ago
If you do make a hanging one, please post a pic of it here. I still haven't made mine. Fun to see a reply to my comment a whole year later! Thanks.
finton4 years ago
Love it! I do the wheelbarrow-chair thing when landscaping, but this will be perfect for converting all my mother's broken wheelbarrows - ooh! Christmas present sorted for her!
When I saw the title, I thought for sure that someone had finally invented something that I ask for when I go to a restaurant & over-eat.

Ever been to a restaurant & stuff yourself until you have trouble moving? You want someone to just "wheelbarrow" you to the car.
Liger4 years ago
I love the idea! Im gonna make this for my sis b day
dimdiode4 years ago
Like you, I've seen loads of builders taking their tea-break in a tilted wheelbarrow. Unlike you, I never had the 'de Bono' lateral thinking moment (Edward, not the Irish 'artiste') and realised a simple bit of woodwork would actually repurpose the thing permanently. Really excellent stuff. Could even buy a new plastic bucket and go straight to the chair without ever using it for the mucky stuff!
ilpug4 years ago
when im out working ,a wheelbarrow is the perfect thing to crash in for a tn minute break. i never thought of bringing that comfort in doors. gotta do this.
Squid Tamer5 years ago
Now you could just mount some little wheels on it for carting around sleepy people instead of concrete!
SGutshall6 years ago
I made one of these after reading your instructable. I tweaked it a bit to my tastes, and I love how it turned out. I used 4x4's treated with tung oil as legs and painted a fluorescent union jack on the inside that glows in blacklight.
abadfart6 years ago
nice i might do this with the one that i used for concreat
omnibot6 years ago
Hmm .. looks like it could make a nice bucketseat for a ride of some sort.
sassafrass6 years ago
This is, hands down, the coolest chair EVER! Thanks a million for a perfect idea for our old "the tire never will stay on right" wheelbarrow wasting away in the backyard.
Wow! That is amazing! I'm making one of these for the kids' playroom. How cute would it be to cuddle up & read to your kids in that. Way to go!
jongscx6 years ago
They need to start selling these at ikea...
aphrael6 years ago
This is really wonderful... and it looks so modern and comfortable, which is really weird if you start thinking about it being a wheelbarrow :P
How awesome! I will definitely try this! 5*s and faved.
shooby6 years ago
I didn't have time to read through your instructable, but the idea itself is one of the top 10 I've seen on this site, and I'm on every day. Great job.
stone34086 years ago
This great! I don't know that I would go to the lengths that you did but, it never even occured to me to use a wheelbarrow as a chair. One I saw it I thought "why in the world didn't I think". Great idea!
jakee1176 years ago
Tottally doing this 5 stars and favorited