Introduction: Refurbished Folding Lawn Chair With Repurposed Materials

About: I like making things out of items that would have otherwise been discarded. Check out my other projects!

It's just an hour away from the close of a contest on Instructables.  That means I'm cramming like a freshman student to try and get my project done.  Strangely, that's the first and only introduction that i planned on writing for this project. 

I really should take this more seriously.

But I do.  For years I have been intermittently collecting seat belt webbing with the intent of making a folding lawn chair a bit more permanent.  And this project finally got me to dig them out and mash them up with the belts, webbing, and a few found objects to make the best folding lawn chair this side of the other side of my house.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

  • Drill and bits
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Hole punches
  • Pop rivet gun and rivets
  • An old folding aluminum lawn chair
  • Belts, seat belts, straps, dog collars...
  • Awl
  • Marker
  • Tape measure

Step 2: Strip the Old Frame

Take a faded , old aluminum frame and strip off the old webbing from it with a screwdriver. The one I have appeared to have been in too close contact with some major heat.  The cats loved it!  These are great pieces of furniture.  They can be fixed much easier than a broken plastic piece of what currently passes for lawn furniture.  Ultraviolet deterioration is a major contributor of the degradation of the chairs of this era.  Put a straight bit in your drill and remove the old (and likely rusted) screws from the frame.  Liberate those straw-like strands of plastic.

Step 3: Find the Center of the Chair

Find the center of the front and back bars of the chair.  Mark them with a permanent marker.  We'll be centering the first strap on this one. 

Step 4: Drill Holes in the Frame

You might need to drill new holes in the frame or you might be able to use (or enlarge) the holes that existed.  A really wide piece of webbing like i used for my center one will require two rivets on each end to distribute the weight better.

Step 5: Punch Holes in the Straps or Belts

Depending on the material you'll need different tools to put a hole in the straps.  Leather belts will best respond to a leather hole punch.  A seat belt strap or other webbed strap will work better with an awl.  You can use a store bought one or try to use the "sharp" side of a rivet to drive a hole into the strap.

Step 6: Rivet the Strap or Belt

Use a rivet of the same material as the frame to avoid eventual oxidation (aluminum in this case).  Use the pop rivet gun to secure the ends of the straps tor belts from the awl or hole punch from the previous step.

Step 7: Cut Off the Excess

Use scissors or the utility knife to cut off the extra end of the strap or belt.

Step 8: Repeat a Few Dozen Times!

In my case, half way through the project we went over to a friend's house (hence the venue change in the photos) and i wrapped it up there.  Drill, punch, rivet, repeat!  It really helps to have someone visually plan out the project trying to balance out the colors and materials.

Step 9: Add the Perpendicular Pieces

These shorter but more numerous pieces have to be weaved between the first pieces.   These are great to use old belts for because of the shorter length.  The same drill, punch, and rivet procedure is used. 

Step 10: Finish the Weave and Enjoy It!

Use up those old belts, pieces of seat belt webbing, and other straps to create an eclectic piece of furniture!

I have found that it's really comfortable too.

Betabrand Belt Reuse Challenge

Runner Up in the
Betabrand Belt Reuse Challenge