Can and Denim Chair




Introduction: Can and Denim Chair

About: I have been sewing and crafting for several years, my children are grown so now I have lots of time to be creative. I enjoy photography, cooking, cake decorating, painting and sharing my projects with others.

This is one awesome chair...made out of garbage. Most of us eat canned food from time to time, and all of us receive junk mail. Now you can make a sturdy chair out of items that would normally be thrown away. I covered mine with old jeans, but it can be covered with  any medium to heavy weight fabric. A toddler chair could be made with about 50 cans. If the seat were 4 cans wide x 4 cans and only 1 can tall. The arms could be 2 cans tall and the back 3 cans tall. 

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Step 1: Supplies Needed

Cans from vegetables,(15 ounce) corn, green beans, etc... I used 204 cans for my chair. They were all the same size. I also used 4 more cans for the legs but they were larger. Shredded paper...lots of it. Old jeans, newspapers, cardboard, shipping tape, glue gun and glue sticks. There is a piece of plywood on the bottom. You can use cans for the bottom for the legs like I did or attach store-bought legs. The great thing about making this chair is you don't have to wait until you have collected all the cans to start working on it. I probably spent a total of $10 on this project. Hot glue sticks, Tape and dowel rods. 

Step 2: Cutting Out Cardboard Circles

Trace around a can onto the cardboard. Make several circles. Cut them out. you will need one for each can. 

Step 3: Stuffing Cans

put the shredded paper into the clean cans, pressing down and adding more until you can't get any more paper in the can. This step makes the cans solid and very sturdy. Place a cardboard circle over the can after you fill it with shredded paper. Tape it down and set aside. Repeat with the other cans. 

Step 4: Stacking the Cans

make a column by taping one can on top of another. Decide how big you want the seat of the chair and then you know how many columns to make.

Step 5: Wrapping Columns With Newspaper

Cover the columns with 2 or 3 sheets of newspaper. Roll tightly, Tape or glue. This step helps strengthen the cans.

Step 6: Attaching the Columns to Each Other

cut strips of denim from old jeans. 1" x 6". Hot glue these to the columns and keep adding until you get the chair the size you want. 

Step 7: Bottom of the Chair

Cut a scrap piece of plywood as wide as your chair is going to be. My chair is 27" wide and 24" deep. Round the corners of the plywood with a jigsaw. You can purchase chair legs or casters, I used cans from spaghetti sauce. The cans were stuffed with shredded paper and glued denim strips to the top of them, then I glued the other end of the denim strips to the chair bottom. When you get the legs attached, start stacking the cans on top of the plywood base. 

Step 8: Making the Back of the Chair

Decide how tall you want the back of the chair. I made the seat of the chair 2 cans high, the arm section 4 cans high and the back of the chair is 6 cans high. The back of my chair is 9 columns wide. 6 x 9 equals 54 cans for the back section. I glued dowel rods to the columns that made up the back of the chair to add strength.

Step 9: Chair Seat

I used 98 cans for the seat of the chair. 7 wide by 7 deep by 2 cans high. 

Step 10: Chair Arms

The chair arms are 4 cans high and there are 6 columns in each arm. I cut up an old sheet into strips and wrapped these around the base of the chair, and hot glued in place. This step helps hold everything together. in the front corners there are 2 cans each.  This is placed directly in front of the chair arms. Glue strips of fabric all around the cans to hold them all together. 

Step 11: Attaching Cans to Base and Padding

Glue denim strips underneath the chair and bring up and glue to the cans, repeat all the way around chair. I found some scrap pieces of foam that I used for the padding of the seat and then covered the arms and back with an old blanket. Cut pieces to fit and hot glue down.

Step 12: Making the Cover

Using old jeans, cut up squares and sew them together to make a piece large enough for the seat. Allow 1/2" for seam allowance. Do the same for the back, arms and sides of the chair. Sew these sections together and place over the chair. Make it 2 inches longer than chair. fold under chair bottom and staple or hot glue. If you want to make a slip cover, stitch elastic around the bottom edge and it can be taken off to wash. The finished chair will be very heavy and sturdy.

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    7 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Clever and something most of us could do - even if we get help with making a cover! I've used plastic milk crates to make a lounge in my younger days and cans as supports for shelves and bookcases, but I've never thought of this use for them. Well done!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I like the idea, but I would use something other than tape to secure the legs, if you did I'm sorry, I just glanced at it.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I do plan to replace the can legs with store-bought chair legs eventually.