Recycle a Chair Into a Stool




About: Hi I am Dutch and live in Sweden. I love to create things in my little woodshop.

Make a brand new stool out of old chairs. See how it's works

Step 1: How It All Started

In the basement of the school where I work, I found a bunch of old chairs ready to be disposed. That would be a waste of material so I took the wooden parts and made a brand new stool. The seat is fixed with bolt and winged nuts so it can be easily taken off in case you want to put on fresh embroidery. It’s probably difficult to find the same chair but this can be applied to most chairs with curved backs.By the way this is my first instructable and English is not my native tongue, so please be kind.

Step 2: What You Need

The seat of my stool is made of one large back, the support rail is made of two small backs and two seats became four legs (see drawings). If you don’t find a chair with two backs you can also make your support rail of other rest materials.

Other materials:

Two bolts, two nuts, four washers, two winged nuts

Various clamps

Wood glue

Saw (band saw)




2 part epoxy adhesive



Wood filler

A guts


Yarn, needle, pliers

Step 3: Let's Gets Started With the Seat.

Sand the seat with various grades of sandpaper. Hide the old screw holes. Plugg the thiny holes with a dowel (6 mm) as this will make it easier to drill a hole with a 12 mm drill. Glue a dowel, sand the seat smooth.

Step 4: Preparations for the Embroidery

Print your favorite text and tape it on the seat. Use a bodkin to make markings on the seat so you will know where to drill. Drill the holes (I used a 1.5 mm drill, this is depending on the thickness of you yarn you will use).

Step 5: The Support Rail

Start with sanding to increase the grip of the glue. Glue the two small backs and clamp them together. (I use the set of small clamps as my heavier clamps were in use, it is better to have more patients as you get a better result than what I got)

Next you need to plane the support rail to 40 mm (1.6 inch). You need to rasp the support rail to leave space to the embroidery. Sand the support rail.

If you don’t find a chair with two backs you can also make your support rail of other rest materials. Just take the seat to draw the curvature on the material you will use to make the support rail (see last picture) Cut and sand.

Step 6: The Legs

The seats were 15 mm (0.6 inch) thick. I want 40 mm (1.6 inch) for the legs. Therefor I first cut each seat in one large (2/3) and one small part (1/3). And then I glued these parts together so the total height was 45 mm.

Cut in four large legs and plane the legs to 40 x 40 mm (1.6 inch), fill the gaps with wood filler and sand.

Cut the legs at both sides under a 10-12 degree angle.

Step 7: Put Together the Legs With the Support Rail

Mark the areas on each leg were you need to apply the wood glue. Apply glue and clamp together. You may need a helping hand. (Next time I will use hidden plugs which makes it easier to connect the legs to the support rail) Take a break for the glue to dry.

Drill holes through the legs into the support rail, added wood glue and dowel, sand dowel and legs.

Step 8: Prepair Seat Before Final Assembly.

The stool is designed so that the seat can be taken off so that you can renew the embroidery. Put the seat on the support rail and clamp together. Begin with a 12 mm drill and drill little deeper than the thickness of your bolt. (And yes if you look carefully you see that there was already a fillet cap, I made a mistake :-) Than drill with a 6 mm drill trough the seat and the support rail. Put a washers in the two holes on the seat. Enlarge the holes att the bottom side of the support rail with a guts so that the winged nuts fits better.

Step 9: The Bolts........

Oh no the shops were closed and I didn’t had the right sized bolts, so I made my own. After I made the screw-tread I glued the bold with 2 part epoxy adhesive. What a shame i still need to wait till the glue has dried. So in the mean time I did the embroidery on the seat.

Step 10: The Embroidery

Put on some biwax on the urface before sewing. I did the embroidery with the back stitch. (See Use a pliers in case the needle gets stuck.

Step 11: Final Assembly

Cover the embroidery. Place the seat on the support rail. Apply the bolts and tighten with the winged nuts. Don’t forget the washers between the support rail and winged nuts. Add glue and dowel in the holes on the seat. Let the glue dry. Cut the dowel, and sand smooth. Apply wax once more on the seat and the rest of the stool.

You’re done, TAKE A SEAT!



    • Paper Contest

      Paper Contest
    • Remix Contest

      Remix Contest
    • Faux-Real Contest

      Faux-Real Contest

    19 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Your design and use of materials is very clever indeed.....Good Job....


    3 years ago

    This is really cool. Your design is great and the execution turned out really well. Voted.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    waaaaoooow, what a gift you have,
    well done

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Awesome up-cycle...should be entered in a current contest or two

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you paganwonder for your nice comment!. It's in the guerilla contest (You may vote if you want :-)