How To Make A Folding Chair? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
20 min read

Knowing how to create a foldable chair makes outdoor activities much more exciting. As more people take use of the great outdoors, manufacturers have developed a wide variety of picnic and outdoor recreation products.

Many different styles of folding chairs are available. These nuances make it harder to make informed decisions. However, your own tastes, the style of your home, and your level of comfort are the primary determinants.

Simple tasks in your courtyard can be accomplished from the comfort of these foldable seats. Its portability means it can be relocated with minimal effort. You may save yourself both time and money by making your own folding chairs instead of buying them. It’s a lot less complicated than you might think.

Pros and Cons of Folding Chairs

The Pros:

  • The primary benefit of folding chairs is the space they conserve. When not in use, simply stack them up and they’ll take up almost any room at all.
  • Multiple options for seating are available in this set. You can choose from a wide range of materials, from vinyl to wood and even aluminum. It’s up to you to make a decision that suits your tastes. Each material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to weigh them all carefully before making a decision. The greatest option is the one that meets your specific needs. Don’t put too much stock in the opinions of others because requirements will vary.
  • With kids in the house, you’ll appreciate having folding chairs even more. Occasionally, they would invite some people around. Folding chairs allow you to use them when necessary while keeping their room uncluttered at other times.
  • As their fame has grown, more and more sophisticated models have become available. Those days of making do with unsightly seating options are over. These days, even practical items like foldable lawn chairs can be designed with aesthetics in mind.
  • Folding chairs, as several have pointed out, are not as sturdy as permanent ones.
  • Regular use of these seats has also been linked to back complaints.

The Cons:

Looking at the pluses and minuses of folding chairs, it’s easy to see that they far outweigh the minuses. Those few drawbacks can easily avoided by only purchasing chairs of high quality from reliable vendors. The Internet provides a wide variety of choices. Evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of folding chairs before making a final choice.

How to Make a Secret Foldable Chair at Home - YouTube

Building A Folding Chair

As simple as they may appear to be on the surface, folding chairs actually have a lot of moving parts inside. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t fret over their construction.

You can find plenty of other layouts for folding chairs online if this one doesn’t suit your needs. Use these files as a starting point by downloading them for free.

That seemingly difficult activity can be broken down into a series of easy steps. It’s almost time to start building chairs, so get your hands in shape.

Step #1. Prepare

Preparation prior to any endeavor is a standard operating practice. Gathering the necessary supplies, namely wood, and a suitable location to construct the folding chair, is the first step in this undertaking.

You can get a feel for what you need to do in advance because you know that this foldable chair will be constructed of wood. To build a baluster, you’ll need seven pieces of 2×2 lumber with mitered ends. Saw, drill, 212″ wood screws, sandpaper, wood glue, pencil, and ruler are also available.

The following items are examples of those which you may also possess. It’s best to be prepared in case you unexpectedly need one, so here are some things you can do:

  • Quick square
  • Plier gun
  • 12″ staples
  • bit sizes of 1/8″ and 1/4″
  • Bolts, two pieces, 3 inches by 1/4 inches
  • A set of four washers with a diameter of 0.4 inches
  • a pair of 1/4″ nuts
  • The Measuring Tape
  • Wood filler/Putty
  • Paint
  • Cut miter joints with a saw and a box

Once you have the aforementioned items ready, you may concentrate on your housing search. Think about how easy it will be to clean up afterward, and keep that in mind when selecting a workplace.

Step #2. Create chair legs

Use the balusters with the mitered ends to construct the chair legs. Balusters are 25″ long when measured from the outside of the mitered end. You can put a mark here with a pencil to remind yourself later.

The legs can be made by drawing a line on the markings and then cutting them out. If you want to make accurate markings, a speed square may be the tool for you.

Step #3. Set and dry fit cross braces

Two sections of the cross bracing need to be measured at 10 inches, two more at 12 12 inches, and two more at 14 inches. Make pencil markings, then use a saw or a miter box to cut them to size.

Next, set the two 12-and-a-half-inch braces between the legs for a dry fit. As a second step, attach 10″ cross braces in the space between the legs.

Finally, attach 14-inch cross bracing to the squared-off ends of the legs. Put a mark at 3″ along the mitered end.

Step #4. Attach chair legs to braces

Keep in mind that we marked the cross braces at 3″ in the preceding instruction. That’s what you’d need for this next part.

Put these marks at the base of both cross bracing and make sure they are parallel. Use an 18″ drill bit to make pilot holes in the chair leg and the prop before you attach them.

Join the cross braces to the legs with wood glue and screws. Place the squared-off ends of the legs in line with the top of the cross braces. So, let’s do this again.

To finish, draw a ‘X’. The drill bit should be 1/4″ in diameter, and the hole should be drilled at a distance of 12″ from each chair’s square end. Finish by using washers and nuts to fasten the bolts together.

Step #5. Sand

After the chair’s frame is put together, the sandpaper comes out. For this task, we suggest using sandpaper or a sanding block with a grain of 220.

If you plan on painting the chair, you should do it after sanding. Leave it to dry for a time before proceeding.

Step #6. Make a seat

Use cloth to create a seat for your folding chair. Take measurements of the upper portion of your chair, and be ready to secure it.

Pre-drill the top cross-braces with a 1/8″ drill bit so you may attach the cloth seat afterwards. The staples of the cloth seat should face down when you install it. Connect and fasten them using screws in the already-drilled holes.

How To Make Folding Chair Look Good

You could spend a whole day staring at a wooden folding chair. Put those wooden foldable chairs outside, and we can already imagine how boring it will appear.

Don’t worry! There are numerous creative options for sprucing up and personalizing folding chairs.

An attractive chair can be achieved by a variety of means, such as the application of ribbons, paint, or fabric. Don’t be scared to try out new things and play around with different layouts.

How To Make A Folding Chair || DIY - Foldable Chair - YouTube

The Best Folding Chairs

Best Overall: Emma + Oliver Resin Folding Chair

Polypropylene resin construction; 17.5 x 18 x 30.75 inch size; 36 pound weight; 1000 pound weight capacity.

A Few Favorite Things

  • Long-lasting design
  • Capacity to support a great deal of weight
  • Combining the indoors and outside

This is What We Dislike

  • Do not sell separately

What are the opinions of the purchasers? Over ninety-five percent of the reviews on Amazon gave this product a 4-star or 5-star rating.

Emma + Oliver is the best option for foldable chairs. This set is perfect for indoor and outdoor use, since the thermoplastic resin frames and padded vinyl chairs are resistant to the elements. Each chair weighs a mere 9 pounds, but can support up to an incredible 1,000 pounds.

They can be stacked and collapsed into a flat shape for convenient storage. Sets of two or four of these foldable chairs are available in your choice of sleek black, rich red mahogany, or clean white. Thanks to their thermoplastic build, they never need to be repainted and arrive ready to use.

Best Budget: Flash Furniture Hercules Series Double Braced Metal Folding Chair

Steel construction; 18 by 18 by 30.5-inch footprint; 8 lb. weight; 225-lb. weight capacity.

A Few Favorite Things

  • Budget-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Available singly or in sets

This is What We Dislike

  • Seating distance is limited due to the short length of the vehicle.

You might picture a boring design when you think of metal folding chairs, but Flash Furniture’s Hercules Series is a very different animal. These stylish and reasonably priced chairs come in a variety of colors, including bright red, muted gray, understated beige, and sleek black.

Their double-braced legs and riveted construction mean they will last a long time without bending or breaking. Chairs weigh only 8 grams each and can hold up to 225 pounds between them.

Best for Sports: Coleman Oversized Quad Chair

The dimensions are 24×18 inches, the material is polyester and steel, and the total weight is 8 pounds. The maximum load is 325 pounds.

A Few Favorite Things

  • Economically viable
  • Included refrigerator
  • Includes a bag for transport

This is What We Dislike

  • Discomfort to the head and neck due to lack of a pillow

Bring along a Coleman Cooler Quad on your next camping trip; you won’t regret it. This foldable chair features a durable steel frame, padded seating and back, and weather-resistant polyester upholstery.

The roomy seat measures 24 inches wide and 18 inches from the ground and can support up to 325 pounds of weight. The Cooler Quad, as its name implies, is equipped with a cooler that can carry up to four cans, as well as side pockets and a mesh cup holder.

Best Plastic: Inbox Zero Premium Plastic Folding Chair

The spacious seat is 24 inches wide, 18 inches high, and can hold up to 325 pounds of weight. The Cooler Quad is a four-can beverage chiller with side compartments and a mesh cup holder.

A Few Favorite Things

  • Combining the indoors and outside
  • Lightweight
  • Capacity to support a great deal of weight

This is What We Dislike

  • Do not sell separately

These folding chairs by Inbox Zero are built to last, with sturdy plastic and 18-gauge steel construction. Each one only weighs 7 pounds, yet they can hold up to 650 pounds of pressure.

The legs have protective pads to avoid damaging your flooring. These chairs are available in black, brown, or white, and in groups of two or ten.

Best for Desk: Stakmore A-Frame Wood Folding Chair

Weight capacity is 300 pounds; dimensions are 19 by 19.75 by 31 inches; materials include solid wood, vinyl, and foam; and the product weighs 13.1 pounds.

A Few Favorite Things

  • Body made of solid wood
  • Completely pre-assembled
  • Guaranteed to last for five years.

This is What We Dislike

  • Expensive

It’s easy to see why decorator Ashley Mecham recommends Stakmore’s A-Frame Wood Folding Chair. It has a fine oak frame, a steel folding mechanism, and a foam padded vinyl covered seat for comfort.

Each of the two chairs weighs 13 pounds and has a seat that can support up to 300 pounds. This folding chair is ideal for offices, conference tables, and card tables thanks to its stylish appearance and adaptable design.

Best Rocking: GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker Portable Folding Rocking Chair

Weight Capacity: 250 lbs. Dimensions: 25 x 24 x 34.8 inches Material: Steel, mesh Weight: 12 lbs.

A Few Favorite Things

  • Mechanical rocking motion thanks to a spring
  • Simple to fold up
  • Long-term service guarantee

This is What We Dislike

  • Heavier than average

Try out the GCI Outdoor Freestyle Rocker if you’re a fan of rocking chairs. It can support up to 250 pounds thanks to its powder-coated steel frame and nylon feet. Seat, armrests, and built-in drink holder are all constructed of weather-resistant fabric.

The Easi-Fold Technology and proprietary spring-action mechanism provide seamless folding and unfolding, and the chair rocks smoothly across a variety of outdoor surfaces. The lifetime warranty on this lightweight folding rocking chair is just an added bonus.

Best for Beach: Nice C Low Beach Folding Chair

Weight: 6.2 lbs | Weight Capacity: 300 lbs | Dimensions: 23 x 23 x 23 inches | Material: Steel, nylon

A Few Favorite Things

  • Lightweight
  • Engineered for the long haul
  • Includes a bag for transport

This is What We Dislike

  • A tearable fabric

Going to hit the beach, huh? Consider bringing along a Nice C Beach Folding Chair. You may have one on its own or a combination of two; each weighs slightly more than 6 pounds and comes with its own carrying bag.

This slim folding chair can hold up to 300 pounds thanks to its sturdy steel frame and sink-proof foot covers. Keeping you cool and comfortable as you watch the waves is a seat and cup holder constructed of industrial-grade polyester mesh.

Best Canopy: SwimWays Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair

Weight Capacity: 250 lbs. Dimensions: 37 x 24 x 58 inches Material: Steel, polyester Weight: 11.24 lbs.

A Few Favorite Things

  • Constructed Canopy
  • UPF 50+ Sunscreen
  • Carrying strap

Carrying strap

  • Transportation strap
  • Only a few colors to choose from

When spending time at the beach, lake, park, or soccer field, one can never have enough sun protection. That’s why the Kelsyus Original Canopy Chair by SwimWays is such a great purchase. The unique canopy provides protection from the sun with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50.

When you need shade, simply pull it down and lock it into place, and bring it back when you don’t. Additionally, the canopy may be used as a carrying case and comes with a shoulder strap for convenience. The Kelsyus is on the larger side, at about 12 pounds, but it can hold up to 250 pounds.

Wooden folding chair homemade - YouTube

What to Look for in a Folding Chair


Mecham tells The Spruce, “the most important element when choosing folding chairs is deciding where you’ll mostly use it.” Consider your personal taste and the decor of your home when deciding on a look for your foldable chairs. You may easily incorporate extra seats into the decor of your house using any number of available solutions.

Do you want to throw a party and require a set of matching chairs for your guests, or do you need extra seating for your garden gathering, game night, or barbecue? You could perhaps be looking for a folding chair for the beach or the campground. Whatever the case may be, functionality will play a role in dictating the design and construction.


Frames for folding mechanisms are commonly built of stainless steel or thermoplastic resin because of their durability in all seasons. Fabric upholstery (such weather-resistant polyester), woven wicker seats, or padded vinyl covers can be found on some folding chairs.

Folding chairs intended for indoor usage may not last long in outdoor settings, thus it is important to select chairs made from a material that is suitable for the elements, as advised by Mecham. Features like water resistance or insect resistance are vital to look for if your region demands extra weather protection.


Check the overall dimensions in both the folded and unfolded states since size is also an important factor to consider. Find out how many folding chairs you can store and where they can be used most effectively.

The typical dining chair has a depth of 17, width of 17, and height of 19. While most folding chairs are on the smaller side, you may also discover models with larger dimensions.


The product weight and the weight capacity are two important metrics to consider while looking for folding chairs. Typical items range in weight from 6 to 13 kg. A lightweight foldable chair may be preferable for transport.

Mecham adds, “It’s also crucial to check the weight capacity on folding chairs, to make sure it’s durable and can stand up to repeated use for years.” Many chairs have a weight limit of only 225 or 300 pounds, but there are others that can hold up to a thousand.


Who invented the folding chair?

Folding chairs and stools have been in use from the 15th to 13th century BC, despite their contemporary appearance. John Cram, who received a patent for a folding chair in 1855, Nathaniel Arnold, who added a shelf to the back of his folding chair design in 1911 to accommodate sheet music and prayer books in churches, and Fredric Arnold, who created the first aluminum folding chair with a fabric seat in 1956 and mass produced the kinds of folding chairs that are still popular today, are all credited with inventing the modern folding chair as we know it.

How do you make a folding chair comfortable?

A folding chair is a no frills option, designed more for the sake of convenience and economy than for the sake of comfort. However, some individuals attempt to improve the comfort of folding chairs by adding a seat cushion, a slipcover, or by draping a genuine or artificial sheepskin over the seat and back. There are also foldable chairs that have the back or seat upholstered in the manufacturing process.

How do you fix a metal folding chair?

The steel supports in metal folding chairs make them convenient to fold and unfold for usage and storage. Due to constant use, these braces might become loose or bent. For metal chairs, you can fix the bracing by turning the chair upside down, gaining better access to the nut, and then unscrewing it with a screwdriver. Repositioning the nut, screwing it back into place, and tightening it with the screwdriver will make a loose brace as good as new. However, the brace should be replaced if it has been bent.


Now that you know how to create a folding chair, you can really get the party started at your next outdoor gathering. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day, doesn’t cost much, and is basic to execute.

Many examples of folding chairs may be found online for you to use as a guide. Get your stuff together and find a spot to work, and you’ll be ready to go.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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