How to Build Your Own Adirondack Chairs, with Ana White

Posted by: on May 16th, 2013 | 54 Comments
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Adirondack chairs have been around for over a century. This iconic piece of patio furniture is perfect for lounging around on breezy warm days at the beach, by the pool, or out on the deck or patio. The original version was made from a solid piece of wood cut into 12 pieces. Today Adirondack chairs are available in a wide variety of materials, including plastic as well as many types of wood. You can purchase one of these chairs, as you would any other patio furniture, and relax very comfortably in your decision. Or, you could easily build your own and experience the singular pleasure that comes from creating something with your own hands.

The choice is yours, of course. And if you’re up for building your own Adirondack chair, here’s a video featuring popular DIY blogger Ana White and Home Depot associate Wendy to show you how. This project has been featured as one of our free monthly Do-It-Herself Workshops held at Home Depot stores across the country.

A diagram of an Adirondack chairAside from a few tools you may already have around the house, for this project you’ll need:

  • 3 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 2×2 @ 6 feet long
  • 4 – 1×4 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 1/2”, 2” and 1 1/4” wood screws
  • Wood glue suitable for oily wood and exterior projects
  • A compound miter saw for making angle cuts
  • jigsaw for cutting the arched back of the chair

If you don’t currently have those saws out in the garage – no problem, your local Home Depot Tool Rental Center will be happy to set you up with what you need while you build your Adirondack chairs.

Download the printable instructions, complete with a detailed cut list for the wood for this Adirondack chair and a footstool when you’re ready to get started, and don’t be shy about emailing us photos of your awesome new patio chair when you’re done.

We also have a tutorial on a how to paint your new Adirondack chair with ideas on fun, eye-catching color patterns.

For more inspiration to help you transform the look of your deck, patio and other outdoor living spaces, check out our Style Challenge series, including the Patio Style Challenge, and the special Adirondack Challenge edition.

Check out more DIY and home improvement videos here on the Home Depot blog and on The Home Depot’s YouTube channel.


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  1. steve says:

    how about a plan for tall adirondack chairs can’t find one anywhere

  2. Levina says:

    Really easy plans. Anyone with basic skills will have no trouble. Took me about 2 1/2 hours to make two of these without sand and paint that is. My only recommendation is if you don’t own a miter saw go and rent one. I can’t imagine how long it would take to cut all those boards without it. Thanks!

  3. Chip says:

    I was also confused by the cut of the stretcher board. The cut list says to cut 2 2x4s at 31 7/8 inches. Then step 1 has a diagram showing the additional cuts on the stretcher boards with one side of the board indicated as 31 7/8″, but the board must be a few inches longer than that from end to end with the cut outs. Is the diagram incorrect or is the uncut board actually longer than 31 7/8″?

  4. Derek says:

    Can someone post a step by step of the stretcher? they omitted the hardest part from the video

  5. Tracy says:

    I love making these chairs. I used a lid from our garbage can to make the arc! It worked out great. Thanks :) I am looking forward to a bar height adirondack chair as well as a pub style table to go along with it :)

  6. Carl says:

    Still don’t understand the cut on the stretcher. Have had to keep playing with it to make it fit. It’s frustrating. I have not ever made things like this and would LOVE to see a video where the wood is actually cut so you can see exactly how to cut the stretchers.

    The chairs are great tho!!!

    • Chad says:

      After you make the 20 degree cut, line up your square on the cut end and slide it up and down until the 2″ mark (on the perpendicular side of the square) intersects the other edge of the stringer. You’ll know you’ve got it when the piece of board showing looks like the piece missing from the drawing. Mark a line and chop that corner off. Hope that helps!

  7. Trevor says:

    Easy to build.. I used white pine from the local HD but used my planer to take it down to 1 1/4″, this makes the 2X4s look a lot nicer but changes the dimensions a little so make sure and measure. I also used planed down 2X6s for the arm rests, a few relief cuts and a 3″ whole toward the front gives a nice drink holder. If I make others I will probably make them wider by an inch and a half and taller by the same. Over all a very nice chair and excluding the tools I had about $50 in each, with screws left for other projects..

  8. Tim says:

    Any suggestions for the type of wood to use? There are so many options! What works best? What’s most cost effective, but durable?

    • Trevor says:

      I used white pine from the HD, cheap and forgiving.. when I give these to my neighbor and build the next ones for my back yard I will be using rough cedar.

  9. ad says:

    what about a table to go with the chairs and foot stools?

  10. Jim Konopacki says:

    Are there any plans available to make a bar height Adirondack chair?


    • Craig Allen says:

      We have no plans at the moment for a bar height Adirondack chair, but that’s a good idea.

      Thanks for writing.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  11. Jeremy says:

    I started at 10:00 a.m., just finished at 9:00 p.m. I built four in that time span, including lunch, dinner, 2 loads of laundry and one trip to home depot for more screws.

    I had a stack of 5/4 boards that I used for the vertical and horizontal slats, other than that the plans were adequate if you have basic carpentry skills. (I cheated – I’m a contractor, so I have all the tools and a lot of know how)

    Anyway, good, simple design. An average person with some basic skills should be able to knock one or two of them over the course of a weekend.

    Protip – to get your rounded cut – I thought it was a bit cheesy to just suggest using something round to draw your arc. Instead, take a piece of twine or small line and tie two bowlines about 18 inches apart and screw a screw in about 18 inches down centered on the center slat. Loop the other end over your pencil and draw yourself an arc. You can vary the arc according to taste by lengthening or shortening the twine, or moving the screw up or down.


    • Craig Allen says:

      Thanks for the tip, Jeremy.

      –Craig, from The Home Depot

    • charlie says:

      jeremy can you explain how to cut the stringer? the front of the stringer where you cut at 20 degree i get but i cant figure the 2″ cut….i ruined 2- 2×4′s even though they were used lumber i couldnt figure it out so hung it up until i can get it right

      • Chad says:

        Charlie, see response to Carl above. Using the measurements marked on your square you can determine where the cut should be. All about finding the intersection that creates a 2″ long edge.

  12. jose solis says:

    I love working with wood and I would love to make this chair for my wife.

  13. terry O'Connell says:

    I would like to make footstools for the chair I built?

  14. John Swagerty says:

    i made 2 of the chairs last weekend. my wife wants to paint them a bright color, but they will stay outdoors so they need to be stained or weather resistant somehow. what sort of treatment should i apply that i can still paint them a bright color? thanks!

    • Craig Allen says:


      Just about exterior paint would do just fine for this. A flat finish is probably the most comfortable to sit on.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

    • Steve says:

      I made two back in July and used exterior paint in a bright blue and green. I would suggest the paint/primer all in one just for ease of application. I also sprayed my paint on, thinning with a bit of water. I had to do more coats but it came out really nice.

      My only complaint is that on the corners of the armrests the paint is wearing off from people using them to get up and out of the chair. I’m debating if I should touch them up and seal them with a poly or something.

  15. Kyle Sandate says:

    Can someone please show, and or, explain the combo angle cut?
    Thank you,


  16. Very nice, simple plans. I’m stuck in Afghanistan and wanted something snazzier than the ubiquitous folding metal tube and canvas beach chairs to sit out front of my B-Hut. As a Chief Warrant, folks expect a little ‘snazziness’, you know…

    Of course, now I’m thinking I may need to chain the thing down or it may just walk off!

  17. [...] of you enjoyed our previous posts with Ana White on how to make an Adirondack chair and outdoor coffee table, and have written to us and sent pictures of your finished work. We love [...]

  18. Tanya says:

    This project looks awesome!! How long does it usually take to complete?

    • Craig Allen says:

      It is a pretty cool project, isn’t it?

      How long does it take? That kind of depends on your skills. If you have all your materials and tools ready to go, and you’re handy with the tools, you could probably do this in a comfortable day, not counting painting and drying time. If you’re like me, possessing only moderate tool skills, maybe a weekend, with plenty of time stop and sip your lemonade and marvel at your progress.

      That’s just a guess, though.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  19. Audrey says:

    OK. measurments are correct, printed directions received from class are not very good in regards to the angle cuts. Figured it out myself and finished 2 chairs. Love them, these will last for a very long time. Stained them with a solid stain and the look great and are very comfortable.

  20. Audrey says:

    Finished 2nd chair yesterday. The directions about the angles were not clear, figured it out myself. Love the chairs, looks like they will last a long time.

  21. Debora Cadene says:

    I made two of these the other day and I absolutely love them. They fit together perfectly with the measurements that were provided. I did have to trim the two back boards that hold the 1×4′s for the back of the chair, by 1/8 of an inch because it was way too tight, (clearly not all 2×4′s are created equally…..) so just make sure the 2×4 fits good at the base of your seat before you assemble the rest of the back. I am going to make 2 more because your directions were so easy to follow and even with out a cushion, these chairs are comfortable.

  22. Steve says:

    Made a chair last night. No problems with measurements of any kind. If you have problems with the plans you are most likely skipping a step or not following the plans correctly. I too made one with 20″ fronts and 20 3/4″ backs and the chair is perfect! Sounds like you cut your angles wrong. Onto the footstool next…

  23. Audrey says:

    I’m with Rick, these plans don’t work. I spent 4 hours yesterday to find out the plans are NOT correct. Please provide me with the correct measurements. I have already waisted material and is was not cheap.

  24. Chris says:

    Use an impact driver to drive screws, much faster, more torque and they don’t strip screw heads.

  25. rick says:

    it would be nice if your measurements actually matched the video because for the legs just looking i can tell that the difference beetween the front and back is more than 3/4” but thanks for screwing up all of my wood trying to figure it out!!! so what are the lengths you used with the wood in the video? and next time read before you post instructions!

  26. rick says:

    it would be nice if the video showed how to make the front combo angle cut. I have wasted wood trying to figure it out it doesnt work !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sukey says:

      Easy peasy. Cut the end at 20 degrees. Use a square to identify the 45% angle from the cut end, and slide the square up and down until you have a 2″ span between the front cut and the upper long edge of the board. Mark it and cut it.

      • charlie says:

        gonna try this tomorrow! i messed up 2 2×4′s with that 2″ cut as well but im using used lumber from a ripped down deck.but i couldnt figure it out so i had to hold the project off…thanks sukey,gonna tackle this again tomorrow

  27. [...] 5. Home Depot Adirondack Side Table via Ana White: If your feeling really crafty, try this side table project from The Home Depot DIH workshops. [...]

  28. Martha says:

    The link to the footstool plans/directions isn’t right. Please republish this.

    • Craig Allen says:


      The link should work now. Just click, and the plans should open up on your screen.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  29. Mark says:

    Where would I find the plans for the foot stool for this chair? Thanks so much!

    • Craig Allen says:


      For the chair plans and the stool plans click the link in the article that says “Download the printable instructions”. The instructions should magically open up on your computer screen. From there you can save the instructions to your computer.

      -Craig, from The Home Depot

  30. I just got the lumber for these chairs and am ready to get started! Just FYI…the lumber in my area (Colorado Springs) cost me $72 for two chairs — not bad in the scheme of things, but about twice what I was expecting. I’m using whitewood 2x4s, 2x2s, and #2 pine.

  31. I’ve been waiting for this plan!

  32. Ana White says:

    I am SO excited about these chairs and this workshop – really looking forward to it!!! Hope you can make it – these are some of my favorite chairs ever, and would be all the more fun to build with my favorite people ever! XO Ana

    • Audrey says:

      Have the plans, went to the workshop and your plans are not correct. Would really like to have the correct measurement. I have already waisted good lumber.