DIY Sling Beach Chair
Whether you love the beach, appreciate well-designed furniture, or just like having a comfortable place to sit down and rest, a sling beach chair is an ideal outdoor seating option.
Using a video from Mugur Anghelache and free plans from Ana White, we’ll outline how to DIY your very own sling beach chair for a fraction of what it would cost to buy one pre-made from a store.
Let's Make It
- Tape measure
- Miter saw
- Drill bits
- Spade drill bit
- Straight block drill guide
- Pipe clamp
- Electric Sander
- Sewing machine
- **See Ana White plans for more detail**
- Wood glue
- Wood stain
- Wood sealer
How To Build A DIY Sling Beach Chair
To begin your DIY sling beach chair project, acquire the materials you’ll need.
To see a complete materials list and diagram, see Ana White’s folding sling chair project.
Measure Wood For Sling Beach Chair
Use a tape measure to measure and mark out all the cuts for the DIY folding sling beach chair.
You can see a full cut list with all the measurements needed for this project on Ana White’s website.
Cut Wood To Size
Using a miter saw, or circular saw, cut the pieces of wood to their proper dimensions.
Tip: If you don’t have a power saw, a handheld saw works, as well. Just ensure that the cuts are straight to allow the chair ease of movement in folding and backrest adjustment.
Rough Frame Assembly
Lay out the cut pieces to make sure everything is cut to size. Make modifications or corrections where necessary.
This is merely a dry assembly, so don’t worry about fastening everything quite yet. It’s more to see that you have everything you need and to know which pieces go where.
Cut Large Wooden Dowel
Use a saw to cut the long cylindrical wooden dowels to size.
One of these pieces will allow the sling beach chair’s backrest to be adjusted. The other pieces hold the fabric sling to the beach chair.
Drill Holes For The Large Wooden Dowels
With a power drill and a spade bit, pre-drill the holes that will hold the large wooden dowel in place on the frame pieces. This section will allow for backrest angle adjustment.
Use a spade drill bit that is the same diameter as the large wooden dowel.
Do not drill completely through the wood. Only go deep enough (about halfway through) so that that dowels will fit snugly and securely.
Apply Wood Glue To Large Dowel Holes
Generously apply wood glue that is recommended for outdoor use into the previously drilled holes.
Attach Large Dowels
Drive the large wooden downs into the holes.
If necessary, use a rubber mallet to knock the dowel firmly into place.
Wipe away any excess glue that comes out of the drilled holes.
Ensure that both pieces of the wood are parallel to each other. Once both pieces are firmly in place, use a clamp to hold the pieces together while the glue dries.
Tip: We recommend using a pipe clamp to hold the two pieces of wood and dowel together.
Use an electric sander to sand all the DIY sling beach chair pieces until they are smooth.
Look for any imperfections, splinters, or rough areas. You can also round off the corners with the sander to avoid having sharp edges.
Once all the pieces have been thoroughly sanded with the electric sander, hand sand with a high grit sandpaper. Sand until the desired smoothness is achieved.
Predrill Holes For Frame
The plans for this DIY beach chair use tiny wooden dowels to hold the frame together rather than screws. This gives the frame a more refined finish.
Mark the location of where the holes need to be and use a drill to create the holes.
The holes need to be slightly smaller than the diameter of the small wooden dowels.
Again, don’t go all that way through the wood when drilling. Only drill halfway through.
Tip: Use a straight block drill guide to ensure the drilled holes are all uniform. This will ensure the dowels, and therefore the frame isn’t crooked.
Apply Glue To Holes In Frame
Use outdoor wood glue in the pre-drilled holes to keep the small dowels secure.
The dowels are attached to the outer pieces of the DIY beach chair’s frame first.
Hammer Small Wooden Dowels
Using a hammer or mallet, knock the small wooden dowels into the frame pieces of the DIY beach chair until they are all the way inside.
Wipe away any excess glue that comes out of the holes.
Assemble The Frame
With the dowels in place on the frame’s outer pieces, attach the inner pieces to the dowels by lining up the pre-drill holes on the wood’s ends.
Use wood glue on top of the dowel, in the pre-drilled hole, and where the pieces of wood will be connected.
Hammer the pieces in place, and remove any residual glue that comes out from the sides.
Line Up Holes For Bolts
As the sling beach chair is foldable and also adjustable, it needs to be able to move.
Using bolts will provide the ability for the DIY beach chair to fold.
Line up the pre-drilled holes where the two pieces of the frame intersect.
Place a bolt through with a washer separating the end of the bolt from the chair’s frame.
Tip: Use stainless steel nuts and bolts for this project as they won’t rust when exposed to the elements.
Fasten The Bolts
Place a washer on the other side of the bolt, and then fasten a lock nut to the bolt with a wrench.
A lock nut is used because we won’t be fully tightening the bolt. If the nut is fastened too tightly, the sling beach chair won’t be able to fold or adjust.
Info: Locknuts will hold their position anywhere on the bolt, even when they aren’t fully tightened.
With a lint-free cloth, apply wood stain to the frame of the sling beach chair.
Apply the stain by rubbing your cloth in the same direction as the grain of the wood.
Use as many coats as you’d like until you reach the desired color and finish.
When finished applying, let the frame thoroughly dry. For drying times, look at the stain manufacture's application instructions.
With the stain dry, cover each portion of the chair’s frame with an outdoor wood sealer.
Sealer doesn’t change the wood’s appearance; it just protects the wood from drying out and water damage.
Use a brush to cover the frame with the sealer.
We recommend using at least two coats of sealer to protect your beautiful DIY sling beach chair project from the elements.
First, select the fabric for your DIY sling.
Tip: Use a fabric that you like the look of and sturdy enough to hold the weight of someone sitting on it. Make sure it is suitable for outdoor purposes. Ask your fabric supplier which fabric would work best for this project.
To make the DIY sling, start by measuring the fabric according to the size of the frame.
Keep in mind that you want the fabric to be slack, so it creates a comfortable seat, but not too slack. You don't want to end up just sitting on the ground!
The fabric should be a couple of inches longer than the distance between the two sections of the frame, where you will fasten it.
Leave extra room to accommodate a seam and the pocket, which will eventually hold the big dowels.
Use scissors to cut the fabric to the desired dimensions.
If you want, you can double up the fabric to increase its strength.
Use a sewing machine to sew the fabric.
Create a seam along the long sides of the fabric. This will strengthen the material, get rid of any cut lines, and also prevent fraying.
Use the sewing machine to stitch the pockets the will hold the large wooden dowels. This is how the DIY sling is attached to the frame of the beach chair.
Pull Fabric Through Frame
Pull the DIY sling fabric through the corresponding gaps on the frame with the seam side facing down.
Bring enough material through to easily insert the wooden dowel into the fabric pocket created earlier.
Insert Dowel Into DIY Sling
The final step in the DIY sling beach chair project is to stick the large wooden dowel into the fabric to hold it in place.
Do this on both the back portion and the seat portion of the chair.
Now just sit down, relax, and enjoy your DIY beach chair!
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