Last Updated on May 15, 2020
What piece of outdoor furniture better says summer than the Adirondack chair. Built out of wood but constructed to be comfortable, it also has room between the slats to keep the air moving so you won’t stick to it when you stand up. They are perfect for the porch, or under a shade tree or even on a beach under an umbrella. Plus, they’ve got that old school look, projecting a little bit of 50s nostalgia while still remaining functional.
The other great thing about Adirondack chairs is that because they’re made out of wood, they’re something that DIY enthusiasts can make in their homes. All you need are the tools, the materials and above all a set of plans to help you make build what you want.
We’ve got some of the best plans we could find on the Internet. Some put a cool new twist on a classic, some use modern techniques like upcycling to reuse old stuff and some are just flat-out budget models for Adirondacks on any budget. We’re pretty sure that you’ll find something in here that you really like.
Before we jump into interesting twists on this classic chair, it’s best to start with a classic design. For most people, this provides exactly what they are looking for. Just a big comfortable chair that is perfect for summertime relaxing. It is a perfect complement to everything you want to do in summer and anyplace you want to do it.
Like all classic designs, there are lots of places you can find directions. We happen to really like the color of these and the fact that this is as basic and classic as you’ll find. Of course, if the color doesn’t suit you, you can always amend to suit your needs.
What’s better than an Adirondack made for one? An Adirondack made for two. Enjoy balmy summer nights with that special person in style and comfort. Or, if you’ve got two kids likely to squabble, this is perfect for giving them their own space but giving each of them enough space for themselves and a little buffer in between.
You can find the plans for it here, which tells you not just how to make it but provides a good inventory of the hardware and materials you’ll need. Plus it has detailed instructions on how to build it.
There might be only one real way to improve on a classic chair design, and it’s to modify it so that it rocks. The contoured seat is a perfect way to maximize comfort while giving you just enough leg room to move the thing back and forth.
You won’t find detailed instructions at this website. What you’ll find are downloadable plans that you can print out and follow without having to leave a computer browser window open. Like the Adiorondack’s design, some classics never go out of style.
These Adirondacks are big, roomy and with nice wide spaces between the boards they also allow a lot of air to circulate between them. We also like the peaks of the seat backs that give them a slightly more regal look than other models we look at.
One thing we like about these plans is that they have a time and cost estimate. We think you’ll like what both of those are. They’re also made from treated lumber to withstand the elements.
An intriguing twist on a classic look, we like a design that makes a comfortable chair look like it’s sinking. If that doesn’t project relaxation, we don’t know what does. The look itself is interesting enough if you don’t plan to use armrests that are much reduced compared to others.
There are lots of pictures and instructions where we found it, and to be frank if you aren’t a fan of the thin, short armrests you can always freelance your design.
This one combines a high chair and a traditional Adirondack design. It’s a more tropical-looking design than one that harkens to the camps of New York that inspired this kind of chair. If you build this kind of chair, you might it more suitable where people might need to get up a little more quickly.
You won’t find detailed instructions or photos here like you will with other kinds, but you can find downloadable plans that will help you build these.
The advantage to these is that they are much bigger and roomier than some of the other plans we’ve looked at. They take what these chairs do best and crank up the volume. You can melt back into this chairs that frankly make anyone of average size look like a kid.
It might not look at first blush that the plans here are complete. They are. The trick is to scroll to the bottom and keep clicking over to the next page for the next step in instructions. Avoid the button that tries to get you to pay $5 for the plans.
Among the sturdiest of the chairs we looked at, these chairs from Ana White are also among the most affordable. The reason is that their design relies on durable 2x4s that you can pick up from any lumber store instead of something designed more for looks.
You can find the instructions here, as well as a list of hardware and materials. Don’t forget to paint or stain them to match their surroundings.
Cedar is a great choice for building outdoor chairs, and great to use in Adirondack chairs. These have a much more elegant, classic look with their stain and go perfectly in a garden or under a large shade tree.
Instructions are available here, including hardware and materials.
For any budget, there is this Adirondack chair for less than $10. It’ isn’t the most sophisticated design you’re apt to find, but it’s enough to get the job done and perfect to build to place out front of the kids’ backyard fort. They won’t care that they don’t look quite like that classic design. All they’ll know is that they’re comfortable and made for summer.
Cheap and fast to build, and of course the instructions are available here. You don’t need to be a woodworking genius to build these and based on the costs, you also don’t need to be independently wealthy.
It wouldn’t be DIY without a design made from upcycled pallets. Since you can generally get those for free, that makes these also the most affordable designs available. They might look crude, but with a little TLC they can still look sophisticated.
You can find complete instructions here, and the great news is that since you’re using upcycled materials you can probably freelance when it comes to things like fasteners. Plus, because the wood tends to be more porous, they take to stain like a duck to water.
We close with a return to the classic design. Because this one involves a lot of machining, it feels like a work of DIY love and more like a production along a woodworking assembly line. But, it’s still impressive and the finished product still does what every Adirondack chair is called to do, provide comfort and room to breathe.
The plans that are available here are detailed and long. Multiple pages, in fact. That’s good if you’re the sort of person who likes to follow explicit instructions. Let’s face it, an Adirondack chair is probably not really a good place to freelance a design.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!