Build an Upholstered Chair from the Frame Up

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designsbystudioc added on 7/22/2019

It is time to start building furniture for the new front room on the house that was nearly destroyed after a tree fell on it. I created and built this chair specifically for that space. It features a wood frame, upholstery padding and foam, and it is finished in a grey woven upholstery fabric.


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


Step One

Cut the pieces for the front and back from the 2x4. With the pocket hole jig set for 1-1/2" material, drill pocket holes in each end of each piece. Secure the front and back pieces to the legs using glue and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws. Cut the pieces for the sides from the 2x4 and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the sides to the legs using glue and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws.


Step Two

Cut the piece for the back support from the 2x4 and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the support to the sides (as indicated in the drawing) using glue and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws. Set the seat frame aside.


Step Three

Cut two pieces for the back frame sides from the 2x2 at 25" long. These pieces will have a compound angle cut in the bottom. The back frame will recline 10° and the sides will angle in 7°. To make the cuts on a compound miter saw, set the bed of the saw to cut a 10° miter and the blade to cut a 7° bevel in one end of one board. Make sure to label the angles on the board! The other board will be cut so that the compound angles are opposite: set the bed to cut a 7° miter and the blade to cut a 10° bevel. ** Some compound miter saw heads can tilt either way (left or right) and some can only tilt one way. if your saw tilts one way, use the above instructions to cut the side pieces for the back frame. If your saw tilts both ways, just


Step Four

Cut the piece for the top of the back frame from the 2x2 at 14" long with a 7° angle in each end. Secure the side pieces to the top piece using countersunk 2-1/2" screws.


Step Five

Trace around the bare frame on a piece of kraft paper or newspaper to make a pattern and set it aside. Place the back frame on the piece of 3/4" plywood and trace around it with a pencil. Extend the bottom by 3-1/2" with a 3/4" notch cut at each end (see drawing for details). Cut the plywood with a jigsaw, and secure the plywood to the frame using countersunk 1-1/2" screws.


Step Six

Cut the piece for the angled wedge. The wedge will be cut at a 10° angle along one long edge of the 2x4 piece. Save this piece to add to the seat frame once the back is upholstered.



Visit for the complete material and supply lists, as well as tutorials on upholstering the frame and creating the seat cushion!

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(2) 2x4, 96", Board  
(1) 2x2, 72", Board  
(1) 3/4" Thick, Quarter Sheet, Plywood  


(20) 2-1/2" Pocket Hole Screws  
(4) 1/4" x 4" Star Drive Lag Screws  

Parts/Cut List:

(4) Legs, See Plan to Make Custom Legs!  
(2) Seat Frame, 2x4 at 17-1/2"  
(2) Seat Frame, 2x4 at 19-3/4"  
(1) Seat & Back Support, 2x4 at 19"  
(1) Back Frame, 2x2 at 14" with 7° miter in each end  
(2) Back Frame, 2x2 at 25" with compound miter in bottom end (see plan!)  
(1) Back, 3/4" plywood to cover back frame  
(1) Set/Back Wedge, 2x4 at 17" cut with a 10° bevel along one long edge  

Extras: Visit


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