Build a Plywood Chair Using Zip Ties
This plywood chair made with scraps of wood and zip-tie stitching is a quirky homemade project that adds character to any room.
Reposted with permission from Homemade-Modern.
By Ben Uyeda
A homemade chair is generally more difficult to make than a bench or stool, but here's one that can be made by stitching plywood pieces with zip ties. I was able to make two chairs out of a single 4’ by 8’ sheet of plywood. The chairs I built with quarter-inch-thick plywood are strong, but over time the holes could wear through, so I'd recommend using half-inch-thick plywood. Feel free to do some experimenting with the design of the plywood chair and share your results.
- 4-by-8-foot sheet of half-inch-thick plywood: There are a lot of different types of plywood. I used quarter-inch which is strong enough to hold my weight but might not stand the test of time. Three-eighths or half-inch-thick plywood would provide superior durability. I had the plywood cut into strips at Home Depot.
- Zip ties – also called cable ties or tie wraps – come in a variety of different sizes. I tried both large 10” ties and thinner 4” ties. The thinner ties are much easier to work with.
- RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill
- RYOBI 18 Volt Circular Saw
- Husky 7” Diagonal Pliers
- Husky 8” Long Nose Pliers
- Box cutter
Step 1: Measure and mark the plywood strips
Measure and mark the plywood with a pencil.
Step 2: Cut the pieces
I used my RYOBI 18 Volt Circular Saw with a plywood blade to make the cuts. The laser guide makes it really easy to follow the lines. If you don’t have a laser, clamp a guide to the plywood.
Step 3: Sand the edges
Smooth the edges with 120-220 grit sandpaper.
Step 4: Mark the holes
I measured a line 1/2” from the edges and marked an X every 1” inch down the line to indicate drill marks.
Step 5: Drill the holes
I clamped two to three boards together to drill the holes on multiple pieces at the same time.
Step 6: Loosely stitch the boards together
I zipped a series of loops into the drilled holes in the first piece. Then I strung zip ties through the holes in the second piece and the zip tie loops in the first piece. This creates a zip tie to zip tie connection/link. Keep the links loose for now.
Step 7: Shape and tighten
Shaping and tightening the zip ties is an incremental process that requires a bit of patience. The good news is that you can always cut and redo zip ties if you make a mistake. Use long nose pliers to tighten the ties and diagonal pliers to cut the long ends.
Step 8: Add supports
Method A – I used giant, 3 foot zip ties to make tension supports for the chair. Simply drilling two holes through the plywood and using a box cutter to carve out the area between the holes, I was able to create a rectangular hole large enough to strap part of the zip tie through. I then cut the head off of a second tie to cap the other end. I used the same method to make vertical supports that keep the back from reclining too far.
Method B – For the second chair, I cut some scrap plywood into supports and zip tied them to both the leg and back pieces of the chair.
Good luck making your own plywood chair with zip tie stitching, and please email or tweet photos of your project to @benuyeda or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more detailed photographs and measurements, go to Homemade-Modern.