Build Your Own Retro Patio Furniture

Retro patio furniture never goes out of style. The wooden lawn chair and retro chaise lounge fit the decor of any patio, porch or backyard.

| August/September 2001

  • Lawn Chair
    Use this template as a guide for cutting the sides and backrest supports of the wooden lawn chair. Each square on the template represents a 1-inch-by-1-inch square.
    Photo courtesy Will Shelton
  • Wooden Chair
    The assembled wooden lawn chair. The back is adjustable for sitting or reclining.
    Photo courtesy Will Shelton
  • Redwood
    If redwood is too expensive or unavailable, you can use cedar.
    Photo courtesy Will Shelton
  • Wooden Lawn Chair
    Details of how the wooden lawn chair is assembled.
    Photo courtesy Will Shelton
  • Slats
    The arms on the frame interfere with the slats for the seat of the retro chaise lounge. Cleats hold these slats in place.  
    Photo courtesy Will Shelton
  • Retro Chaise Lounge
    Use this template for cutting the frame of the retro chaise lounge. Each square on the template represents a 1-inch-by-1-inch square.
    Photo courtesy Will Shelton
  • Chaise Lounge
    The frame of the retro chaise lounge is made by laminating three pieces of plywood with epoxy.
    Photo courtesy Will Shelton

  • Lawn Chair
  • Wooden Chair
  • Redwood
  • Wooden Lawn Chair
  • Slats
  • Retro Chaise Lounge
  • Chaise Lounge

Retro patio furniture never goes out of style. "Retro," in this case, is a term applied to contemporary items that incorporate design elements from the 1930s through the '60s, before design took a turn toward cinder stone architecture and avocado appliances. Like malt shops and sock hops, retro is pure Americana. The wooden lawn chair and retro chaise lounge featured in this article are heavily influenced by 1960's design concepts. They are fun, functional, and easy to build. So, what are you waiting for? Who knows? Maybe Elvis will come for a visit. Get out your saber saw and crank up the rock 'n' roll, but don't get any sawdust on your blue suede shoes.

You can also download PDFs of the plans: Wooden Lawn Chair PlansWooden Lawn Chair and Chaise Lounge Plans 1 (Illustrations A and B) and Chaise Lounge Plans 2 (Illustration C).

Retro Wooden Lawn Chair

The Frame

• Create a 1-inch-by-1-inch grid pattern on one of the 8-foot redwood 2-by-12s. Recreate the curves full scale on the board.



• Cut out the shape using a saber saw.

• Use the cut-out shape as a template and trace the shape on the remaining 8-foot 2-by-12 and cut it out.






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