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Chair Turned Shelf

5 Materials
2 Hours

Have on old chair you don't want anymore? Before tossing it out you might want to consider repurposing it into a shelf! A ladder back chair makes for a perfect towel holder, while the seat works as a great storage space! This chair turned shelf works great in a bathroom or kitchen and can be made with a few quick steps! By simply cutting the chair a bit and adding some hanging hooks, you can create a fun
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

-Ladder Back Chair
-Circle Saw
-Sanding Block (I have a sander pictured, but ended up using a simpler tool)
-Spray Paint
-Wall Hanging Hardware

Links to materials at the bottom of the post.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 1: Measure the shelf
Decide how deep you would like the shelf portion of your shelf to be and draw an even line across the seat of the chair as a guide.

chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 2: Saw the chair
Use a circular saw to cut across the seat of the chair all the way through. I like this Black & Decker saw; it's pretty cheap compared to others, and it does a great job. Also, I tend to saw a lot of stuff, and this is a great tool to have.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 3: Saw off the legs
Cut off the back legs of the chair as close to the seat as possible. At this point the entire back of the chair should be separate from the front.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 4: Take off cross beams
If you have cross beams on your chair you can remove them with a screw driver. Chairs can be constructed differently so you may have to remove them with a saw if necessary. Set these aside as you can use them later as a sort of bracket.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 5 (optional): Paint your chair
If you wish, you can paint your chair pieces the color of your choice at this point. (Remember to paint the rails if you are using them.) I used Rustoleum's Universal Spray Paint in Matte Robin's Egg. It's a beautiful color, and it goes on evenly.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 6 (optional): Get a distressed look
Once your paint has dried, use a sanding block to rough up the edges of the chair pieces and allow the wood color to peak through from underneath. This is a distressed look, and it gives it more of a farmhouse appearance.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 7: Attach hanging hooks
Now you can attach some hanging hooks to the back of your shelves. For the top piece of the chair you will attach them to the edge of the seat where you cut through.

For the bottom chair piece you will attach the hooks to the back of the chair seat.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 8: Screw the bracket back in
Take the chair rails you cut earlier and using wood glue and screws, screw them to the shelves so they will rest against the wall when hung. These will serve as brackets, so that they rest evenly and the front of the shelf doesn't fall forward.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 9: Add L brackets (optional)
Because the bottom portion of the chair-turned-shelf was cut with a wider shelf, the rail bracket was not strong enough to bear the weight. So I added two actual brackets to the bottom of the chair and painted them to match. You may need brackets for either shelf depending on the weight of your chair and how far it rests away from the wall.
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

STEP 10: Hang your shelf and rack
Now simply hang your shelves and fill them up as you wish!
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

If you set the shelves one above the other they, make for a cute make-shift bar/prep space in the kitchen! You could also hang a mirror from the ladder rungs of the top shelf and make it a vanity!
chair turned shelf, shelving ideas

These shelves are perfect for towels to hang from, but can really be used for a multitude of things!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 8 questions
  • Geo
    on Oct 2, 2017

    Why not mount the back upright instead of upside down?

  • Mar14176411
    on Oct 4, 2017

    beautiful, I'm new at 'repurpasing new creations' I have some imagination, but I've been you use a circular saw for cutting just about everything up?..I have drill & sander..but nothing to do the cutting furniture..pieces of wood up...thank you...appreciate your feedback

    • Susan
      on Oct 17, 2017

      I was a NEWBIE also Marie - I got a small 4-1/2 in circular saw (see pic) for $80 +/- (Walmart and Lowes) - 2x4's, plywood, etc. etc. no problems.

      Next I'm getting a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig... if you get only one thing a month... you will have a decent "work bench" in no time - do research.

      And I just got a 24 in level and a 8 ft. ladder (online-used) - to help me work on my 10 ft. high walls --- I'm about DONE!

      , handy lightweight and works well
  • Jackie
    on Jun 10, 2018

    how do you hang these shelves on the wall? I don't see what is making them stay there! thank you

    • Linda Premo
      on Jul 5, 2018

      His Jackie,

      She shows on Step 7 how and where she is attaching the wall hangers.

      If you look closely you can see the small metal U-shaped wall hangers. ☺️

Join the conversation

2 of 227 comments
  • Sus15163062
    on Aug 2, 2018

    I absolutely love that! This is the first time I've seen the upper part of the chair upside down and with the slats OUT so you can use it to hang things on! You are SO clever! Very cool! 👍👏

  • Christine Evans
    on Aug 29, 2018

    I really want to do this!!! I love it! I need to figure out how to keep these plans! Lol not sure how I found it.

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