How to Make a DIY Ladder Chair – Bitcoin Value
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How to Make a DIY Ladder Chair


How to Make a DIY Ladder Chair

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Learn how to make a step ladder chair with these free plans! This DIY chair serves as an extra seat and then flips to become a ladder for an extra boost!

More Than a DIY Chair

This is more than a DIY chair. It’s a DIY ladder chair! The back part of the chair flips over the front part of the chair and it becomes a step ladder. I would love to take credit for the clever design, but it was actually Benjamin Franklin who originally designed this ultimate form meets function piece of furniture!

Originally published December 12, 2017 updated June 4, 2019

For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links to supplies or tools I used to complete this project. Purchases made using these links help support the Saws on Skates website and allow me to share more DIY projects. and DIY tips with you. There is no cost to you for using these links. Click here to visit my site policies.

Disclaimer: I am not an engineer and this DIY ladder chair has not been weight tested or stress tested. Excess weight or excess stress may make the step ladder chair unsafe to use. Discontinue use if at anytime the ladder chair feels unsafe. Joints and connections may become loose over time and make the ladder chair unsafe to use. Please exercise caution when using. By using these plans and this ladder chair you are agreeing to do so at your own risk.

Designing a DIY Ladder Chair

Just like Mr. Franklin, I enjoy multipurpose furniture projects. My DIY kitty litter cabinet that hides an ugly litter box is one of those projects. It looks like an ordinary cabinet on the outside but opens to reveal a litter box an extra litter storage. Kitties enter through a “potty entrance” flanked by curtains – too cute!

My outdoor coffee table with four hidden side tables brings multipurpose to the backyard. It looks like an ordinary coffee table but reach under the table, pull out the four small side tables and you have quadrupled the serving space for entertaining.

A few months ago my aunt asked me if I remembered my grandmother’s “little chair”. She went on to say the chair had a permanent home in my grandma’s kitchen and the unique thing about this antique “blah brown” chair was that it had a multipurpose. It also flipped into a ladder. I didn’t remember the chair, but I knew exactly what she was talking about.

She wanted to buy a step ladder chair for her kitchen but was having trouble finding one and the ones she did find were really pricey. What do you do when you can’t find what you want at the price you want? That’s right, you design and build your own DIY furniture!

And that’s exactly what I did for this DIY ladder chair. I studied other ladder chairs and developed my own plan. An original step ladder chair would have been constructed with mortise and tenon joints, but thanks to pocket hole joinery, this project is easy to assemble.

Where to Use a DIY Ladder Chair

Kitchen – This little multitasker is great when you need a little extra boost in the kitchen. And at 5′ 4″ those upper cabinets are always out of reach for me!

– This little multitasker is great when you need a little extra boost in the kitchen. And at 5′ 4″ those upper cabinets are always out of reach for me! Dining Room – This DIY ladder chair could serve as an extra seat in a dining room and then an extra lift when you need to grab the holiday dinnerware out of the hutch.

– This DIY ladder chair could serve as an extra seat in a dining room and then an extra lift when you need to grab the holiday dinnerware out of the hutch. Apartment – Don’t have room for a full-size ladder in your apartment, but sometimes need an extra boost? This DIY ladder chair is the perfect solution.

How to Finish the DIY Ladder Chair

This DIY ladder chair is loaded with nooks and crannies that would be difficult to brush by hand. Instead of brushing I used my HomeRight Finish Max Super paint sprayer which easily reached all of those tricky nooks and crannies. You may recognize the DIY ladder chair from the cover photo from my 9 Paint Sprayer Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make post.

I set up my spray shelter to prevent the paint overspray from going where I didn’t want it and to protect the painted finish while it dried. The HomeRight Super Finish Max sprayer made quick work of the coat of primer and two coats of paint.

Related: How to Spray Paint Indoors Without Making a Mess

Where to Buy a Step Ladder Chair

You can buy a store-bought step ladder chair if you don’t have the tools or time to make one. Here are a few popular options you can buy online and have sent to your home.

Before we get into how to make a DIY ladder chair, be sure to click the subscribe button at the bottom of this page to sign up for my FREE weekly newsletter loaded with helpful pocket hole tricks, space-saving workshop ideas, clever DIY tips and more!

Step 1. Cut the Front Legs

Cut 2 pieces of 5/4×2 to 15-1/4″.

Step 2. Cut the Front Leg Rails

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 5/4×3, measure 2-1/8″ from the bottom of the angle and make a 90-degree cut. Drill one pocket hole into the front edge of the rail. Repeat for the other rail. Be sure to make a right and a left.

Step 3. Cut the Front Slanted Legs

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 5/4×2, measure 16-1/2″ and cut a parallel 22.5-degree angle.

Measure 13/16″ on one end and make a 90-degree cut. This cut would be dangerous to make on a miter saw. I used my bandsaw to make this cut, but you could also use a jigsaw or crosscut jig and a circular saw.

Step 4. Attach the Front Leg Rail to the Slanted Leg

Apply glue to the front leg rail, clamp and attach using a 1-1/2″ pocket screw.

Place in your Kreg Jig and drill two pocket holes making sure to avoid drilling into the pocket screw. Repeat for the other side.

Step 5. Attach the Front Leg Assembly to the Front Leg

Apply glue to the front rail and clamp to the Front leg using the pocket holes drilled in Step 4. Attach using 1-1/2″ pocket screws.

Step 6. Cut and Attach the Front Step Rail

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 5/4×3, measure 3-7/8″ from the top of the angle and make 90-degree cut. Drill two pocket holes in each end. Repeat for the other rail. Be sure to make a right and a left.

To help position the rails cut a piece of scrap wood to 6-1/8″ and clamp the scrap to the front leg. Apply glue to the ends of the rail, clamp in position and attach using 1-1/2″ pocket screws. Repeat for the other side.

Step 7. Cut the Front Seat Rail

Cut a 5/4×3 to 13-1/4″. Drill pocket holes in each end and in one side.

Step 8. Cut the Front Step Rail

Cut a 1×2 to 13-1/4″. Drill a pocket hole in each end.

Step 9. Attach the Front Rails

Place the legs on your workbench. Then place some scrap 1/8″ hardboard on your workbench. The hardboard will help to set the rails in from the front of the leg 1/8″. Apply glue to the ends of the seat rail and place at the top of the legs. To help position the step rail cut a piece of scrap wood to 5-1/8″ and place below the seat rail. Apply glue to the ends of the step rail and place below the scrap wood. Clamp rails in position and attach using 1-1/2″ pocket screws.

Step 10. Cut the Front Step Cleat

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 1×2, measure 6-9/16″ from the top of the angle and make 90-degree cut. You can also place a 1×2 in position, mark the angle and cut. This method will ensure the best fit. Repeat for the other side.

Step 11. Cut the Front Seat Cleat

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 1×2, measure 3″ from the top of the angle and make a 90-degree cut. You can also place a 1×2 in position, mark the angle and cut. This method will ensure the best fit. Repeat for the other side.

Step 12. Attach the Front Cleats

Drill countersink holes in the sides of the step and seat cleats. These holes will be used to attach the cleats to the legs. Be sure to make a left and a right. Then drill countersink holes in the bottom of the step and seat cleats. These holes will be used to attach the cleats to the step and seat.

Apply glue to the cleats, clamp in position and attach using 1-1/4″ wood screws. The top cleat is flush with the top rail and the bottom cleat is flush with the bottom rail.

Step 13. Cut and Attach the Front Step Support

Cut a 1×2 to 11-3/4″ and drill a pocket hole in each end. Apply glue to the ends of the step support, place 2-1/4″ from the back of the step cleat and clamp. I used a right angle attachment on my drill to attach the 1-1/4″ pocket screws.

Step 14. Cut and Attach the Front Seat

Cut a 1×6 to 16″ and rip to 4-3/4″. The seat is flush to the back of the legs, overhangs the front of the legs 1/2″ and overhangs the sides of the legs 1/4″. Clamp in position. Attach to the cleats using 2″ wood screws and attach to the front rail using 1-1/2″ pocket screws.

Step 15. Make and Attach the Front Step

Cut a 1×4 to 13-1/4″. Cut a 1×5 to 13-1/4″. To make the step, drill pocket holes, apply glue and attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.

Place the step flush with the front of the legs and mark the angle at the back of the legs. Using a table saw or circular saw, cut a 22.5-degree angle at this mark. Clamp in position. Attach to the cleats using 2″ wood screws and attach to the front rail using 1-1/2″ pocket screws.

Step 16. Make the Back Legs

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 5/4×2, measure 15-11/16″ and cut a parallel 22.5-degree angle. Repeat for the other leg.

Step 17. Make and Attach the Back Bottom Rails

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 5/4×3, measure 2-3/8″ from the bottom of the angle and make 5-degree cut.

Drill a pocket hole to attach the bottom rail to the leg. Repeat for the other rail. Be sure to make a right and a left.

Apply glue to the front edge of the bottom rail, clamp to the front leg and attach using 1-1/2″ pocket screws.

Then drill two pocket holes to attach the bottom rail to the stile. Be sure to position the pocket holes to avoid the pocket screw you just attached.

Step 18. Make and Attach the Back Top Rails

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 5/4×3, measure 7-3/16″ from the bottom of the angle and make a 5-degree cut. Drill pocket holes in each end. Repeat for the other rail. Be sure to make a right and a left.

Apply glue to the front edge of the top rail, clamp to the front leg and attach using 1-1/2″ pocket screws.

Step 19. Make the Back Stiles

Cut a 5-degree angle on a 5/4×2, measure 31-1/8″ and cut a parallel 5-degree angle. Repeat for the other stile.

Step 20. Attach the Stile

Apply glue to the ends of the rails, clamp to the stile and attach using 1-1/2″ pocket screws.

Step 21. Make and Attach the Back Middle Rails

Cut a 22.5-degree angle on a 5/4×3, measure 4-1/16″ from the bottom of the angle and make a 5-degree cut. Drill pocket holes in each end. Repeat for the other rail. Be sure to make a right and a left.

To help position the middle rail I cut a piece of scrap to 3-3/8″. Place the scrap on top of the bottom rail, apply glue to the ends of the middle and clamp in position. Attach using 1-1/2″ pocket screws.

Step 22. Make and Attach the Cleats

For the best fit of the cleats, it’s best to place the wood in position, mark the angles and cut. The top cleat is flush with the top rail, the middle cleat is flush with the top of the middle rail and the bottom rail is flush with the bottom of the bottom rail.

Once the cleats are cut, drill countersink holes in the bottom edge of the top rail to attach the seat. Drill countersink holes in the top edge of the middle and bottom rails to attach the steps. Then drill countersink holes in the faces to attach the cleats to the legs. Be sure to make a right and left. Apply glue to the cleats, clamp in position and attach using 1-1/4″ wood screws.

Step 23. Make and Attach the Middle Step

Cut a 1×4 to 13-1/4″. Cut a 1×5 to 13-1/4″. Apply glue to the edge, clamp and allow to dry.

Once the glue is dry, rip a 5-degree bevel on one edge. Place the 5-degree angle under the middle cleat and against the back of the leg assembly. Mark the angle on the front edge. Rip a 22.5-degree bevel at the mark. Clamp the step between the legs and attach using 2″ wood screws.

Step 24. Make and Attach the Bottom Step

Cut a 1×6 to 16″ and rip to 5″. Position on the legs, clamp in position and attach using 2″ wood screws.

Step 25. Make and Attach the Seat

Cut 2 pieces of 1×6 to 16″. Apply glue to the edge, clamp and allow to dry. Once the glue is dry, rip a 5-degree bevel on one edge. Place the 5-degree angle against the stile and mark the front edge. Rip the seat to this mark.

Center the seat on the legs, clamp in position and attach using 2″ wood screws.

Step 26. Make and Install the Back Rails

Cut 3 pieces of 1×3 to 13-1/4″ and drill pocket holes in each end. I cut a few pieces of scrap wood to help position the rails. For the bottom rail, I cut a piece of 1×2 with a 90 degree cut at the bottom, measured 2-11/16″ and cut a 5-degree angle. For the remaining rails, I cut a piece of 1×2 with a 5-degree angle, measured 3-1/16″ and made a parallel 5-degree cut.

Place the 2-11/16″ scrap on top of the seat rail and temporarily attach to the stile with painter’s tape. Place the bottom rail on top of the scrap, center on the stile, and clamp in position. Place the 3-1/16″ scrap on top of the bottom rail and temporarily attach to the stile with painter’s tape. Place the middle rail on top of the scrap, center on the stile, and clamp in position. Place the 3-1/16″ scrap on top of the middle rail and temporarily attach to the stile with painter’s tape. Place the top rail on top of the scrap, center on the stile, and clamp in position. Attach using 1-1/4″ pocket screws.

Step 27. Attach the Piano Hinge

Set the back leg assembly on top of the front leg assembly. Center the hinge and temporarily attach with painters tape. Attach using the screws included with the hinge.

Step 28. Fill the Back Rail Pocket Holes

The pocket holes in the back rails are exposed. For a more tailored look, I used my pocket hole plug cutter to make plugs to fill the holes. Apply glue to the pocket holes and insert the plugs. Trim flush once dry.

Step 29. Sand and Finish the Step Ladder Chair

Sand the ladder chair, then paint or stain to match your decor.

Final Thoughts

Know you know how to make a ladder chair! This DIY chair serves as an extra seat and then flips to become a ladder for an extra boost!

Thank you for stopping by. If you found this information helpful, would you please pin it to Pinterest? Other DIYers would appreciate it and I would too! Thank you – Scott

Learn how to make a step ladder chair with these free plans! This DIY chair serves as an extra seat and then flips to become a ladder for an extra boost!

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