Hi Friends, y’all know how much I love me a good DIY, and it’s been a few weeks since I shared on my Instagram, my new Adirondack chairs, built from plans by Ana White.  While I was in the process of building 5 of her 2×4 Modern Adirondack Chairs for our fire pit area, I ran out of wood for the last one. But,  I called this a happy accident because what came from this mistake was pure genius!

Since Ana did such an amazing job documenting the process of building these chairs, I am just going to share with you the process of modifying the chairs, to create vertical slats in the back.  If you are interested in building Ana White’s Adirondack chair, click here for plans.

Cut List:

6-2×4 @19 1/2″ (2 for legs, 1 for front apron, 1 for back support, 1 for seat board support, 1 as a brace on bottom of legs)

2-2×4 @30″ (arms)

2-2×4 @33 3/4 cut at 20 degrees off square (stringers)

2-1×10 @22 1/2″ (Seat)

2-1×10 @30″ (Back Boards)


DIY Adirondack Chair
Step 1: attach arm boards and legs using self tapping screws
Legs/arms with stringers built in mirror image
Step 2 and 3: Seat boards, front apron and back support is added

****This is where the plan changes, before Ana’s step 4****

I took one of the 19.5″ boards and screwed it to the back support.

View from above

Next, I placed my two seat back boards, resting directly onto the seat boards, butting them up against the arms on each side, leaving a gap down the center.

I then screwed these back boards to the support board in the center at a downward angle.

Next, I added the last 19.5″ support board in between the legs on the back of the chair, and secured it with screws from the outside . . .

and then secured the base of the back boards to the support board from the front with screws. 

And that’s it!

Lastly,  I sanded them down and gave them a coat of paint.  I decided to try a 2 toned look on my “oops” version, by staining the seat and back boards and painting the arms and legs black.  I love how this turned out!

I made a pair for my stepfather who is a huge Cowboy’s fan, he painted them blue—don’t they look awesome?




  1. Jooste Rossouw
    December 21, 2020 / 5:52 am

    You forgot to give the lenghts of the legs on your cutting list
    Jooste Rossouw

    • madebycarli
      December 28, 2020 / 8:00 am

      Hello, the legs are included in the 19 1/2 in cuts (supports) there are 6-19 1/2” cuts total(which I just clarified in the post thanks to your comment ☺️).

  2. Happy Sitter
    February 14, 2021 / 1:31 am

    The point of the other back was to leave a gap so water could drain instead of pooling where the back and seat meet. I like your idea and it came out looking great, but I wonder if you could modify it for that purpose.

    • madebycarli
      February 17, 2021 / 9:00 am

      There’s a gap in between the two vertical boards, so water won’t exactly “pool.” BUt I get what you are saying.

  3. Nichole
    April 24, 2021 / 8:19 pm

    Hi. I noticed you changed the arms from 31.75″ to 30″. This is accurate yes? It just reduces how far back the back leans?

    • madebycarli
      April 24, 2021 / 9:07 pm

      Hi Nichole, yes, exactly! It was a little too reclined for casual conversation-so this is exactly why I shortened them.

  4. Ashley Pippin
    April 26, 2021 / 10:29 am

    I love your 2 toned stained and black paint design. What stain did you use? GORGEOUS

    • madebycarli
      April 28, 2021 / 8:34 am

      Thanks Ashley! I used Minwax Aged Oak 🙂

  5. Noel
    April 30, 2021 / 2:10 pm

    This is amazing! Thank you!!

    • madebycarli
      May 4, 2021 / 8:24 pm

      Thanks Noel!

  6. Erica Williams
    June 10, 2021 / 7:17 am

    I LOVE the blue color! Whats the paint color you used?

    • madebycarli
      June 24, 2021 / 3:54 pm

      Hi Erica, Unfortunately my stepdad painted them, so I’m unsure what color he used.

  7. July 23, 2021 / 9:20 am

    Hi, can you please provide a list of screws needed (types, sizes, quantities, recommended materials). Thank you.

  8. Dan
    August 27, 2021 / 5:49 am

    Hello. Nice project. I’m not fron US, so when you say a piece has “2 x 4”, is that inches? Or centimeters? Thank you

    • madebycarli
      August 27, 2021 / 9:27 am

      Thank you! Yes, inches 🙂

  9. Elizabeth
    October 16, 2021 / 3:05 pm

    Love your “ happy accident”!

    How would you make this chair taller?
    17” to 18 “ floor to seat?

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