Ikea Hack – Chair to Bench

Who loves an Ikea hack?  I DO!!!

ivar chairI wanted new benches for my front porch.  Ours were so old that one of the legs rotted off! I priced new benches.  I needed three.  I wanted wooden benches but could not find any that I liked within a certain price point.  Of course I wanted to then build them myself but I have an issue with an angle.   If you look at a chair from the side, there is an angle of the seat to the back that I have a hard time with.  Well, I guess I could do it if I really wanted to but I didn’t want to.  I’m exhausted these days but I still wanted benches!

That’s where the Ivar chair comes in.

This chair is about $25 at Ikea.  It’s simple.  Very simple.  I bought three because I was going to turn them into three benches.  How?  Easy.

Materials (for one bench):

  • 1 Ivar chair
  • A drill
  • A saw (hand saw is fine but mitre or jigsaw much better)
  • Multiple 2 inch outdoor/exterior screws
  • Multiple 1 inch outdoor/exterior screws
  • Wood filler
  • Cheap pine boards (see below)

ikea hackingI tossed out the other pieces of hardware that came with the chair except for the long screws.  I did repurpose the chair seats in my cat tree creation.  The small support bars across the front and back, I am holding for possibly another project.  All I wanted was the two side pieces, that is all.

Pine boards need to be the following:

  • One 1 x 6 x 10 foot board cut into three 36″ sections  (for the seat)
  • One 1 x 4 x 10 foot board cut into three 32″ sections  (for the three horizontal slats for the chair back) and two approximately 13″ sections for support under the seat (wait to cut these until you have framed out the chair)
  • One 1 x 3 x 6 foot board cut into two 32″ sections (for the front and back horizontal support)

pine boads diyHorizontal Supports:  The Ivar chair comes with some long screws.  Use a drill bit slightly smaller than those screws and pre drill holes into the horizontal supports.  Use the hole already in the side pieces to screw in these screws.

ikea hack

I added additional screws for support into each area but I sunk them down into the wood by pre drilling holes that were just a little larger than the screw heads just enough to sink the screw heads down so I can later fill with wood filler.  I did this in all of the horizontal and back support pieces.

Back of Chair Support:  I then assembled the back by spreading out the slats to what looked pretty even.  You can see, all but one of those six screw holes were the actual original holes and original screws that came with the chair.

All others, I used 2-inch exterior screws and sunk them down.  Again, later on, I used wood filler and sanded to hide those holes.

Support for the Seat:  I cut each support under the seat separately to make sure that it fit well – these were around 13-1/4″.  This is just added support so that in time, the seat won’t warp since I’m using pine which is not the strongest wood.

The Seat Itself:  I attached the seat pieces from underneath.

After that, I plugged all  holes with filler, allowed them to dry, sanded off the excess, and then used a jigsaw to round the corners of the actual seat just to take the sharp corners off….

bench diyThis is how they came out – I love them!

ikea chair hackPainted with chalk paint.  If you have never used chalk paint, it has excellent coverage.  This is the chalk paint I used.  Then I added two coats of satin polyurethane.

ikea hacked bench