Thursday, December 1, 2011

DIY Toddler Chairs {Made out of PVC Pipe}

My mom made a chair out of PVC pipe for me when I was about one year old and I actually still have it (the fabric is worn and it's in pieces right now.)  The Little Lady played with it until I decided to do an update.  Plus, I wanted to make one for her cousin for his first birthday.

These would make great beach chairs.  They'd be great for camping too.  Don't you remember being a kid and loving things made just your size?



The Little Lady had to sneak into almost every shot.  I think she's going to miss having two chairs to drag around the house.


I was bummed to only find PVC with printing along the sides, but that didn't bother me too much, because I knew spray paint would solve all my problems.  It always does.


Update: 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover will take off the marks on the PVC.

These chairs are pretty easy and require very basic sewing skills.  Also I paid about $11 for all the materials- PVC is pretty cheap.

You will need one piece of sturdy fabric such as corduray, denim, or upholstery.  I cut the fabric at 29.5" X 17.5".  I used 1/2" seam allowance.  You can adjust the size of the chair and the fabric just as long as the fabric has enough slack when it's put on the chair.

Once the fabric is cut, fold right sides together hot dog style and sew the long sides together. 


Then, move the seam so it is in the center and iron seams open.



Sew shorter sides together.  Leave a few inches on one side.



Turn it inside out through that opening....



Then lie it flat and fold the short sides towards the middle on the side of the fabric with the seam.  I folded 3" on each side.  Then sew it down.  I ended up sewing two lines so it would take some wear and tear, but that's not in the picture.



 After you've made two loops on the short ends of the fabric, you're done, and now it's time to work with the PVC pipe.  



I used 3/4" PVC Pipe

You will need:
8 elbow pieces
6 T-shaped pieces
1 length of 3/4" PVC Pipe


I cut the pipe into 16 pieces with the following lengths:


7 pieces at 10 inches


2 pieces at 6 inches


4 pieces at 4 inches


4 pieces at 5 inches.



I used a PVC Pipe Cutter (actually I enlisted my husband to do this part).  This takes quite a bit of elbow grease.  You can use a saw if you don't have a cutter.


I used Krylon Fusion Plastic Spray Paint to paint the pieces.  They were really hard to put together since the paint made them thicker.  Next time, I'm painting the whole chair.


Put it all together using the pictures below as a guide.


Now all they need is a little one to sit in them!


54 comments:

  1. Oh, these are super cute! How creative :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was just thinking about the pipe dimensions and wondering what they were just in case I want to make some for Christmas gifts. Now I know! Thanks for including the dimensions in the post. By the way, my little guy looks so cute sitting in his little chair reading his books. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Janny! We wanted to get Oliver some little chairs for Christmas, so now we can make them for WAY less! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh my gosh!!! I LOVE THIS! I must try it out! Thanks for sharing!

    I found you on TT&J and I Would LOVE for you to come by and link this up (and more posts) at my "Create and Inspire Linky! Thanks so much!
    http://www.littleinspiration.com/2011/12/create-and-inspire-linky-party.html

    Angie from A Little Inspiration

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my goodness... My mom made these for me and my siblings when we were little kids!!! I've been looking for the instructions online everywhere. Thank for the tutorial!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for teaching us how to make these chairs! I loved it when I saw it at your house and thought 'maybe someday I could try to make something like that'. So, Thank you for sharing the tutorial and the dimensions!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ok, the pipe seriously took like 15 minutes from cutting to putting together! Such a quick and easy project! Now I just need to get the fabric!

    Also, Matthias told me that the guy at Ace recommended using Fantastic or some sort of cleanser like that to wash off the lettering. I haven't tried it yet, but thought I'd pass it along.

    Oliver is going to love these! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. que es usted un genio es decir poco!!!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so glad to hear that the chair turned out so well, Megan! If you try using the cleaner, let me know how it turns out and I'll update the post. Thanks for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
  10. what an incredible job!!! congrats and your little model is so precious! so glad i found you at the creative girl! hugs...your newest follower!

    ReplyDelete
  11. visiting from tt&j. Holy cow those are some awesome chairs. And your tutorial is great. Defiantly putting these on my crafting to do list :)

    If you have a chance I would love for you to share this at my Friday link party going on now :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dadgum these are CUTE, right along with The Little Lady! <3

    ReplyDelete
  13. These are genius. We have a set of toddler sized fold up camping chairs that I love. However I wanted to buy another set to leave at my dads so the kids have a place to sit over there too. But at $15 each and with money being tight, I just haven't done it. This idea sounds way better though. Thank you for the tutorial. I love your blog. I'm your newest follower. Would love you to stop by DIY Home Sweet Home

    Jamie
    http://diyhshp.blogspot.com/
    P.S. I have a giveaway going on. Come over and check it out.
    P.S.S. I have a linky every Monday would love you to stop by Monday and link up.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cute! love the fabric! Thanks for linking to Things I've Done Thursday!

    Melanie
    Sew Rugged @ bear rabbit bear
    bearrabbitbear.blogspotcom

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you a thousand times!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nail polish remover will remove anything on PVC pipe. make sure it's non acetone!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Just got finished making two of these adoreable chairs for my grandson....just an FYI you need 7 pieces at 10 inches and also you can get the markings off the pvc pipe with 100% acetone nail polish with ease!! Thanks for the idea...can't wait for him to begin using them:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like your chairs. It makes my day just to hear that people are using my tutorials. Thanks for letting me know about the nail polish remover! And also for the correction! I've already updated the post so no one will be confused.

      Delete
  18. Hey Jenny...
    Its really good to find this impressive post. The innovation and creativity behind the toddler Chair is simply great. I will look forward to procedure and have PVC chairs for my kiddos too.
    plastic hose

    ReplyDelete
  19. Those are adorable. Maybe I can make some to take to my parents house for my girls

    ReplyDelete
  20. How much did it cost from start to finish, do you know?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The PVC pipe and fittings cost about $7-8 dollars. The fabric depends on where you get it. I think I got mine at Joanns for $3. Hope this helps. I'll update the post too- this is good to have in there. Thanks!

      Delete
  21. So if you paint it after you put the chair together, what would you do about the fabric? Have you tried spray painting it after putting it together? Any tips? Kyra was telling me that the spray paint was like glue when you were putting it together and I am eager to put these together but dread the struggle. May just have to keep it white...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea- it was a bit of a struggle putting the pieces together after they were painted. I think it should be pretty easy to put the fabric on after you've painted it with the PVC assembled. The only problem I can think of is that unpainted- white parts of the PVC might show after the fabric is put on. Someone else in the comments suggested using 100% acetone nail polish remover to take off the red marks so you could just leave it white. I wish I had thought of that when I made Kyra's chair.

      Delete
    2. we used blue paint tape around the end of the cross bars so they could be painted, tape removed, then slid right into place once the fabric was sewn and put on. (Just 1/2 inch of tape on the ends worked great)

      Delete
  22. Thank you so much my grand son have a new project I cut all the pipe and now we will put it together. Together. lol

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am a Jr. Kindergarten teacher and these would be perfect for my reading center!!! I also have two little guys who would absolutly love them! Thank you so much for this wonderful idea!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope your chairs turn out great! They really are nice- my little one loves dragging it around the house.

      Delete
  24. Hi Great idea !!! Just wondering if you have any measurements for a older child or a adult

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually don't have measurements for older children or adults.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much.I had my son cut mine and put them togather.I have lots of little ones in the family that will love them.Make great gifts.If anyone has measurements for a little bit bigger one I would love to have them.Thanks again.Pat

      Delete
    3. Can't you just change the measurements like you would a recipe? Just increase everything equally

      Delete
    4. I'd measure a lawn chair to get basic measurements to use for an adult chair and adjust the dimensions of the material for the seat accordingly.

      Delete
  25. Love this! I just made one for my daughter and she was so excited to have her own chair, she definitely knew it was for her. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  26. What size child would this fit? I am thinking of my nephews who are 1, 2 and 4 but on the small side...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My daughter is 2 and she fits perfectly in the chairs. A 1 year old might need help sitting in it, but would be able to stay sitting once inside. I think I used these sized chairs when I was a kid until I was 6 or 7.

      Delete
  27. hola podrian traducir los sillones de pvc en español?? para saber las medidas exactas muchas graciassssssss

    ReplyDelete
  28. how much did all the pvc pipe cost you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Each little joint is around 30-50 cents and the pvc pipe length was about $3. It's a very inexpensive project. My fabric was the most expensive- around $5.

      Delete
  29. Janny This is absolutely AWESOME. Thanks so much for the GREAT tutorial. I've seen these at craft fairs for $25.00 a piece. I have four grandchildren to make these for. Can't wait to get started.

    ReplyDelete
  30. We just made two of these and they are wonderful. Our 17mo old daughter loves that this is a chair where her feet can touch the ground. You should've seen her legs swing and stomp when she first sat down. Thanks for the great idea!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I saw this on Pinterest and have shared it with family members who have little ones. I may try to make a few adult size ones for myself.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I am concerned that with 3 in loop on each end that there will not be enough room in the sling for a little one's bottom. The picture of your little one makes the fabric look very taught.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far so good- it does look pretty taught, but I think the fabric stretches a little when she sits in it so it hasn't been a problem. You can add an inch or two of length if your worried about that though.

      Delete
  33. Thank you for such wonderful projects! We did 2 for our boys 2.5yrs and 17 mth old. They havent got the chance to sit in it yet.

    ReplyDelete
  34. we don't understand why the width is 17 ins of fabric but it goes on the 10 in pipe? we love your tutorial thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You end up folding the width in half when you sew it together. So it comes out to 8.5 inches, which will fit on the 10" pipe.

      Delete
  35. way easy! We where on our way to home depot and I remembered these chairs. I wrote down a quick supply list, (Had to buy the PVC cutter) the supplies for 2 chairs was seriously cheap! like $3 a chair. When we got home my kids where supper excited so we got to work right away! W/in no time we had assembled and spray painted the chairs. The boys even asked to go to the fabric store w/ me to pick out their own prints. These chairs are adorable, easy, inexpensive, and long lasting! Just in time for our week long camping trip next week. Thank you! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so great that the kids were into the project! Have fun on your camping trip!

      Delete
    2. will try using snaps to hold fabric together instead of sewing ends....this way can take apart to wash or change fabric. Also working on a way to make taunt so as not to have a sling effect. Plus maybe a folding chair design?-Mr.Bob.

      Delete
  36. My son is 10 months now, but he's big (76inches). Will he fit? if he does, a 10 months old child will enjoy it? What do you think?
    Sorry about the english, Iam from Brazil, don't practice too much

    ReplyDelete
  37. Do you put the fabric on in the process of putting the chair together or do you put it on after the chair is already put together? Once the fabric is on, can you paint the chair? If so, how do you only paint the chair and not the fabric?

    ReplyDelete