I am still in shock that we were able to pull this off! There’s nothing you can’t do with a little bit of motivation and a quick google search. We decided to build a chair inspired by the Cosette Chair from Mcgee & Co. which sells for around $1,300! We thought it would be a fun challenge to learn how to weave!
What You’ll Need:
Natural Rush – We ordered THIS kind and ended up needing 5 rolls.
3 Yellow Pine 2x6x8s
Clear pine 2x2x8
Clear Pine 1×3
We began by ripping the 2×6’s in half so that our chair arms wouldn’t be so bulky. Ripping 2x6s also gives you straighter boards and edges versus buying 2x3s. Then we cut those ripped boards into 8 different pieces. You will need 4 that are 34 15/16″ long and 4 that are 23 1/2″ long.
We used a square clamp to make sure the corners were perfectly square, and then assembled 2 rectangles that would act as the chair base (arms/legs). The longer pieces make the top and the bottom of the rectangle and the shorter pieces make the front and back. Next, you will attach a 1×3 across the front of the chair. We decided on placing it 14 5/8″ from the ground and it is 27 5/8″ long. Then, across the back you will place a 2×2 which will hold the back of the chair seat in place. The 2×2 is 2 7/8″ from the back of the chair and is the same length as the 1×3. (*2×2 not pictured because we originally did a 1×2 there and changed it later) One thing to note, we used two additional 1×2’s that were also 27 5/8″ long to help hold together the bottom of the base as we were building and staining and then removed them at the end once the seat was installed.
Next, we built the frame for the chair seat! We used 1×2’s. The bottom seat is 27 x 27″ (so you will need 2 27″ boards and 2 24″ boards to make the square) and the back of the seat is 27 x 19″ (so you will need 2 27″ boards and 2 16″ boards to make the rectangle). We made these by screwing them together with trim screws (use a 90 degree clamp to make sure it is square when assembling) and by using corner brackets on the front two corners of the seat and right angle brackets to hold the seat and back together. Make sure to leave a gap behind the seat so you have room to weave!
Now time to weave! We were a little nervous about this part, but luckily I found a tutorial that helped us SO much. I will link it HERE. He is so great at explaining the weave, and we followed his tutorial to a tee for the bottom of the seat. We also ordered the natural rush that he sells, and it comes with a booklet tutorial with great and helpful photos that we followed as well. We are thankful we did the bottom of the seat first because it is a little easier giving you opportunity to learn.
We weaved and weaved and weaved!!!
And FINALLY we finished the seat portion of the chair!! Unlike the square bottom, the back of the seat is a rectangle, so we had to figure out how to make the weave work. We ended up following the same tutorial exactly but instead of doing a wrap all the way around each corner, we wrapped an extra time up and down before wrapping the top 2 corners. Wow that is hard to explain in words ha! We continued that until the exposed 1×2 sides were all the same length (measure as you weave). Then we began to weave as normal.
We sanded the base and then we stained the arms/legs with my favorite wood stain – Behr Cordovan brown. Then, sanded a little more to make the stain look more worn in and to remove some of the yellow (from the yellow pine).
We attached the chair seat to the base with screws. We made sure to open up a space in the weaving for the screw to go through making sure not to damage any of the rush. Once the screws were in place we spread the rush back out.
This was probably one of the most challenging DIY’s we have completed. It took a lot of patience, unweaving when we messed up and re-reading the instructions, but I know you can do it too if you just put your mind to it!!
Chair cost breakdown
natural rush 5 rolls – $100
pine boards – around $30
brackets – $10
clamps – $25
sample of wood stain – $5
Probably 16 hours of work! (You might can do it a little quicker since you have this tutorial to follow along now!)
Brett wanted me to add that you could probably buy all of the above and a new miter saw, table saw, sander and impact driver, and it would still cost less than the chair we duped. haha!