PVC is a surprisingly versatile material for making decorative and useful items around the house. You can be as creative as you want, but if you're just starting out, try the following process to build a basic chair. Once you've mastered the basics, you can experiment and create some unique furniture--or anything else you can imagine.
Gather your tools and materials.
- PVC cement
- PVC pipe 1 ¼" diameter, that will be cut to the following lengths: Five 30" pipe; Twelve 12" pipes; Eight 8" pipes; Two 6" pipes
- Eight elbow connectors
- Eight T connectors
- Four 4-way LT connectors
- Six snap clamps
- 28" x 50" sheet of canvas
- One seat cushion
- Rubber mallet
Prepare the pipe. Before starting your plans, be sure that the PVC is clean and without dust.
Cut the pipe to the desired lengths. Use handsaw to cut the pipe into the correct lengths, making sure the ends are flat and even.
Begin to build the base first. Start with the 30” pipe and place a T connector on each end. At each of the T sides, attach a 12” pipe. Make two of these L-shaped pieces, then put the second one aside until step 6.
Start to build up. Place an elbow at the end of each 12” pipe and position it to point upward. At each elbow attach an 8” pipe. You should now have a base shaped like an L and 4 side posts. At the top of each post, attach a 4-way connector.
Attach the seat support. Using the second L-shaped piece from step 4, you will make the seat support. Fit the L-shaped piece into the 4-way connectors. Attach the remaining 30” lengths of PVC into the front and back of the 4-way connectors.
Create the chair arms. At the top of each of the 4-way connectors, attach an 8” length of pipe. Place an elbow at each of the front corners and a T connector at each of the back corners. Connect each arm with 2 12” pieces of pipe joined with a T connector.
Create the chair back. On the back T connectors, secure a 6” length of pipe, then add an elbow joint at the top. Use the remaining 30” pipe to connect into each of the top elbows to form the back rail.
Glue the elbow joints and T connectors. Disassemble one piece at a time. Apply a fine layer of the PVC cement to the ½” of the pipe end to be connected, then slide the pipe into the connector.
Secure the joints using rubber mallet, and then complete the seat. Gently use the mallet to tighten and secure each joint.
Next, attach the canvas seat base. Secure the canvas around the seat support beam from the front to the back, then over the top of the back rail. Pull the canvas tight and secure with snap clamps. Then add a decorative cushion of your choice and settle in to enjoy the afternoon.
PVC pipe creates a fun, casual look to decorate your home inside and out. These durable pieces will be easy to maintain since they won’t rot, chip or peel. Once you’ve gotten started, you can use these simple steps to make larger chairs or sofas and tables. Build your entire patio set in a weekend! If you get tired of making furniture, there are plenty of other PVC pipe projects you can start on next.