DIY Pod Chair


If you are a fan of retro or organic décor, a pod chair might just be the perfect piece to complete the look of your furniture set at home. Fiberglass pod chairs can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on where you shop. A good alternative to buying this type of chair is making your own out of rattan canes. By using the techniques to make a deep papasan style of chair, you can have a pod chair lookalike that is comfortable and a fraction of the cost.

Things You'll Need

  • Large piece of paper
  • Pencil
  • Calculator
  • Lengths of rattan that have a 1.5-inch diameter
  • Shears strong enough to cut tree branches
  • Large sink or tub
  • Hot water
  • Cable ties
  • Drill
  • 3.5-inch screws
  • Nuts
  • Rattan wrapping
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread that matches the color of the fabric
  • 2-inch-thick foam
  • Sewing needle

Make the Chair Frame

  • Make a template on a piece of paper according to the diameter that you want your chair. Your template will look like a circle. Pod chairs generally have a diameter of about 60 inches. After you know the depth that you want the chair, create a larger circle around the original one that you drew. For example, if you want the pod chair to have a depth of 3 feet, you will draw a circle that is three feet from the perimeter of the circle on all sides.

  • Find the circumference of the chair by multiplying pi, or 3.14, by diameter of the smallest circle. If the diameter, for example, is 60 inches, the circumference equals 188.4 inches (60 inches x 3.14 = 188.4 inches).

  • Cut a length of 1.5-inch-thick rattan so it equals the circumference plus 1.5 inches.

  • Cut four lengths of rattan that equal the diameter of the largest circle that you drew on the template. Then cut three of these lengths in half.

  • Soak the lengths of rattan that you cut in a large sink or bathtub and hot water. If you have a large steam box for lumber, you can use this instead. Let the rattan soak until it is pliable.

  • Bend the longest length of rattan into a circle. The ends of the rattan should overlap by three-quarters of an inch. Use cable ties to temporarily hold the ends together.

  • Permanently secure the ends of the rattan that you shaped into a circle by drilling a 3.5-inch screw through them. Use a nut to help secure the screw in place. This circular shape that you made is the chair’s frame. Allow the rattan to completely dry.

  • Secure the longest length of flexible rattan remaining to one side of the circle that you formed, using screws and nuts. Then secure the opposite end of the rattan to the opposite side of the circular frame. The length of rattan will bow as you complete this task.

  • Secure the remaining lengths of rattan to the frame using screws and nuts. You should attach one end to the frame and the other to the longer piece of rattan that you previously installed. Space the remaining lengths of rattan evenly. The shorter lengths of rattan will also bow as you install them.

  • Conceal the screws with rattan wrapping. Allow the chair frame to dry.

  • Soak one long or several shorter lengths of rattan until they are flexible so you can create the seat and back of the chair.

  • Secure the ends of the rattan that you just soaked to the middle of the frame. Then bend the rattan so it forms a spiral along the outside of the chair frame. If needed, use additional screws and nuts to secure the pieces of rattan that you are spiraling along the chair. You will need a screw and nut to secure the ends of the rattan to the frame.

  • Conceal the latest screws that you used with rattan wrapping. Allow the finished product to completely dry.

Create the Chair Stand

  • Cut a length of rattan that equals the half the circumference of the chair, followed by another length that is 6 inches smaller.

  • Soak the lengths of rattan in hot water until they are flexible.

  • Secure the ends of the individual lengths of rattan together so they form two circles. The larger circle is the bottom of the stand and the smaller circle is for the top. Allow the rattan to dry.

  • Cut and soak eight lengths of rattan that are 1.5 feet long.

  • Attach the lengths of rattan that you just soaked to the inside of the circular shapes, securing them with screws and nuts. The bottom end of each 1.5-foot length of rattan should be flush with the bottom edge of circular rattan shape. The same principle applies to the tops of the rattan lengths.

  • Conceal the screws and nuts with rattan wrapping. Allow the chair stand to dry. The finished stand will have a cone shape.

Create the Chair Cushion

  • Cut two pieces of fabric so they equal the diameter of the largest circle that you drew on the initial template, plus 3 inches. The fabric will form the pillowcase for the chair cushion.

  • Pin the wrong sides of the fabric together.

  • Sew along the edge of the fabric using a 1-inch seam allowance. Only sew three-quarters of the way around the pinned pieces of fabric.

  • Remove the pins from the fabric and turn it right side out.

  • Cut a piece of 2-inch-thick foam so it equals the diameter of the largest circle that you drew on the initial template.

  • Place the piece of foam inside the opening between the two pieces of fabric.

  • Pin the open ends of the fabric together. Tuck the loose ends of the fabric toward the inside of the chair cushion as you pin it.

  • Use a sewing needle to hand-stitch the pinned fabric together.

  • Place the chair frame onto the stand. Then place the cushion into the frame.

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