Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chaise Lounger

This was another project that I got excited about last summer, and due to the pregnancy, never built before snow fell.  I've been holding this outdoor fabric and the foam for a solid year, waiting to build and make it...and I love this thing!
It's a chaise lounger.
Plans from ana-white, actually this plan is old back when she was Knock Off Wood.

Anyway, the back obviously adjusts, to be totally flat, sit up and everything in between.
We use the lounger flat as a couch for more people around the fire pit to roast marshmallows, but usually it's for sitting at an incline.

I'm not doing a full tutorial obviously, because the plans to build this are in the above link.
But basically you build the box, and the back support is a separate piece. 

 You attach the back support section with hinges to the bed.  
These were actually left over door hinges we saved from removing doors from our house.


To allow the adjustable back incline, you support the back of the lounger with two 1x4 hunks.  At the end you screw pipe straps.  I spray painted mine white to match.
A wooden dowel, or in my case, a left over piece of 1/2" electrical conduit from my curtain rod project (it was the perfect length, what luck!) goes through the pipe straps to hold the back in the jagged notches.

When the lounger is in its flat position, the pipe fits perfectly above the back support.
NOTE: I mis-measured, and there was 2" extra space at the top.  So the cushions were each 1" shorter and I nailed a 2x2 hunk at the top there to make it look less of a huge gaping hole at the top of the lounger.

Here's the whole back.

To make it easier to move and adjust this thing, I chose to add the wheels.
I just bought $5.00 lawn mower tires from Walmart.  I did build the legs on that end 2" shorter than the plan.
A wooden dowel is the axle for the wheels, and they have a thick washer between the lounger wooden leg, and to keep the tires on the dowel axle, I found these "Push Nuts" at Home Depot.  They're in the hardware aisle in all those little drawers.  I found one of those drawers is full of different sized corks.  Who knew?
These push nuts were around $1.00 each.  You put the washer, tire, then just hammer the nut on the outside and it holds around the dowel tightly.


So those are the variations I made from the plan.  I finished the lounger with:
oil based primer, 2 coats exterior latex paint: Glidden Swan White in semi-gloss, then a coat of outdoor polyurethane.

Now onto the
CUSHIONS or PADS
 Foam is expensive.  Buying it by the yard, even with a 50% off coupon makes the project too expensive and not worth making yourself.  So last summer I bought an affordable camping foam cushion for $20.00 at Smiths Marketplace.
To cut the foam to the sizes I needed, I used a scrap thick 2x12 left over from the corner bench to help squash the foam and have a straight guide.  I cut it with a handled razor, I think it's actually a carpet cutter, but was $3.00 at Home Depot.
I had one long strip left over. 
My outdoor fabric for the cushions is Waverly Sun N Shade "SNS Lovely Lattice".  Outdoor fabric can be pricey, but I caught it on sale from fabric.com and so the fabric for the cushions came to $15.00.
My genius idea I stole from Ballard Designs catalog is to have mesh on the bottom of the cushions.  That way they can dry faster if it rains.  I had a glob of mesh in my stash and I have no idea where it came from, so that was a nice find. 
To attach and secure the cushions to the lounger, I got cotton/poly cord and sewed short ties.  I actually measured the lounger to make sure they would be in the right spots.   

For the winter months, this will be going in a shed, the foam will completely dry/ bleach in the sun and also go in storage.  So I made sure I could get the covers off to clean and store them by adding zippers.
Both zippers are on the ends that touch where the lounger bends for the incline so you don't see the zippers on either end.

The foam is 3" thick and sticks up above the frame 2 inches. 

As a teenager I would have loved to sleep on this outdoors all summer.  
But now I'm married with kids and it's not that convenient anymore to fall asleep under the stars.

The last few weeks my husband worked night shifts, so we'd eat dinner, he'd go to work, I'd put baby Ellie to bed, and RJ my son and I would go out and snug on the lounger and read.  RJ loves Halloween and saw Coraline at the thrift store with a creepy cover so we read that recently, a few chapters a night.  It's a pretty scary book, but he didn't seem to notice the suspense.  I think he doesn't pay much attention to the actual story (he's only 3 1/2), just likes laying there listening as the sun sets in a quilt, tuning in at the occasional picture.
I LOVED those nights.  Kind of magical to me. 

  I loved reading as a kid....so much that my older siblings teased me that I had no friends, I'd disagree, then they's say you can't count books and they had me.  I was a bookworm, and I did have a few friends, but I've always been a home body. I remember laying on my bed reading Roald Dahl's Matilda in 4th grade and outside my window the neighborhood was playing soccer in our backyard.  I guess I'm like Mary in Pride and Prejudice, kind of lame infinitely preferring a book. 

So I hope my kids also love reading.  I've always looked forward to read all my childhood favorites again with my kids and relive the magic they had for me when I was little.
I just love the time close together on a summer night reading outside with the dimming sun....kind of like Scout and Atticus.  
Pure magic.  

It was a fun project, and one of the more difficult pieces I've built.
In reality, it's just a piece of furniture, but already I cherish the memories our little family is making in the summer evenings outside on the patio we laid, in the furniture I made.  
I'm excited for fall and the crisp weather, but I'm still holding on to summer as long as it will stay...because I'd really like to read more kids books out there before we have to put it all in storage.
Our patio is pretty much all done now.
  I need to get some shots of the whole scene and you can see it all together.

15 comments:

  1. Jessica, you did a beautiful job on your chaise and the cushion. Reading books together with my daughter are some of my fondest memories from when she was little. Enjoy the last vestiges of summer!

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  2. You are my DIY hero. I love the photo of Rhett...what a hoot. The cushions are awesome!

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  3. Wow that is amazing. Great job. I have been trying to convince my husband we should build some of those for about a year now.... Yours looks terrific. Enjoy snuggling with you kids on it.

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  4. I would never think of making my own chaise...I mean the pad maybe, but the chair itself. AH-mazing. Oh to have 1/10 of your building skills. It has been fun to see your patio come together.

    Great Job

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  5. What a lovely, lovely post!

    The chaise is a marvel, too.

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  6. I just recently discovered you via Pinterest. I have really enjoyed reading all your posts. You've given me some great idea on how to spruce up my house without spending a lot of money.

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  7. A fantastic job!!!, thanks for show it to us. My couple is charpenter... hehehe... (poor)
    :-D

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  8. Wow! Beautiful work! Looks like the perfect place to relax with a good book!

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  9. AMAZING! you've surpassed everything I ever imagined. I'm adding more to our project list right now!

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  10. Annnnnd I love this! I could happily live in a chaise/lounger all summer...and mine's just a cheapie from the bigbox around the corner. Yours is simply gorgeous!

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  11. Totally Gorgeous
    You clever person :0)

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  12. Totally amazing. I love how you describe reading books as magical. And I love Scout.

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