Trash Chair. It’s comfy up here on top (of the trash heap).

Here at Worthy Woodworking, we strive to reuse materials destined for the landfill.  This “trash chair” is a perfect example of our heart in action.

Design:  A visiting friend (you know who you are!) mentioned the need for a place to set things like towels, dopp-kits and the like whilst cleaning and readying oneself for the day in our guest bathroom.  The chair was designed to fit into our little downstairs bathroom under a towel hanger and between the door and the commode across from the shower.

Materials: As usual, the fun part.  The top would be made out of pallet pieces laying around the shop.  I have seen the chevron pattern around on Pinterest and have wanted to try it out on something (especially now I have a new mitre saw, more on that in a second).

The top border needed to be something wider than the top thickness and that’s about it.  I had a final piece of a park bench I salvaged a while ago and it looked like it would work.

The base would be taken from the broken pedestal legs of a dining room table I saved, fixed and refinished for a friend.  He traded me an extra mitre saw he had laying around for the table and I even got to keep the broken legs.  Deal!


Broken pedestal legs left over from a dining room table redo. Even Lady (my dog) smells the possibilities in this one.  “Ahh rich mahogany,” she says.

Construction:  Here we go from the top down.

The Top Cutting the top pieces out of pallets was straight forward enough.  Cut a baseboard to mount the pieces to, I used a spare piece of plywood I had lying around the shop.  Decide on the width, in this case 8-inches, and went to work on the mitre saw.  Setting the angle to 45-degrees I measured the length to 4-inches and chopped away.

Repeat 14 times and you’re done.  Line up the pallet boards and cut any overhangs as needed.  Spread out glue on the  baseboard, place pallet boards and screw or nail down the pieces.  Compress pallet pieces down on baseboard using weight and large sheet of wood.

The Border  Measure the length, cut and mount.  Match up the border pieces, glue and nail.  I added two screws at the ends for stability and ascetics.

The Legs  This was the hard part.  I removed the tops which mounted to the table and reused it on the table to mount the new legs I made, I removed the broken pedestal feet, and cut off any of the pegs sticking out.  The legs are round and don’t provide the most stabilization when sitting, so I had to come up with a way to stop it from wobbling.  I ended up using the broken pedestal feet as stub feet because they already had the curve cut into them and were in okay condition.  I cut them to be straight at the bottom and 3-inches tall and then glued them back on to the legs with some toe-nailed brad nails.

The Rack  For the towel holding rack I reused the broken off feet to the legs.  I cut off the broken shards making flat straight mounting areas.  I glued and screwed them together making an X.  It came out better than I thought it would being thrown together as it was.

Finishing: for the top of the seat, I polyurethaned the pallet pieces so the color remained similar to it’s original and was protected from all of the hot shower humidity in the days to come.  The border was stained with natural stain and then polyurethaned as well.  The legs and rack were spray painted with some spray enamel I had laying around the shop.  The flat black look offset the brass feet as well as added to the chevron pattern’s pop.

Results: For being trash, I think it came out as good as I could have wanted.  The seat is stable, functional and holds towels.  It looks funky and helps tie in the DIY fun(ky) ascetic throughout the house.


Have a seat!


The front view. The rack will (barely) hold rolled towels. The feet had brass flourishes on them which make the Trash Chair even fun(ky)er.

Lessons Learned: If you want to sweeten a deal with someone like me?  Throw in some extra “materials” (read: wood things you are going to throw away).

Polyurethane can give you a massive headache if you aren’t careful, so BE CAREFUL!

Who needs IKEA when you can make your own furniture.  Oh, wait.  You still have to “make” IKEA furniture.

Conversational pieces around the house provide ample conversation so your house will never be boring or quiet.

This entry was published on February 23, 2015 at 3:33 pm. It’s filed under Construction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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