How To Make Rustic Furniture

You can save hundreds of dollars on furniture costs by learning how to make rustic furniture for your home. Rustic pieces have a natural style that is ideal for warm, simple, welcoming homes. Usually made from logs, twigs or other natural materials, rustic furniture can be used indoors and out.

Rustic furniture often served as camp or garden furniture in turn-of-the-century America during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sometimes called "bent twig" or "Adirondack furniture", rustic furniture has a handmade appearance that many people find appealing.

If you want to build rustic furniture for your home or lawn, start with a simple Adirondack or Muskoka chair. Popular as an outdoor chair, this rustic piece has an angled back, wide arms and a low seat made of wooden slats. Do an internet search to find a project plan that works for you. Here is a supply list and a few simple instructions to get you started.


  • Treated wood (consult your plan for type and size details)
  • Galvanized screws
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or finish
  1. Select a furniture plan. Search online for Adirondack chair plans. “Popular Mechanics” and Furniture Den are two good places to start. Or type the phrase “Adirondack chair plans” in any search engine for additional ideas. When you find a plan that matches your style preference and skill level, download and print the plan.
  2. Gather the building materials and supplies. Read the entire furniture plan to determine the necessary building materials. Check your garage or tool shed for items you can use to build your chair. Visit a lumber yard or hardware store to purchase raw materials and any needed supplies.
  3. Build and finish the furniture. Your furniture plan should provide step-by-step instructions for building your Adirondack chair. Cut your wood with a jigsaw and use screws to attach the parts. Start with the chair seat and add the legs. Add the back and install the arms. Follow the instructions carefully and remember to sand the edges smooth. Complete the project with two or three coats of paint or finish.

After you build your first piece of rustic furniture, you’ll want to start on another piece. Consider a second Adirondack chair and a matching table for your lawn or deck. Then search the internet for other rustic furniture plans. Your lumber yard or hardware store can advise you on furniture plans, wood types and project ideas.

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