Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs

It's Friday and I am happy to share my Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs with you!  On Monday I showed you my Cabinet doors into Children's Desk, and these are what I built to go with it.

I also shared these chairs first at My Repurposed Life where I contribute twice a month for my good friend Gail.  
Chairs make from old car jacks
I wanted to make something fun and unique and I had several ideas in mind, but how these chairs actually came to be is an interesting story.

Let me share it with you...
old barn wood
I really wanted to use some of the old barn wood that I used on the top of the desk.  I also wanted to try something different and repurpose something, so I was looking for inspiration.

It eventually came during a trip to the ARC.  Not my favorite thrift store, but worth a look on Saturdays when most things are half off.
old car jacks
When I spotted these car jacks I got an idea.  They were $4.99 each, but with half off, I got them both for $5.  Not too bad.

I promptly took them home and got started.
cutting a hole in wood to attach car jack
First I needed to cut some barn wood to the size of the seat I wanted.  I also cut a slightly smaller piece of barn wood to help me attach the seat to the car jacks...I know it is confusing but hopefully the photos will help.  See why I needed the hole?

I measured the center of the smaller piece of wood and cut a circle the size of the adjustable car jack.  To save time, since I was making two chairs, I cut them both at the same time.  This Ryobi jig saw was a birthday present from my husband!  Woo hoo!!
attaching wood pieces on car jack with nuts and bolts
After the circle was cut I clamped the small and big piece together and drilled four holes (top left).

I added bolts to the bigger board through the four holes, with washers and nuts (top right).  Then with the car jack slipped through the circle in the smaller board I put the bolts through the four holes and attached them with more washers and nuts (bottom left).  Then I slid the whole thing into the rest of the car jack (bottom right).

This whole process was really a big experiment, you can see I was trying out scrap strips to see if I needed them for spacers (bottom right photo).  I ended up not needing them.  This was motivation enough to keep me going...
Chair back cut at an angle and pocket holes drilled
...and to continue using the car jacks to make the chairs.  I did have a few reservations (which I will get to in a minute), but promptly pushed them to the back of my head.  No, I'm not stubborn!

At this point I spent the better part of a week debating how I would do the seat backs.  To say I am indecisive would be a HUGE understatement.  One idea that I really liked was doing an X back (to match the desk), but I would have had to buy wood to piece it together, and I had already spent more than my norm.  I mean these chairs were right at $6.50 each, I am used to almost totally free! Lol!

I finally gave up trying to decide.  Using more barn wood I cut two square pieces to a good size for a chair back.  I used my Ryobi Circular saw set at a 10 degree angle and cut the bottom end, so the back rest would have a slight tilt.

I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes all along the angled end, top right photo.
cutting chair back x pattern with jig saw
After I had drilled the pocket holes I was going to draw an oval at the top, sort of like a handle, and cut it with my jig saw, and then it hit me!

Why not just cut and X shape with the jig saw!?  So I did.  I used a really advanced method of "measuring" out my X... with a scrap piece of wood.  I am very high tech around here. :)
buying zinc hex screws and nuts and bolts
I did want to point out that I got my bolts, washers, and hex nuts at Home Depot for a rocking price.  It was just over $7 for all of them.  I got 10 bolts, 18 hex nuts, and 16 washers.

FYI:  They were cheap because I bought the zinc ones, not the stainless steel.  Luckily, I had spotted these as I was leaving with the stainless steel ones I had first grabbed, I switched them out in a quick hurry.  The same thing in stainless steel would have been over $20, eeek.
spray painting car jacks oil rubbed bronze
I also debated how to finish the car jacks, and eventually decided on Oil Rubbed Bronze, which I always have on hand.  I know they look black in the photos, but they are very pretty in person.  Luckily we had some over 40 degree weather so I could spray paint. :)
using gorilla epoxy to secure car jack to wood
Remember my reservations I mentioned above?  Well Gorilla Epoxy came to the rescue.  I used it to keep my "car jack pole" from sliding around in my small wood hole.  It takes five minutes to set after you mix it up and dries clear.  This stuff is soooo awesome, it totally saved me.  Now that pole is going NO WHERE, it is nice and solid, which makes my seat nice and sturdy.
covering cut wood ends with stain
I had also finished the barn wood pieces with three coats of poly, sanding between coats 1 and 2.   It was easier to do this before I put them together.  Before I did that, I used some Rustoleum's Kona stain to darken the cut ends to make them look "weathered" like the rest of the wood.  I barely put any stain on the rag and rubbed some off, then lightly rubbed it on the cut pieces of all my wood.
attaching seat of chairs to car jacks with hex screws
Now it was time to put them together.  Starting with my big piece and adding the bolts, then the smaller piece.  I used a pair of pliers to tighten them up.
Attaching seat back with pocket holes and gorilla glue
I couldn't wait to see how they looked with the desk, so I ran downstairs to try them out.  They were cute, but I still needed my seat backs.  I used my Gorilla wood glue and attached them with my pocket hole screws.
chair backs with support piece
Since I had some scrap pieces laying around I added them to the back for a little extra support and to sort of "hide" my pocket holes.  I just used my nail gun to attach them.
side view of car jack chairs
Here is a side shot of how they look.  Can you see that one chair is taller?  That is because they are adjustable!  I used my extra bolts and hex nuts I had bought to put through the holes, and you can make them taller or shorter really quickly.
the car jack makes the chairs adjustable
Here are some shots of how to adjust.  Just unscrew the hex nut, remove the bolt, slide to the desired height, then secure with the bolt and nut.  Easy.
kids sitting at the desk trying out chairs
My boys were excited to try out the chairs, you can see my younger boy's chair is one notch shorter, perfect for him.  And leaning a little...

This is where my second reservation was realized.  I knew the base was not very wide and I had worried about them being a little tipsy.  Well, they were.  Of course they were useable but not as sturdy as I would have liked.  Ugh!  Why don't I listen to the little voices in my head?
creating base for the car jack, to make chairs sturdy
So I debated on how to fix my problem and decided that I had to add a more sturdy base, but how to do it?

More wood, of course.  I cut a square the same as my smaller one on top and decided to notch out some semi-circles for the car jacks to rest in.  I squared them up with the seats, and traced around the metal pieces onto the wood.  Then I scored the parts I had traced with a pocket knife (very carefully).  With a chisel and hammer I hacked out the wood.  Then set my base inside.  Perfect.
adding poly to wood
I had to finish the wood the same way, so I did my cut ends with the stain and three coats of poly.  Now for that awesome Gorilla Epoxy...

Here to save me again!
gorilla epoxy to attach car jacks to the wood base
Sorry it is blurry, you have to work fast when using this stuff!  After I mixed it up I filled in the notched out sections with the epoxy and then set the chairs in their place, and let it set until firm.
base of the car jack chairs
They fit perfect and now they are sturdy, phew...problem solved.
MyLove2Create, Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs
Aren't they pretty?
MyLove2Create, Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs
They are very unique, I mean who has chairs made out of old car jacks?  :)
MyLove2Create, Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs
The rustic rich barn wood is hard to resist,  and I love the industrial look the metal adds.
MyLove2Create, Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs with cabinet doors into desk
They fit perfectly with the desk, and my boys love them.

MyLove2Create, Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs
The best part?  No more tipsy chairs!
MyLove2Create, Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs
Now, if only my kids room was as clean as it was when I took this photo!  Ha ha!
MyLove2Create, Rustic Industrial Kid Chairs
So even if I am crazy to try building chairs out of old car jacks, at least I had fun, definitely worth the journey!  


I will be linking to these parties!



  1. love Love LOVE! The desk is adorable and the chairs are absolutely beautiful!!

  2. Ha! Yep, I did not see this one coming. ;) Mindi, how in the world did you envision a seat when you saw those tire jacks? They look very rustic and industrial and I like how they can adjust in height. They go very well with that desk, too. Great job and now I may try some of that Gorilla epoxy. That stuff sounds hard core. lol

  3. Love this upcycle project! Very creative and adorable to boot, never would have thought to use car jacks that way, what a perfect marriage .

  4. These are AWESOME!! What a very cool idea!!


  5. you come up with the best project! I truly love the look of these chairs. Now I want some adult size ones!!!

  6. What a great idea for kids chairs. Love this tutorial! Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  7. These are so cool! We are redoing our boys room in an industrial theme and these would look awesome. Pinning for sure!

  8. Wow, what a cool project. Pinning and sharing!

  9. I love these! Not only do they look great, but I love the tutorial too! I also like the chalkboard above the desk! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle! :)

  10. Wow, super impressive, love! Thanks for linking up to Vintage Inspiration Party!

  11. Wow, what a fabulous idea and clever repurposing project. Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing them and the tutorial at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  12. Wow, what a fabulous idea and clever repurposing project. Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing them and the tutorial at Vintage Inspiration Party.

  13. Hi Mindi, You've out done yourself! Awesome project!! Shared...Thanks for sharing at the party @DearCreatives Hope to see you again this week!

  14. What... huh.... how.... I'm so speechless. You are my favorite creative person in the whole wide world.

  15. How amazing are these chairs?! So creative, I love them! Found you on Think Tank Thursday :)

  16. Wow, those chairs are amazing! The car jack stands are genius!!! I love thrift stores because you never know what you will get inspiration from. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

  17. Holy cow are those amazing!!!! Car jacks!!!! That is flipping brilliant Mindi!! And the wood looks so pretty and rustic! I was wondering how you were going to do the never cease to amaze me! Chairs are not easy to make but these are gorgeous and your sweet boys look so cute sitting at their new desk!!! Great Job mama!!! oh and I was so thinking of you today when I was trying to figure out how to make a wooden obelisk for the garden....I knew that if you lived close by you could whip one up in no time! Happy weekend to you and the crew! Nicole xoxo

  18. You are genious! I've never thought that is possible to make such a gorgeous chairs from these things. Awesome!

    End of tenancy cleaning Islington

  19. Absolutely gorgeous! I'm totally jealous of your skill. ;) Thanks for linking up to Show Me Saturday.

  20. There are no words for how AMAZING these chairs are! You are one talented mama, extremely talented! This is such a fun, cute, inspiring idea and I will be looking at car jacks in a whole new light now! Thanks for sharing this!! Ps. have you ever heard of its a place you can submit your furniture projects that you find curbside, thrift stores and give them new life...I get a lot of traffic from there so I just figured I would let you know in case you wanted to submit projects to the site :) Have a wonderful day

  21. You definitely have created one (or two) of a kind chairs! And they are adorable. Thank you so much for sharing at Share Your Style party this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
    XO Barbara

  22. You are so creative, these look so nice!

    I wish I was small enough to fit in these little chairs. :)

    Thanks for sharing at Talented Tuesday Link Party!

  23. These look great! Thanks so much for sharing at Totally Terrific Tuesday! #tttparty

  24. Featuring on Trash 2 Treasure Tuesday. :)

  25. Those are simply fabulous!

    Cindy @ Upcycled Design Lab

  26. These are so cool. What a fabulous idea!!

  27. LOVE it!! Featuring you tomorrow at Work it Wednesday - thanks for sharing them Mindi!!

  28. I don't know how I missed these! They're totally AWESOME!

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  30. this was a very clever project! I'd like to try something in an adult scale, just like these! Love how you put stuff to good reuse!!

  31. great article to best one to get here to save information here to have.

  32. Thanks for the great article

  33. Really great Post personally I loved it. Really glad and thankful that you shared it with us.

  34. So amazing! Look at all these amazing things you do! Love, love, love all your projects! Thanks for sharing!

  35. Awesome content and tips that everyone can follow through on making a chair.


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