Diy Settee Pt. 1

DIY Upholstered Settee Feature

While I’ve been waiting on supplies for the window treatments in the master bedroom, I got a jump start on another project that I decided to tackle at the last minute.  I said I was itching to build something and since I have not finalized the details on the bedside tables, I took a shot at my very own Diy Settee.

I’ve searched for a two seat upholstered settee for a few weeks with no luck.  Either they are too expensive, the wrong size or the wrong color.

The ones I really like are expensive.

Elton Settee Performance Velvet Ink Blue

Elton Settee Performance Velvet Ink Blue West Elm $749


Jonathan Adler Morrow Settee $2,295

I’m cursed with champagne taste and a Boones Farm budget.  I Googled for tutorials  and found this YouTube video that inspired me to give it a shot. I won’t build mine exactly the way he built his but the main principles will be the same.

My first hurdle was to figure out how to get those tapered legs in the front and the curved back.  Enter the Ikea Henriksdal Dining Chair.  It retails for $60 bucks without a cover but I scored this on for $15 in the “As Is” section a few years back. I’ve been using it as my desk chair in our office. It is essentially a short version of the settee in the third photo.

I toyed around with the idea of how I could turn this chair into a Diy settee.

DIY Upholstered Settee

I even placed two of them in the room to get a good feel of how the settee would work in the space. It will be perfect for sitting on while putting on shoes/lotion/hosiery.

Image of how settee would look in front of window

I used two of my dining chairs which are also the Ikea chairs and measured them.  Together the greatest width is only 42-1/2″ and the height is 36″.

I need something that was closer to 48″ w in front of that window. So I sketched up a plan, a supply and a cut list.


(2) 2 x 4 @ 8′

(1) 2 x 6 @ 8′

(3) 1 x 3 @ 4′

2-1/2” Pocket Hole Screws

1-1/4” Pocket Hole Screws

Cut List

(2) 2 x 4 cut to 43” (front & back of seat)

(2) 2 x 4 cut to 22” (seat sides)

(1) 2 x 4 cut to 24” (will later be cut to fit center of seat)

(2) 2 x 6 cut to 40” (back legs)

(2) 1 x 3 cut to 43” (seat back)

The 1 x 3 scraps are saved for bracing


I pre-drilled all of my pocket holes after my boards were cut.

I stripped the chair down to it’s bare wood and saved all the nuts and bolts. Especially these that hold the front legs in place.

DIY Upholstered Settee-2

The plan was to use the front legs and the back legs and build the seat to my desired width.

DIY Upholstered Settee-3

The backrest was supported by three pieces of wood so I used the reciprocating saw to cut them apart.

DIY Upholstered Settee-4

Had I not been in  a rush and losing daylight, I would have carefully sawed these pieces from the legs with a hacksaw.

DIY Upholstered Settee-5

I was impatient and used the hammer to break the pieces off and that’s where things went bad.

DIY Upholstered Settee-6

These pieces were secured with wooden dowels and glue.

OOPS!  I ruined the legs.

DIY Upholstered Settee-7

Since the leg was ruined, I figured all wasn’t lost and used the leg as a template to cut my own legs from a 2×6.

I cut the 8′ 2×6 in half at a perfect 90° angle using my new miter saw blade that I got for Christmas.

Forrest Miter Saw Blade

Forrest CM12806115 Chopmaster 12-Inch 80-tooth ATB Miter Saw Blade

I lined up the bottom of the leg with the perfect cut I made on the end of the 2×6. Then I lined up the flat part of the leg that attached to the chair seat with the straight side of the 2×6. I know that’s a little confusing so I’ve followed with a photo.

DIY Settee

I traced the leg onto the 2×6. If you don’t have a chair to sacrifice, then this is how you would create your back legs.

DIY Upholstered Settee-9

I cut the leg out with the jigsaw then repeated with the other half of the 2×6.

DIY Upholstered Settee-10

I now have a pair of legs. I lined them up on a straight edge and measured 13-1/2″ from the bottom and drew a straight line across both legs using the combination square. This line will mark the bottom of the seat.

DIY Upholstered Settee-11

I dont have a photo of this next step but I just joined the two legs with a 43″  2×4 at the line using pocket holes and glue.

Next I moved on to building the seat.  Lining up the 2×4 with the front of the leg, I joined the two legs with the other 43″ 2×4.

By lining up the 2×4 with the front of the leg, the hole for the bolt is still usable.

DIY Settee-2

Next I attached the two 22″ 2×4 the same way to create the side of the seat.

Now its time to attach the center of seat support.  This piece should be exactly 22″ as well but if the lumber has a bow or twist to it, It can be slightly off.  Use a straightedge placed across the back of the seat sides and mark your cut on your center of seat support.

DIY Settee-4

I don’t want to feel the center support  through my foam when I sit on the settee so I recessed the 2×4 by 1/2″.

I did this by placing it on top of a scrap piece of 1/2″ wood before gluing and screwing it to the front of the seat frame.

DIY Upholstered Settee-13

I used 2-1/2″ Spax screws for this to save money.  Those Kreg screws are expensive and every screw counts. 😉

DIY Upholstered Settee-14

Now it’s time to attach the seat to the back of the settee.

My worktable is at a pretty good working height so I sat each piece of the seat on a 1/2″ scrap of wood and I added two 1/2″ scraps to the center of the seat since it was already recessed by 1/2″.  Does this make any sense to you?  Hopefully the next image will make things more clear.

DIY Settee-5

The center scrap is hanging off the table just enough for me to balance the back of the settee on. I added a lot of glue to the three joints and gently clamped one side.  Before I tightened the clamp I checked for level. If it was off, I tapped the back leg with the hammer to get it just right. Then I tightened the clamp and attached with the pocket holes.

DIY Upholstered Settee-15

I did the same for the other side of the leg then I screwed the center support into the back of the settee.

To keep things square and rigid, I added 3″ bracing to the seat. I cut the scrap 1×3’s at a 45° angle on both sides and added a lot of glue.

DIY Upholstered Settee-16

I nailed them in place using 2″ brads. Then I drilled through that hole for the bolt into the brace.  I secured the bolt with the washer and nut that I saved from the original chair. I added bracing to the back legs as well but I didn’t use a bolt, only glue and brad nails. Once the glue dries, It will be as solid as if I used screws.

DIY Upholstered Settee-17

I added one of the 43″ 1×3’s to the back of the settee using glue and pocket screws.

DIY Upholstered Settee-18

Next I added a second 43″ 1×3 to the bottom of the settee back. I placed it 2″ above the seat.

DIY Settee-3

I cut one end of the remaining 23″ 1×3 at a  55° angle so that it would not protrude from the back of the settee once upholstered and screwed it in from the front.

DIY Upholstered Settee-20

I cut the other end at a 15° and secured it with a pocket screw and a lot of glue.

The frame for my Diy settee is now complete.

One thing I love about upholstered projects is that they don’t require much finishing work.  Most of  this wood will be covered in fabric and foam and never seen again.

My next steps will be to finish the front and back legs, add my webbing, foam and batting. Then I will upholster it.  I have my mind set on upholstering it in the same Navy Blue Velvet that I made my Euro Shams out of.  The fabric is now on backorder so I’m checking everyday so see if it’s in stock.  Apparently Indigo and Navy blue are as popular as Radiant Orchid right now and it’s selling out fast at the fabric stores. If they don’t get it back in stock by next week, I’ll have to pick something else.

DIY Upholstered Settee Feature

Signature Post

Diy Settee from Ikea Henriksdal Chair



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