Updated at: 09-03-2023 - By: Sienna Lewis

One of the most relaxing pieces of furniture available today, reclining chairs offer unrivaled ease of use and comfort. The problem is that the mass-produced recliner can be too confining for some people. To be perfectly honest, that doesn’t really shock me. Making money is the primary objective of businesses like La-Z-Boy and Ashley. In order to meet consumer demand, they manufacture products that aren’t necessarily well suited to everyone.

Most of these issues can be resolved by building your own recliner. As a result, I wrote this manual to serve as a starting point for you as you craft your very own unique recliner. Please let me know if you find this article helpful.

Types Of Recliners

Armchairs can be either manually operated, electrically powered, or equipped with a massage mechanism. Built-in motors in massage chairs allow for a variety of massaging techniques, including rolling, kneading, and tapping. While they can be costly and time-consuming to construct, it is possible to make one with the right knowledge and resources.

Helpful Guide for Building a Recliner Frame - Krostrade

The electric motor in a power armchair allows you to adjust the chair to the perfect position with the push of a button. Those who have trouble moving around may benefit from this type of recliner because it can be operated by pressing a button. A massage armchair, while more complicated, is still more difficult to construct than this.

Reclining chairs that are manually adjusted require physical effort. However, if you have limited mobility, this type may be more difficult to use, despite being less expensive than power recliners. Moreover, it is less complicated to construct than power and massage varieties, so I suggest you start with that.

What DIY Recliner Will Be Best For You?

To get the most out of your do-it-yourself recliner project, you need to first determine the style of recliner that will serve you best. Already, I’ve gone over a few variations on armchairs that could work for you to construct.

After settling on a specific model of recliner, you can get started on your build. In this article, we’ll go over how to build a manual recliner from scratch using only common household items. Okay, so let’s begin.

Step 0: Create A Blueprint

Not the intricate design, of course. Get some measurements of the armchair you want to replicate. If you don’t have this, you can’t even think about constructing anything. If you take careful measurements, you can rest assured that your new armchair will be a perfect fit in your home. On the flip side, if you act carelessly, you’ll have to spend more time correcting your errors.

Take accurate measurements of the height, width, and depth of the desired recliner with the help of a ruler or tape measure. Measure the armrests and headrest, if present. Jot down these proportions before beginning the recliner’s construction.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials.

If you’re going to make an armchair yourself, I suggest picking up the following supplies.

  • One empty chair shell
  • Plywood measuring at least 24″ x 48″
  • Foam measuring at least 24″ x 48″
  • Sufficient fabric to slip over a chair
  • enough batting to completely encase the chair
  • Tools: a stapler and staples
  • Screws
  • Measuring instrument, such as a ruler or tape measure
  • Use (optional) paint or wood stain.

So, you’ve managed to acquire a necessary component. Congratulations! You are now prepared to begin.

Step 2: Cut The Plywood And Foam

The plywood should be 24 inches wide and 48 inches long, so go ahead and make those markings. All you need is a ruler or a measuring tape to get the job done. The next step is to saw through the plywood. The foam needs to be 24 inches by 48 inches, so use those dimensions to mark it. Use a knife or scissors to slash the foam into smaller pieces.

We want to help you understand how a recliner is constructed

Step 3: Cover The Chair Frame

Staple batting to the chair’s frame and cover the frame entirely. The batting is then pinned under the fabric. The chair frame can be stained or painted before being covered in fabric.

Step 4: Attach The Plywood

Place the plywood on top of the chair frame so that it is centered. Use screws to secure the plywood to the framework.

Step 5: Adjust The Recliner Position

The recliner’s position can be altered by raising the lever located on the side of the chair. The chair’s back will recline at this point. The armchair is fully height-adjustable to accommodate you.

And there you have it! You get your very own reclining chair that you can adjust manually. Thank you for your hard work, and please accept my heartfelt congratulations.

What kind of Metal is Used in Recliners?

Recliners usually use steel for the metal parts.

What are the Different Types of Chairs?

Folding chairs and fixed chairs are the most common options. While stationary chairs don’t fold and don’t need much maintenance, folding ones can be compacted for transport or storage.

What are the Parts of a Chair?

Chairs typically consist of four main parts: the seat, back, legs, and arm rests. You can’t finish your design without these vital components. If you don’t know which piece goes where, you could end up with a recliner that is uncomfortable at best and unusable at worst.

How do I measure a chair?

The best way to get a recliner that fits you perfectly is to have it made to your exact measurements. Of course, if you’d rather buy something already made, there’s always the Internet! Space measurements are readily available on any given site.

What is the Best Fabric for a Recliner?

A recliner’s ideal fabric would be a thin leather. You’ll be nice and cozy, and the chair won’t look any more worn than it already is. If leather isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other fabric options, such as cotton, denim, and twill. To make sure you have enough, think about the width and weight of the fabric.

How does a recliner mechanism work? 

The footrest is raised and pushed back by the recliner mechanism. This pulls a cable or pulls a lever, which in turn activates a piston that smoothly reclines the chair. Although you might require assistance setting up the system the first time around, once you’ve gotten the hang of things, you’ll be able to navigate it with ease.

What do I need to know Before Buying a Recliner? 

If you’re in the market for a new recliner, you should know a few things. As a first question, how much room do you have?

To avoid making the space feel even tighter, an ottoman style chair could be the best option because of its compact footprint. Second, how much money do you have to work with? When making a purchase, it is important to keep the price of a recliner in mind.

Lastly, what are your intended functions for this chair? An ottoman could be the best choice if you like to sit up straight while watching TV or reading. A reclining chair, on the other hand, is ideal for more leisurely activities like watching movies and napping.

How far from the wall should a recliner be?

Avoid placing the chair so that its back is against a wall. Therefore, you won’t risk bumping your head on it as you enter or exit.

How Much Does a Recliner Cost?

Leather or fabric recliners, for example, will cost more than a standard plastic one, but the price can range from very low to very high. However, most run between $600 and $1000, with the higher end costing up to $1500.

What is the Difference Between a Wall Hugger Recliner and a Regular Recliner?

In order to fit snugly against the wall, wall huggers are designed to be smaller. You’ll have less room to stand up from it, but it’s a great choice if you’re limited on square footage.

How do I Clean my Recliner?

If you spend a lot of time lounging in a recliner, then it’s probably time to give it a good cleaning. Just use some dish soap and some hot water, and then wipe it down with a towel.

What is the Best Recliner Chair Fabric?

Natural fibers like cotton or wool are more expensive but more long-lasting and generally softer than synthetic fabrics.

As long as you use high-quality materials, you can construct a recliner that is both durable and plush.

Amazon.com: Esright Power Lift Chair Electric Recliner for Elderly Heated Vibration Massage Fabric Sofa Motorized Living Room Chair with Side Pocket and Cup Holders, USB Charge Port&Massage Remote Control, Brown : Home


I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions that I hope will help you out as you design your own recliner.

Are Power Recliners Challenging To Build?

Not at all, though you will need some familiarity with electricity to construct one.

Can I Use An Existing Chair Frame For My Recliner?

A preexisting chair frame can be used for your armchair, but you’ll need to double-check that it’s strong enough to hold the foam and plywood you’ll be adding.

What Type Of Fabric Should I Use For My Recliner?

The armchair can be upholstered in whatever material you prefer. It is essential, however, to settle on a sturdy and