How to build a chaise sofa lounge

Updated April 17, 2017

Our stress-filled lives require that we occasionally take the time out to relax. The economy, unemployment and the task of simply putting food on the table can stress us all to the max. A vacation may not be in the budget, so we have to come up with other ways to relax and unwind. Many of us have an outdoor wooden chaise longue that we typically use during spring and summer. However, the weather isn't always conducive to relaxing outdoors. By following a few easy steps you can convert your outdoor chaise longue into an elegant indoor chaise sofa. Soon you'll be kicking back curled up with a blanket, your favourite book and the family cat relaxing to your heart's content.

Build and attach the back. Start by removing one of the arms from the lounge. Using the base of the arm, measure and cut wood to create a back for one end of the lounge. You can create a frame with 2-by-4 wood and cut wood slats to fill it in. Reattach it with wood screws to where the arm once was. Before painting the lounge, sand it down with a good medium-grade sandpaper to remove any existing stain, paint or varnish from the wood. Finish with a fine sandpaper to leave the surface smooth for the new paint. Wipe it clean with a dry cloth to remove any leftover dust.

Paint the wood. Your choice of paint and fabric will determine the style of the chaise sofa lounge. If you want to create an elegant look, paint the wood in a gold or silver metallic paint and choose silk-like fabrics and lots of pillows that are soft and plush. For a more contemporary, streamlined look paint the wood black or dark brown and use solid fabrics.

Cutting fabric and foam. After you have finished painting the wood, measure the back and seat to determine how much fabric and foam you will need. If your outdoor cushions are in good condition, you can reuse them by sewing simple slipcovers to cover them. If the old cushions are a little flat, wrapping them with batting will plump them up and give them a more firm feel. You will, however, need to buy a new piece of foam for the new back that you created. Reusing the existing cushions will save you a lot of money, since buying new foam can be costly. Either way, the same sewing technique can be used to make the cushions for the lounge.

Pin the fabric. Transfer the measurements onto your fabric, and cut out the pieces that you will use for the back and seat of the lounge. Be sure to cut enough fabric to cover the underneath side of the cushions, leaving a 4-inch allowance for the cushions to fit inside and be sewn shut. The cushions should be turned over occasionally to prevent wearing on one side. Match the front and back sides, and put them together with the right side of the fabric in. Pin them together, creating a 5/8-inch line along the edge of the fabric. This will be used as your sewing guide when sewing them together.

Sewing and finishing touches. Using the pins as a guide, sew a 5/8-inch seam along the outside edge of the fabric, leaving an opening at the back of the cushion where it will sit on the chaise. Repeat this process for the back and seat cushions as well as the new back section. After you have made your slipcovers, insert the existing cushions or new foam inserts into the slipcovers. Sew them closed with a needle and thread, and put the cushions onto the chaise. Do the same with the new cushion for the new back portion of the chaise longue. Add pillows and a throw, and you have just converted an outdoor chaise longue into a new indoor chaise sofa lounge. Relax and enjoy!


To give your new sofa chaise longue a more finished indoor look, you can upholster fabric onto the chaise by attaching the foam and batting with a staple gun and using an upholstery gun to upholster the fabric directly onto the wood.

Things You'll Need

  • Outdoor wood chaise longue
  • Wood
  • Wood screws
  • Power drill
  • Power screwdriver
  • Fabric
  • Foam
  • Batting (optional)
  • Thread
  • Paint
  • Pillows (optional)
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About the Author

As a freelance writer and online marketing consultant, living and working in South Florida, Tiffany Holley provides copy writing services and online marketing strategies for businesses and website owners of all types. Holley specializes in SEO content writing, product reviews, search engine marketing, and social media marketing for businesses.