Animal companions are well known to have a therapeutic effect on children (and adults!) who are living with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. We thought this would be a perfect theme for our 2016 Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraising campaign.
To participate, all you need to do is create an animal out of whatever you like and post a pic of it it on the Makers Care website. Get creative!
To kick off this year’s campaign, I made a pair of animal chairs for toddlers…one puppy and one kitty. These are really easy to make! You will need:
How to Make the Puppy & Kitty Chairs
I designed these chairs to be as simple as possible to build. Please download the plans at the end of this article for all the dimensions and templates you will need. For each chair, you will need one 2′ x 4′ piece of 3/4″ thick plywood. (61cm x 122cm, 18mm thick). You can buy boards cut to this size at hardware stores and home centers. They are sometimes called “Project Panels” or “Handi-Panels” and are great because they will fit into just about any car and are a lot easier to handle than a 4′ x 8″ sheet of plywood.
Print out the cutting templates for the dog and/or cat and the front legs. I like to align the sections on a window and tape them together.
Stick these to the board using spray adhesive. Use the straight and square, factory-cut edges of the boards to align the bottom of the pet template and the top of the legs. These are the only two areas that need to be straight, so by utilizing the straight edges of the plywood, you can avoid having to make a perfect cut with your jigsaw.
If you need help learning how to use my cutting templates, watch this video:
Cut out all the shapes using your jigsaw. If you have a bandsaw, you could use it, but frankly I find a jigsaw easier to use on big boards like these.
If you are making both chairs, you only need to use the front legs template once. After cutting one, just trace it out on another board.
It’s important that all of the edges be soft. I used my router to round them over, but you can also smooth them down just by sanding.
I didn’t create a template for the seats: I just cut out a rectangle and rounded the corners. It might be fun to get creative with the shape of the seats!
Make a frame
To hold the chair together, make a simple little frame with four strips of wood. Glue and screw these pieces together.
Next, drill holes through the edges, one on each side. Be careful drilling these to keep them square and straight all the way through. These will be used to screw the seat into place.
Glue and screw the legs to the frame.
Then glue and screw the back into place the same way. Having some clamps will help hold it together while you drive the screws.
Glue and screw the seat in place. Just make sure your screws aren’t so long that they poke all the way through.
Painting these chairs will really make them come alive. You can get as creative as you want with colors and designs. If you would like to use my designs, I’ve include some outline templates for the faces. To use these, you can print them out and trace over the lines with carbon paper. (Yes, you can still buy carbon paper!) Or, you can use my inkjet photo transfer method.
If you are unfamiliar with my transfer method, watch this video:
Then all you need to do is fill in the lines with acrylic craft paint. It’s easy!
Finally, I sprayed a few clear coats of lacquer over everything for added protection and durability.
Download Free Chair Plans: