Antique Clamp Chair Made with Barn Wood

Sometimes it can be hard to let go of things. Especially things that have sentimental value. For me it was this 12′ wooden ladder that my dad had loaned us when we bought our first home. I remember as a child using it in my parent’s home to decorate our 20’+ Christmas trees in our living room while using a broom to string lights. Or dangling from it  to play with my siblings. Problem is, when my husband and I got possession of it, it fell in disrepair. ugh. It had to be outside for various reasons and it rotted away. Today it becomes something more. Let me show you how I made an antique clamp chair using this ladder for parts.

Old Wooden Ladder Salvaged for Parts | Prodigal Pieces |

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

I suppose most people would just pitch or burn this thing, but I couldn’t do it. Too many memories and I felt as though I failed my dad. I dragged it up to he front of my house and used my jig saw to cut it into salvageable pieces late last summer. The promise to myself was to make use of this bit by bit and create some new memories.

Enter in this pair of antique clamps that I found at a local flea market. This pair is the two left of a lot of 5.

Antique Clamps Before Repurposing | Prodigal Pieces |

The other long one became our dining room lighting, and a smaller pair became sconces in that same area. You can read about those in this post.

Rustic Industrial Style Farmhouse Lighting by Prodigal Pieces |


Today, I decided to create an antique clamp chair using the rungs from the ladder. Do you know how hard it is to find truly weathered dowel? tsk. This stuff was #trashure gold for me.

Since the design I had in my head required the clamps be turned to the narrow side, I had to reduce the size of the dowel so it could fit in nice and snug while not loosing strength. My hacksaw helped me notch out the ends and then I used a hammer and chisel to tap it off. Last, I used my utility knife to whittle it down.

Rungs for Antique Clamp Chair Made from Old Wooden Ladder | Prodigal Pieces |

Up next, add the rungs to the clamps. This was kinda like a puzzle to me as everything had age and a few twists here in there in the grain. It was fun! My drill and spade bit set made easy work of getting the holes. Since my rungs had hand-carved ends, I used two sizes to make sure they fit snug.

Preparing Antique Clamps for Ladder Rungs | Prodigal Pieces |


After that, I grabbed a few scrap pieces of the glorious barn wood. It’s the same wood we are using in our kitchen remodel.

Larissa Haynes Standing on Stack of Reclaimed Barn Wood | Prodigal Pieces |

Since I tend to build on the fly when it is something like this, I used my miter saw as I went to make the lengths I needed. Then (enter in dramatic music) my Kreg Jig came to my rescue again to help me create pocket holes to make building the seat a breeze. You should check out these posts to see why if you are into DIY you should purchase this tool.

Using Kreg Jig to Make Antique Clamp Chair | Prodigal Pieces |

Because this wood is first-growth wood. It has grain tighter than me and my wallet! It took some doing to make those holes. I love it. You can’t buy this stuff in a box store.


After a bit more building, here is the antique clamp chair I came up with…

Repurposed & Reclaimed Antique Clamp Chair Made by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comMy goal was to create something unique for our entry (if we ever get that done) or to stick in a corner to be used to hold a vignette or daily grind essentials. Hang a hat or some towels and call it a day.

Rustic Farmhouse Chair Made of Repurposed Materials by Prodigal Pieces |

Chair Seat of Reclaimed Wood Creation by Prodigal Pieces |

My heart is happy because I get some woodworking in. I salvage some wonderful wood, and create a piece I am sure to treasure. Also, it is full with all the memories it holds.

Top View of Repurposed Antique Clamp, Ladder, and Barn Wood Chair by Prodigal Pieces |

Farmhouse Style Chair Made of Repurposed Materials by Prodigal Pieces |

If you come away inspired to give DIY a try, that is what I’m all about. Our house is a home with simple things to create a story. Do pin and share to inspire others.

Handmade Antique Clamp Chair with Reclaimed Barn Wood by Prodigal Pieces |

Up next is Trash to Treasure Tuesday, and I will be showing you what I did with this headboard from the recent bedroom set makeover. Any guesses? See the after HERE.

Vintage Bookcase Headboard Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Don’t forget to stop by my shop to see the latest additions.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

AND…Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to get updated in your inbox, and get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More repurposed projects like my antique clamp chair:

A Child's Chest of Drawers Becomes Faux Card Catalog by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comEaster Cross Made from Repurposed Parts and Turned Succulent Planter by Prodigal Pieces |

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  • Debrashoppeno5

    You created a special family heirloom. I was so afraid you were going to list it in your shop. Not that it isn’t great to share with others. And it would fly out the door. The parts of the chair have such nice memories for you and you created a unique piece of furniture. I can imagine the family sharing stories about the chair Mom made. I look forward to seeing it in your future vignettes.

    February 9, 2017 at 6:23 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Oh yes, this was all for me and my family. I hope my dad likes it too! 😀 You and me both can’t wait to have my home done.

      February 9, 2017 at 7:02 am Reply
  • Judith Truitt

    The clamp chair is awesome! Love it! Every time you look at it you will probably have a memory!

    February 9, 2017 at 7:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      That was the plan. So happy you got it! 😀

      February 9, 2017 at 11:50 am Reply
  • Patty Soriano

    What a great idea! My hubby would have put that ladder in the burn pile. And he HAS ! I was so upset! You’re my hero, Larissa…. you can use tools as well as my hubby does. They intimidate me a bit. Can’t wait to see what you do with the headboard since I have one just like it that I picked up off the road. That thing is heavy solid wood!

    February 9, 2017 at 9:24 am Reply
    • Larissa

      hahaha…I bet! I have a saying #toolsoverjewels and my husband should be happy I’d rather have those. hee hee. Yes, that headboard I have is mahogany…eep!

      February 9, 2017 at 11:51 am Reply
  • Jolinda

    You are one amazingly talented lady. I love the story and the chair. The lights are to die for. Your dad would be so proud of what you did and how you re-created the ladder.

    February 9, 2017 at 9:50 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I have to show him yet, but I’m sure he’ll be happy. Fingers crossed! 😀

      February 9, 2017 at 11:52 am Reply
  • Cathy Klose

    What a very cool chair – with a great story! I love pieces with stories. I’m thinking of something similar to put next to my hoosier to act as a coffee bar and get my Keurig off the counter. And ladies! My husband got me my first power tool for Valentine’s Day – a palm sander!!! I’m in the club now!!!

    February 9, 2017 at 10:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      WAHOOO!! I’m so excited for you, Cathy! The world of wood is at your fingertips…or palm. 😉

      February 9, 2017 at 11:52 am Reply
  • Renee

    Larissa – I wish I had your eye to create things! That is truly a gift! That chair, besides being a family heirloom, is just the cutest darn thing to use to fill a little space with!. As for your headboard; I could see a shelf or maybe toy storage However, I am sure you will come up with something way more cooler than that!

    February 9, 2017 at 10:35 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I can’t tell you how much fun I have and yearn to create all the time. The icing on the cake is that I can share it with you. Thank you! you are close to my idea. 😉

      February 9, 2017 at 11:53 am Reply
  • liz

    You continue to come up with such creative ideas! Just a small psa, with your sandals and the old wood – please make sure you are up to date on your tetanus shot. 🙂

    February 9, 2017 at 1:02 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you! No need to worry.

      February 13, 2017 at 9:19 am Reply
  • Marie from The Interior Frugalista

    Wow! Mad DIY skills, Creative, Clever, Unique, Sentimental are the words I would use to describe this chair project.

    February 11, 2017 at 12:48 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yeehaw!! Thanks so much, Marie. Love those words. 🙂

      February 13, 2017 at 9:19 am Reply
  • Christy

    Such a cute treasure this is now, Larissa! How sweet that you were able to use part of your

    February 11, 2017 at 9:19 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      hahaha… I do that all the time. Thanks so much, Christy!

      February 13, 2017 at 9:20 am Reply
  • Christy

    Dad’s ladder too! (Sorry I hit send too soon ha!)

    February 11, 2017 at 9:20 pm Reply
  • Linda

    I have these clamps, love your vision. Never would of thought of this.

    June 14, 2017 at 8:20 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much, Linda. I love it!

      June 14, 2017 at 4:21 pm Reply

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