Did you know that resting in a rocking chair has many benefits to your health? According to studies, a simple act of rocking releases endorphins which can improve your mood and reduce stress. In addition to the health benefits, it could also be very stylish and trendy. If you’re looking to build your own rocking chair, check out the plans I created for a DIY floor rocking chair (Dangerous Curve). It’s an awesome woodworking project to tackle.
The term “dangerous curve” I’m assuming came from the large moon-shaped curve of the chair. This relaxer was originally designed by Verner Panton in 1970 and manufactured for Rosenthal in Denmark. Verner Panton is considered one of Denmark’s most influential 20th-century furniture and interior designers. You could find and purchase the original Verner Panton relaxer chair for around $4,000 (depending on its condition). But if your budget does not allow you to spend that much, you could build it yourself for around $80.
This rocking chair is fairly easy to build and doesn’t require much wood. You could download and print the template of the curve so that you could trace it on wood. Although the template might not have the exact curve as the original Verner Panton chair, but it’s pretty close.
You also might be interested in DIY Farmhouse Chair or DIY Bench with Storage.
Time to Complete
Download Printable Plans in PDF
Tools for this project
- 1x12x6′ (x1)
- 1x4x8′ (x1)
- 52″x27″x2″ Memory Foam Mattress
- Sewing Needle
- 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
- 3/8″ Wooden Dowel Rods
- Wood Glue
Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size. See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.
Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links.
Step 1 – Print and Cut Out the Templates for the Rocker
This wooden rocking chair consists of three main parts, two curved rockers and 13 middle cushion support boards. The largest two pieces of this project are the curved rockers. Because of how large the rockers are, they are split up into three sections, the middle section and two ends. You could use ¾” plywood and make the rocker as one piece, but building it with solid wood, is a better choice for strength and esthetics. Since the solid wood boards are not as wide as plywood, we have no choice but to split the rocker into multiple sections.
To get started, first, download the PDF and print 11×17 templates (make sure you are printing the templates to scale). You should have four template pieces. Three of the templates for the middle section need to be glued together with tape. The X on the bottom and top of the template sheets need to align. The other template has two smaller pieces for the ends of the rocker board.
Take a 1×12 board and place the largest template on the board and trace it with a pencil. The smaller end pieces will go between the large pieces. See picture. You will need to trace two sets for both sides of the rocking chair.
Step 2 – Cut Out Rockers with a Jig Saw
As mentioned earlier, the rocker will be joined together with three pieces. So to join the pieces, you’ll need to make sure that the ends where the boards meet have a straight edge.
The curved section of the rocker will need to be cut with a jig saw, but the edges where the pieces join, need to be cut with a miter saw. It’s almost impossible to cut a straight line with a jig saw. Cutting the edges with a miter saw will ensure that you have straight edges to join the boards.
Take a pencil and draw an additional ½” to the joining edges of each rocker section. Then clamp the board to your workbench and cut it out with a jig saw. Once the pieces are cut, trim off the extra ½” from the edges using a miter saw.
Step 3 – Sand the Rocker Boards with Random Orbital Sander
Now take your random orbital sander and sand the edges to make the curve as smooth as possible. Do not sand the edges where the boards connect. You want to make sure that the cuts on the edges with a miter saw are straight.
Step 4 – Drill Pocket Holes on Rocker Boards
There are several ways to join the boards, such as dowels and wood glue, but for this project, we will use pocket hole screws. Before drilling the pocket holes, figure out which side would be the inside and which side would be the outside. You want to have the better-looking side of the rocker on the outside.
Take your Kreg Jig and set it to ¾” wood thickness. Then on the inside of the board, drill three pocket holes on each edge of the large section. The smaller end sections of the rocker do not need any pocket holes.
Step 5 – Attach All Rocker Sections Together
Next, arrange the rocker pieces on your workbench. Apply wood glue to the straight edge of the small piece and clamp the boards together with a Kreg clamp. Then screw in 1 ¼” pocket hole screws to join the sections together. Having the boards clamped to your workbench will prevent them from shifting and miss aligning when driving in the screws.
Step 6 – Insert Dowel Rods into Pocket Holes
Even though the pocket holes are going to be on the inside of the rocker boards, they will still be visible once someone rocks on the chair. To cover the pocket holes, take a 3/8” round wooden dowel rod and cut 12 pieces that are about 2” in length. Then apply a small amount of wood glue inside the pocket hole and hammer in the 2” dowel rod. Do this for all the pocket holes.
Once the wood glue completely dries, take a dovetail saw and cut off the dowel rods. Then using a random orbital sander, sand the area around the pocket holes to make the dowels flat, matching the surface of the board.
Step 7 – Cut Middle Cushion Support Boards
Now take 1×4 and cut 12 cushion support boards to 27 inches in length with a miter saw. Use a stop block on your miter saw to make sure that all of these boards are exactly the same length.
Take one of the cushion support boards and rip it in half using your table saw. These two boards will be attached at the ends of the floor rocking chair.
Next, drill two pocket holes on each end of the board. The pocket holes will be arranged facing up; they will be covered by the cushion. If the boards have any defects or flaws, pick the less attractive side to drill the pocket holes.
Step 8 – Attach Cushion Support boards to Rocker Boards
Now it’s time to attach the cushion support boards to the rocker boards. Start by attaching the first board in the center of the rocker. Then from that centerboard, work your way to the left and the right.
The template you printed in step 1 has a mark for the center of the rocker board. Transfer that mark on the board. Then find and mark the center of one of the cushion support boards. Apply wood glue to the end of the boards and attach it to the rocker board with 1 ¼” pocket hole screws. Make sure the marks are aligned and the pocket holes face the cushion.
Take a ¾” scrap board and use it as a spacer to place between the boards when attaching the remaining cushion support boards.
Once all of the boards are attached to one side of the rocker board, attach the other rocker with wood glue and 1 ¼” pocket hole screws. You might need some help to hold the rocker board while you’re aligning and attaching the support boards.
Step 9 – Apply Polyurethane to Seal and Protect the Wood
For this step, you could either stain the rocking chair or just apply a coat of polyurethane. Depending on your style, you could go with any color you’d like. When applying polyurethane, use 350 grit sandpaper to lightly go through the boards between the coats. This will make a smooth surface.
Step 10 – Sew a Fabric Cover for the Cushion
To make the seat cushion for the rocking chair, you could make everything from scratch by buying the upholstery foam and covering it with fabric. Or the other option is to buy a toddler size 52″ x 27″ x 2″ memory foam mattress that is sold on Amazon and then sew a custom fabric cover. This rocking chair is designed to fit a toddler-size mattress.
If you decide to sew your own cover, take a 110″ x 59″ fabric and wrap it around the mattress. One end of the mattress cover should have a zipper. This will allow you to remove the cover for washing.
On the backside of the cover, sew a few flaps with a Velcro strip. These flaps could wrap around the mattress support and secure it to the rocking chair. You’re done with a DIY Floor Rocking Chair (Dangerous Curve).
22 thoughts on “How to Build a DIY Floor Rocking Chair (Dangerous Curve)”
I noticed that the picture has a child sitting in the chair. Is it appropriate for adults? Do you have any idea of the approximate weight it could hold. It looks really cool and I want to make one for myself.
Hi Sofa, Yes adults could sit on it as well. I’m 180 lbs and it holds me easily. I’m not sure the max weight it could hold. I’m guessing 250-300 lbs.
Seems a little short for adults. Where would they put their legs?
Looks OK for an adult to me. If you put your bum (using the photograph) at the position of the little girl’s arm, you should have plenty of room for upper and lower torso. In addition, I’m sure that you can calculate dimensions to enlarge the pattern pieces to fit any size.
I like your ideas.
I’m thinking the materials list comes up short on the stretcher boards. You list just one 8-ft 1×4, but there are 14 pieces each 27 inches long.
Leroy, thanks for pointing that out. I fixed the error, it should be 12 pieces.
What is the problem? The 4 ft = 48″ and you only need 27″. In addition the materials call for 1x12x6′ (x1) and 1x4x8′ (x1). I’m not seeing what you’re seeing?
Great project – I appreciate the level of construction detail on the webpage. It looks very comfortable for a child or for me. Now to convince my wife to allow me to build it for our den!
I’m glad to see that there are people posting more elaborate projects. I could never do this as I have not the skills or the space to do it, but I do admire it very much. I would even like to have one if I had any space for one. Very well done and quite gorgeous piece. I especially appreciate that you included so many well presented sketches and pictures of the work in progress to make it easy to understand the steps involved.
Thank you Johanne!
This is a beautiful design. Thank you for sharing how to make it and for attributing the design to Verner Panton. Too many times I see “ideas” that are not attributed to the originator and I just wanted to thank you for doing so. 🙂
Thank you Leslie!
Hi when you say 11×17 template is that the paper size?
Chris, Yes that’s the paper size that the template is on.
Ok my printer will not do 11×17 paper so what do I do now? I don’t have a staples around here. Has anyone else have this problem
yeah I just bought the plans and wasnt aware of that either. I will have to drive to Staples to get this done. Not sure why the pattern could not be spread out onto 8.5×11″ Wasnt aware of this prior to puchase.
a bit late but we use ups store to print larger stuff
Do you think the design could be widened to accommodate two adults if I added a 3rd or 4th rocker obviously adjusting the rocker width or notching for the slats
Pam, you could definitely make the rocker wider by cutting the slats longer, but will it support two adults, that I’m not sure. You could build it and see if it will hold two people without breaking apart, and then let us know.
Pam what I’ve seen done is 3 rockers with slats on top. This was for a double rocker. I’m assuming that you could do a 4th to add more stability and or hold more weight but I’d do less connection points on the slats ( try to keep them as 1 solid slat), and move the slats closer together by 1/2 than (instead of 1″ slats 1″gap, do 1″ slats 1/2″ gap). I’d also try to keep the rockers solid as well, I don’t get why they’re having you cut multiple pieces and putting them together it’s a lot more work. That’s my thoughts on this, I hope this helps.
Is there a video tutorial?
Alex, unfortunately, I don’t have a video tutorial for this chair.