Building a chair from a Hyllis shelving unit

Building a chair from a Hyllis shelving unit

I’ve built a chair from an Ikea Hyllis galvanized steel shelving unit. I’ve only used Hyllis parts apart from new nuts and bolts. I used ordinary tools like a drill, screwdriver, hacksaw, tin snips and a vice. It wasn’t very difficult but took quite a while.



Hyllis shelving unit

The original Hyllis parts.

Building a chair from a Hyllis shelving unit

Picture above shows how I’ve cut the Hyllis uprights. The legs ended up with an extra hole near the bottom, but otherwise no pieces have unused holes. The front legs are 465mm (sorry I’m metric, that’s 16 3/8”) and the back legs are 845mm (33 ¼”). The 6 horizontal pieces (width and depth) are all 390mm (15 3/8”).

Assembling the chair Close up of M5 socket button screws

Picture above shows how I’ve built the skeleton of the chair from the Hyllis uprights. I used 12mm M5 socket button screws and nuts to join all the pieces.

complete HYLLIS chair

This shows the finished chair including backrest, seat and lower cross bar made from Hyllis shelves. The seat is made from two cut shelves bolted together and folded around the edges.



The backrest is made from a cut shelf where one side (up) is flattened and shaped and the other (down) side is left straight. I first flattened one side of a shelf and then carefully bended that side by hand over my knees before cutting it to 390mm (15 3/8”) plus 20mm on each side for folding back and attaching to the back legs.


The bottom crossbar should really have been made by a 390mm upright as well but there wasn’t enough material. So I cut the last shelf in two lengthways, folded the cut side, and made it 390mm (15 3/8”) long plus 20mm on each end for folding back and attaching to the other crossbars.

Finally the chair was stabilised using triangular corner plates cut from leftover shelving, measuring about 90mm (3 ½”). Without them the chair isn’t stable enough but with them it’s very stable.

Hyllis plastic feet protect the floor.

The final chair is surprisingly comfortable, light and stable. It would suit a modern industrial style or maybe a workshop. The metal is galvanized and if you use stainless steel nuts and bolts it could probably be left outdoors.

Building a chair from a Hyllis shelving unit

“Hyllis” is a play on the Swedish word for shelf: “hylla”. The Swedish word for char is “stol” so maybe this chair should be called “Stolis” or “Stollis”.

~ by POJonas