D.I.Y. swivel rocking chair

Posted by Carrie Roske on

Hello hello! 

We are 3 short weeks away from our babes due date! The nursery is pretty much ready to go & we are ready for her to make her appearance. The only thing missing is/was a rocking chair.
We found plenty of options that we wanted from Target & Pottery Barn, but they were $300-$800! We wanted a "nicer" rocking chair/recliner because none of our living room furniture reclines or rocks; so we were willing to spend more $ to have one piece of furniture that could rock. After talking to my mama friends & asking if they ever used their rocking chairs in their nurseries & opinions, almost every single one said it was a waste. They were mainly in their own bedroom with their newborns or in their living rooms. So instead of spending money on something we weren't sure if we would use, we decided to look for other routes. We already have a chair in the living room, but its stationary. No rocking, swivel, or moving, but I absolutely love it. So I started researching if there was a way to make this chair into a rocking chair so we wouldn't have to buy one. Did you know you can buy JUST the base of a rocking/swivel chair & attach it to your own chair?! I didn't! You can find them on craigslist, you can buy an old rocking chair at the thrift store & take it apart to use just the base, or even Amazon has them!

Once we decided to go this route, we ended up ordering a base from Amazon for about $60. This is the exact base we ordered!


So we made our own swivel/rocking chair out of a chair that we already owned for under $80! Here are the step by step instructions of how we did it!

Before ordering a rocking/swivel base make sure to check under your chair to make sure it is possible. In most cases it SHOULD be! Here is the bottom of our Extorp Ikea chair. We measured the bottom of the chair to see what size base would fit underneath & still be hidden by the chair slipcover. We ended up ordering a 25" base. (Some chairs will have black material underneath that you may have to cut to see the “guts” of the chair) 

Tools & supplies you will need for this project include;

  • Chair
  • Base of your choice (we chose a rocker/swivel)
  • 2"x4" 's 
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Screws
  • Tape measure

Basically we are going to be adding wood 2”x4” ‘s to the bottom of the chair so you can attach the base to something. 


First, flip your chair over & find the center. We marked the center out with a sharpie because it's the underside & who cares!? Then we found the center on the base. We took the center of the base & laid it on the center of the chair. This is where we needed the base to go, BUT you can’t just screw the base into the center of this chair because its material in the center & that would be too easy! This is where the 2"x4"'s come in.

As you can see, our chair has wood pieces around the outside & another piece about 3/4 of the way down. We measured how long it was between the wood on the chair because you need to attach the 2"x4"'s to these wood pieces. It was about 24" from the top piece of wood to the piece of wood 3/4" down. So we cut two, 2"x4"'s at 24" in length. We laid the 2"x4"'s out on the floor and set the base on top to figure out how far apart the 2"4"'s needed to be screwed onto the chair so that the base screw holes would land on them.
We figured ours needed to be 5 1/2" apart. With the base still laying on the 2"4"'s spaced at 5 1/2" apart, we marked the screw holes with a sharpie.

Black sharpie marks on wood 2” x 4” ‘s for where the base screw holes would be & also where we were going to be screwing the 2”x4” ‘s to the wood on the chair. 

The goal for where we wanted the base to land was in the center of the chair where we previously marked with a sharpie. We now knew the two 2”x4” ‘s would be spaced 5 1/2” apart to achieve this. So we measured 2 3/4” (half of 5 1/2”) from the center each way and marked. This is where we would be screwing the 2”x4”’s. See sharpie ticks on the chairs’ top piece of wood.

Some of the wood on the chair was pretty thin so we pre-drilled holes using a drill bit into the 2"x4"'s and the wood on the chair to prevent the wood from splitting. Once we had the holes all pre-drilled in the spots attaching to the chairs' wood & the holes for the base to attach to, we screwed the 2"x4"'s down! The next step was to screw the base into the pre-drilled holes on the 2"x4"'s & we were already finished! 

After we "finished" the project, we decided to add another 2"x4" for extra strength at the top because this is where the chairs wood was the thinnest that we attached to. (picture above shows without, picture below shows where we placed it) We measured the space between horizontally, which was 31", cut another 2"x4" that length and attached to the chair on the outside corners. We added screws threw the 2"x4"'s WITH the base, to the NEWEST 2"x4" for that extra strength. How many 2"x4"'s & at what length you need will be different for every chair. 

We were finally done!! This was actually a SUPER easy & fast project once we got everything measured & it was SO exciting to flip the chair over & it actually worked! I seriously had my doubts because it seemed too easy, but rest assured- it worked & we love it!!

If you're on a budget or simply trying to save money- I hope this tutorial helps/inspires you! Baby girl we are ready for your arrival!


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