Grow Your Own Chair from Grass, Soil and a Cardboard Framework

Terra Grass Armchair made from Cardboard Frame, Soil and Grass Seeds

Growing your own armchair is about as eco as it gets, and it can also make for a really fun DIY project during spring. The concept is quite simple: create a skeletal framework (ideally out of an upcycled biodegradable material such as cardboard), fill it with soil, and plant grass on top. As the grass grows, it’s roots will begin to anchor the soil in place and hold the structure together once the cardboard inside has decomposed.

Terra Armchair Cardboard Framework for Grass Chair

In the past, a special kit for growing your own grass armchair was available to buy known as Terra. However the only references I could find to the Terra grass armchair kit linked to outdated gift shop sites which no longer stock it. It looks like it was a great framework for your chair but it was being sold for £69 ($115), and while the resulting grass chair would undoubtedly be worth that price, it is rather absurd to be spending that much money on what is essentially cardboard and a packet of grass seeds.

Cardboard Terra Armchair Packaging Packaging circa 2004

Set of 3 Grow Your Own Grass Armchairs



But fear not, for it’s actually really easy to make your own from upcycled cardboard (and it’s also loads more fun)! Unfortunately I don’t have any plans you can download and cut out but just by having a quick glance at the original Terra framework you should be able to recreate its sweeping curves on any cardboard you happen to have lying around. To join your cutouts and make the framework 3 dimensional, simply cut slits halfway into the cardboard on opposing sides at any intersecting points so that they can slot together.

Terra Chair Cardboard Framework by Amanda Goode on Flickr

You could either try and replicate the original Terra framework from these images or create your own shapes if you’re feeling ambitious. Don’t worry too much about the cardboard being perfectly symmetrical, you’re going to be covering it with soil anyway, and happy accidents are your friends as Bob Ross would say. After all a ‘grow your own grass chair’ is by definition supposed to be natural so relish the imperfections.

Grass Chairs in Budapest Hungary Taken by CyberMacs

The best way to get an even distribution of grass is to seed the soil but I suppose it could be possible to lay rolls of turf out on your mound if you’re looking for a quick fix. However this would require making cuts in the turf sheets to allow them to adhere to the contours of the chair and will undoubtedly look uneven for the first couple of months.

If you’re looking for more information then I found a few other articles I recommend as further reading. This Instructables guide makes a grass sofa with a brick base, which is no doubt more permanent, but kind of loses its natural edge. Also here are step-by-step instructions for a grass sofa, but there’s certainly a lot more work involved than in the cardboard framework grid mounds we’ve been looking at.

Feeling extra ambitious? Have a go at recreating this ornate grass armchair.

Ornate Grass Armchair Concept

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  1. Andrea Sanna

    Hello Homeli
    I saw your nice article on our own creation a few years ago (2000), the price was higher than we expected but it was as low as possible.
    I’m sorry I can not give you the plans, but that everyone would build his chair was our original desire, you can do it, try it.
    I would be happy if quoting our names:
    “Nucleo – Andrea Sanna + Piergiorgio Robino”

    Best regards
    Andrea sanna

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