DIY Pallet Patio Furniture

Looking to upgrade your outdoor patio furniture, desiring something unique with a custom feel and on a budget, then this is perfect project for you.

What you'll need:  

  • Figure out how many seats you will need for your Patio Set.
  • 4 Pallets per chair (The ones I picked up were 36" SQ).  Pallets come in a wide range of sizes so make sure you select pallets that are all the same size.  You can usually pick these up for free, look around town and get permission before you take them.
  • Tools to help get the job done, if you don't have these you can pick them up at your local hardware store:  
    • Hammer
    • Prybar
    • Cordless Drill
    • Bolt Cutters
    • Miter or Circular Saw
    • Orbital Sander
    • Sand Paper 60 and 120 Grip
    • Exterior Wood Screws
    • Stain
    • WaterSeal Exterior Stain
    • Staining supplies (Brush, Plastic Tarp, and Plastic Container)
    • Music
    • Get a helper and have a blast!

STEP 1: Preparation

  • Gather all the Pallets and separate them into 3 piles (1 pallet for back, 1 pallets for chair top, and 2 pallet for chair center and bottom).
  • Using Prybar and Hammer, pry off 1 board (second in from back) for all top seat pieces.
  • Using Prybar and Hammer, Pry off 2 boards (second and third in from back) for all center and bottom seat pieces.  This allows the back to be at a slight angle for reclining. (Gotta think about maximum comfort from the beginning while dreaming of lounging around with Moscow Mule and winding down for the day.)
  • Save all boards that you remove, these will be used towards the end of the project.
  • Using an Orbital Sander and 60 grip sandpaper, sand all the pallet's that will be used for the top of seat.
 
 

STEP 2: Chair Base

  • Stack 3 Pallets together to form the chair base (Center and Bottom pallet will have 2 boards removed).
  • Secure these pallets together in the front and back, using your cordless drill and exterior wood screws (I used 16 screws in total. Make sure it is secure!)
  • To get your boards very smooth, you might need to do another round of sanding depending upon how rough your pallets are.

 

 
 

STEP 3: Chair Back

  • Using Prybar and Hammer, pry off bottom three boards.
  • You will also need to remove two boards and six blocks from the back of these pallets.
  • Measure the length of the vertical boards on the back, mark the 2 boards that you have previously removed and cut with Miter Saw.
  • Using your bolt cutters, cut off the ends of the nails, and then hammer them out.
  • Evenly place both board's in-between existing three boards and screw into place. (I used 4 screws).
  • Slide in Chair Back into Chair Base and screw into place (I used 4 Screws).
  • Using the Orbital Sander, sand the chair back with 60 grip sandpaper.
 
 

STEP 4: Front + Side Finishing touches

To give these chairs a more finished look we are going to used the left over boards as finishing boards!

  • It's time to get out the bolt cutters, you want to cut the existing nails off and get as close the board as possible and then finish off by hammering the nails out.
  • You are going to need 10 boards per chair (3 front, 3 left-side, 3 right-side, and 1 on top).
  • Nail your boards into place (2 screws per board).
  • Using Orbital Sander, sand all the sides.
 
 

STEP 4: Sanding + Staining

  • After you have sanded down the chair, you will want to finish it off with a 120 grip sand paper to give it a silky smooth finish, you wouldn't want to get any splinters in your booty!
  • Always remember to preform a stain test on an extra piece of wood before you start staining your chairs.
  • Lay down plastic tarp, place chairs on top and brush on stain, depending on the look you are going for, you will want to apply one or two coats.  It will take 1-3 days for each coat to dry depending on your weather conditions.
  • Once stain has fully set and dried you will want to apply the WaterSeal Exterior Stain.
 
 

STEP 4: Cushions

Now that furniture is complete it's time for the final touches to create a space that you will want to hang out with friends and family.

  • Lay out your new custom furniture in a group setting.
  • Get some cushions:
    • Measure your seats to ensure you are getting a size that fits properly
    • You can buy them pre-made from the store, make them yourself, or get custom cushions made for you.
    • Sunbrella is the best fabric for exteriors as it is made to withstand UV rays, mold, water, and anything that you could ever imagine spilling.
 
 

STEP 4: Accessorize the Space

You now want to add the final touches to the space to make it functional.

  • Outdoor Rug
  • Outdoor Side Tables/Ottomans
  • Solar Shade
  • Patio Lights that are dimmable  
  • Heat Lamp (If it gets cold in your location)
  • BBQ Grill
  • Bar Cart

It's time to relax with friends and family, we can now host gatherings and avoid direct sunlight and/or heat in the daytime and create a relaxed cozy atmosphere in the evenings.

 
 

Furniture designed by Ariel Richardson and Robert Samuels

Photography by Ariel Richardson

We would love to hear your comments!

Ariel Richardson