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DIY Tutorials

DIY: How to Build Pallet Seating

DIY: How to Build Pallet Seating

Sooo, I finally got 'round to building the pallet seating that I mentioned back in April. It's been a busy few months and these pallets have been stacked up in various locations throughout the house waiting to be put to good use. We bought these from a seller on eBay for a £1 a pallet, purchasing 14 of them. They're the half-sized pallets (if you're thinking they look a little small!) which was actually PERFECT for fitting in my small Corsa. It's amazing what kind of stuff you can fit in that car, I tell ye!

I'm super proud of how well this has turned out - probably my best and most favourite DIY build so far! It wasn't that expensive to do either - the structural wood only cost around £25 and the main expense was the treatment and stains! I'm beyond excited to share how I did it... So, without further ado, here's 11 steps to building this awesome pallet seating - let's get stuck-in!

Step 1 - Dismantle Pallets

Pallet Wood

Grab a strong man and get your demolishing on! We've kept most of the pallets still as an actual whole pallet but just removed the extra planks of wood that aren't integral to its structure as these will be handy for later on. To do this we turned the pallets upside down and basically just hit the planks off using a hammer against a large wedge of wood. The wedge of wood stops the actual planks getting damaged. It's pretty easy to do and only takes a few hits for each plank of wood, but then you have the joyous task of de-nailing them all.

We also dismantled four pallets completely which took MUCH longer and requires lots of crow-bar-ing!

Step 2 - Treat the pallets

Pallets are usually designed for outdoor use anyway, but giving them a further treatment really isn't a bad thing! I've used a decking preserver (this stuff is good for all wood though!) and also a coloured decking stain on top of that. The wood preserver is seriously watery and a very long process to apply... If you have a paint sprayer, I highly recommend using it for this! It's a very dull and boring job - but must be done!

Step 3 - Lay out the Pallets and Secure Together

How to treat pallet wood

Fixing pallets together

Decide where your pallet seating is going and lay out some landscaping fabric on the area. This will stop those pesky weeds growing up through the pallets - because you really don't want that to happen! You then want to secure the pallets together. To do this, I've screwed the bottom plank of the top pallet onto the one beneath it. So eventually the entire 3-high pallet stack can be moved as one whole piece. If you're thinking my stack-building looks a little unaligned, it's because all these pallets were ever-so-slightly different in size. I made each plank butt up square at the front, leaving the rest to look a little odd. That's what you get with £1 a pallet!

Step 4 - Affix back rest

How to Build Pallet Seating

back rest for garden seating

How to Build Pallet Seating

You could just have this as a bench without a back rest if you wanted - However the brick wall behind ours is super old and not exactly suitable for leaning against, so we're having a back rest too! To build this, attach three lengths of exterior-grade timber to each stack of pallet with lengthy strong screws! Then attach another length along the top and two subsequent lengths through the middle.

I've also used large screws to attach each stack of pallet onto the next stack, so now the entire thing is one solid structure.

Step 5 - Lay the planks

Laying planks for pallet sofa

Pallet sofa in the making

Go ahead and lay the planks you removed earlier onto the pallets and screw them down! Some of them may need to be cut to size if each pallet was slightly different in size (as ours were!).

Step 5 - Sand and Re-Paint!

Sand and repaint

Pallet Sofa

You don't want to be sitting down with the possibility of getting a nasty splinter on your bum - so I've made sure to sand these planks down real good. We don't actually have a sander, so instead I've used our Worx Sonicrafter with its sanding attachment. It does a really good job actually - it's far better than our old sander (which was crap!) and I was seriously pleasantly surprised.

Step 6 - Extend (if you want to!)


Pallet Sofa in progress

I then decided (I know, a little late!) to extend the seating by an additional 3 planks. Yes, I really am that finicky! Those extra three planks just make it the PERFECT length for laying on, ha! Using a section of cut pallet and some of the planks, I created a mini pallet which I then attached onto the the rest of the pallet structure. See the photo above to see how I created this 'mini' version pallet!

Step 7 - Lay Planks along the front 

Planks on outdoor sofa

This step was pretty easy to do; using more of those planks that were taken off earlier, screw them straight onto the stack of pallets, staggering them for a slightly more rustic look.

Step 8 - Build an Arm-Rest

Arm rest for pallet seating

Again, another optional extra here! I didn't want a full length back-rest along the side because I wanted to be able to view the garden whilst sat down, so instead I opted for a half-sized back rest which is perfectly suited for also being an arm rest. I basically used the same technique as creating the back rest, but made it extra more sturdy with thicker lengths of timber and more of them! I can imagine people sitting on this part at our garden gatherings, so it needed to super structurally sound for more than just leaning upon.

Step 9 - Lay Planks on Both Sides

Again, fit more planks! I decided to lay these ones vertical rather than horizontal purely to save on using so much timber. And I like saving money :) Plus, I quite like the difference! The only tricky part here, was that I had to get right into the rose bush to screw some of the planks on.. Owiie!

Step 10 - Add final touches

Final touches to pallet seating

Finished arm rest

Finally, I laid more planks along the top of the back rest, arm rest and anywhere else that was still showing the structural timber. I think this just finishes it off perfectly and keeps all the wood looking the same! Plus it makes an awesome ledge for putting drinks on!

Step 11 - Sit Back and Relax

DIY Pallet Seating

Pallet Seating DIY Tutorial

How to Create Pallet Seating in the Garden

Remember these cushions perhaps? I'm truly loving this space! And yep, you guessed it - it's also a great place for the dogs to spy on the neighbours... ah, pets eh?

I would love to know what you think! Would you create something like this in your garden?

Total Costs

(rounded to the nearest pound... as always!)

New Tools Purchased:

Materials Used:
5x Lengths of Wood for the structure £25
14x Pallets £14
Screws: £15
Landscaping Fabric - Free from previous projects
Decking Preserver £17
Decking Stain £40

Total: £111


  1. That looks great, since we've got our allotment I'm like a full-time pallet spotter - I've managed to acquire eight so far, but lost a couple as I didn't make it obvious I wanted them. There's a lot of them about and this might work over there too - great post :) #homeinterest

  2. Love this project - such a great thing to do with pallets, we always seem to have them knocking around! #homeinterest xx

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