Standard versus Euro pallet garden furniture
While the pallet world isn’t that technical, it’s useful to be aware of the two types you’re likely to come across. You may have heard the phrase ‘Euro pallet’ being bandied about. A Euro pallet simply refers to a standard European pallet size rather than a standard UK size. A UK pallet is 1200 x 1000mm, while the Euro pallet is 1200 x 800mm. While the former is most common here in the UK, we get plenty of Euro pallets too, as we import lots of items on pallets from Europe. If the size is very important for your project or you’re looking for several pallets of the same size, you can check the description on Gumtree, ask the seller, or take a tape measure when you collect.
DIY pallet patio furniture: how do you make outdoor pallet seats?
Pallet chairs, sofas and sun loungers
Pallet seats make an easy DIY project that can take your garden or backyard from plain patio to chill zone. You can simply stack two of the same size on top of one another, screw them together and connect another upright to create the backrest. Or, try putting two side-by-side to make a sofa or even use four (or more) pallets for an L-shaped sofa. If you opt for a European version, you can turn the base (the two stacked pallets) lengthways, attach the back and you’ve got yourself a DIY sun lounger.
You can top off the rustic, boho-esque garden look with outdoor cushions, a few throws and perhaps some fairy lights draped across the back for a magical atmosphere. If your DIY thirst isn’t quite quenched, you can even make your own custom cushions by cutting thick pieces of foam to size and covering them in your favourite fabric. Alternatively, you can see if you can find some cushions designed specifically for pallets, as they have exactly the right dimensions.
DIY pallet ottoman
An ottoman is a brilliant multitasker. It can act as a little table for your drink while you sit on your pallet seat. Or if you prefer, you can top it with a cushion and turn it into extra seating for guests.
Once you’ve cut down a pallet to the right size for your space, you’ll need to find a piece of MDF or chipboard in the same size along with some legs – hairpin legs work really well for this. The next step is to screw your wood to your pallet to make a nice smooth top with no holes anything can fall through. If it’s going to be on display as a table, you might like to paint your MDF or use a nicer piece of timber for your tabletop. Once that’s finished, the legs can be screwed onto your ottoman. To make it guest-ready, you just need to make, mend or buy a cushion in the right size.
Pallet park bench
There’s nothing cuter than park-bench style seating in your garden. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy DIY. You’ll need one rectangular pallet – a European version might be better for this, as it’s a little narrower – and four sturdy cuboid wooden legs. You’ll also need one pallet (or the planks from one you’ve deconstructed) to form the back and a few spare bits to make arms if you’d like them. A little bit of sturdy wood glue, a drill and some screws and you’re good to go. You could also use metal bench arms and legs you’ve sourced on Gumtree.
How to make a pallet table
Pallet coffee table
Pallet tables are one of the easiest DIY pallet garden furniture creations you can make. Even if you’re a total DIY beginner, you can create simply stack two pallets for a coffee table, or more for a taller table, and use a drill and screws to fasten them together. If you’re putting your table on a patio, you might like to add some simple castors so you can wheel it about in your garden. To finish it off, sand the pallet tops until smooth and paint, stain or leave them as they are.
Table with succulent garden
To give your garden table extra pizazz, try cutting a rectangular gap in the centre or near the edge of your table for a low-profile potting tray. Then, you can simply add some potting mix into the tray and add your favourite plants. Succulents are great for this, as they’re tough, or you might like to use some seasonal flowering friends – in any case, best not to use anything too tall or it’ll get in the way of your conversation.
Table with drinks holders
For this DIY project, you’ll want to complete your table as before, but this time add some circular recesses for cups or glasses. To do this, you usually need a flat or spade drill bit, a Forstner drill bit or a hole saw – all three of these can help you create a shallow round recess.
Other DIY pallet patio furniture
Perhaps you’re thinking, “DIY pallet patio furniture is all very well, but I don’t have a patio”. You can actually make yourself a little decking area, for a fraction of the cost of professional decking or patio-laying, using pallets. First, you’ll need to collect several pallets to make the size of decking you’d like and some concrete blocks to stabilise the corners underneath if you’re placing them on grass. This isn’t an issue if you’re making a decking area in a concrete yard. You’ll probably find they need cleaning (perhaps a little hose down with a power washer) and maybe some sanding if they’re very rough. Then, you can think about adding wood stain to keep them looking good come rain or shine. Finally, you’ll need to lay out your concrete blocks and then place your pallet decking in position. We recommend alternating the direction you have your pallets facing – planks horizontal and then planks vertical – to get a good pattern.
Hanging garden swing
Who knew you could have so much fun with three pallets and a few lengths of heavy-duty chain? You can make this simple piece of DIY pallet furniture with just a few tools and fixings.
It’s best to start creating your swing by attaching two pallets lengthways along one side to create an upside-down V shape – this will make a comfy angled back. You can then attach them securely to another pallet, which will form its seat. Users will thank you for making sure there are no rough areas by sanding it down a little. To complete the swing, it’s best to attach heavy-duty chains using large metal rings or strong carabiners. To avoid any accidents, you’ll need to have a sturdy structure to hang your swing from. This could be a big solid tree or a strong pergola. It’s important to do your due diligence first and well worth checking you have a spot that can safely hold the weight of a swing plus an adult. The final step is to grab some comfy cushions and a cosy blanket, then swing away.
Creating a bar is a fantastic DIY pallet project if you like to entertain. Your own private bar can make you famous as the neighbourhood mixologist in the liveliest garden on your street. We’ve even got an article on how to convert your shed into a pallet bar for year-round entertaining. You should probably consider getting permission from other members of your household first before you start, though.
There are lots of different ways to make pallet bars, but the easiest one is to attach upright pallets together in a C shape and use a piece of MDF for the bar surface. Or, if you have any weatherproof ceramic tiles handy, you could use these to make the tabletop. You can paint the pallets to give a personalised touch to your finished DIY project.
You can also make a fold-down, space-saving mini-bar (or table) to attach to your garden wall. Here’s how:
- First, you’ll need a small pallet, or part of one, with most of the front planks removed, except the two edge ones.
- Next, add a few shelves, using perhaps MDF or the wood you removed earlier. You could add hooks inside too, to hang mugs or glasses.
- You can use planks from another pallet to make a front for your bar. Simply nail them together into a flat surface the same size as your wall piece.
- Now, you’ll need to attach them to your pallet at the bottom with hinges and attach a little chain or carabiner and eye-hook on each side to limit the drop-down.
- You could also drill in a simple latch at the top to close it, or attach a little knob to the top of your bar and make a small loop to hook it up.
- Finally, you’ll want to drill the whole thing into the wall using good masonry screws and a masonry drill bit.