How To Make A Bench Out Of Pallets For Your Home

Isn’t it embarrassing when your guests want to spend more time on the patio or garden, but you avoid it because there are no seating items there? You can skip these awkward situations and get compliments for your home design with a beautiful pallet bench! Pallet garden furniture is stylish and eco-friendly, with each design having a unique look, with no 2 pieces being exactly the same!

A wooden bench made from pallets in red colour

Do you wonder how to make a bench out of pallets that will not cost a penny to have somewhere comfortable to sit? Building your own will give you the sense of satisfaction from constructing something functional and allow you to modify the design and customise the finish to your liking. Follow our instructions and step-by-step guide to get the results you’re looking for!

Planning and preparing for your DIY pallet bench

Making the right bench plans and preparations will help you finish your project quicker and offer a better result. All you need to do is follow our instructions to find out what tools and materials you are going to need and the appropriate dimensions for your new indoor or outdoor furniture!

What you’ll need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Combination square
  • Hand saw, or electric mitre saw
  • Table saw or circular saw
  • Electric sander and sandpaper
  • Ventilation mask and protective eye goggles
  • Pilot hole and countersink drill bits
  • Screwdriver bit
  • Electric drill
  • Paintbrush or oiling cloth
  • Two industrial pallet bearer beams – approx. 200 cm. You can use regular pallet bearer beams if you can’t source industrial ones
  • Two scaffold boards approx. 180 cm long (you will use 1.5 of these)
  • Scaffold board offcuts or board at least 35 cm long
  • Large wood screws
  • 30 mm wood screws
  • Four folding leg systems (2 lockable)
  • Danish oil, varnish, or exterior wood paint

Pallet furniture – which pallets are the best?

You can use wooden pallets used in transport that are often left after building materials. They basically cost you nothing if you bought the slats with construction materials. You may also try to get some old pallets in supermarkets or small shops. Another good idea is to browse through auction websites to find shipping pallets even cheaper than in a shop.

wooden pallets

When looking for pallet ideas and DIY furniture pallet projects, you should consider the size of the different types of pallets. The 3 most common types you’ll find are: 

  1. EURO-pallet is the most popular type. Their dimensions are 1200x800x144 mm. A single one of these weighs 25 kilograms.
  2. ISO pallet is a single-layer pallet with dimensions of 120x100x14,4 cm.
  3. ½ pallet has dimensions of 800×600×144 mm and is great for building small furniture pieces.

Measure before you start building

Before you start making your pallet furniture ideas a reality, you’ll need a proper design. Measure the place where you’re supposed to place the indoor or outdoor bench. Its size should match the size of a pallet accordingly to avoid extra cutting. You should also repair any damage to the old pallets if it is necessary. Remove any rotten elements and fill any holes and dents with a wood adhesive. Also, remove or hammer any nails sticking out of the wood. Then clean them from any dust and apply a wood preserver to the surface. 

Step-by-step guide: How to make a bench out of pallets

Are you ready to create a unique and beautiful patio bench, garden bench or one you can use in your living room? Follow our easy DIY tutorial and get the most unique and sturdiest results!

Step 1: Measure and then cut the scaffold boards

First, measure the 2 scaffold boards at 170 cm. Then mark with a combination square and a pencil. As with the pallet boards, you should trim the end you measure from to ensure a straight cut. Cut using a mitre saw or a hand saw. Then, use a table saw, or circular saw to cut these scaffold boards into three 10 cm wide lengths. You’ll now have a 2 cm wide offcut from one of the boards – leave this to one side; you’ll need it later.

Measuring and cutting the pallets

Step 2: Create the end beams for your seat

Cut a piece of scaffold board at 35 cm long, and with the table saw, cut two 5 cm wide pieces from this board. That will create the 2 end beams to brace the panels on your bench seat

Step 3: Sand your boards and put them into position

Wearing your mask and goggles, sand all of the boards from the steps above. Keep in mind that it’s best to use an electric sander with scaffold boards. Then, lay your three 170 cm x 10 cm boards on a ‘U’ grain. This grain means placing your panels, so the end grain of the wood is shaped like a ‘U’ to ensure that as the boards move and bow in time and the bench doesn’t get uneven. Place your two 35 cm x 5 cm beams at each end so that the 2 outer centreboards are flush with the end edges and make sure that the centreboard is positioned centrally between them. Use a pencil to mark the placement of the boards onto the ends so you can see where to drill the pilot holes.

sanding the boards

Step 4: Secure your centre boards to the end beams

Using an electric drill, pilot hole, countersink, screwdriver bit, and screws, secure the 2 side centre boards flush with the end beams. Then, secure the central board in the middle and repeat the same process at both ends.

Step 5: Measure up the pallet beams and give them a sand

It is now time to start making your leg structures. Start by measuring, marking and cutting 4 industrial pallet bearer beams at 40 cm and 2 industrial bearer beams at 15 cm. Then sand all the beams till they are smooth. Measure 15 cm up from the bottom of 2 of the 40 cm beams, using a pencil and combination square to mark.

Step 6: Create an ‘H’ shape with your pallet beams

Put a 15 cm beam in the centre of the 40 cm beams, in line with the marks you created to make an ‘H’ shape

Creating an H shape with the pallets

Step 7: Attach your pallet beams

With an electric drill, pilot and countersink 2 holes in each side from the outside edge of the 40 cm beam. Then, with your electric drill, screwdriver bit and screws, attach the centre beam to the 2 exterior beams and repeat this process with the remaining 3 beams.

Step 8: Place them all into position

Place the 2 leg structures at each end of the underside of the bench and have them sit flush with the inside edge of the end-brace beams on your bench. Then, put the folding leg systems centrally on the legs’ inside, making sure to place the lock on the outside edge to be accessible. You should also put the locking mechanisms diagonally opposite each other on your bench.

Assembling the bench

Step 9: Attach your folding leg systems

Attach the folding leg systems to the bench’s underside using an electric drill and wood screws. Then, secure the folding systems to the legs’ inside edge to secure and join to your bench.

Step 10: Use your offcut from earlier as a support

Remember that 170 cm offcut from step 1? It is now time to sand it down to create handy support between the 2 legs of the bench. You should screw this in to avoid the legs folding in while you use the bench.

Step 11: Sand everything down

Sanding your bench is very important. Give your entire bench a final sand to smooth all joins and offer a smooth finish.

Step 12: Brush over a coat of varnish, protective oil or paint

You want to protect your bench against everyday use and the elements, right? No matter if using it indoors or outdoors, you should coat it with protective oil, an outdoor varnish, or you may use exterior wood paint. Before you start to stain, ensure you’ve thoroughly sanded your woodworking DIY project to get rid of any splinters, rough edges, and unwanted markings. Voila! You can now step back and admire your hard work! 

Applying a coat of varnish, protective oil or painting your pallet bench

Step 13: Dress your DIY wooden pallet bench for comfort

Do you want to offer your pallet wood bench extra style and comfort? Once the staining and the sealing are complete, let it dry for 8 hours. Then, add your favourite pillows or cushions and enjoy!

DIY pallet furniture – why are they so popular?

Although pallets are usually not made of high-quality wood, they can be very sturdy and resistant to damage. That’s why pallet wood projects are strong, and these pieces of furniture serve for a long time. Their material is lightweight and eco-friendly, and they can also be elegant and stylish. Pallet beds, headboards and bed frames, pallet bars, pallet coffee tables, pallet sofas with backrests and armrests and pallet potting benches! An increasing number of people nowadays make their own furniture. Wondering what makes this solution so attractive

Well, the first thing is its low price! The price of store-bought, similar furniture offered by manufacturers is quite high. But all you need to make interesting and unique pallet furniture and even create a complete pallet garden is just a bit of creativity and a few pallets. Also, according to the latest trends, garden designers, artists, and lifestyle bloggers, DIY furniture is a trendy element of decoration, combining style with recycling and upcycling!

A beautiful white pallet bench with a few cushions and a light blanket in a garden

A bench is a perfect complementary element to Scandinavian or minimalistic style! And it’s easier than you’d think to build your own bench, right? It is definitely something you’d enjoy having and using in your own outdoor space and an element all your guests will love. So what are you waiting for? Get your pallets, follow our instructions and create your beautiful and durable bench in no time!

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