Introduction: Low Budget Pallet Outdoor Lounge

Picture of Low Budget Pallet Outdoor Lounge

We wanted to create a second terrace in the back yard our house. However, since we live in rented accommodation the solution should be cost-effective. We have googled a bit and came across several ideas with pallets. We were very lucky and have purchased 25 pallets (10 EURO pallets and 15 others) for 30 EUR on eBay. The EURO pallets provided the basis for the corner bench. The other palettes were closed (no gaps between the bars) and therefore perfect for the terrace floor.

All in all we payed around 200 EUR - glaze was much as well as the seat cushions (IKEA - less then making them by ourselves).

Step 1: Material and Tools

Picture of Material and Tools

Our material list:

  • 25 pallets: 10 EURO and 15 other with no gab between the bars in different sizes
    As you can see on the photos the EURO pallets where really used. But they will still do their job. And around one EUR for a EURO pallet is a really amazing prize.
  • Some kind of wood coating (glaze, wood-stain, ...) to protect the pallets
  • Screws and brackets

Our tool list:A

  • Cordless screwdriver
  • Pad sander
  • Brush or spray gun
  • Spirit level
  • Saw
  • Cable drum
  • Spade, shovel, rake (depending on where you will build up the terrace)

Step 2: The Terrace Floor

Picture of The Terrace Floor
  1. Arrange the pallets on the ground to get the final form of the terrace floor.
  2. Play around and test different arrangements.
  3. When you found a satisfying arrangement
    • mark the outline of the pallets. We used the spade to prick the grass sods along the edges of the pallets.
    • remember which pallet was where – we made a photo of the pallets to help us remember the arrangement
  4. Remove all the grass sods from the area where the terrace will be. Prick small grass sods and remove them with the shovel.
  5. Use the rake to make a flat surface. Use the spirit level to check if its real flat!
  6. Build up the terrace floor by
    • placing the pallets one after one always adjusting the heigth of the new pallet to the rest.
    • screwing the new pallet to the other using brackets.
    • Its better to do this together with a friend - its good to have dog for a helping paw :o)
  7. Use the pad sander to smooth the surface. Test with our barefoot feet if you dare.
  8. Use some coating (glaze) on the wood.

You're done with the terrace floor.

This took one day and a sun burn but it is worth it.

Step 3: The Couch

Picture of The Couch

Each EUROpallet measures 120cm x 80 cm.

Three pallets build one element: Two pallets are used for the seat (one is on top of the other), one pallet is used as back rest.

Therefore, with 10 EURO pallets we could build a 200cm x 240 cm corner bench, 3 x 3-pallet-elements plus one for the back rest in the corner (see plan).

The pallets were screwed together using brackets. The elements were screwed together as well. But wait with the connection until the elements are on the terrace floor.

We arranged the elements and protected the pallets with a coating of glaze in a transparent white. That creates a strong shabby chic effect.

Step 4: Assemble Floor and Couch

Picture of Assemble Floor and Couch

We carried the pallet elements on the terrace floor and connected them in place.

There were three very small pallets left which we stacked on top of each other to create a table.

On the images you can see that some of the pallets were unpainted and that we had no seat cushions. We were running out of glaze and had no cushions bought so far. But after two days of work we really wanted to try out our new outdoor lounge.

We collected our old garden chair cushions and some cushions from inside to take a seat in the evening. With a candle and some solar lampions it was very cozy.

Step 5: Finished Lounge

Picture of Finished Lounge

We painted the rest some days later, and we bought some seat cushions which were normally used for garden chairs – upside down they fitted nicely on the pallets.

We thought about using some foam mattresses or special garden upholstery but both were too expensive. Additional we have no real shed to store the big size upholstery during rain or winter time.

We also added two bottle tiki torches at the corners of the terrace.

After one season the terrace floor got partly mossy and we need a high-pressure cleaner to get it all shiny again. But we still love the bech!


flyawayhome (author)2016-01-13

The simplest and most impressive instructable I've seen yet- Planning this now!

bamseline (author)flyawayhome2016-01-14

Oh, thank you very much!

If I would do it again, it would definitily not put it on raw ground again. The poor pallets are suffering a lot.

tego1 (author)2014-05-29

Very nice project. But aren¨t you afraid the deck will degrade quite quickly when laying on bare soil?

bamseline (author)tego12015-09-07

You're right. I would recommend that.

nytowl520 (author)tego12015-08-24

I agree - I would certainly set, at minimum, a gravel bed down to put them on. But, overall, I like the idea!

david 1620 (author)2015-08-11

if you fall lucky you could take cushions and back cushions of a sofa /chair thats getting scrapped .also you could use an angle grinder for rounding sharp edges of the pallets

abennie (author)2015-06-28

will be making this for newly wed kids that just bought own home and are on a tight budget looking forward to their faces

mccartj5 (author)2015-04-13

This looks great, well done.

Q: By my calculations the seat will be approx 28cm high. This seems quite low to me, how is it to sit on? Would 3 stacked pallets work better?

jlemke1 (author)mccartj52015-05-11

I've seen 3 pallets work as well. I'm planning on doing three pallets when I do this later in spring.

dlan1112 (author)2015-03-17

Could you show pictures of how you screwed it together and where?

CabinetDoorGuys (author)2014-10-19

This is fantastic! I am just now stumbling across this (a little late, I know!!) - now the question is can I wait until spring to make it?!? Thanks a ton for sharing and congratulations on becoming a finalist! ?

rgillett2 (author)2014-09-07

Awesome work, dude. This is one of my next projects :-)

sabu.dawdy (author)2014-07-21

congratulations on becoming a finalist!! in pallet contest. i hope you win grand prize :)

bamseline (author)sabu.dawdy2014-07-22

Thank you. It's overwhelming that so many people have a look at my tutorial. Let's see what will happen :-)

iad707 (author)2014-06-23

have been collecting pallets for some other project the wife has been wanting.

showed her this awesome project and BAM....
Starting tomorrow! !!

going to modify and add and in ground safe fire pit.
will post final photo of project

bamseline (author)iad7072014-06-28

That's great. Can't wait for the photo.

Due to the fact that we live in a rented object we are not allowed to have a fire pit :o(

Currently we are searching for our own house and than we will start over again, maybe with a fire pit and other additions.

gpracchia (author)2014-06-11

Nice project !

prickly vegan (author)2014-05-29

Seriously awesome! What a great idea for a rental property. Love it!

cw87 (author)2014-05-28

Fantastic! What did you use the cable drum for??

bamseline (author)cw872014-05-28

For the pad sander (or is the right word orbital sander or belt sander?) - unfortunately, the machine needed electric power :o)

bamseline (author)2014-05-28

Oh, I forgot to say:

We also used the pad sander to smooth the surface and remove rests of color from the EURO pallets.

Again, thanks a lot for the nice comments :o)

dpiccine (author)2014-05-28

Good job buddy!!!

vladivastok (author)2014-05-28


dreiduke (author)2014-05-27

geil gemacht.
Daumen hoch.

Akin Yildiz (author)2014-05-26

this is unbeliveable, amazing work sir!

am3173 (author)2014-05-25

thanks its very nice

bamseline (author)2014-05-25

Thanks a lot to all of you.
I really love the place, and spend most of this day outside reading a book on the bench.

Our lessor seems not to like the place much - he makes snappish statements about our corner. I guess somethink that is not expensive and all shiny doesn't fit for him. Too bad.

nqtronix (author)2014-05-25

Gorgeous!! I can imagine the nice evenings you're gonna spend with your family and friends. Have fun, you deserve it after all the hard work :)

sabu.dawdy (author)nqtronix2014-05-25

I agree too

BikeHacker (author)2014-05-25

Enter it in the pallet contest! You have a good chance of winning!!!

nqtronix (author)BikeHacker2014-05-25


lukeg01 (author)2014-05-25

verry verry nice

amekdala (author)2014-05-25

light effect is perfect


sabu.dawdy (author)2014-05-24

this is truly amazing to be honest.

Tarun Upadhyaya (author)2014-05-24

Thats great :)

ASCAS (author)2014-05-24

Gorgeous! :D

EcoExpatMike (author)2014-05-24


bamseline made it! (author)2014-05-24

I made it ;o)

About This Instructable




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