Low Budget Pallet Outdoor Lounge

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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

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

  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

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

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

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!

Pallet Contest

Runner Up in the
Pallet Contest

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38 Discussions

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DebbieC158

3 months ago

This looks so nice. A lot of haard work but worth it. You did a wonderful job.
I store my cushions in LG. Out door garbage bags. It helps protect them. Maybe build a box for them.
Again very nice.

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flyawayhome

2 years ago

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

1 reply
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NerdyDodoflyawayhome

Reply 2 years ago

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.

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tego1

4 years ago on Step 5

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

2 replies
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nytowl520tego1

Reply 3 years ago on Step 5

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

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david 1620

3 years ago on Introduction

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

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abennie

3 years ago on Introduction

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

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mccartj5

3 years ago on Introduction

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?

1 reply
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jlemke1mccartj5

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

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

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dlan1112

3 years ago on Step 5

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

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CabinetDoorGuys

4 years ago

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! ?

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rgillett2

4 years ago

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

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NerdyDodosabu.dawdy

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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

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iad707

4 years ago

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

1 reply
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NerdyDodoiad707

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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.

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cw87

4 years ago on Introduction

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