Make your own garden lounge chairs from free pallets. Simple design, functional and recycling all in one!
More info and other projects can be found on shoestringpavilion.blogspot.com
These are the materials you'll need:
(If you're making one lounge chair you'll only need 3 pallets but this tutorial is for two chairs)
- Four pallets of the same size, preferably rectangular
- One pallet slightly wider than your other pallets, more square than rectangular
- Scrap 2X4s or pallet scraps of the 2X4 kind
Take your four pallets of the same size and stack them on top of each other two by two. No need to secure them, the weight of the wood holds them in place just fine.
Make sure your one remaining pallet is wide enough to fit as a back rest. A pallet usually consists of three layers of wood: the top boards, the middle boards (often 2X4s) and the bottom boards. In this case the top boards need to be long enough to fit as a back rest while still accommodating the 2X4s on each side of the seat. So they need to be the width of the seat plus at least 4 more inches, if they're an inch or two longer than that you don't have to be so precise and it'll make your life easier.
Now it's time to deconstruct the backrest pallet and here's where the hard physical labor comes in... Remove all the bottom boards of the pallet and the two outside (edge) middle boards. Leave the one or two (depending on how your pallet is constructed) 2x4 boards in the middle where they are to help you keep the top boards in place. Save all the scraps, some will be used later in this project.
The arrow in the picture shows the nails holding the original middle board to the top boards, everything else was deconstructed.
Cut the remains in two halves. Make sure you cut so the slats will be in the same direction as your seat (i.e. only cut the middle board, not all the top boards).
Take your 2x4s, either from another pallet like I did or use new from the lumber yard, and attach them to the top boards on either side. These need to be longer than your back rest (top boards) so they can reach down and fit next to the seat pallets, as you can see in the picture.
Prop your seat back up where you want it to go to determine how much of an incline you want the back to be. I marked the incline of the supporting legs on the side so I knew at what angle to attach the legs later (see below pic with arrow). I just reused the original middle boards (2x4s) from my back rest pallet for this and at this point I was so tired and hot that I didn't even worry about cleaning them up :) They'll barely be visible in the end anyway. Oh, and I attached the support legs to the back rest at this point too :)
The last step is to attach the back rest pallet to the seat pallets. I was originally going to leave the back rest unattached but it was a little too wobbly so I put a screw where the arrow in the below pic is, one on each side of the lounger. It's only attached to the bottom seat pallet, the top one is still loose and removable.
The last picture is the view from the back to clarify the construction.
The construction is all done!
At this point I went ahead and primed mine and eventually painted them red but it's entirely optional. Home made cushions make them ready for lounging!