Repurposing is one of the greatest things about being a homeowner. You can take something one person sees as trash and turn it into a treasure that no one can deny. Repurposed wood is a jewel to be treasured.
Pallets are one of the most underrated materials that can easily be repurposed. You can usually grab them for free at junkyards or home improvement stores. So ask around before buying them for your project.
What Is A Pallet Couch?
A pallet couch is a couch made out of pallets. Pallets are flat wooden structures used to carry loads of smaller items to create an easy-to-transport flat bottom. They are often used for appliances, construction materials, and bulk items.
But whenever you receive a pallet, you probably toss it away without even thinking about using it for something else. But repurposing pallets are a genius way to create very cheap furniture that looks amazing.
How To Make A Pallet Couch
Pallet couches are more common than you’d think. For a simple pallet couch, you can use six pallets. Follow this simple tutorial to find out how you can turn these six pallets into a couch for your patio or family room.
Step 1: Lay Out The Frame
The first thing you’ll do is put the pallets down as you will have them secured together. This means two pallets stacked together then two more stacked together. These two go side-by-side with the last two going behind.
The last two are going to stand straight up and be the back of the couch. Lay these all out how you want them to go, with the less damaged pallets being on top. Only use pallets that are structurally sound.
Step 2: Cut Any Overhangs
Now that you have everything ready, cut anything that overhangs anywhere. If the pallets are all the same size and they are in good condition, this won’t be a problem. But if these boxes aren’t checked, you’ll have to do this step.
It’s okay if a couple of the pallets are too long, you can easily saw them down to match. This is a good time to make any other repairs that need to be made such as replacing any boards that are rotted.
Step 3: Secure It Together
Now it’s time to secure them. The best way to do this is to screw them together. Start by screwing the two bottom ones together to create the base. Then screw the middle ones on top of them followed by the back ones.
An easier though less secure way to secure the pallets is to set them all up and tightly tie ropes onto the legs and the backs of the pallets. Be careful doing this and only use very tight knots with strong ropes.
Step 4: Sand, Stain, And Finish
Now that you have the couch put together, it’s time for the finishing touches. Start by sanding everything. Sand it down so that no one gets any splinters sitting on the couch. Then, it’s time for the fun part.
You can stain or paint the pallet couch and finish up with a clear coat. You may want to add some wood filler before doing this as you want a smooth area to work with. After you’re finished, add cushions or throw pillows!
How To Make A Pallet Sectional
Making a pallet section is similar to making a standard pallet couch. There are a few different ways to do this but the most common involves creating a sectional with one end that doesn’t have a back.
Step 1: Collect Pallets And Plan
This will be a bit more complicated than creating a pallet couch because of the corner and extra end. So you will need extra pallets. Most of the time somewhere between 6 and 12 pallets is a good number.
For this example, we are going to use twelve as this is an easy way to do it without having to do too much cutting and measuring. So you gather twelve pallets and get them all ready to use for your pallet sectional.
Step 2: Lay Out Pallet
Next up, you can lay your pallets out just like before. There will be the standard six pallets like used in the couch above. But this time, you will do this twice. Then slide the two sofas together to create a sectional.
It sounds simple but getting it all right can be rough. It will take a bit of time to stack the pallets just right but after you do get it right, it will all come together very quickly and you can see the sectional before you.
Step 3: Cut Ends
When it’s time to cut the ends, you may opt for a different pattern. For example, removing the last back will give you eleven pallets and you can then have that backless end so common with sectionals.
This is optional. At this point, the plan is to make sure there are no strange overhangs. If there is one pallet longer than the others you will want to cut it. Make sure all of the pallets are horizontal as well.
Step 4: Secure
Time to secure. With a sectional, you’ll definitely need to screw everything in rather than just tie them. So screw them one pallet at a time until all of the pallets are screwed together. This should be secure enough.
If it isn’t, then add back supports by using long boards and securing them to the front and the back of the back, anchoring them to the bottom pallets. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds but adds a lot of stability.
Step 5: Finish
Time for that finish! You can add special cushions or use standard couch or futon cushions. It’s all up to you from here. Just don’t forget to sand everything down and add a clear coat for security and you’re done.
With sectionals, the cushions can be tricky. Some people like to add a square cushion in the corner to make things easier but adding only rectangular ones can work too. Or simply add a few throw pillows and make it a bench.
How To Make A Pallet Chair
Pallet chairs are ironically more complicated to make than pallet couches unless you’re simply screwing three pallets together. This is perfectly acceptable but it isn’t the most interesting way do do it.
Step 1: Create The Base
Now there are many ways to make a pallet chair, and this is highly customizable. So we’re going to start with a simple version that you can adjust to your needs. Start off by getting one pallet and cutting it in half.
Since most chairs have 20-inch seats and most pallets are around 40-inches by 48-inches, cut the pallet in half. Cut it so that it will be 24-by-40-inches. From here you can adjust to your own needs.
Step 2: Create The Back
Now that you have the base cut, you can stack the two pieces you made together. This is the base. Now it’s time for the back. For best results, remove the bottom boards from the pallet to create a flatter back.
You want to end up with just the three vertical support boards and then two boards for the back, with another horizontal board behind it to keep it supported. So take the boards off until you’re left with this.
Step 2: Create The Arms
For the arms, it’s very similar to creating the back only you’re going to cut the pallet in half again so that your arms are shorter than the back. The back should be the tallest, then the arms, then the seat.
So take the bottom boards off and ensure it looks right on the sides of the chair. You can simply cut the sides short and cut 1/3 of the pallet off vertically too. This is super easy and takes the guesswork out of the arms.
Step 4: Secure It
Finally, it’s time to lay the chair out. You should have two arms, one back, and two seats that you stack together. Screw the two seats in first, followed by the sides, then the back. You may need a partner for this.
Whenever you’re screwing the back in, it can be difficult to hold the chair steady. If it’s not steady, you’ll screw the back in crooked. So have someone help you hold the chair secure while you finish it.
Step 5: Finish It
Speaking of finishing it, it’s time for sanding, staining, and adding a cushion. Chairs are super adorable because they are small and you can fit them anywhere. You can use this method to make a more unique couch too.
But it can be complicated as having thinner backs can take away from the structural integrity. So stick to full pallets unless you are working with a carpenter who knows how to ensure the pallet furniture is safe.
How To Make A Pallet Ottoman
Finally, it’s time for the easiest, yet still fun, furniture piece of all. The pallet ottoman. You can create a pallet bottom by taking two pallets and screwing them together. Yep, that’s it. Talk about simple.
If you want to get started with pallet furniture but don’t know how then start with a pallet ottoman. It’s super easy and will be fun to finish with your favorite stains. It’s great practice for getting started with a pallet couch.