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Pallet Projects

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If you’re planning a Halloween or bonfire night party in your garden or want to entertain in style over Christmas and New Year, this illuminated outdoor bar is the ideal place to serve your guests. The bar is wall-mounted and can be closed away when not in use. To get the party started, open the drop-down bar, flick on the fairy lights and fill the cabinet with bottles, glasses and your favourite cocktail ingredients.

What you’ll need

To do this DIY project you’ll need the following tools:

Hand saw

Wrecking bar

Hammer

Palm sander

Drill with drill bits

Holesaw kit

Stapler

In addition, these materials will be needed:

3 x Identical pallets

Assorted sandpaper to fit your palm sander in course, medium and fine grits

1.5m length of  4mm x 32mm steel chain

Rust-Oleum chalkboard spray paint or brush-on chalkboard paint

1 x Rust-Oleum Metallic copper spray

Solar fairy lights in warm white or amber

2 x Coach bolts

Screws

Eye hooks

Carabiners

Cost, time and difficulty

The approximate cost of materials for this project is £35. You can access the shopping cart of some of the tools and materials used through this link. Depending on your DIY skills, this project shouldn’t take longer 5 hours to complete.

 

Step 1

Use a wrecking bar to carefully remove the planks of wood from all 3 pallets.

 

Attach 3 of the side supports together to create an L shape and screw together. Repeat with another 3 side supports. These will form the upright corners at the back of the bar.

Step 2

Assemble the back of the bar with the new L-shape supports on the corners. You only need to cover the bottom half of the bar (which will be visible from the inside) so position 5 planks closer together to remove gaps and screw them into the corner supports. Add one plank across the top for structural integrity and add a central support. Leaving the gap on the back gives you access to add the lights later.

Step 3

Turn the back section of the bar over and attach 5 planks at the top of the bar. Again, position the planks close together.

Using a piece of cardboard or paper stapled to the top of the front, mark out the BAR letters and decide where the lights will be. Using a drill bit slightly larger than fairy light bulbs, drill the holes through the cardboard and through the wood on the front of the bar.

Step 4

Measure the distance from the base of the bar to the plank section at the top and cut down 2 side supports to fit this measurement. These will be the supports for the drop-down bar. Lay out the planks close together and add the side supports, positioning them set in from the ends of the planks. This will ensure that the drop-down panel will fit inside the corner supports of the bar.

Step 5

Cut away an angle from the bottom of the corner supports at the front of the bar.

Place the drop-down section in position on the front of the bar and drill from the side through the corner support and the drop-down support. Add a coach bolt through the hole to act as the hinge. Repeat on the other side.

Step 6

Open the drop-down section and clad the top side with the planks. Use a tank cutter to cut holes along the back of the top layer. The holes need to be the size of your beer glasses, bottles or wine glasses, to allow them to sit inside the holes when the bar is finished. With the drop-down section closed, you’ll see a gap on the underside of the bar. Attach an extra support piece to fill the gap. This will create a ‘shelf’ behind the drop-down section when it is open.

Step 7

Sand down all the rough edges and paint the back planks and the hole section on the drop-down with copper spray paint.

Use chalkboard paint (either brush-on or spray paint) to paint the top, front and sides. This will allow you to use chalk to add the words ‘birthday’, ‘cocktail’ or any phrase you like to the top of the BAR sign.

Step 8

 

When the paint is dry, use an eye hook and carabiner to attach a chain to the inside edge of the corner support. Add another eye hook and carabiner to the front of the drop-down section and clip on the chain. To close the bar, add 2 eye hooks on each side and close with 2 carabiners. Working from the back of the bar, poke the fairy lights through the holes. Turn the bar over and paint a fine line of metallic paint between each fairy light to spell out the word BAR.

As with all our projects, please take care while using tools, materials and equipment.

This article was written by Cassie Fairy. You can find Cassie’s blog ‘My Thrifty Life’ at Cassiefairy.com, where she shares daily blog posts about her home DIY projects, upcycled finds, low-cost recipes and plenty of inspiration for living a lovely life on a budget.

 

12 Easy And Cheap DIY Outdoor Fire Pit Ideas

 

Outdoor Storage Bench Tutorial

 

Learn how to build your own practical outdoor storage bench from pallets. With pallets, not only can you make almost any type of furniture, but you can also do so cheaply, while at the same time recycling some pallet wood.

Outdoor Storage Bench

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial finished

Tools and materials

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial tools materials

To make an outdoor storage bench like the one in this tutorial, you’ll need the following tools and materials:

Cost, time and difficulty

The difficulty level of this project is rated as medium, given that you’ll need a certain level of skills when it comes to using the different tools, as well as furniture assembly.

The approximate price of materials is around £30. This price may vary depending on how many layers of varnish you use, and whether you buy the pallet or find one for free. You can purchase some of the tools and materials used via this sample shopping basket.

The condition of your pallet boards will impact the amount of time required to complete this bench, along with the decor you want to add. In our case, it took us a couple of days work to finish the project.

Outdoor Storage Bench Step by Step Tutorial

Step 1: Dismantle the pallet

First of all, you need to dismantle one or more pallets as you’ll need at least 20 pallet boards of a metre in length to make this chest. The pallets can be taken apart using either a crowbar or a reciprocating saw. The second option is much faster and won’t damage the boards as much.

It is also essential to use a saw blade that’s suitable for cutting both the wood and metal nails, to avoid breaking the blade.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial dismantle pallets

Step 2: Sand or plane the pallet boards

Pallet wood generally features numerous imperfections, damp, splinters, etc. To remove these and achieve a more uniform surface, you’ll need to use an orbital sander.

However, if the pallets are in bad condition or highly repellent, we recommend tidying them up with a planer. This way you can smooth the surface down in less time and achieve a perfect finish.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial plane boards

Step 3: Fill the holes

The next step is to remove any nails and fills the holes with putty. To do this, it helps to use either a spatula or your fingers. Once filled, remove any excess with a damp cloth. Lastly, sand the surface when it is dry.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial fill holes

Step 4: Cut the parts

The next step will be to cut the boards with a mitre saw or handsaw. The parts you need are:

  • 5 boards measuring 90cm long for the top of the chest, and 2 crosspieces measuring 30cm to join these.
  • 10 boards measuring 45cm for the sides that make the legs.
  • 4 measuring 31cm to join the top and centre of the sides, and 2 measuring 34cm for the bottom.
  • 8 boards measuring 86cm for the front and back of the chest.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial cut the parts

Step 5: Assemble the chest

Once you’ve cut all the parts needed, it’s time to assemble the outdoor storage bench. Do so in the following order:

  1. Join the boards that make up the lid and sides.
  2. Screw together the boards that form the front and back of the bench.

5.1.- Lid and sides

To make the chest lid, join 5 boards measuring 90cm by screwing them to a couple of crossbeams measuring 30cm long.  Then, join 5 boards measuring 45cm in length by screwing on two 31cm boards and one 34cm board to the bottom. That’s the two sides done.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial drill lid and sides

5.2.- Front and back of the chest

To join the two sides, screw together 4 boards measuring 86cm in length to the front and back of the chest. In the image below you can see the process in detail.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial drill front back

Step 6: Protect the wood

The next step is to protect and colour the wood with varnish. This type of finish allows the wood to breathe and helps to regulate interior moisture, making it ideal for outdoor furniture.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial varnish

Step 7: Nail on the bottom

Once the varnish is dry, nail the plywood panel to the bottom of the chest. For this you can use a nail gun, a stapler, or a hammer and nails. Next, coat it using the same colour of varnish you chose for the rest of the chest.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial nail bottom

Step 8: Decorate the lid

You can use different shades of varnish to decorate the lid of your outdoor storage bench. Using masking tape, mark out the sections for each different colour to create a geometric design.

Because varnish acts like a wood stain and shows off the grain of the wood, you can blend several colours together to achieve different shades.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial decorate lid

Step 9: Screw on the hinges and handles

Lastly, attach the hinges and handles to the sides To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Screw the hinge to the back of the chest and to the lid. To avoid having to level down the wood, we used hinges without a hinge cup.
  2. Drill holes to attach a handle or knob at either side.
  3. Screw on the handle to allow you to easily move and relocate the chest.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial screw hinges

There you have it! Your very own handmade outdoor storage bench!

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial finished

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial finished project.

thehandymano mano Outdoor Storage Bench DIY tutorial finished project from front

If you enjoyed making your own outdoor storage bench, why not have a look at our other garden DIY tutorials?

12 Easy And Cheap DIY Outdoor Fire Pit Ideas

DIY Pergola Tutorial

DIY Planter Box with Hose Reel

 

Looking to upgrade your sofa but don’t have a big budget? Save money by making your own DIY Pallet Sofa with this handy tutorial! See for yourself how to turn old pallets into your own personalised and comfy sofa, a perfect match with your living room or garden!

DIY Pallet Sofa Tutorial

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial finished

Tools and materials

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial tools and materials

The tools and materials that you’ll need to make this DIY pallet sofa are as follows:

Cost, time and difficulty

This project is rated medium difficulty as it requires a certain level of skill when it comes to handling the electric tools. If you use manual tools to cut and dismantle the pallet, it will be easier.

The approximate price of the materials is around £100, if you already have the tools needed to make the sofa. This biggest expense is mainly for the cushioning for the sofa seat and backrest, meaning it will be reduced if you use something you already have! You can find the other tools in this suggested basket here.

On another note, to make this sofa from pallets as per the tutorial, you will need a couple of days work to complete everything, including assembly and varnishing. This time may even increase if you use manual tools, or pallets in a particularly bad condition. The more deteriorated these are, the longer it will take you to get them fit for purpose.

How to make a DIY Pallet Sofa

Step 1: Cut the pallet to the size of your cushions

This first step is important if the pallet you have found or bought doesn’t match the size of the seat and backrest cushions. You won’t need to do this if you’re using custom-made cushions.

In our specific case, the pallets measured 120 x 100cm, so we cut the one for the base to fit the size of our cushions. To do this, we followed these steps:

  1. Mark the size the pallet will be cut to.
  2. Cut the pallet slightly bigger using the reciprocating saw.
  3. With a circular saw, cut the pallet’s crossbeam to the desired size.
  4. Screw the extra boards that you cut in step 2 to the edges of the pallet, as well as to the front and back.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial prepare wood

Step 2: Dismantle the pallet

The next step is to dismantle the pallet using the reciprocating saw or the  crowbar or lever (the first option will be quicker than the second)

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial dismantle wood

Step 3: Sand and plane the pallet and boards

Next, sand the pallet using an orbital sander. This type of sander is the most suitable when it comes to sanding pallets, as its rectangular shape is ideal for the boards that make up the pallet.

However, if the wood is very rough or has many imperfections, it will be a good idea to use a plane instead. This allows you to file down the boards, and after a couple of strokes with the plane, the wood will be completely smooth and flat.

It’s extremely important that before you use the plane, you remove all nails that may remain in the boards, to avoid damaging the plane’s blade.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial orbital sander

Step 4: Cut boards for the legs, back and armrests

Once you have sanded all the boards, use the mitre saw to cut them as the legs, back and armrests. The sizes are as follows:

  • Use cross beams from the pallet to make the legs as these are the sturdiest and strongest. You will need 4 measuring 50cm long.
  • 2 pallet boards measuring 84cm will be joined to the top of the legs as armrests.
  • 3 pallet boards measuring 75cm long will be screwed to the back of the pallet. You will use two more boards measuring 120cm long to complete the backrest.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial mitre saw

Step 5: Varnish the parts

Before assembling the legs and backrest, varnish both the pallet and the loose boards. In this way you can more easily reach all the nooks and crannies, because once everything has been assembled, it will be a lot more complicated.

For this, you should use an oak stained varnish. Not only does this help to protect the wood but it also adds a nice touch of colour.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial varnish

Step 6: Assemble the legs, backrest and armrests

Once the varnish has dried, assemble the various parts of the sofa

  1. Legs: screw the cross beams using a couple of coach screws to the 4 edges of the pallet. To ensure all of the legs are the same length, and the sofa isn’t crooked, we used a block of wood as a guide.
  2. Backrest: screw the 3 boards measuring 75cm to the back of the pallet. The ones for the sides should be screwed to the legs too.
  3. Armrests: attach a board measuring 84cm long to each side, joining the top to the legs.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial assemble back rest

En la siguiente imagen se puede ver el resultado final una vez se hayan montado todas las piezas.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial complete no cushions

Step 7: Add the cushions

Fnally, add the cushions to finish the transformation of a pallet into you very own DIY pallet sofa! Note that the cushions we used for the backrest have ties at the rear to allow you to attach them to the wooden slats.

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial add cushions

thehandymano mano DIY pallet sofa tutorial finished project

This article was written by: Bricoydeco and translated. Mari Luz authors the blog ‘Bricoydeco’, she is a DIY fanatic, lover of recycling and customising furniture. Her passion is giving a second chance to turn once forgotten things into unique pieces!

If you enjoyed making your own DIY pallet sofa, why not have a look at our other pallet DIY tutorials?

Pallet TV Stand DIY Tutorial

Pallet Table DIY Tutorial

If you fancy creating a summery beach style in your bathroom, why not have a go at making this upcycled pallet cabinet? The wood we’ve used is reclaimed from an old pallet and is sanded down to create a smooth driftwood-like finish. You can scale up the pallet cabinet to whatever size you’d like for your bathroom. We have used the sides and planks of the pallet to determine the overall size and this finished cabinet is 430 x 325 x 110mm.

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial thehandymano mano mano finished

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial

By Cassie Fairy

Tools and Materials

To do this DIY project you’ll need the following tools:

Hand saw
Wrecking bar
Hammer
Mitre box
Palm sander
Drill with drill bits
Router with cutting bits
Screwdriver
1 x Pallet (the width of these planks is 73mm, you will need to adjust your measurements if the slats of your pallet are wider or narrower than 73mm)
700 x 800mm x 3m plywood sheet
Assorted sandpaper to fit your palm sander in course, medium and fine grits
Wood glue
6 or 8 x 65mm corner braces with screws
4 x mirror corners with screws
2 x magnetic catches with screws
2 x 75mm Butt hinges
20mm nails

Cost, time and difficulty

The approximate cost of materials for this project is £15, depending on the tools you already have. You can access the shopping cart of some of the tools and materials used through this link.

This project is quite simple and is therefore suitable for beginners. Depending on your DIY skills, this project shouldn’t take longer 4 hours to complete.

Measurements:

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial thehandymano mano mano measurements

Step 1: Cutting the planks

Use a handsaw to cut the surface planks away from the sides of the pallet. Cut across the first plank parallel to the inner edge of the supporting beam at the side of the pallet. Measure 322mm from the first cut and mark a line across the plank. Saw off the plank at this point to create a piece that measures 322mm x 73mm. Repeat until you have 6 planks. Finally, cut one or two extra pieces at 270mm long to use as shelves inside the cabinet. Use a palm sander to sand down all the planks until the edges are smooth and it resembles driftwood.

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial thehandymano mano mano cutting planks

Step 2: Cutting the edges

Use a wrecking bar to prise the remaining ends of the planks off the supporting beam. This beam will become the frame of the bathroom cabinet so pull out the nails or hammer them in. From this piece of wood cut two pieces 325mm long and two pieces 430mm long. Use a mitre box to cut the ends at 45 degree angles with a handsaw. Use a palm sander to smooth all the surfaces.

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial thehandymano mano mano cutting edges

Step 3: Cutting the back and front

Measure out two rectangles on your plywood sheet. The back piece should measure 320mm x 422mm and the front piece should measure 260mm x 370mm. Use a saw to cut out these pieces and carefully sand around the edges

Step 4: Making the door

Lay out the driftwood planks side by side. Apply wood glue to the front piece of ply and place on top of the planks to create a door for the cabinet. Use small nails to hold the back in place and allow the glue to dry thoroughly. Once the glue is dry, drill a hole in the centre of the door to hold the router guide arm in order to cut a circle. Use the router to cut away a circle from the centre and sand down the inside edges.

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial thehandymano mano mano making door

Step 5: Assembling the cabinet

Apply wood glue to the angled corners and use a metal brace in each inner corner to support the frame. You can add one or more shelves inside the cabinet frame using more metal corner braces to support them. Apply wood glue to the back edges of the frame and position the plywood backing before nailing into place.

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial thehandymano mano mano assembling cabinet

Step 6: Attaching the door

To finish the pallet cabinet, attach a square mirror tile (or use a recycled mirror from an old frame, like we have) to the inside of the door, behind the circle, using mirror corners. Add magnetic catches to the inside edge of the frame and add the magnets to the back of the door in the corresponding positions. Attach the door to the frame using two butt hinges.

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial thehandymano mano mano attach door

Finished pallet cabinet:

Pallet Cabinet DIY Tutorial thehandymano mano mano finished

This article was written by Cassie Fairy. You can find Cassie’s blog ‘My Thrifty Life’ at Cassiefairy.com, where she shares daily blog posts about her home DIY projects, upcycled finds, low-cost recipes and plenty of inspiration for living a low lovely life on a budget.

Check out our other pallet projects:

How to Make a Pallet Planter

Pallet Table DIY Tutorial

There are so many different projects that you can do with pallets, but sometimes the hardest part can be painting them perfectly to finish off your project! That’s why we came up with our top DIY pallet painting tips to help you get a flawless finish each time!

DIY pallet painting tips

DIY Pallet painting tips the handy mano mano pallet painting tips sander

  1. Remember that each pallet is unique and might take paint differently. Firstly, you need to make sure that you have a safe (and non toxic) pallet, you can check that by viewing our pallet sourcing guide here.
  2. Pallet wood can look so so great with a bit of roughness, but, the smoother the surface, the easier it is to paint! Use an orbital sander or sandpaper (80 grit works fine but aim for 120 girt or higher if you’re looking for uber smoothness) to find your middle ground.
  3. Once you’ve finished sanding, remove all of the dusk with a slightly damp washcloth to thoroughly clean the wood.
  4. If you think that your wood may be too porous, you can opt to prime the wood at this stage to make it even smoother!
  5. If you’re looking to get a really vintage like look on your pallet, then add one layer of paint and then sand the wood again. Continue this until you’ve got your desired effect!DIY Pallet painting tips the handy mano mano pallet painting tips stain brush
  6. Once you’ve finished painting, make sure to wax or seal it to make the paint job last longer.
  7. If you stain your wood, then make sure you choose a colour a shade lighter and keep adding the stain until you get your preferred colour. Remember that it’s much easier to add stain to wood than it is to remove it, so you’re better of working your way up!
  8. As you apply the stain, keep an old T-shirt next to you to make sure you catch any drips from the wet edges and blend in any brush marks
  9. Make it shine with a varnish  or polish at the end! We recommend this step especially for outdoor pallet projects.

Feel ready to take on the world with your new knowledge of DIY pallet painting tips? Why not give these projects a go first? 🙂

Wooden Bath Tray – DIY Pallet Project

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