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
Tools and materials
The tools and materials that you’ll need to make this DIY pallet sofa are as follows:
- Reciprocating saw
- Circular saw
- Drill or screwdriver
- Orbital sander
- Electric planer
- Mitre saw
- 2 pallets (read where to find free pallets here)
- Sofa cushions measuring 120 x 80cm (seat), and 2 measuring 60 x 40cm (backrest) (These can be indoor or outdoor cushions depending on where you’ll put the sofa!)
- Coach screws
- Coloured varnish
- Paint roller
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:
- Mark the size the pallet will be cut to.
- Cut the pallet slightly bigger using the reciprocating saw.
- With a circular saw, cut the pallet’s crossbeam to the desired size.
- Screw the extra boards that you cut in step 2 to the edges of the pallet, as well as to the front and back.
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)
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.
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.
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.
Step 6: Assemble the legs, backrest and armrests
Once the varnish has dried, assemble the various parts of the sofa.
- 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.
- 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.
- Armrests: attach a board measuring 84cm long to each side, joining the top to the legs.
En la siguiente imagen se puede ver el resultado final una vez se hayan montado todas las piezas.
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.
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!