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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

Eager to try out a different DIY project? Learn how to make clay yourself using simple household ingredients and start crafting! We have chosen the 3 easiest and cheapest methods to make clay, so make sure you try them all before choosing your favourite. Don’t forget to tag us in your clay creations online using #manomaker – we would love to see what you’ve been up to!

Go on, get making and seize the clay! 💪

How to Make Clay

How to Make Clay thehandymano hands mano mano cold porcelain

Cold Porcelain Clay

Ingredients:

  • 225 ml white glue
  • 125 grams of cornflour
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice/vinegar
  • 1tbsp baby oil
  • Optional glitter and food colouring

Find a microwave safe bowl and fill it with the cornflour.
Add in the remaining ingredients (excluding glitter and food colour) and stir well with a whisk or spoon until you reach paste-like consistency.
Put the bowl in the microwave and heat it for 1 minute 30 seconds, pausing the microwave every 30 seconds to stir the contents.
After heating, stir the mixture once more then leave to cool to a temperature you’re comfortable to work with.
Once cool, transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead until smooth.
If you want, now is the time to add lots of colour! (you can also paint the clay after it is dry) Add a few drops to the mixture and knead until the colour is even.
Once complete, roll the clay into a ball and wrap it tightly in plastic. You’ll have to leave this overnight to ‘cure’ before you can start sculpting! (Sorry about that..)

Sculpting:
We suggest putting some cream on your hands before you start sculpting, this will prevent any sticking and drying out!
Luckily, this clay air dries easily, so you don’t need to put it in any oven!

Happy sculpting!

How to Make Clay thehandymano hands mano mano salt based sculpt

Salt Based Clay

Ingredients:

  • 280g salt
  • 140g flour
  • 112ml warm water

Method:
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add glitter (if you want!)
Add a few drops of food colouring to your water if you want to make the dough coloured, and pour the water in the large bowl
Knead the mixture until it is smooth and dough-like
Start sculpting! If the mixture is still too wet, then add more flour. If it is too dry, then (you guessed it! 😉 ) add more water.

Sculpting:
Once you’ve finished sculpting, put the dough in your oven for 2-3 hours at 100 degrees to harden the designs.
If you haven’t perfected your design yet and want to try again the next day, then simply leave the dough in an air tight container with some flour to preserve it!

Cornstarch Based Clay

How to Make Clay thehandymano hands mano mano cosrnstarch based

Ingredients:

  • 180g baking soda
  • 65g cornflour
  • 170ml warm water

Method:
Add all of the ingredients into a pot and stir with a whisk until the mixture is smooth
Consider adding some glitter at this point, if you want to!
Move the pot onto the stove and heat the mixture whilst stirring it until it has a thick, smooth texture
Once the clay has thickened (and has a texture similar to mashed potatoes!) take it off the stove and cool
Once you are able to touch the clay without burning yourself, roll it out and start sculpting!

Sculpting:
Important note: You have to use the clay on the same day that you make it!
Once you’ve finished sculpting, let the clay dry overnight and voila!

Now you know how to make clay, get your hands on these other crafty DIY articles!

How to Make Slime

How To Make Glitter Paint

Sick of tripping over your hose reel and looking for a cheap way to cover it up? Hide your hose reel in this handy DIY planter box! The simple turning mechanism inside will allow you to take the hose reel in and out of storage easily, whilst making sure that your garden looks tidy.

DIY Planter Box with Hose Reel

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel finished

Tools and materials

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel tools and materials

To make a garden hose reel DIY planter box you’ll need the following tools and materials:

Cost, time and difficulty

We’ve rated this DIY project as having a medium level of difficulty because it requires a certain amount of experience in handling the different tools.

The approximate price of the materials is around £50 although this can be reduced if you use pinewood boards instead of wooden planks, for example. You can purchase some of the tools and materials used via this sample shopping basket.

It will take about one full day’s work to complete this project, although this may vary depending on how good your DIY skills are.

How to make a DIY Planter Box with a Hose Reel

This hose reel is really practical, and decorative too. You can use it to both store your hose and as a pretty planter. 

Step 1- Cut the parts

Firstly, cut all of the parts that make up the main body of the hose reel. To do this, we used a mitre saw for its speed and precision, but you can also use a hand saw. The parts you need are:

  • 36 planks measuring 40 × 6.8 x 2.1cm
  • 4 planks measuring 40 × 3.2 x 3.2cm

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel MDF wood mitre saw

Step 2- Assemble the outer structure

Once you’ve cut the parts, assemble the outer section of the reel. To do this, screw the sides of each plank measuring 40 x 6.8 x 2.1cm to the planks measuring 40cm in height. The result can be seen in the image below:

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel assemble outer structure

Step 3- Hose coiling system

The next step consists of creating the system that lets you roll up the hose, allowing you to easily store it or take it out for use.

Step 3.1.- Creating the hole to pull out the hose

Firstly make a hole with the core drill both at the front and back. The diameter of the core drill should be wide enough that the hose can be inserted along with the connector.

This allows you to pull the part of the hose that connects to the hose gun or sprinkler out through the front hole, and through the back, the part that connects to the tap.

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel create hole for hose

3.2.- Part to coil the hose around

With a rod and plank of wood you will create the part around which to coil the hose. The steps are as follows:

  1. Cut a rod to 45 x 1.9cm and another to 3 x 2.7cm. Join the one measuring 2.7cm in diameter to one of the ends of the 1.9cm one with white glue.
  2. Using a flat drill with the same diameter as the rod, make a hole at each of the sides that haven’t been cut with the core drill.
  3. Sand the holes to remove splinters.
  4. With the flat drill start to make a hole in the plank measuring 12 x 3.2 x 3.2cm, without drilling through it completely.
  5. Insert the shaft through both holes and finish with the plank measuring 15cm which serves as the crank, and which you should attach using white glue.

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel inner turning mechanism

3.3.- Attach the base

To finish off the reel, cut a part of MDF board measuring 40 x 44cm and trim the corners with a jigsaw. Next, nail it to the base using a nail gun. This means you can you use the hose reel as a container to store your watering accessories.

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel attach the base

Step 4- Lid and planter

The next step is to make a lid which will also function as a planter. To make it, screw 4 planks measuring 30 x 6.8 x 2.1cm together like a drawer, and nail on an MDF base.

To make sure it fits and stays in place over the main section of the hose reel, you should screw 4 planks to the top as demonstrated in the image below.

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel lid and planter construction

Step 5- Treat and colour 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 outdoors furniture.

In just half an hour the varnish will be dry and you can start to make practical as well as decorative use of this hose reel.

All that’s left to do is attach the hose to the shaft using some cable ties, and then turn the crank.

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel treat and colour with varnish

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel complete

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel wrap hose reel

the handy mano manomano DIY planter box with hose reel finished

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 planter box, why not have a look at our other garden DIY tutorials?

DIY Pergola Tutorial

DIY Pallet Garden Table

Giant Garden Games DIY Tutorials