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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

 

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

Entertain the kids and practice your DIY skills at the same time with these creative giant garden games! You’re never too old to make (or play!) jenga, connect four, angry birds or kerplunk – so what are you waiting for?

Roll those sleeves up, start planning your wood cuts, and get DIY-ing with these walk through tutorials! (You can adapt the measurements for all of these giant garden games to make it the perfect size for you! Remember to let us know how your project came along on social media by searching for @manomano.co.uk).

Giant Garden Games

Giant Jenga (Easy)

thehandymano mano mano giant garden games DIY jenga

Tools and Materials

Instructions

*Remember that jenga towers are square if you look straight down at them!*

-Chop your wood into 54 equal pieces (we made our pieces an inch long)
-Start sanding! You need the wood to be very smooth otherwise it’ll impact the game! This will also help the stain go onto it easier
-Once they’re sanded, make sure to wipe all of the pieces down with a damp cloth to remove any excess sawdust
-You can choose to leave your blocks natural or you can stain them. If you do choose to stain them, we recommend staining 3 edges of a wooden block at once with a rag, then flipping the block and staining the final side. You’ll need to have a large space to lay them all out while they dry!
-This is one of the easier giant garden games to make but you can personalise it by making the blocks match the colour scheme of your garden.

 

Giant Angry Birds (Hard)

thehandymano mano mano giant garden games DIY angry birds

 

Tools and Materials

2 foot by 5 foot 1/2 inch thick plywood
2 – 8 foot 2 x 4s
1 – 8 foot 1 x 4
2 – hurricane straps
1 scrap piece of 1 x 6 for the toys
1 scrap piece of 1 x 2
Paint
Nuts, bolts and nails
Rubber tubing
Circular saw
Scroll saw (manual or electric)
Drill
Knife to cut tubing
Hammer

Instructions

-Build a base/big enough for people to stand on whilst pulling the tubing back (this is very important!)
-Build a slingshot by cutting one 2 x 4 about 32 inches. This is the long base pole of the slingshot. Cut two 1 foot pieces of 2 x 4. These will be the two arms of the slingshot. Cut two 22 inch pieces of 1 x 4. Attach the two 1×4 pieces to either side of the 32 inch long 2 x 4 at a 90 degree angle. Slide a 1 foot section of 2 x 4 on each side of the arm (between the 1 x 4s). Drill a 3/8 inch hole in the center of each arm about 3 inches from the top of each arm. This is where rubber tubing will be attached.
-Put it all together! Cut another 18 inch long piece of your 2 x F at 45 degree angels on either side – this will be the brace for your slingshot. Place a hurricane anchor metal bracket to the base of the platform and also on one side of the slingshot. Hold it up there to determine where to attach it! Drill two 1/4 inch holes through the base and the slingshot. Insert two 1/4″ bolts and tighten with lock washer and wing nuts. Drill a hole on either side of the 2 x 4 brace and attach one end to the bracket on the base and one end to the bracket on the slingshot. Fasten with 1/4 inch bolt and lock washers and wing nuts. Cut two 2 feet lengths of exercise tubing. Get a piece of leather about one foot long and 5 inches wide. Put a grommet at either end. Attach the tubing to the slingshot and leather pouch.

Giant Kerplunk (Easy)

thehandymano mano mano giant garden games DIY kerplunk

Tools and Materials

Instructions

-Start by screwing the 16-inch 2 x 4 boards together to form a square. Then, screw the 10-inch 4 x 4 boards to the four corners of the square to make legs. Give the wood platform a coat of spray paint, and then let the paint dry
-Make a tube out of the wire netting, and use the 18-gauge wire to hold it in place.
-Place the wire tube on top of the wooden platform and use the staple gun to secure the tube to the platform.
-Slide the bamboo plant supports through the openings in the wire tube. Make sure the stakes go all different directions and don’t leave any large gaps.
-Fill the top of the tube with the ball pit balls, and the game is ready to play!

Giant Connect 4 (Hard)

DIY Giant Connect 4 – Activities for Children

How did your giant garden games turn out? Make sure to let us know on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! See you there 🙂

Feel like you need more garden DIY projects? Try out these other projects:

Easy Pallet Projects : DIY Outdoor Tool Storage

Types of Shrubs – Seasonal Guide

DIY Pergola Tutorial

 

Looking for a pergola for your garden or patio but can’t get your budget to stretch far enough? This tutorial will take you step by step through how to build a DIY pergola easily and without spending too much. You can even match it to the rest of your garden furniture!

With the arrival of the good weather it’s important to have shade to protect you from too much sun (yes, even in the UK… 🙂 ) . Pergolas, arbors, or gazebos can be ideal, however, it can sometimes be difficult to find the one you want for the price that suits the size and style of your garden or patio.

To get the perfect pergola for your patio, why not make your own DIY pergola and match it to the rest of your outdoor furniture?

Tools and Materials

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola tools needed

To make a DIY pergola such as the one in this tutorial, you will need the following tools and materials:

Cost, time and difficulty

To make your own wooden pergola for your patio or garden will cost you less than £150, which is a huge saving when compared to the price of a shop-bought one. If you need any of the tools and materials that have been used here, you can find some of them in this sample shopping basket.

However, this DIY project is easier than it looks at first sight, although, it does require a certain level of experience when it comes to carrying out DIY jobs. That’s why we’ve given this project a medium level of difficulty.

In addition, you will need a couple of days work to finish your pergola:

  • The first day is used to prepare the structure and treat the wood.
  • The second day is devoted to assembling the pergola. To do so, you will need to ask a few friends to help out.

You should also keep in mind that this project needs to be done in good weather, otherwise it will take much longer to set up.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola finished

How to make a wooden DIY pergola

Building a DIY pergola may seem like a complex project given its size. But, trust us, it’s a lot easier than it looks!

Step 1: Sand the wood

The first step is to sand the wooden posts and crossbeams with an orbital sander. This will produce a much more uniform surface and remove any imperfections. When sanding, it is recommended to sand with the grain (rather than against it).

On a side note, sanding helps to open the pores of the wood and so prepare it for the application of treatments that protect it from different weather conditions.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola sand wood

Step 2: Cut the crossbeams at an angle

Next, cut the ends of the crossbeams using the mitre saw or a handsaw and mitre box. In this specific case, the side beams have been cut to achieve a length of 2.2 metres. The rest of the crossbeams will keep their original 2.4m length.

In addition, to bring a rustic touch to the pergola, the edges have been bevelled. To do this, leave a margin of 3cm at the top of the beams and cut the rest at angle of 45º.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola cut wood

Step 3: Make the notches to insert the crossbeams

The next step is to make a couple of notches in each crossbeam to slot them onto the pergola’s side beams. The steps are as follows:

  1. Mark the notch in pencil, leaving a margin of 3cm from the top and 15cm from the side. To help, you can use a wooden template with the same width as the crossbeams.
  2. Use the jigsaw to cut the sides of the slot.
  3. With a chisel and hammer, tap on the top part of the notch until the surplus wood falls away.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola insert cross beams

Step 4: Treat and colour the wood

Next, you should apply protection and colour to the wood.

When applying the varnish, the following points should be taken into account:

  • You will need a minimum of two coats to allow the product to penetrate the wood fully and adequately protect it.
  • To achieve greater impregnability, it should be applied by brush.
  • You can choose between different colours and shades to match your terrace or deck, as varnish can be decorative as well as protective.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola treat and colour wood

Step 5: Attach the bases of the post

Once the varnish is dry, you will have to attach the galvanised post bases to one end of each post. These bases allow you to screw the posts to the floor of your terrace or deck, so that they are properly secured.

All you need to do is cap them on the end of the wooden posts using the rubber mallet, then screw them in with hexagonal-head coach screws.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola attach bases

Step 6: Assemble the DIY pergola on your terrace

This final step involves assembling the pergola. This will require the help of several people because, due to its size, the structure is difficult to move. The steps to follow are:

  1. Slot the crossbeams and the sides of the pergola together, leaving the same space between each crossbeam (in our case, 50cm).
  2. Drill the top to make it easier to insert the coach screws and prevent the wood from splitting when screwing in the screws.
  3. Turn the roof of the pergola over and screw the posts to the inner side of each corner.
  4. Turn it over again, with the help of friends or family (in our case we needed 4 people).
  5. Reposition the pergola in its end location and screw the post bases to the floor of your terrace, deck or patio.

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola assemble

Et voila! You’ve gone and done it! As this is a huge project, we would love to see yoru take on it! Send us photos on social media @manomano.co.uk 😉

thehandymano mano mano DIY pergola finishedthehandymano mano mano DIY pergola finished drinking friends

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!

Not ready to put your hammer down, yet? Check out our other DIY projects!

How to Make a Pallet Planter

How To Make Your Own Pallet Coffee Table

DIY Pallet Garden Table