Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pallet loungers

Some of you may remember a while back when I made these beauties from some pallets.

Someone requested a tutorial and I'm happy to oblige, especially since I was planning on doing that anyway when they were all done. At the time they were only primed white and now they're a bright and luscious red :) So I took a few more pics and decided it was tutorial time!

Ok, maybe tutorial isn't the right word because I don't really have any before or during pics (!) but I'll at least be telling you how I went about it. As you can see from the pictures they're really easy and you can probably figure it out just from looking at them, but here we go just the same.

I can also add that my lack of before and during pics are due to the fact that I didn't know if it was going to turn out well or not. I was originally going to make something more Moroccan looking but it didn't work, not enough pallets of the same size and not the right saw for the job etc. So this is the design I came up with, spur of the moment style.


Four pallets of the same size, preferably rectangular
One pallet slightly wider than your other pallets, more square than rectangular
Scrap 2X4s or pallet scraps of the 2X4 kind

1. Take your four pallets of the same size and stack them on top of each other two by two. No need to secure them, the weight of the wood holds them in place just fine.

2. Make sure your one remaining pallet is wide enough to fit as a back rest. A pallet usually consists of three layers of wood: the top boards, the middle boards (often 2X4s) and the bottom boards. In this case the top boards need to be long enough to fit as a back rest while still accommodating the 2X4s on each side of the seat. So they need to be the width of the seat plus at least 4 more inches, if they're an inch or two longer than that you don't have to be so precise and it'll make your life easier.

3. Now it's time to deconstruct the back rest pallet and here's where the hard physical labor comes in... Remove all the bottom boards of the pallet and the two outside middle boards. Leave the one or two (depending on how your pallet is constructed) 2x4 boards in the middle where they are to help you keep the top boards in place. Save all the scraps, some will be used later in this project.

The arrow shows the nails holding the original middle board to the top boards, everything else was deconstructed.

4. Cut the remains in two halves. Make sure you cut so the slats will be in the same direction as your seat.

5. Take your 2x4s, either from another pallet like I did or use new from the lumber yard, and attach them to the top boards on either side. These need to be longer than your back rest so they can reach down and fit next to the seat pallets. 

6. Prop your seat back up where you want it to go to determine how much of an incline you want the back to be. I marked the incline of the supporting legs on the side so I knew at what angle to attach the legs later (see below pic with arrow). I just reused the original middle boards (2x4s) from my back rest pallet for this and at this point I was so tired and hot that I didn't even worry about cleaning them up :) They'll barely be visible in the end anyway. Oh, and I attached the support legs to the back rest at this point too :)

7. The last step is to attach the back rest pallet to the seat pallets. I was originally going to leave the back rest unattached but it was a little too wobbly so I put a screw where the arrow in the below pic is, one on each side of the lounger. It's only attached to the bottom seat pallet, the top one is still loose and removable.

Just a close-up of the same thing.

This is what it looks like from the back.

 You're all done!

At this point I decided to prime mine since I knew I wanted to paint them eventually.

And only two months later I finally got to the painting part :) Mostly since bright red paint for the outdoor furniture wasn't a high priority in the spending budget. But last week I found Pratt & Lambert exterior paint in "Red Statement" for only $10 a gallon at our local Habitat store and the rest is history...

Now they just need some cushioning, a few pillows and I'm thinking a drop cloth canopy so we can finally start using them. How about some oranges, yellows and hot pinks on top of this luscious red and probably a serene white for the canopy? Can't wait to hang out here with a cool drink while the kids play in the sprinkler. At this rate I'll probably have the rest done just in time for Thanksgiving :) But there's always next summer for reaping the benefits of this summer's hard work I guess :)

These loungers were free except for the $10 for paint. I barely used a quarter of my gallon so I have plenty left for other projects. Not bad for backyard style, IMHO.

Ps. Linking up with
Beyond The Picket Fence
The Shabby Chic Cottage 
Someday Crafts 
Funky Junk Interiors
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  1. That is such a cool idea! Loving this one! I will feature this at in the next day or two!

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  2. Love them!!!! I really want to try these...

  3. These are great! I always see palettes and think there has to be something cool I could do with these, and YOU did it!!!! Wish I had room in my backyard. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Oh my gosh... so creative! What I really love about palettes is you never have to fear leaving them outdoors. Very cool!


  5. Oh I adore this project. It is going in my style file for sure!

    Happy 4th of July!

  6. Great idea. I will RT, thanks ;)

  7. Oh Em Gee. I am SO making these for our yard.

  8. Great idea! Love the idea of saving old pallets like that and they look cool too.

  9. these are fabulous chairs...saw the photo on pinterest and had to come see for myself...would love for you to link this to my fridays unfolded sometime!

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  10. Hi Titti,
    I am a Brazilian architect and urban planner who do design and construction by combining and focusing on ecology and sustainability. I am involved with education and environmental conservation for many years and also am a fervent advocate of conscious consumption and 5Rs.
    I have a blog where I write about these issues and also about recycling and reuse of materials also for decoration and related topics.
    I met his blog on the internet and liked it so much the result of his work that have taken the liberty to translate, revise and publish my blog in the step-by-step of your project with pallets. Of course, properly citing and linking his name and his blog, back in my article.
    I would love to visit to see it and maybe we can exchange many ideas going forward. What do you think?
    Well, the invitation is there and you can see the full article at:
    I await your visit and comments.
    Sorry if my translation from Portuguese into English is not completely understood.
    Congratulations to your job here!!!
    Best wishes,
    Lecy C. Picorelli

  11. I really enjoyed that post and hope you don't mind but I pinned you on Pinterest.
    Thanks for sharing your skills.

  12. Wow... what a great way to upcycle those pallets! I am going to try this... I can just imagine reclining in the sun on the chairs we built!

  13. An organization in my community called Red Balloon made a garden work center out of pallets. I wish I could send you a photo on here. It is the cutest!! Great job on the loungers!! They are fantastic!!

  14. Hi Titti
    I 've seen these before... but just saw them again at they looked great!

    way to go...Patricia

  15. wow if there gone from your house I stole them they are awesome.just right color too. To bad you don't live in Utah you could have got the paint for free at the dump I would call your local landfill in summer and ask if they have re-use shed for paint and chemicals Ours is totally free because it cost them more to destroy the paints its a win win situation for everyone..
    I'm looking for you pinterest button so I can save it. Thanks Diane

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. where do you get free pallets like these?

  18. Love the idea! Where can you find free pallets?

  19. I like this very simple but lovely design of pallets. Otherwise, the pallet was originally designed to help with the import and export of various goods internationally. The military benefited greatly from the introduction of 'palletization' as placing goods on pallets freed up men for other services. As the need for safe, reliable cargo transport increased, so did the pallet industry. The pallet industry has now become a standard for shipment, cargo transport and international export and import of goods.

  20. wow very attractive designs please give me how much time it will to get ready if we do.
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  21. Remove all the bottom boards of the pallet and the two outside middle boards. Leave the one or two ...

  22. Great job on these! I wanted you to know that I encountered a craigslist seller who is claiming that these are his photos. Maybe you could add a logo to your pics to keep people from "borrowing" them?

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I really appreciate you taking the time to comment because I know you didn't have to. Additional ideas or related techniques are always welcome, the more we brainstorm the better all of our end products will be.
While I try to answer all comments I sometimes don't make it or have your contact info. If you don't hear back from me it doesn't mean I hate you, I just ran out of time (or simply had no way of contacting you).
I wish you a great day!

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