Pallet benches offer somewhere convenient and comfortable to sit, typically in the yard but sometimes on the patio, the porch, or even in the house. Building your own not only gives you the sense of satisfaction that comes from constructing a functional item, but it allows you to modify the design and customize the finish to your liking.
The plans below use old and recycled wood pallets as their primary material. You do need to ensure that the wood hasn’t rotted and that the original manufacturers didn’t use chemical preparations to treat the pallet. Generally, national pallets used for shipping within your own country won’t have been treated. Pallets used internationally, on the other hand, should have a stamp on the wood. Look for those with an HT stamp, which means that they have been heat treated. Alternatively, a KD stamp means that they have been kiln dried and should be safe to use.
You should also consider filling any holes in the wood, but using recycled pallets means that you can enjoy a natural-looking bench with a design that keeps with the great outdoors. The wood is easy to paint and decorate, and well-sourced pallets can last for several years before they need replacing or recycling again. Below are 13 of the best pallet bench plans we’ve found online.
The DIY wooden pallet bench from Amy Latta Creations uses two half pallets and two quarter pallets, as well as a few pieces of 2×4. The bench is a simple design but looks effective once finished. The pallet ends form an attractive geometric finish for the arms of the bench, and the whole thing should take no more than an afternoon to complete. As with most of these projects, the DIY bench uses a nail gun. You can use a hammer and nails, but be aware that it will take a little longer.
The pallet bench plan is one of several found on the Instructables website, and this one is easy to make. There are no arms on this plan, but it will sit straight on a flat floor, like a patio or deck. It also only uses a single pallet, albeit with a few extra scraps of wood. The original poster made this for a family party, so it does have a “raw finish,” but that gives it rustic appeal for a garden bench.
Benches are convenient and take up a small amount of room for the seating they offer. However, if you regularly entertain guests or have a large family, and you want to turn your pallets into seating for six or more people, this DIY pallet furniture plan from The Sassy Sparrow Blog enables you to do exactly that. You will need multiple pallets for this project —approximately 20, in fact — but you will be able to provide seating and a table for a large family for less than $50.
The wooden chillout bench plans from Freckles and Fluff are easy to follow, and the bench can be made in a couple of hours. Rather than having to concentrate on precise measurements to ensure that the legs and feet are steady on the ground, this plan uses two stacked pallets. The end result is a low bench ideal for chilling out. The blue color looks great too, although you can change this according to your exterior décor or garden design.
The corner pallet bench from Shanty 2 Chic is the corner piece for a modular bench or outdoor sofa. On its own, it’s just a block made from pallets. With the additional sections also available from the Shanty 2 Chic website, the benches have a high back and look quite comfortable when combined with attractive cushions.
The recycled pallet storage bench is another guide found on Instructables. This one is easy, as it is basically a rectangular box with a removable lid. The storage is great for keeping cushions, the kids’ toys, or practically anything else, and the bench should only take an hour or two to complete. The trickiest part of this design is ensuring that the lid fits snugly on the bench.
The Do Lee Noted DIY pallet bench takes a single pallet, and the builder has managed to create an elegant-looking piece from old recycled wood. They have painted their bench white and placed it on the front porch, giving a homey touch to the front of the property.
The R K Black outdoor patio bench design uses copier pallets to create a great-looking bench. They have combined two of these benches and added simple cushions to create a homey-looking outdoor seating area. They advise using pallets with minimal cracks and splinters. If your pallets are splintered, we strongly urge you to sand them down first.
These colorful garden bench plans from Homedit show the versatility of working with recycled pallets. The bench itself is simple, with no back and using a single pallet, but the painting of the top slats gives it a playful finish that is perfect for placing in the back yard.
Tree benches are functional and attractive. They offer you the benefit of shade from the tree, whether to avoid the sun’s rays or to hide from a light shower while still enjoying the fresh air. They also take advantage of the natural shape of the tree. This DIY hexagonal pallet tree bench plan is at Instructables. It uses up to six pallets, and you will benefit from the use of a miter saw to ensure that your hexagon is even and doesn’t have any large gaps between the seating areas.
Benches aren’t just useful in the garden. Hallway benches give you somewhere to sit while taking off your muddy shoes, and those with high backs that incorporate hooks also give you a convenient place to put your coat or jacket. The pallet hallways bench plans from Hometalk cost $30 to make and benefits from the high back with its diagonal pattern.
A day bed is, effectively, a bench with cushions. It can be used to lounge around on or to fall asleep on. Lovely Greens has shared plans to make a patio day bed that uses four pallets to create a lounging area, as well as a table section at the end perfect for holding drinks, a book, or plants.
Jenna Burger’s outdoor pallet sofa design is basically a sofa frame, but you can add whatever you want to the top. Add cushions to create a sofa all the way along or leave a section of the base free to use as a table. The creators used pallets that they picked up for free from a local hardware store, which kept the cost of this particular bench down to less than $5.
Benches offer a convenient place to sit. They can be combined with a table section for convenience, and they can even be built around tree trunks to take advantage of the natural cover and shade that the tree affords. An indoor bench, made from recycled pallets, still looks great and provides a focal point as you enter the home. Check that you use good-quality pallets that have not been chemically treated, prepare the wood properly beforehand, and plan carefully to avoid mistakes and unnecessary work.
Featured Image Credit: Paul Sableman, Flickr
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!