I’m so excited about today’s pallet loveseat bench! It’s unlike any bench I’ve ever built. I was featured in a Special Issue of Country Sampler Magazine. They sent me a complimentary copy and as I was perusing through it I found the perfect bench for my new backyard Camper Retreat. More about my feature later. . .
While doing the backyard outdoor overhaul I got several deliveries via pallets. One of those deliveries was on a concrete pallet. These kinds of pallets are generally much sturdier, and often require a deposit and are suppose to be returned. Lucky for me, that pallet was on the top of this pile!
Dismantle a Pallet with a Duckbill Deck Wrecker
Of course I used my favorite Duckbill Deck Wrecker to take apart the pallet. Even though this was a strong pallet, this tool made easy work of the demolition. See my post Pallet Projects plus Tips for Dismantling Pallets for more details.
To completely dismantle the pallet, it took me only 10 minutes. How do I know? I checked the timestamp of the photos above.
Remove Nails from Pallet Boards
After the pallet was dismantled, I tapped and pulled the nails out of each board. You can see details of that on the post mentioned above.
I really, really wanted this to be a “one pallet project”. But, as I was designing it in my head, I knew that I would need more lumber. I went to the wood shed and chose a couple of nice weathered 2x4 boards to supplement the supply of wood for the pallet love seat bench.
Before we get started, here’s the image from the magazine that inspired me to make this pallet love seat. It didn’t really give me much to go on, so I had to start from scratch.
How to: Pallet Love seat Bench
I love it when a simple project begins with a box frame. It seriously doesn’t get any easier than this. Using two drills, one for a drill bit and one for a screw bit makes this job quick and easy. I pre-drilled pilot holes and secured the box that will become the seat of the pallet love seat with 3” wood screws.
Design stage of Pallet Love Seat Bench
Because I only had one image to pull from, I sort of had to make this up as I went along. Usually my benches are about 19” off the ground. I guessed about the height of armrests and cut my pallet 2x4’s accordingly. The boards are on a slight slant, so my job was to figure out the angle at which to cut the top and bottom of each leg. I used quick clamps to hold the legs temporarily.
The base of the pallet love seat was set on the ground for further inspection.
How do I know what angle to cut?
In my defense, I realize the bubble is not centered, therefore it’s not level. But this method ended up working perfectly. If I had a couple of extra hands it would have gone smoother and quicker. The key is to make sure the ground you’re working on is level. Mine is not. I had to make adjustments to the bubble to make up for that. It really is an easy way to find the angle, which in this case was 15°. That is on both ends of each 2x4.
Note: the angles on each end are opposite! I cut one board, tested it, and then used it to mark the other three boards.
How to remove stubborn nail in pallet board
Pallet board nails can be very stubborn and difficult to remove from the 2x4’s. Some of the nails I had hammered in and left them. However, this nail had to be removed because it was right near my cut line. There was no avoiding it. Vice grips are a valuable tool for women who DIY and may lack the strength to manage these stubborn nails.
I locked the vice grips onto the nail and proceeded to unscrew it. Have you ever noticed that pallet nails look more like screws than nails? They are shot in with a twisted motion. Righty Tightly Lefty Lucy. You can see the progression of the nail as I continued to turn it. In the last image notice how close the hole is to the cut line. There’s really no way to know for sure if that nail shot in straight. Better safe than sorry!
Clamp your pieces to get them right
Can you see it all coming together? I moved to my regular bench building spot on the driveway. This spot tends to be the most level. At this point nothing is attached to the box seat yet. I need to make sure the seat is level and that all four legs are positioned properly to accept the armrests.
Pallet Love Seat Bench: Secure legs, add support brace
All four legs are now secured, and a middle brace has been added to give extra support to the pallet love seat boards.
Dry Fit All Boards
This concrete pallet had thick boards on one side, and thinner boards on the other side. That worked perfectly, allowing me to use those good sturdy boards for the seat, and the thinner boards for the back of the pallet love seat bench.
The seat boards were cut to size, and the back boards were cut in half.
Ripped 2x4 as back support brace
For the support of the back board on the pallet love seat, I ripped a 2x4 on the table saw.
Poor design of a pallet love seat bench
This is where things got a little crazy. Remember, I was making this up as I went along, using the inspiration photo as a guide. Stick with me as I try to figure this out.
The bench in the magazine showed the back support resting on top of the armrests. I didn’t question it, I just went with it. (for now)
Use two Drills
Again, I use dueling drills for pilot holes and screws. I secured all the seat boards.
How to cheat on an arched design
After attaching the back support, and each of the back boards to said support, I drew an arched design. Again, because that is the appearance my inspiration photo had.
hahah! Did you think I drew that arch freehand? As I went to the wood shed to find the jig we used on my DIY picket fence, I stumbled across the perfect twin headboard! So, I traced the line.
Cut the arch with a Jigsaw
My jigsaw was perfect for cutting the arch on the back of the pallet love seat bench! Easy Peasy!
Add boards to angled front legs of pallet bench
I had just enough of the heavy duty boards to add to the front of the bench, just like the inspiration photo. Do you see what I did with the armrests?
Round off armrests for comfort
To make the armrests more comfortable, I traced a bungee cord container and cut the 2x4 with my jigsaw. Then it was time to sand everything, including the rounded off armrests.
Calling it (not quite) done
Do you ever have one of those light bulb moments when you look at a picture you took? You know, the ones where you don’t see it when it’s right in front of you, but then when looking at a photo—THERE it is! That slap your forehead moment. You probably would have seen it way back but I hinted about it.
Time to move that stupid board from atop the back brace to the bottom of the back brace (on the armrests). Saying it sounds simple, but of course it wasn’t.
For some reason, I couldn’t get a clear picture of this step, the phone just would NOT focus. The screws were removed, and the brace was placed under the armrests. Of course I had to take out all of the screws I had put in the back. I hadn’t mentioned yet, that I put screws in the bottom (back) of each back slat. See them in this photo.
Finally! My new Pallet Love Seat Bench is d.o.n.e. Nope—not yet. I still have to paint it.
Paint Pallet Bench with a Finish Max
To make painting quick and easy I used my Super Finish Max Extra with the green nozzle.
Using white paint I did a base coat on the pallet bench with the paint sprayer.
How I landed in Facebook jail
Yep, this is the post that landed me in Facebook jail. There was so much activity and I responded by liking and commenting. That immediately got me kicked off facebook. They made me change my password, and I had to PROVE it was me. Then I was restricted from liking and sharing stuff on facebook for several days. The overwhelming majority of comments said orange was perfect.
Related content: How I made outdoor cushion covers and pillows.
I used my Behr paint deck to browse so many colors. This Florida Sunrise in Exterior Semi-Gloss was my choice!
It’s definitely out of my comfort zone. What do you think?
How about with some colorful pillows on it? This is a better representation of the true color.
If you love this, pallet project, check out the PALLET COFFEE TABLE I made to go with it!
Now, about my feature in Country Sampler Magazine. Back in the fall they contacted me to ask if they could feature my Repurposed Shutter Vertical Garden Succulent Planter. The issue hits newsstands TODAY. It's always fun to be featured. As I said at the top of this post, I really enjoyed looking at all the wonderful garden ideas in this issue.
See the details on this vertical garden shutter here. Stop by on Friday to see the big reveal of the backyard camper retreat makeover.
sharing at Salvaged Junk Projects
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.