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How To Make A Patio Chair Using Wooden Pallets

Updated on October 8, 2013

Eliminate All Thoughts That Tell You That You Cannot Do This

We will begin with the assumption that if this writer can do this project then just about anyone can do it. It really is that simple.

Consider the fact that if you can obtain two wooden pallets for free then the only cost of this project will be the cost of eight screws. When you are done you will have a lovely patio chair that you could easily sell for between $25-$50. If, however, you do not sell it but instead set it on your patio, you will be treated to some comfortable relaxation for years to come, and you could very easily become the envy of your neighborhood. All for the cost of eight screws!

I don’t know about all of you, but the cost of living has me always looking for ideas that can save me money. Add to that the fact that I always feel good after completing a DIY project. This really is the perfect project for someone looking to adopt a Living Simple lifestyle.

Are you ready?

Great addition to your patio
Great addition to your patio | Source
Pallets are easy to find
Pallets are easy to find | Source

Items You Will Need

Most of you will have these items already; if not, there is a great chance that you have friends who can loan them to you. You will need:

· 2 wooden pallets

· Flat pry bar

· Nail puller

· Tape measure

· Miter saw

· Stainless steel screws

· Screw gun

Where do you find wooden pallets? How about everywhere? Go to practically any business that receives shipments and you will find pallets in the back of their business. Make sure you ask them nicely if you can have a couple of the pallets. We don’t want you being arrested for stealing. That would ruin the whole project now wouldn’t it?

The miter saw is not necessary but it sure makes it easier. If you want you can use an old-fashioned hand saw. The same can be said about the screw gun; you don’t need it but man oh man, it sure makes things so much less-complicated.

One last word about the pallets: pallets come in varying sizes. It is best to use the larger pallets, most of which measure 40”x48” for this project, but you can make smaller chairs out of smaller pallets using the same instructions.

All you will need for these projects

Easy Instructional Video

Furniture waiting to be built
Furniture waiting to be built | Source

How to Make the Chair

You have seven easy steps to follow.

1. Take one pallet and lay it down on a work surface with the top facing up. Using the pry bar, pry up the first two boards from one end of the pallet. Do this carefully as it is easy to crack or break the wood. This step calls for some patience as you slowly pry up the boards.

2. Pull any nails out of the boards that you just pried up. If you don’t have a nail puller, you can do this the old-fashioned way by pounding the nails out using a hammer. Remove any stray nails from the pallet after you have removed the boards. When you are done, set those two boards aside for later use.

3. Moving down the pallet, skip one board and then pry off the fourth board using the same technique. After you have removed that board you can set this pallet aside. This will be the seat assembly of your chair.

4. Take two boards that you pried off of the seat assembly and cut them to a 12” length. These will be the front legs of your chair.

5. Take your seat assembly pallet and lift up the end opposite where you removed the boards. Place one front leg on each side of the raised end and screw four screws into the leg and attach it to the pallet. You should now have two front legs attached to your seat assembly.

6. Place the second pallet on your work surface with the top facing up. Remove half the boards from one end using the pry bar, and pull the nails as you did in Step 2. This pallet is your seat back assembly. The ends with the removed boards function as the back legs of your chair.

7. Insert the seat back assembly pallet end with the back legs down through the fourth board opening in the seat assembly pallet. Lower it down until the back legs rest on the work surface. Fasten the seat back to the seat by screwing four screws through the back legs into the seat assembly pallet.

Congratulations! You now have a lovely patio chair that will be the envy of your neighbors and friends, and it took you what, an hour to make? Two hours?

Do you think you could make one of these chairs?

See results

Additional Steps

Now you can sand it down. If you like the wood finish, then varnish it and/or put an outdoor sealant on it. If you want to add some color to your patio, then get funky and paint it to match your personality.

Oh, but we are just getting started. Stay tuned for the next project, which is a wooden pallet patio table. There are so many great projects that you can complete using wooden pallets, and the beauty of them all is that they are so inexpensive to make.

Stay tuned for the next great project. Until then, enjoy those chairs and for goodness sake, don’t tell your neighbors how easy they are to make. Maybe you can sell a few to them and make some extra cash.

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you old patents. I'm glad you liked this. They are very easy to make and they do last for a very long time.

    • old patents profile image

      Marc 2 years ago from Noosa Heads

      Love the chairs. Reminds me as an upholsterer of the many original Genoa lounges that I recovered post war that all had old pallets as the framing timber. Nearly everything was full pallet slat width so quick to knock up and so over engineered they lasted like forever.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ben, I have no idea, but if done well I would be amazed if you couldn't get at the very least $50 per chair.

    • profile image

      ben 4 years ago

      Anyone know how much I could sell one of these for or if people even buy them I was thinking of making some pallet furniture and selling it at the flee market

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      arghhh....either sand down the legs a half inch on each leg, or use a smaller pallet for the back assembly.....good luck and thanks for stopping by....if you use a smaller pallet then you might need a small piece of wood to make up the difference in width.....kind of a shim. :)

    • profile image

      arghhh 4 years ago

      I don't understand step 7....the back assembly and the seat assembly are the same width...how does the back assembly slide down through the seat? Does this require two different sized pallets? I have an bunch of pallets at my disposal and was looking for a fast fundraiser idea for the school...but I can get past this step. If only I could see a picture of this step.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Habee, I love to hear that. Good luck with them and thanks for the visit.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 4 years ago from Georgia

      Too cool! I want two of these chairs for my deck. Hubby is very handy, so I'm sending him to look for pallets. Thanks! Voted up, etc.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, wouldn't that be a great side job? Working out of a garage or something, making pallet chairs and selling them for $25-$50 each? Man, maybe I should do that instead of writing. LOL

      Thanks my friend.

      bill

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy... what say we open up shop together... I love this, simple, effective and best of all something we can all create saving and reusing... well done my friend... Now a good use for Tupperware would be a great hub... Come on I know you love the stuff...lol

      Hugs and respect my friend...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      kitkat, they are as comfortable as an Adirondack chair; we go to Goodwill and pick up cheap cushions for ours.

    • kitkat1141 profile image

      kitkat1141 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love this idea. Thanks for the inspiration. I like the idea of painting them different colors like shown in your picture. Are they comfortable?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha...LOL...I had one in college and loved it.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      You're not cheap, Bill, you're intuitive. I've made coffee tables out of spools of thick electrical wire. They are just the right circumference and height for a short shit like me!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, we are actually making a couple this weekend and then we'll go to the Goodwill to find some cushions. The perfect project for someone cheap like me. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, this seems so easy, not to mention cost effective. What a wonderful project! Add some decorative pillows that cushion the butt and the back and there you go!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tammy, I actually thought about you and Jamie when I was writing this hub. I know you would love these chairs if you gave it a try. We are going to make a couple next weekend, and I will be more proud of them than if I went out and bought new patio furniture. Thanks my friend and happy building!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, this project was made for you. Go online and google wooden pallet projects, and look at the pictures of some of the creative ideas out there. You will fall in love with pallets like I have. :) Thanks for stopping by my dear friend.

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I love this creative idea! It seems like there are unused pallets EVERYWHERE. This is a great project for recyclers like myself and its great for the environment. Excellent, easy to follow instructions. I want to make some for my porch!

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

      Bill, This is really creative.. I love this idea! I am always seeing pallets just sitting by dumpsters and most times when I check Craigslist "free" section there is usually someone trying to get rid of a bunch of them. I have always thought these were perfectly good pieces of wood that can be used for building things. I think they would make a nice headboard for a bed. I love these chairs, they are really nice! Great hub, very useful and what a way to save $$$$! Thank you for sharing :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Becky, please believe me, you can do this chair project. I am no carpenter and even I breezed through this. :) Thanks for the visit and have a great weekend.

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      So cool.... the girlfriend and I ALWAYS see pallets. We'ce come up with several ideas but that's where the mental projects stop because neither of us have the "know-how".

      Thanks for opening up a wide variety of pallet projects.

      ~Becky

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vespa, I was just going to visit you today. What a lovely surprise my friend and believe me, if I can do this then anyone can. In fact, I'm going hunting for pallets tomorrow. Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I love the idea of making a chair from wooden pallets. You never know, we might just have a patio in our new home that would be a perfect resting spot for these chairs. You make me feel like even I could pull this off! Thanks for more great ideas to save money and live more simply.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I'm thinking the same thing. I'm considering it to make some spare cash. Thanks for dropping by my friend.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Good job, Billy. Sounds like this could turn into a lucrative business if one plays their cards right.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cool, Ruchira. If you do try it you won't be disappointed. Thank you again!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, suzzycue! How could someone not like this project? Thanks for the visit.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      I love such chairs cause they are so comfortable. Would give it a try :)

      thanks Bill

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great project Bill and it looks good too. My kind of project it cost next to nothing and almost no time to make. Awesome.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tell your husband I'm sorry, Glimmer. LOL I'm going to make a couple new ones in the next couple of weeks as soon as I get some new pallets.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mark; this really is a simple and fun project.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Ha - These chairs look awesome. Sitting out on my deck on a hot summer day. I'm going to have to show my husband this and put him to work. Cool hub!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Great ides Bill, simple, cheap, and surely fun!

      Mark

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Helly, yeah, you can do it!!!! LOL Paula, you slay me! I want a picture and a hub detailing you making this chair. I'll be looking for it. I swear I'm going to make a bunch of these and sell them this summer.

      Thanks buddy; rock on!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Get OUT! I LOVE this project! Hell, yeah, I could tackle this....and I plan on it..soon as Spring shows her face. I hung out with my Dad, the super Handyman.....I got "Talent with Tools," Bill!......thanks!! UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, there will always be an empty chair with your name on it if you head west some day. Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I would hardly call this from scratch. This is just using something already partially constructed. I'll let you know how mine turn out this spring, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, one hour...that's all it takes. A small price to pay for responsible living. :) Thank you!

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      DIY, seriously? lol Come on, I'm just having a bit of fun with you. Actually, this is quite creative too. You are the King of Pallet projects. I am so impressed. I would sit a spell in your pallet chairs anytime. :-)

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Though I was quite handy around the house, I never built anything from scratch.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      These projects will certainly promote recycling, reusing and self-sufficiency...all it takes is people taking the time to do them!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, just between you and me I get seven hours of sleep each night. I am a pretty regimented individual; when it's time to write then I write continually until it's' time to quit, and thankfully I don't seem to run out of inspiration for ideas. :) If I ever run into writer's block I don't know what I'll do. LOL Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I hope you get a chance to try this one; I think you will be pleased with the results. :) Thank you!

    • profile image

      Vickiw 4 years ago

      This is so great - almost as stunning as the fact that you can come up with these myriad instant articles. I'm just reeling at how you manage it all! Just between you and me - how many hours sleep do you get per day?

      Great article. I can't wait to make a few for summer , when it comes.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Doesn't get much easier than this. Great idea. If you can read and follow directions then you can do this. Amazing how you can turn pretty much nothing into something so useful. Another project to add to the list. Great job Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kelly, I think they look cool too, and they are soooo easy to make. I'm amazed more people aren't making them. :) Thank you my friend; I appreciate you stopping by.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      That's a really cool idea Bill! I love the way that looks, kind of rustic and antiqued. Can't wait to see the table!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I know for a fact that you can do this. It really is that easy, even without the miter saw. :) I hope you give it a try my friend, and thank you for the visit.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from Northern California, USA

      This is my kind of project. I think I can do this! Free? I'm all over it. Now, I can hardly wait to see that patio table. By the way, the guy in the video is HILARIOUS! Fractal mathematics? I'm still laughing, but he sure knows how to make a mean pallet chair. Great hub, billybuc.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      God bless the tree huggers of the world, Sheri! :)

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      I really like ideas that make something out on nothing or what some people call "junk". I am a tree hugger after all!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Sheri!

      Most definitely, pallets make great compost bins. I think a lot of people hesitate on the chair idea because it is so foreign to their thinking. The pallets really do make a lovely chair with a coat of paint.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Very nice! I once made compost bins from pallets. It worked great as it let air circulate. These would be fun to try. Thanks.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, you are the trouble-maker and I love you for it. :) You are me at a younger age....heaven help you. LOL

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I'm the troublemaker who said "no way". Pallet-chair fail!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Honestly, Nell, it is that easy. I am not a carpenter; I have no skills at all with regards to crafts. Even I can do this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kas, this is so simple that I almost didn't write a hub about it. I can make one of these in one hour....and I'm being dead serious when I say that. I am questioning why I don't make a bunch of them and sell them. :) Do it, buddy; you won't regret it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Carol! I don't know about miracles. My basic premise is if I can do it then anyone can, and I'm dead serious about that. This truly is easy. :)

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      What a great idea! I could certainly use these for my balcony, you make it sound so easy! another great idea for summer, nell

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Bill, I'm so intrigued by this. You rascal, you sucked me in with the colorful chair picture! How did you know I was a mouse wanting a piece of cheese? When I get a chance, I may end up doing this one day! I won't tell my neighbors either, that's hilarious. Voting up!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      You do miracles with wooden palates...Probably not going to tackle this but it looks good..And you are the master at saving dollars and creating wonders. Looks goodBill..so I will have to Pin it for others to try.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kathryn! This is such an easy project and it always turns out looking so nice. If I had the time I would make these and sell them.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I used to work in the receiving department of a store, and we always had more pallets than we needed. We had a guy regularly come by and pick them up for free, just to get them out of the way. I'd imagine there are a lot of places that would be eager to give away some of them!

      I love the idea of reusing things to make something new, especially when they are functional, and look decent. What a creative project!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      My pleasure, Eric! Thank you!

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      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very cool. thanks

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, thank you! This really is a very cool project and it literally can be done in an hour. I hope your dad likes it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, the miter saw isn't necessary. I used a hand saw and it worked fine...and yes you could do this! But hell, leave it to the boys to play with. LOL Thanks my friend!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Yes, I am telling myself that I cannot do this. My eyes glossed over at the mention of a miter saw. However, I am bookmarking this for the hubby. I'm thinking it would be a great father-son project come spring.

      Rated up Bill! ;-)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Two articles in one day from you. You are spoiling us Bill!! Seriously, totally passing this on to my good old dad, who would love this one. Thanks and he has already read a few from you and totally loving all the good suggestions!! Thanks and have also voted way up and tweeted, too!!