If you follow along on Instagram, you know I was recently working on a DIY pallet couch project for my outdoor balcony! This project takes a little bit of elbow grease, but is so cute in the end. This step-by-step guide walks you through how to make a DIY pallet lounge and style it so your outdoor space is dreamy, on a budget!
MATERIALS YOU NEED & WHERE TO GET THEM
8-10 Pallets: don't spend money on these, you can get them for free. I got them from my local hardware store (Bunnings, which is like Australia's version of Home Depot) and they gave them to me for free. You can also do a quick Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace search for "free pallets" and you'll find heaps of options.
Drop Cloth Canvas: this is typically a painter's sheet to prevent messes, but these canvas ones are outdoor friendly, water and mold resistant, and come in a cute natural color, so can easily be used for the perfect outdoor cushion cover.
2 king size foam mattress toppers: you can find these at Target, Kmart, Walmart, etc.
Outdoor pillows: you can find cute outdoor (it's important they are outdoor so they're weather resistant if you plan on keeping them outside!), about $10-20 each. I recommend 18"x18" or 20"x20". You can buy outdoor pillow covers on Etsy or other online retail stores. Rather than covers, you can also buy outdoor pillows at retail stores for a bit more. Pillow inserts, if you opt for the pillow cover option above, you can find on Amazon Prime here.
Option to stain the pallets if you want as well.
These items above should cost you about ~$80-140 USD, depending on wood stain and pillows.
HOW TO MAKE THE PALLETS:
Select what size fits best in your space. Here are the dimensions I used, but I've seen this done at larger scale. I picked the size so it wouldn't completely overtake my entire space! (FYI my sizes are in mm since my measuring tape in Australia is the metric system... sorry Americans, you'll have to do some converting!)
Back rests: 2x varying lengths x L 750 mm (to be the same height) -- you can do more if you want the backrest to span all the way around
Corner seat: 2x W 585 mm x L 585 mm
Lounge seats: 4x W 585 mm x L 1165 mm
First, Cut the wood. For this, I hired an Airtasker/Task Rabbit for $50 AUD (~$35 USD). If you have a hand saw or a friend with one, you're in a better spot. It took about 45 minutes for the handyman to complete!
Then, stain the pallets if you are planning to. I think it looks cute without stain as long as you were able to find nice, clean looking pallets. Mine were a bit of a jumble, so I opted to stain them. Let them dry overnight.
Next, setup the backrests. You can choose how much or how little you use for these. I used one on each side, so the backrest really only supports the corner so it looks more minimalist. I plan to supplement pillows on the other sides where the wall shows.
Finally, stack the seat pallets. Each of the seats should be stacked 2 pallets high. Put the small 585x585 mm squares in the corner and the longer ones on each side to make an L-shaped lounge.
HOW TO MAKE THE CUSHIONS:
Once you've selected the size to cut your pallets to, you can get started on the cushions. First, you need to fold and cut your foam mattress toppers to the appropriate sizes. I folded mine in thirds so it was 3x as thick as the mattress topper initially was. Then, I used Gorilla Glue to hold it in place. Put something heavy on top of it once you've used the Gorilla Glue, and give it about 2 hours to dry.
Next, you'll cut your canvas to wrap around the cushions. Make sure you try to get a canvas about 2.5x the size of your cushion/pallet seat width so you can wrap it. You'll wrap the two short ends like a pillow and use the Gorilla Glue again throughout the entire length too, to glue the cushion to the pillow. Mine didn't quite fit and some cushion was showing, so I also cut some patches for the bottom and glued those to the initial canvas. Once the cushion is glued, make sure to put something on top of it and let it dry for 2 hours.
Easy as that!
Pro tip - I sadly didn't realize it was best to fold the egg crate side in for a smooth cushion... so luckily you can learn from my mistake!
DON'T FORGET TO STYLE IT!
I added some bohemian looking pillows. I used a mix of patterns and solids. I also added an outdoor blanket to add to this dreamy, bohemian look. You can add string lights above it, or a rug and side tables, or my favorite... plants!
PS: tag me in your pics on Instagram, so I can see your finished projects!! I'd love to share it out!