Spring DIY garden project: Shabby chic pallet lounge


It doesn’t matter if you've recently purchased a home, you're about to jump into the housing market or you simply love where you live and are staying put, spring is a time to get the most out of your garden!

There is nothing quite as satisfying as getting stuck into a DIY project on a Saturday morning, sun shining, you have your tools, materials, space allocated and you may even have a few little helpers running around.

Remembering that a DIY project should be enjoyable, the key is to follow the instructions, ensure that you have all the safety gear on and, of course, you're taking the time to have some fun along the way.

So why not set some DIY goals this spring? Here’s a simple DIY project to create a shabby chic low budget outdoor pallet lounge that you and your guests will enjoy all year round.

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Materials:

  • 25 pallets (10 standard pallets & 15 with no gap between the planks in different sizes)
  • Wood stain or paint to protect the timber pallets
  • Screws and brackets

Tools:

  • Cordless screwdriver
  • Pad sander
  • Paint brush or spray gun
  • Spirit level
  • Saw

Step 1 – Prep your space

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First, you’ll need to decide where you want to position your lounge. You’ll need enough space to lay out 15 pallets in a square configuration. Keep in mind it will be on a raised platform, so you'll need a nice level area.

Next lay out the pallets into the configuration you’re happy with, and then mark around the perimeter. Remove all the grass from that area and rake the surface flat – you don’t want any grass or weeds coming through your new pallet terrace floor over time.

Once your site is clear of any trees, grass or plants you’re ready to get cracking on your terrace floor.

Step 2 – Build the terrace floor

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With your space cleared, arrange the pallets into the configuration you settled on earlier. As you go along screw each pallet in place using brackets to ensure they are flat and straight.

Once you have created your floor, sand the timber to ensure it can be walked on with no shoes and there are no protruding nails or screws from the pallet’s former life. Take the time to sand it back properly so your new outdoor zone is perfectly smooth and comfortable.

Finally, cover the wood floor in a wood glaze or seal with an outdoor paint to ensure the wood is protected and will last the test of time.

Step 3 – Building your lounge

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Three pallets make up one section of your couch. Use two pallets stacked on top of each other to make the base and one pallet on its side to make up the backrest.

The idea is to create an L-shaped couch, comprising of three sections. There are two units that are identical for the sides, while the centre or corner unit will require two backrests.

In creating the corner unit, this is where things can become tricky. Depending on the size of your pallets, you should be able to place an additional pallet up against the corner unit to provide the second required back rest for the corner unit. If your pallets are the same, there should be no issues in arranging this so there is no gap.

Screw the pallets together using brackets to create each section, then screw the sections together – once they are in place on your terrace floor.

Step 4 – Finishing touches

Depending on your personal preference, you should finish the couch in a stain, paint or glaze which will not only be visually appealing but will add protection to your new outdoor structure. In choosing a colour such as white glaze, you will add a beachy shabby chic look, which with a few scatter cushions is extremely effective. The final look is totally your call, and you might want to create a look that ties into the rest of your outdoor area or the architectural style or colouring of your home.

Don’t forget to purchase some durable outdoor cushions for the base and back, they don’t necessarily need to match, they just need to provide a soft landing for you and your guests to sit on and enjoy.

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Step 5 – Little extras

If you have a few left over pallets you could stack these up, attach with screws and brackets and create a coffee table. Ideally, you'll use the pallets with no gap between the slats or your table may have limited uses. If the table is too big, then consider cutting the size down to suit the space. At the end of the day, you can create as many additional pieces as you have the pallets for including side tables, foot rests or planters.

Step 6 – Maintenance

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Now that you've created the envy of all your friends and family in terms of an attractive affordable outdoor setting that offers you a space to sit and enjoy the afternoons, nights or mornings with your loved ones – you should take care of it.

Make sure you treat your outdoor lounge setting with a regular coat of glaze, paint or stain to protect it so that it lasts throughout the seasons and continues to look good. As needed you can sand it back and repaint it giving it a whole new lease on life.

So there you have it, with some second-hand materials, a small back yard space, a bit of elbow grease and some ingenuity you can create an outdoor area that is multipurpose, durable and doesn’t cost the earth.

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