Let’s face it; patio furniture is downright expensive.
Even cheap plastic versions aren’t all that cheap.
The investment is even more galling when you consider how short the lifespan of patio furniture can be, given relentless exposure to bright sunlight and the elements.
The answer? Build your own nearly free outdoor seating.
Although it might not be the first option that pops to mind, pallet wood is a fantastic material for creating extremely durable, comfortable, and low-cost outdoor furnishings.
Think about it.
Not only do you want your patio furniture to hold up to day after day of harsh sunlight, but it also needs to tolerate the occasional downpour.
Of course, it also has to handle the rough-and-tumble of a neighbourhood cookout or kids and pets having fun outside.
Build patio or deck furnishings out of pallets, and you’re using wood that was originally selected for its incredible strength, resilience, and durability.
This loveseat is a perfect example of the kind of extraordinary outdoor fixture pallets can become.
It will endure not only the elements, but also food and drink spills as well as rambunctious relatives and youngsters.
It’s small enough to fit even a tiny townhouse patio and comfortable enough to spend hours in.
This is such a cozy seating option that you may want to pair it with the Adirondack Chair on page 52 to create a seating group around a fire pit.
With fun, handsome, and durable seating like this waiting outside your backdoor, you may even find yourself spending more time outside the house than in it.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED 1 hour | Difficulty: Medium
Pry bar or hammer
Power drill and bits
Circular saw or
6” wood screws
6” lag screws
1 1/2” wood screws
2” finish nails
4” lag screws
Seat and back cushions
Paint, stain, or other finish
HOW YOU MAKE IT
- Remove the deck boards from the bottom of a pallet. Set the pallet on a clean, flat, level work surface (the ends of the stringers will be pointing to the front). Set another pallet on top. The stringers should be aligned and the pallets should be flush side to side and front to back. Stringer notches, if any, should all be facing down.
- Bar-clamp the panels. Screw the pallets together by driving 4” wood screws down at an angle through the ends of the top stringers and into the top edges of the stringers below. Screw the end deck boards together with 1 1/2” wood screws, using four per side.
- Remove one end deck board from the top of a third pallet. Place it on top of the two base pallets. Screw it to the pallet below, in the same way you joined the lower two pallets.
- Nail two deck boards across the front ends of the stringers with 2” finish nails, to form a fascia on the front of the loveseat.
- Remove the deck boards from the bottom of a pallet. Cut the stringers 25” long, removing a top deck board as necessary to make the cut. This will form the back of the
loveseat. Use a speed square and pencil to mark a 15° angle on the face of each stringer at the cut end. Use a circular saw to make the angle cuts.
- Enlist a helper to place the seatback in position, with the cut stringer ends sitting flush on the exposed stringers of the top pallet. Drill angled holes through the edges of the back’s stringers, down into the top of the seat stringers. Countersink the holes and fasten the back to the top seat pallet with 6” lag screws.
- Sand the loveseat all over. Remove any splinters and smooth any rough sections. Paint or stain the loveseat if desired, or leave it natural to blend with the landscaping. Make the loveseat more comfortable by adding seat and back cushions.
CREATIVE OPTIONS FOR PATIO LOVESEATS
Although the design of the patio loveseat is meant to be both compact and attractive, you can customize your loveseat to better suit the dimensions and features of your yard.
Convert to perimeter seating for small yards.
Remove the back from this loveseat and the base can be attached directly to fencing around the outside of a small yard, to take up the smallest footprint while still offering plenty of seating.
Screw the base directly to wood or plastic fencing; drill holes in the base and wire it to cyclone or steel wire fencing.
Exploit large outdoor areas by using multiples of the loveseat.
This design doesn’t include arms, which makes it easy to join multiple loveseats into a large seating structure that might work better in a long narrow yard or just to border one edge of a large patio or deck.
Go poolside by lowering the loveseat.
Omit the bottom layer of pallets for the seat to put this loveseat on the level of a chaise lounge and adapt it for use next to a pool.
Capture it between large plants in a dense garden.
The loveseat is just as usable in a setting where it will serve as a standalone bench.
Blend it into a thoughtfully designed ornamental garden by positioning it next to a path and put planters on either side with tall or bushy growing shrubs or ornamental trees.