How I built the pallet wood sofa (Part 2)

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

Welcome to Part 2 – How I built the pallet wood sofa

Part 1 – The Pallet Sofa Reveal is HERE

Sheesh… I just revealed a revamp of my patio. So what’s up with the change so soon?

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

Blame it on the mattress. :)

I found it at a thrift, intending to make it work with my willow furniture. But the more I played with it, the more I realized the size had a lot to do with the comfort.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

So, I dug deep into my wood vault and knew I had enough to pull my new plans off.

I collect pallet wood with wild abandon because I know one project can wipe my stock clean. Storage is another whole story as my garage suffers greatly, but ya gotta have stock to make stuff. So I resolve to have an ugly garage and cool stuff. :)

This build is all about the beauty of imperfection. Care was taken to use sturdy pieces where structure  counted. Other than that, it’s a fun piece that was designed and built by yours truly without patterns, guidance or advice. All I did was study some structures of existing benches, and with a quick sketch, revamped to suit and went for it.

My measurements are offered up only as a comparison guide. Ultimately, you’ll soon find you need to adjust all the measurements depending on your mattress and board availability.

The design

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

1. Find the mattress of your dreams.

24″ deep, 55″ wide, 6″ deep.

This guy was a whoppin’ $10. I was told it came off of a portable futon type sofa. All I know is it’s got layers upon layers of stuff I couldn’t possibly make myself for that price, so it came home.

Tip: make sure it’s a DEEP sit. The mattress should touch your inner knee. Mid thigh won’t cut it.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

2. Play.

I propped and sat and just played around until I figured out what I desired.

This is the most time consuming part. As I wasn’t going by any pattern, I went strictly by the thickness and size of the mattress, and what height felt comfortable to me when I sat down. I eventually had boxes and all sorts of things propped underneath to get a handle on it.

Ultimately you should be able to sit on the finished piece with your feet landing on the floor.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

I decided on a double pillow system because it was more comfortable than single. This told me I needed to be a little unorthodox with the build.

The white one is memory foam. Makes for a very supportive DECADENT sit.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

3. Measure.

 The two legs were used as a measuring guide for how large to make the (55″ wide) frame. The legs will sit on the outside of that frame for this design.

Building the frame

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

The thickness of the mattress indicated I needed a low sitting frame  since I wanted my feet to hit the floor when I sat.

Arm height was also indicated by the thickness of the mattress.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

I created center supports as well. I looked at how other benches were made and it didn’t seem right to put all the stress on side joints. This may not be necessary but I did it anyway.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

Planks were cut (5.5″wide x 30″ long) and set into place allowing for a slight overhang along the front.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

And screwed in. No nails in sight.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

The frame didn’t budge! Heavy duty materials and LOTS of screws did their job well.

The arms look abit bare here and could use more detail, however when everything’s in place, it looks fine.

The back rest

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

I noted the height of the pillows and the window in behind to determine how high (32″) I wanted the back rest to sit. The horizontal brace is held with one center screw to get a handle on placement.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

The boards were placed, then numbered.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

Using the deck floor seam as a measurement reference, I placed the boards wrong side up onto the supports. The mounting was done from behind so the screws were invisible.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

See? Nice and clean.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

See how the back height just misses the glass window view? This is the beauty of a custom build on site.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

I didn’t mount the back onto anything because I wanted it positionable depending on what pillows I had going on. Unorthodox at it’s best.

But I did think about how to mount it on permanently. I’d move the side arm supports WAY back and run a board across the two in behind so the thing had something to lean on and attach to somehow.

This is something I can still do if I ever desired. I didn’t go for it because I desired the back TALL. I think it would have to be shorter for this method. Who knows.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

And the double pillow system worked. I stole cushions from my indoor sofa so I may attach the back permanently when I land dedicated pillows for this guy.

The tools

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

I used a compound miter saw for all the cuts. The results were perfectly square cuts and effortless.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

After every cut, the wood received a good sanding, going through two grits of sandpaper. You can’t over sand pallet wood by the way. Extra attention was given to the arms or anywhere you touched.

You really don’t know what you’re up against with pallet wood so eye and breathing protection are musts. When I work with extra rough boards, I’ll even start off with gloves.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

All joins were done with predrilled holes and 4″ deck screws. The 3×3′s were oak and super dense. If I didn’t predrill, the screws snapped in half. Crazy solid stuff! But I liked the look of it and I had lots on hand.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

The end result was an ultra sturdy love seat that feels like a real sofa sit. My fav way to sit is pushing the pillows against one arm and sitting across the whole thing while reading. HEAVEN. :)

This resides on a covered patio protected from the elements. When the weather turns cold, the frame will be just fine in the snow while the cushions will be stored inside.

I don’t have plans to seal it with anything, however I probably would if it sat unprotected.

How I built the pallet wood sofa (part 2) via Funky Junk Interiors

Did you miss the big reveal post? Part ONE is  HERE.

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Categories: DIY, Furniture, How To Build, Outdoors, Tools & Building
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  1. Smart thinking to find the cushion first!! And I guess you just covered it with muslin or drop-cloth or something. Too smart!! You give woman-kind NO EXCUSES for not doing things ourselves. :)

  2. Simply inspiring. I have a growing pile of wood, which I am hoping will go with my shrinking fear of power tools. I’m getting there, keep the inspiration coming! Jules from bles-id

  3. Oh, my, I wanna’ be you when I grow up! Saw two pallets on Craigslist today and had this feeling I should have gone to get them…
    MommaMindy.blogspot.com

  4. I love it! I was inspired by your reveal, but couldn’t wait for the how-to so I grabbed my pallets, hand saw (ugh), and screws and figured it out as I went along. Pics are on my blog. I’m now looking for a seat cushion.

    Thanks for the idea, love your blog!

    Cherryblossomkindoflife.blogspot.com

  5. Wow it’s so nice!!! thanks for the tutorial! i want try as soon as possible…in the second week of august i take my holiday and i can try!
    kisses!
    Manu

  6. Wow! That piece is amazing! I’ve been mulling over using the crib mattress sitting in my attic for a love seat. Your project just pushed that idea to the forefront of my todo list. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Good job Donna!!! I have never waited for my hubby, I have my own tools, tool box and saws and he best keep his hands off. It all falls back to “if you want something done right…do it yourself”. If I waited for hubby it would never get done. My daddy taught me a lot growing up, he was a great handyman. Love your bench, and you had great help too.

  8. Hi Donna-

    It came out great. Love all the textures mixed together. I like the ottoman- nice detail and your helper is the cutest helper a girl could ask for.

    My best- Diane

  9. Genius! I love how you carefully figure everything out. The next thing I love is Cody’s help. I’ll bet he wants something like that for his room. Ann

  10. This is fantastic!! I love it. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for visiting my blog today and commenting on my chalkboard wall/family command center. I would be honored to be featured at your party! Thank you. Regards, Sarah

  11. oh girl! You were right in the end… my hubs is sitting here next to me… looking at my dream! lol. Thanks so much for ALL your inspiration. I think that HE thinks …’good thing SHE lives a long ways away…’ ha. we live in Arizona! And… yeah… we ARE gonna make one… after i find a cushion and after he gets his compound miter saw… maybe…..

  12. Can you please explain how to remove the individual boards from the whole pallet? I have the pallets, and can’t figure out how to break them apart?? I am interested to hear your technique.

    Thanks for a great tutorial : )

  13. Love this…. Thanks for sharing…. Pallets are dumped in neighborhood regularly, so I’ll I need to find is the pillows.

  14. i really like the stuff on your site. wish i could just visualize stuff from nothing. awesome job. i now have started making a bench seat like you show on your site. found a stack of free pallets and am going to give it a shot..

    thanks again
    david

  15. You didn’t mention how you attached the center 3×3 supports to the frame. I can’t see any screws so I assume the only way of doing it was with a single hanger screw like is used on removable table legs? You’re lucky to have access to pallets with those nice colored 3x3s. I never find any pallets with those.

  16. I just want to say.. I love your website! Not only are you creative, but you help the rest of us out by giving us instructions and encouragement. Thank You! and keep creating :)

  17. Last year I invested in a brand new sofa, which replaced a lovely little love seat. I wanted to save the fabric on the love seat so I started carefully taking it off. Then I decided to clean off everything from the frame.- which sat for a year…until I just got the idea of what to do with it from this blog!!!! I am going to cover the skeleton with pallet wood and use it on my veranda, like you have done with your adorable pallet wood love seat. THANK YOU so much for inspiring me. Will let you know how it’s going once I collect enough pallets to begin. Lis

  18. This seems like a simple project I can do with my son. He lost his dad going on 4 yrs and I am really trying to get it him into woodworking and using tools. Thanks for posting!

    Gina

  19. what an amazing project; this is exactly what i looked for the whole time. my boyfriend has to build this one for our balcony. thanks donna.

  20. im from tanzania, im so attracted with your tutorial on making the bench. now i want to know on building the sofa.

  21. Donna,

    I was a little confused on the dimensions of your sofa cushion. Is 55″ the length of the cushion, is 24″ the width and 6″ the thickness? My husband is outside building the frame as we speak! I can’t wait to add the finishing embellishments!