How To Build A Pallet Sofa: Easy Step-By-Step Guide

Learn how to build a small-scale pallet couch for your patio, garden or yard. This pallet sofa is easy to customize and perfect for any sized patio!

This post was updated July 2023.

Learn how to build a small-scale pallet couch for your patio, garden or yard. This pallet sofa is easy to customize and perfect for any sized patio!

Welcome to Part 2 – How To Build A Pallet Sofa

Part 1 – The Pallet Sofa Reveal is HERE

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

The passion for pallet furniture all started with a mattress.

This old mattress was found it at a thrift store, where I intended to use it as a cushion for some willow furniture I was using on my porch at the time. But the more I played with it, the more I realized the willow sofa just wasn’t comfy enough.

I wanted something that went far beyond standard patio furniture. Extreme comfort was the mantra, as if I dragged out my comfy living room sofa outdoors. Hmmm…

So I decided to figure out another plan…

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

 

After digging through my entire wood stash, I stacked all the wood on the front porch and reasoned I just may have enough to build a pallet sofa of my DREAMS.

At the time, I had sort of just started to build real things other than crafty things, such as siding my garden shed with reclaimed wood. And a pallet farm table styled desk. So  could pallet furniture be that much more difficult?!

Didn’t care. I just wanted it so I decided to go for it regardless of difficulty.

So this entire project was built with a mix of posts and boards from free pallets, and some other random reclaimed wood I had on hand.

Did I mention I collect reclaimed wood? Oh yes I do…

HERE is where I store it. Ok, some.

And HERE is a more updated photo of my current workshop.

Is building a pallet sofa difficult?

 

I’d rate this build at a skill level of medium, since all the wood was cut and was constructed from scratch.

However if you want a super EASY way to build one, check out the companion pallet chair HERE!

Anyway, this build is all about the beauty of imperfection. Care was taken to use sturdy pieces of lumber where structure counted.

Other than that, this DIY pallet couch 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.

And 11 years later, I’m still using it and loving 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.

So let’s build a pallet sofa for some super comfy luxury backyard outdoor living!

This post contains some affiliate links in which I earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases through these links, at no extra cost to you. Thank-you for helping to support my blog!

How To Build A Pallet Sofa:

Easy Step-By-Step Guide

 

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

Find a mattress of choice

 

This old mattress measures 24″ deep, 55″ wide, 6″ deep.

And cost me a whoppin’ $10. I was told it came off of a portable futon type sofa. All I know is I couldn’t make anything close for this price so it came home with me.

Tip: make sure the mattress you choose offers a deep sit. When sitting on it moving as far back as you can, the mattress should touch your inner knee. Mid thigh won’t cut it this round.


pallet wood patio chair build via Funky Junk Interiors

Update: I eventually replaced the futon mattress with this repurposed chunk of foam, getting it cut to the same size at an RV foam place. It is MUCH more comfy!

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

Dry-fit your pallet sofa plans

 

Being that I have never built a DIY outdoor pallet sofa before, I propped everything together and just played around until I figured out what kind of sofa frame 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 feel for where things needed to sit.

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

Measure out the frame needed

 

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.

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

Building the frame

 

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.

All lumber was cut on a miter saw, sanded using an orbital sander, then assembled using long wood screws with a cordless drill.

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

I created center supports for the outdoor pallet couch 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

Adding planks for the seat

 

Cedar planks were cut (5.5″wide x 30″ long) and set into place for the sitting area, allowing for a slight overhang along the front.

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

My son was assigned to attach the planks with screws.

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

That 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.

Update: I added some wider arm rest boards on top after the fact so there was no need for any side tables for my coffee.

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

Designing the back rest

 

Other random boards of all lengths were positioned along the back of the pallet sofa, resting on the frame.

I noted the height of the pillows and the house window to determine how high (32″) I wanted the back rest to be.

The horizontal board brace was attached with one center screw just to get a handle on placement.

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

Number the boards & mark the length

 

Each board was numbered, then marked for how long I wished them to be.

I chose a staggered look.

They were then cut to size.

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

Assembling the back rest to support boards

 

Using the deck floor seam as a measurement reference, I placed the pallet boards good side down onto two support boards.

The random back boards were attached to the mounting boards with screws from behind so the screws didn’t show from the good side.

 

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

Dry-fitting the backrest

 

With the backrest now intact, it positioned onto the pallet sofa frame to double check the fit.

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

A perfect fit! The backrest is sitting on part of the frame behind the arms.

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

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

How the backrest sits on the frame

 

The backrest wasn’t mounted onto anything because I wanted it positionable depending on what pillows I had to use. So it will just sit loose. Unorthodox at its 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.

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.

Update: I eventually attached the backrest to the house window frames to keep it intact.

The tools

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

More about the tools used

 

A compound miter saw was used to cut all the wood and posts. Perfectly square and effortless!


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

Each piece of wood recieved a good sanding, going through medium, then fine grit sandpaper. 

You cannot over sand pallet wood!

Extra attention was given to arm rests or anywhere one would touch.

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 wood joints 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

Visit the big reveal post with all the details HERE

The finished pallet sofa!

 

And the end result was an ultra sturdy pallet sofa or loveseat that feels like sitting on a real sofa! My favorite way to sit is pushing the pillows against one arm and sitting across the whole thing while reading. HEAVEN. 🙂

The pallet sofa is protected, as it sits on a covered patio with a PVC roof.

When the weather turns cold, the frame stays right where it is, but I do bring in all the cushions and seat. It’s a big of a pain, but I have space under a bed reserved for the seat cushion, so it’s all good!

The wood frame has never been wood treated for further protection. It hasn’t needed a thing.

View the subway styled chair and sofa look HERE

Build the crate coffee table from HERE

It’s now July 2023 that I’m updating this post. The pallet sofa is now 11 years old. And it continues to outperforms any seating I have ever owned. It’s comfy, gets a new look each summer, and it’s my #1 spot on my patio to enjoy every single day the weather cooperates!

And it’s never going anywhere. Ever. Unless I move. Then it’s coming with me.

In fact, I love the pallet sofa so much…

Learn how to make the pallet chair out of two pallets HERE

A good beginners build

I built an oversized pallet chair for outdoor use to go with it! Isn’t it darling?! With extra thick padding as well. Which is even easier to build, because all you need are two like-minded pallets…

Good luck deciding! But if you’re anything like me, you’ll build them BOTH.

Now that’s some comfy outdoor areas kinda living!

Other related outdoor furniture projects:

 

patio with pallet lounger

Using the pallet sofa as a lounger

Pallet sofa and pallet chair outdoor furniture on a patio

Pallet sofa and pallet chair with DIY subway stenciled fabric

Now that’s an outdoor living room sofa set I can handle… now bring on the guests!

adirondack chairs makeover pallet style stencils pressure washing

Pallet-style adirondack chair makeovers

replacing a pvc patio roof

Replacing a PVC patio roof… and what NOT to do.

Visit other patio projects HERE

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Categories: All Cool Projects, DIY, Furniture, How To Build, Outdoors, Reclaimed wood projects, Seasonal, Summer, Tools & Building
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92 thoughts on “How To Build A Pallet Sofa: Easy Step-By-Step Guide

  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!

  22. I just like the helpful info you supply on
    your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again
    right here frequently. I’m reasonably sure I’ll be informed many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  23. Donna, I loved this! I’m going to do it myself this weekend! (hopefully!) I’ll be sure to send you my pics so you can see how you’ve inspired me.

    How are you doing by the way? I know we never met, and we only came into contact via our dear friend Cindy, but you seem totally like the coolest chick on the block. 😀

    Have a great weekend!

    Sending sunshine your way from QC.

    Deloris

  24. I love this! So good to take an idea that’s in the recesses of my mind and see them come to life! thanks.

  25. I just loved this sofa, I want to build one for my porch but I don’t know if I’m able thou.
    It’s very creative, amazing in the end. Thumbs up for you.

  26. I don’t have a website but I love your outdoor sofa and am an avid collecter of pallet wood as well as being a cabinet maker and will make your sofa for my deck this summer. I think this sofa would be great in the house to

  27. American made pallets are pressure treated with chemicals that are dangerous to humans and pets. Look for pallets made in Canada instead.

  28. Donna,
    I love it! It would be perfect on my deck. I think this will be my next project. Thanks for the idea!

    Doug

    • Hi Ronda! You can print any blog post by pressing the print-friendly button. If you visit from a desktop computer, you’ll see a row of share buttons along the top of the post. Select the one on the far right to achieve the print version. Hope it works!

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