How to build a pallet wood chair – Part 2
Welcome to Part 2 on how to build a pallet wood chair! This post will share every detail on how to build this easy and comfy outdoor chair from scratch.
To view the finishing details of this chair…
So let’s build!
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How to build a pallet wood chair – Part 2
Materials I used:
2 pallets of equal size – any size will do, but the key is that they are the same.
4 square posts for legs
2 cedar planks for arms
1. Start with two pallets of nearly equal size if you can. One will be your seat and the other will be your back.
2. Sand the pallets well, especially where you’ll come in contact to the chair when sitting. I started with coarse sandpaper, then moved to finer grit using a palm sander.
Caution: Since pallet or reclaimed wood can be contaminated, please do wear breathing, hand and eye protection while building.
3. Cut the 4 support leg posts to desired size, then sand until smooth.
The height of the legs will be determined upon the kind of padding you choose for your chair.
The arm length (front to back) should slightly extend beyond your pallet seat depth.
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My chair measurements are:
padding – new 5″ foam
legs – 25″ high
arms – 5.5″ wide x 32″ long
pallet seat – 42″wide (left to right) x 30″ deep (front to back).
pallet backer – 42″ wide (left to right) x 36″ high.
4. Dry fit all the chair components to make sure they fit well.
I also placed something underneath the bottom pallet to determine the height I wanted for the seat before attaching.
I chose to not attach the backer pallet because I had a railing for support. Allowing it to lean also offers you a nice comfortable angle to lean against.
If you wish to attach the back, I’d rig up a support board behind the back that attaches to both arms.
Create seat supports:
5. Cut 2×4 chunks to fit, then attach into place with screws.
Before the seat pallet was attached to the foot posts, it was reinforced with small cuts of 2x4s.
The small reinforcements give the legs something more to grab onto.
6. Determine the height of your seat.
To determine the height of the seat, you’ll first need to decide what you’ll be upholstering the seat with as part of the height.
I placed boxes underneath the pallet to help determine the desired height.
The height of my seat from floor to top of pallet is 12″.
7. Attach seat to the legs by pre-drilling holes, then attach with screws.
Turning the seat pallet on its side, the legs were attached with for screws as shown above.
Pre-drilling the holes will really help for assembly.
Adding chair arms
8. Screw on your choice of board armrests.
I chose cedar planks that were wide enough to hold a cup of coffee.
And signing them up is a fun twist too!
I used this Farmers’ Market stencil to create the sign.
Pretty funky, right?!
9. Choose your seat cushion.
Pallet wood is obviously not comfy so you’ll need to figure out some kind of padding. I purchased brand new foam for the seat that I had it cut to size at an RV foam place.
I chose 5″ foam because I did a trial on a sofa cushion we had and I loved how it felt! 5″ foam is not cheap though, this seat alone ran me $100ish. But if you can land some reclaimed foam, you’ll save a bundle.
I do suggest to sit on the foam you choose to ensure it’s comfy as the density chosen will determine the softness.
Outdoor foam is another option, but it can double the price. I just bring this foam piece indoors when it’s damp outside.
(click for larger photo)
I also built this pallet wood sofa using reclaimed foam. It is 6″ thick and super soft.
Below is a little tour of getting the foam custom cut new…
Getting new foam cut
Getting new foam cut for your pallet wood chair is not the cheapest option, but it is a good one if you have an odd-sized pallet you can’t outfit anything else with.
I got this foam cut at Kingdom Mattress Factory in Chilliwack, B.C.
Fred used a foam cutter, and glued chunks together creating the exact size cushion required. It could have been cut out of one chunk if he had it on hand. You can’t feel the seams at all so it worked out great!
Update: The joins later separated, so if you can get 1 solid piece, I’d recommend that.
Also shown above is a glimpse of the green reclaimed foam I purchased intact and custom built a pallet sofa around.
Visit the larger pallet sofa in THIS POST.
The bean sack covers
I chose to use coffee bean sacks because they are pre sewn and I love the look!
The large 26″ pillows were slipped into the bean sacks, then the edge flapped over towards the back. The pillows fit perfectly!
The bean sacks are loosely wrapped around the seat foam. I just didn’t want to sew, but you certainly could.
They are a little itchy when you sit on them with shorts, but during those times, I just plunk a blanket down first and all is well.
Because the foam is not outdoor durable, all the foam, pillows and sacks come in at night or during damp weather so they don’t get mouldy. It’s a little bit of back and forth, but I find the comfort of the chair outweighs the work involved.
I have a special place underneath the sofa where I slip the foam into hiding when it’s not being used. Underneath a bed is where the larger one resides.
I hope I’ve inspired you to try your hand at this easy pallet wood patio chair build! You can do this one!
Besides… you can rest in complete comfort after your efforts… and all summer long too! Think you’ll give one a go?
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