Get super comfy outdoors this summer by building this super comfy oversized pallet chair in just a couple of hours using 2 pallets! Fast, easy, and affordable!
Visit the full Pallet Chair series
PART 1 HERE – A cool pallet wood chair anyone can make! (you are here)
Why a pallet wood chair?
There’s lots of outdoor furniture to be had.
However, I desired some outdoor furniture for the patio that was unique. Something you couldn’t find in a big box store. And something super comfy! Plus affordable. Sound familiar?
I’m also an avid collector of pallets and reclaimed wood. So when I ran out of interest in what the stores had on the market, I decided to come up with my own idea to create a DIY pallet chair.
So I gathered up some pallets, a post and got right to work!
And the end result? This outdoor pallet chair took under 2 hours to build. And it’s so easy, even a beginner builder can make it!
So let’s go over each finishing detail to start so you can decide how to design your own pallet chair before building it.
Then you can visit how to build it in Part 2 HERE!
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A cool pallet wood chair anyone can make! – part 1
Gathering the wood
This pallet wood chair requires 2 pallets that are exactly the same size, one for the sitting area and one for the back support, and 4 short posts.
You’ll also need two thinner longer planks for the arms. That’s it!
All the wood will have a rough finish, so to avoid splinters, be certain to stock some sandpaper in various grits for your orbital sander to work the wood to a safe, smooth finish.
Determining the size
Because this pallet wood chair is made from whatever pallets you find, that will determine your final size.
You can work backwards, and find a comfy seat cushion or cut foam to start first if desired as I did in THIS pallet sofa tutorial.
However, since I wanted this chair tutorial easy, I made 2 identical wood pallets work.
I would consider the final size of this oversized wooden chair to resemble more of a loveseat.
However I believe that has something to do with the way it is styled. See how I made it look more like an oversized chair below.
Decide on your cushion
Since wooden pallet chairs aren’t soft by a long shot, you’ll need to add a cushion to your pallet chair.
You could start by finding a chunk of foam or small mattress, then build your pallet chair to suit.
Or do like me… I built the chair first, then got a piece of RV foam cut to fit the seat slats pallet.
For the pillows, I used 2 large 26″ pillows simply slipped into burlap coffee bean sacks, and wrapped the seat foam with them as well.
Using burlap sacks for covers
Burlap coffee bean sacks are a great no-sew upholstery! And they look rustically appropriate with pallet furniture too!
However, burlap can feel itchy. So when I’m wearing shorts, I throw on a blanket first.
For the pillows, full coffee bean sacks work like giant pillow cases that allow large pillows to just slip inside, then fold over the top.
For the seat, the sacks are loosely tucked into place.
Coffee bean sacks can be found at any local coffee roaster near you, or check out ebay.
See how the large pillows were done HERE.
Creating soft and washable drop cloth covers
Here’s another way to make it look more like a DIY wood chair. Isn’t it pretty? I love the oversized look and feel of the garden chair with room for lots of pillows! This wooden pallet chair is fun and easy to style in different ways!
While coffee sacks look super cool, if burlap isn’t your thing and you prefer to throw your covers in the washer, I personally love the softness and washability of this super durable, easy-to-make fabric out of painters’ drop cloth!
And yes, the stenciled fabric washes and dries up beautifully!
Check out the many variations the pallet wood outdoor furniture has taken HERE
Take advantage of authentic pallet markings
Pallet markings are cool! So don’t forget to take advantage of that fabulous free lettering!
When you are building the pallet chair, face the lettering towards you so you can enjoy the markings!
However, if your wood doesn’t have any crate stamps, here’s how to add some in seconds…
Add authentic details with pallet stencils
Not lucky enough to land the perfect graphics on your pallet wood? No worries!
These stencils were designed to mimic the look of pallet markings exactly where you’d like them to go! That’s even better! So build your chair with confidence, then add the details later.
View the entire CRATE STENCILS COLLECTION HERE
Adding signs for quirky arm rests
You’re going to need some kind of planks for the arms. I personally used 5.5″ fence planks cut to size, that were already stenciled as signs! But they would look great plain too. Or perhaps painted two different tones.
Just make sure the arms are extra wide for that special coffee cup, and the bottom edges are well sanded so they are smooth to the touch.
Posts for legs
You’ll need some kind of lumber or posts for the legs of the chair.
I used square posts that came off pallets.
However even 2x4s will work. Try doubling them up to get a beefier look and search for reclaimed if you can find it, for that special old patina only old wood can offer.
You will require long screws and a well charged up cordless drill and bit to drill pilot holes if you wish to assemble your chair the way I did.
Since the finished DIY wood chair is so heavy, I’d suggest to consider adding caster wheels to the feet, for easier moving when pressure washing the floor. I would most certainly do that next round!
I did not use wood glue nor nails for this project.
Embellish wood chair with antiques
After your chair is built, you may wish to incorporate some unique elements to truly make the chair your own!
This leg got a little extra detail with an antique wooden level.
The tiniest little extra ordinary details will make you look twice! And set your pallet wood chair apart from others. So go grab your bucket of rusty junk and play.
No need to attach the back if you have a patio rail
Not wishing to obstruct the outdoor mountain view behind the chair, a pallet the same height as the patio railing was chosen as the backrest. It is loose and not attached to the chair.
This makes moving the chair around a little more effortless since it’s less weight. This is not a light wooden chair once built!
However you could attach the back to the rest of the chair if desired, through some additional rear back supports or framework connecting the back to the chair.
Consider a slight angle to the back to provide a more comfortable position.
If the back slats aren’t decorative enough to your liking, you could add more wood, or custom build a pallet chair back like I did on my pallet sofa HERE
However bear in mind, the cushions cover the back anyway.
Protecting your pallet chair outdoors
Since my pallet chair sits underneath my patio roof, it has protection from the elements so I did not protect the wood in any way.
It’s now been years, and the wood looks as good as new!
However if you have yours sitting in the weather, I’d suggest to consider tung oil (10% off HERE) or some kind of wood protectant varnish that will stand the test of time so your pallet wood doesn’t rot.
Painting bare wood with Milk Paint (10% off HERE) would also work fabulous.
Now that you’ve learned all my pallet chair building secrets and suggestions, below is how to build the chair from start to finish!
Then you can pencil in time to make a straight line towards that coffee and comfy chair in just a couple of hours!
How to build the pallet wood chair part 2 is below!
Other cool pallet projects to build: