Now that the weather’s warming up, you might feel tempted to add some furniture to your backyard, patio, or balcony. Unfortunately, that stuff isn’t exactly cheap — but you don’t have to buy any of it. You can actually make your own outdoor furniture from pallets.
And they can actually look pretty stylish if you put in enough time and effort. Plus you should be prepared to pay for a few supplies along the way.
A good place to start sourcing pallets is smaller retailer, rather than large chain stores. The larger stores usually have reuse programs that mean they’re less likely to part with usable pallets.
By contrast, locally-owned businesses may be happy to sell you pallets or even give them to you for free. You can also reach out to distribution centers or area pallet recyclers to get a good deal.
When you enter the store, you are probably going to need to speak with a manager. Regular employees often can’t approve the sale or giving away of store property, including pallets.
You also don’t want to assume that pallets sitting on the street or by a dumpster are fair game. They may be set there temporarily, so you always need to ask before taking any away.
You may face competition for pallets. Upcycling is growing in popularity, so some stores may have existing deals.
If you find out that someone else is buying their pallets, you can ask them to contact you if they have any extra. Alternatively, you can just head to another store and try there.
You can also check popular reselling sites, like Craigslist, to see if you can find pallets there. Local newspaper classifieds may also be a good place to look.
Before you pay for the pallets — or score free ones — you need to make sure they are safe for use.
Check them for markings that show whether they were treated with chemicals that might make them safe — or unsafe, depending on your perspective.
For example, some of these treatments are supposed to repel insects, including termites. For guidance on what different types of markings on pallets mean, check out this link.
Find Plans and Tools
Next, you’ll likely want to find a building plan to follow. Luckily, there are tons of resources online that can provide you with step-by-step instructions.
You can find plans for anything from side tables to Adirondack chairs to porch swings. Most of them will let you know precisely how much wood you need as well as other materials, including nails and brackets.
Additionally, you’ll need a variety of tools on hand. Some designs require saws to complete, as the original length of each board will be too long for the project.
A hammer and drill with various attachments (including drill bits and screwdrivers) are also necessities in most cases. A tape measure should also be part of your tool arsenal. If you want to avoid hand sanding, then a sander is helpful as well.
You’ll also want to invest in paint, stain, or sealant in order to protect your furniture. Wood is a porous material, and rain and moisture can damage it over time. Paints, stains, and sealants create a protective coating, ensuring that the elements don’t damage your creations.
Outdoor Furniture from Pallets
Ultimately, the do-it-yourself approach to outdoor furniture can be an excellent way to get the items you need. However, it’s important to note that you will have to invest in the projects.
While you might be able to get pallets for free, other materials aren’t as easy to find for no cost. Furthermore, specific tools are generally necessary, and they can be expensive to acquire.
So just be prepared to hand over some cash along the way. Remember, with a little sweat equity, you can still save money.
Have you ever upcycled pallets to make outdoor furniture? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
Looking for more great articles? Give these a try:
- Upcycling for Your Garden
- Fun Side Hustle: Upcycling Thrift Store Finds for Profit
- DIY Yardwork: Tackling a Landscaping Project on Your Own
- 5 Summer Home Improvement Projects
- 10 Fun Things That Are Cheaper Than a Swimming Pool
- Keep Cool Without Overspending This Summer
- Keeping Cool This Summer
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