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Create a patio day bed by stacking four wood pallets together and disguising them with wood facing. A simple and inexpensive outdoor seating project
Our patio is an area that we haven’t used very often, mainly because it’s only sunny for part of the day. It’s a lovely space though and it looks out over the garden and our chicken run. From it you can also see the Strawberry Pallet planter I built last month. Because of the way that the house is situated, there’s just one long bit against the north side that gets full sun. It’s a bit awkward to line chairs against so I had the idea to create a bench that could be used for sitting and lounging on.
The foundation of this patio day bed is four pallets of the exact same size. Double stacked and placed side by side they save on having to purchase additional wood for a bench and are also very solid. A handful of screws holds them in place and planks purchased from the local mill cover the front and one side. I didn’t bother attaching wood to the back or side that runs up against the wall since they’re not visible.
The most difficult part of this project was finding a suitable mattress topper that didn’t cost a fortune. You can buy thick custom cut foam but in inquiring online I found that it would have cost me over £50 if not closer to £100. My eureka moment came when I considered using the foam mattress from a folding guest bed. It would be the perfect size for a day bed and could easily be put back into its metal folding frame for storage when the weather turns wet and cold. It also didn’t cost me anything extra for this project.
The only issue with using the mattress is that its width was smaller than the width of the pallets. If you look in the above photo you’ll see my solution: I used a jigsaw to slice a full plank off the ends of all four of the pallets. The dirt mark on the floor shows how wide the pallets were originally. Using a wedge and mallet my husband and I were able to separate the thick supporting blocks from between the cut-off planks and we screwed them back in their new supporting positions.
Other than the cost of the screws, the only money I spent specifically for this project was for six planks that I used to create attractive facing – they cost about £10. The single mattress only stretched across part of the plank foundation and so my husband suggested using that extra space to build a table. Genius idea I think and it’s already doing its part in making the day bed a lovely yet functional piece of DIY patio furniture. Two coats of water-based fence paint and the wooden bench was complete.
And now a bit of pallet safety. If you’re considering using pallets to build furniture, for use inside or out, you need to be aware of what happens to a pallet before it ends up in your hands. Wooden pallets that make their way across borders are sprayed with methyl bromide, a type of pesticide. You don’t want it leaching into your soil or coming into contact with your family and little ones.
To avoid these treated pallets, look for the stamps that can be found on the sides of all wooden pallets. Avoid any pallet stamped with ‘MB’ or ‘DBMB’. The MB in both of those abbreviations means that the wood was sprayed with methyl bromide. If it says HT, it simply means that the pallet has been heat-treated to kill organisms, and is not sprayed with pesticides.