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DIY outdoor pallet furniture

Danny in Durban turned raw wood pallets into outdoor garden furniture for his home. Wood pallets that are manufactured locally for deliveries within South Africa are the safest to use. While most pallets are treated with a fumicide when manufactured, this product degrades with continuous use and that's why older pallets are the best pallets to use for DIY projects.


Danny advises that when sourcing pallets, ensure that you get them from your local retailers like Spar, Pick n Pay or local greengrocer. Stay away from chemical suppliers as there could be toxins in the wood from the chemicals. Most of these retailers are more than willing to part with them as long as you can carry them away yourself. Try and find pallets of the same sizes, as it makes life easier when putting it all together.


Cordless drill
Pickaxe or crow bar
Exterior wood glue
Screws 80mm
Exterior wood sealer
Tape measure
Compressor and spray gun ( but you can paint it on as well)
12 pallets






The first step is to make the base of your table; this applies to the chairs as well, so the same step gets repeated for each element of furniture that you make. Remove the inner planks of the pallet - as per picture - so that you have a frame, you will need to have 2 pallets as a base. Remove all the nails and bits that could not be taken off with the pickaxe or crow bar and then give a quick sanding with 120-grit sandpaper.

Linerally apply exterior wood glue to the top of the bottom frame. Place the top frame over onto the bottom frame, making sure that the edges are lined up as closely as possible.

The seat itself is a complete pallet that is then glued on top of the base. As you build the layers you can also use screws to secure together for added stability and strength.

The original backrest was a complete pallet, but if you look at the finished design it was better to remove the top section and use this as a backrest. The backrest is glued and screwed onto the back of the seat.

For the armrests you can use leftover bits to craft an upright and crosspiece which are glued and screwed together. There are no rules here and you can change the design as you go along, depending on how many pallets you have to work with.

Sand all the pieces with 120-grit sandpaper before applying exterior wood sealer to finish off. We will be adding cushions made from an old foam mattress that we have covered with curtains that are no longer in use - makes for a very comfy outdoor set.