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Pallet wood outdoor sofa

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This build is all about the beauty of imperfection. Care was taken to use sturdy pieces where structure  counted. Other than that, it’s a fun piece that was designed and built by yours truly without patterns, guidance or advice. All I did was study some structures of existing benches, and with a quick sketch, revamped to suit and went for it.My measurements are offered up only as a comparison guide. Ultimately, you’ll soon find you need to adjust all the measurements depending on your mattress and board availability.


  The design


1. Find the mattress of your dreams. 
24" deep, 55" wide, 6" deep.
Tip: make sure it’s a DEEP sit. The mattress should touch your inner knee. Mid thigh won’t cut it.



2. Play.

This is the most time consuming part. As I wasn’t going by any pattern, I went strictly by the thickness and size of the mattress, and what height felt comfortable to me when I sat down. I eventually had boxes and all sorts of things propped underneath to get a handle on it.

Ultimately you should be able to sit on the finished piece with your feet landing on the floor.


I decided on a double pillow system because it was more comfortable than single. This told me I needed to be a little unorthodox with the build.

The white one is memory foam. Makes for a very supportive DECADENT sit.


3. Measure.

 The two legs were used as a measuring guide for how large to make the (55″ wide) frame. The legs will sit on the outside of that frame for this design.

Building the frame



The thickness of the mattress indicated I needed a low sitting frame  since I wanted my feet to hit the floor when I sat.

Arm height was also indicated by the thickness of the mattress.


I created center supports as well. I looked at how other benches were made and it didn’t seem right to put all the stress on side joints. This may not be necessary but I did it anyway.



Planks were cut (5.5"wide x 30" long) and set into place allowing for a slight overhang along the front.


And screwed in. No nails in sight.


The frame didn’t budge! Heavy duty materials and LOTS of screws did their job well.

The arms look abit bare here and could use more detail, however when everything’s in place, it looks fine.

The back rest


I noted the height of the pillows and the window in behind to determine how high (32") I wanted the back rest to sit. The horizontal brace is held with one center screw to get a handle on placement.


The boards were placed, then numbered.


Using the deck floor seam as a measurement reference, I placed the boards wrong side up onto the supports. The mounting was done from behind so the screws were invisible.


See? Nice and clean.


See how the back height just misses the glass window view? This is the beauty of a custom build on site.


I didn’t mount the back onto anything because I wanted it positionable depending on what pillows I had going on. Unorthodox at it’s best.

But I did think about how to mount it on permanently. I’d move the side arm supports WAY back and run a board across the two in behind so the thing had something to lean on and attach to somehow.

This is something I can still do if I ever desired. I didn’t go for it because I desired the back TALL. I think it would have to be shorter for this method. Who knows.


And the double pillow system worked. I stole cushions from my indoor sofa so I may attach the back permanently when I land dedicated pillows for this guy.

The tools


I used a compound miter saw for all the cuts. The results were perfectly square cuts and effortless.


After every cut, the wood received a good sanding, going through two grits of sandpaper. You can’t over sand pallet wood by the way. Extra attention was given to the arms or anywhere you touched.

You really don’t know what you’re up against with pallet wood so eye and breathing protection are musts. When I work with extra rough boards, I’ll even start off with gloves.


All joins were done with predrilled holes and 4″ deck screws. The 3×3"s were oak and super dense. If I didn’t predrill, the screws snapped in half. Crazy solid stuff! But I liked the look of it and I had lots on hand.


The end result was an ultra sturdy love seat that feels like a real sofa sit. My fav way to sit is pushing the pillows against one arm and sitting across the whole thing while reading

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