Outdoor DIY bench seat and a planter out of wooden pallets
Hello! Is it still sunny where you are? Are you enjoying your summer holiday so far? I know I’m a bit late with this post (like I am with everything these days). But if you’ve been trying to find some decent second hand garden furniture on Ebay that don’t cost an earth and you suddenly realised that it is nearly the end of the summer ( I do that all the time) then you might want to read on. Or maybe you have few wooden pallets in your garden and you don’t know what to do with them? If so – read along. Because I am going to tell you how I’ve made a very easy DIY bench seat and a planter for my garden. And in just couple of hours! Honestly – NO SKILLS REQUIRED (just some tools).
Let me start by showing you my new little corner of the garden that has become our favourite place to hang out…
Like it? Believe me – the DIY bench seat was super quick and easy to make. The planter took a little bit more time, but again – very easy to make. I’m gonna show you how I did it, step by step, so you can do it too!
So what exactly will you need? Wooden pallets- lots of them. You can pick them up cheaply from Ebay or Gumtree or even get them completely free sometimes.
Lets start with the DIY planter…
Literally it is not much more than two wooden pallets stacked together vertically and joined with some leftover pallet boards (which I had left from my previous project in my son’s bedroom). This way you can create a tall planter perfect for a plant that needs more space for the roots. And it’s also perfect for adding interest to the side of that new outdoor seat and zoning it out like I did.
But you have to make sure that the two pallets are exactly the same size, otherwise your new planter will look rather odd. And although on the photo below it looks like my two pallets don’t match, they actually do. The same height and width in fact.
(No jigsaw? Buy one like mine or try a cordless one, like this one)
Remember to measure the width of your new planter and cut the pallet boards you need for the sides accordingly. You will need quite a few so make sure you have enough wood before you start.
Then, stack the two pallets together, making sure together they form a whole in the middle and start attaching the wooden boards to both sides and to the bottom of your new planter.
And then, when all the sides are built, you can paint your new planter any colour you like. Easy, right?
Just make sure to protect the wood first before slashing the colour on, or use a paint that will protect the wood at the same time.
And then all that’s left to do is to plant something pretty in it. But don’t ask me for the name of my plant because I forget the names of all my plants the minute I bring them home. I even keep the tags in an attempt to learn what is what. But then I place them somewhere and forget it. When I find the tags a year later, most of the plants are already dead. Or after so much time I can’t tell which one’s which. But at least I try, right?
Let’s move on to the DIY bench seat…
And believe me, this is even easier! But… the way I’ve planned our outdoor bench was so that it fitted the space by the wall just outside the house. So on one side there is the house and on the other side is the planter mentioned earlier. If your space is more open and there will be nothing to rest your back on, I would advise you to built a sofa instead. I’ve seen few on Instagram and they don’t look much more complicated to build. But we’ve decided to built something that suited our outside space better.
So, first thing first… the measurements. And this is something you always have to start with. You can’t just start thinking that it will fit! You have to know it will fit! And I knew that our new DIY bench seat would fit before I even started building the planter. And if your space is limited by a wall or a fence or anything else, than you need to know that it will fit too.
Decide on the length of the bench by placing the pallets on the ground one next to each other. I used three smaller size pallets. And I went for three pallets in therms of the height. So in total I used nine wooden pallets for my DIY bench seat. Not bad in terms of the money spent!
Again – make sure the pallets are roughly the same size so that you don’t end up with a wobbly seat!
And so this is where I originally was planning to finish. Just paint it and leave it as it is. But because I had some leftover fence boards I decided to cover the front of the bench and make it look more neat. I also wanted to tie the pallets together somehow, to make sure they don’t move. But I wanted an easy solution so I literally tied them up together with pieces of a bendy wire. It’s stronger than a string and flexible enough to actually tie it around pallets.
Then I first cut the fence boards to size and then nailed them to the front of the bench making sure they are level. Next I sanded it all down a little bit to avoid any “splinter in my bum drama”.
And that it is! Our new DIY bench seat ready! And as I still had few pallets left I decided to turn two of them into a little coffee table. I’ve attached four castors to the bottom of the pallet so that the table could be easily moved out of the way if needed. Literally couple of minutes job.
At the end all this prompted me to do a bit of styling, which included a lot of rearranging, moving things and faffing with the cushions – my favourite sport!
And how do I style my garden? With things I already own. Things that are no longer needed in the house, rusty old lanterns, lots of cushions from the house and freshly cut flowers from our own garden. Because (in case you haven’t figured out that yet) it’s all about spending as little as possible and creating a beautiful home and actually enjoying it!
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Outdoor DIY bench seat and a planter out of wooden pallets