How to Build a Pallet Bench

Hasn’t this week of Pallets Aplenty been amazing?! And we’re not done yet! We still have lots of ideas and inspiration coming, plus more tutorials!

See all the pallet furniture projects from the week here, and give our next talented guest a rousing Remodelaholic welcome — you’ll love how her pallet garden bench turned out!

How to Build a Pallet Bench

Step-by-Step Guide

by Amy from One Artsy Mama

How to Build a Pallet Bench -- and it's easier than you think! Build one this weekend with the full tutorial from One Artsy Mama on

Have you ever built a piece of furniture? I never thought I could, until I made this DIY  Pallet Bench last summer! I’m Amy, aka One Artsy Mama, and I am always in search of projects that are affordable, simple, and fairly quick to create.

On my blog, I share everything from furniture up-cycles and DIY projects to Hand Lettering tutorials in the hopes that even people who don’t feel particularly crafty will see that they really can create fabulous things!

Today, I am so excited to be here to share my bench made from wooden pallets with you so that you can see how honestly do-able it really is and maybe try it for yourself. It only takes a few supplies to make, and it’s the perfect addition to your backyard or outdoor


  • 2 – Half Wood Pallets
  • 2 – Quarter wood Pallets
  • 2 – 2×4’s, cut into 6 20 inch pieces (double check your pallet for this measurement)
  • 3″ screws
  • nails


  • Brad Nailer
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • Saw (sawzall or circular Saw to cut pallets apart- if necessary)



Step 1: Cut Down Pallets

If you get the average sized pallets (the average US pallet size is 48 x 40). you will need to do some prep work to cut them down to the proper sizes. 

In order to get the proper sized pieces you will need 3 pallets.  (or an extra 2×4 to re-secure the edge). Often pallets only have 3 internal 2×4 size “ribs”.  You need two on each half you cut.  So proceed as you see fit.  See the image above for what the structure will look like.

Once cut you will need, for this wooden pallet bench project, 2 half pallets and 2 quarter pallets. (shown in the image above for reference)

Step 2: Fill in open ends.

Pallets are “open” on two ends, which makes it tricky to attach them together in certain ways because there’s nowhere to put a screw. We have to close up those ends by filling them with a piece of wood that fits right in that slot.

Measure the opening to be sure before cutting you 2×4 as a general rule.

Insert your 20″ pieces of 2×4 into the short sides of your half pallets and secure with nails.  You will add 4 pieces of wood for these ends of the bench frame and backrest.


The best way I found to do this is to nail them using one of my favorite tools, the cordless RYOBI AirStrike Brad Nailer, from both the top and the bottom of the pallet.

Of course, you can always use a standard hammer and nails instead, but I’m all about quick and easy, so the Brad Nailer is my go-to tool.


Place your remaining 20″ pieces into one open end of each quarter pallet.

This is the same thing you did for the half pallets, but this time we’re only concerned about one side because it makes a nice arm rest.

If you want to close in the other sides, feel free to do that too, but I chose to leave mine open because  that it would help the bench to sit better in the yard where it’s not completely flat.


Step 3: Attach the Armrests to the Seat Frame

Position one quarter pallet(the arm rest) face down against the side of the half pallet(the seat frame)

Add three 3″ screws to hold it in place, screwing through some of the pallet slat or planks of the 1/4 pallet into the seat where you added the 2×4

This is the “trickiest” part because it’s about getting the angle right. We just played around with it and eyed it up.

The back corner of the seat hits the very top of the bottom slat/plank and the front hits the very top of the second slat or plank. You also want a little bit of overhang; the bench seat comes out farther than the arm rests.

Feel free to double check the placement with a measuring tape in case your pallet isn’t perfectly inline.



Step 4: Repeat on the other Armrest.

Flip your bench over and position the other quarter pallet. We actually used the side of the house to help us line it up; we pushed the bench up against the corner to help us see where the other pallet needed to be to make things even.

*Again using a measuring tape to measure the distance from the corner to the bottom of the seat pallet might also be easy. 

NOTE: On this second arm rest side, don’t insert your screws all the way (yet). Leave them loose so that you have a little “wiggle room” to slide the backrest in on the next step.


Step 5: Install the Back

Slide the final backrest of the pallet wood bench in place and secure with 3″ screws. Through both the arm rest and the seat pallet. Don’t forget to also tighten up the armrest screws once it is in place. 


That’s it for building!

Four pallet pieces and a couple of 2×4’s become a fun pallet bench seat! It’s actually more like a love seat size, which is pretty fun and perfect for the spot in our rose garden.


Step 6: Sand

Because pallet wood can be a little rough, or have very sharp edges, I would suggest taking a sander or sanding block with sandpaper, and knocking down any sharp corners.

Before you start to stain, make sure you thoroughly sand your project to get rid of any splinters, rough edges, and unwanted markings.

Step 7: Finish

Since the bench is uncovered and outdoors year round, I knew that I wasn’t finished until I sealed and protected it from the elements. I also knew I wanted to stain the wood because it wasn’t all the same color to begin with, plus I wanted a darker finish.

For this part of the process, I decided to use Thompson’s® WaterSeal® Penetrating Timber Oil because it stains and waterproofs, all in one coat.


Then, all you need is your choice of color {I picked Redwood}, a brush, a disposable paint pan and liner, and gloves. I shook the can well, poured a small amount of timber oil into the paint pan, then carefully applied it to the wood. I started on one side of the bench and worked my way across the front to the other side and finally the back.


The key to getting a nice finish is to use the timber oil sparingly…a little really goes a long way. Only apply a thin coat at the rate the wood can absorb it, which is pretty quickly. Any spots that have excess product or look especially wet may end up tacky. You also want to avoid drips. The process wasn’t difficult at all, just a little time consuming because there are a LOT of surfaces on a pallet!


Once the staining and sealing is complete, let this easy pallet bench dry for 8 hours, then it’s ready to use! Add your favorite pillows or cushions and enjoy you new outdoor decor to adorn your bench!


Total Cost: Approximately $120
Half Pallets – $32 each
Quarter Pallets – $15 each
Sealer/Stain/Brushes – $25

Time: One afternoon to build, one afternoon to stain

Pallets: Crates and Pallet
2x4s, screws, brushes: Home Depot
Airstrike Brad Nailer from RYOBI
Timber Oil: Thompson’s Waterseal
Pillows and Cushions: Shutterfly


What do you think, friends? It’s easier than you’d think to build your own wood pallet bench, right?

Is this something you’d enjoy having and using in your own outdoor space? Thanks so much for letting me share my project with you today; I hope you’ll stop by One Artsy Mama for more honest inspiration for everyday life!


We have ours as shown in our rose garden- its the perfect garden furniture!  But it would look great on a porch, patio, courtyard or balcony you name it.  This pallet outdoor bench is my new favorite!


Thanks so much for sharing, Amy! Such a cute addition to your garden. 


Questions and Answers:

Q. How many pallets does it take to make a bench?

A. For this plan you will need three.  Unless you alter it slightly you could get away with two, but you will need an extra 2×4 to make that work.

Q. How do you make a bench out of one pallet?

A. If you are following the plan above, you cant.  You need at minimum two and some extra 2×4’s but ideally this plan will need three full pallets- but will have left over wood for other projects.  

If you wanted to make a bench from one pallet, it would be possible, but it would be a different design, and probably require taking the whole pallet apart for pieces and rebuilding.

Q. Is pallet wood sturdy? 

Pallets can carry a lot of weight, so they are built to be sturdy.  Depending on the state of your pallet, (old vrs new) they can be in different states of repair.  If you have an older pallet, it may need to be re-secured with added nails or screws before cutting them into pieces and building this plan.

Q. Is pallet wood good to use?

If you are sure that the pallet wood has not been exposed to chemicals, then it should be a great option and a great way to recycle or upcycle something that is no longer being used. 

Remodelaholics, you’ll love Amy’s pallet-style hand painted wedding signs — and if you want to learn to hand-letter your own, check out her awesome beginner tutorials!

And stay tuned, there’s still more Pallets Aplenty to come! Be sure to check out all the pallet projects we’ve shared here, plus more amazing projects (and you can add yours) at the pallets link party here

Be sure to subscribe by email or RSS and follow along over on Facebook and Instagram with #palletsaplenty so you won’t miss a single one of the amazing pallet posts we have coming up — like this!


plus, check out more DIY wood benches:

concrete and redwood bench


corner bench and table

feat diy corner bench and table for front porch, Pinspiration Mommy featured on @Remodelaholic

beautiful DIY tufted bench

Tufted Bench from Scratch - HMC for Remodelaholic

Be sure to subscribe by email or RSS and follow along over on Facebook and Instagram with #palletsaplenty so you won’t miss a single one of the amazing pallet posts we have coming up!

Originally published 9-30-16 // Updated 6/21/23

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Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

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