I’ve been shopping around for months to try and find a decent outdoor sofa and coffee table. Try as I might to find something affordable, the costs seemed to be around €400-1000+ so way over what I wanted to pay.
Since I’ve been spending a lot of time on YouTube over the past year, I started looking at home made options. I got a few ideas, but nothing really took my eye.
And then as luck would have it, when I went to the big hardware store over in Coimbra, and they were selling big padded cushions, made to measure for a certain size of pallets.
After a bit more shopping on line, this time for pallets, I found this website that sells the exact size I was looking, second hand and in wood.
Surprisingly for Portugal’s iffy order/delivery schedules, I ordered 10 pallets on a Saturday afternoon and they arrive by midweek! Result.
I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to build when they arrived, or how many I wold actually end up using, but I had already figured that some of the pallets would be sacrificial, or perhaps some of them would be in too bad shape to use.
It turned out they were all in pretty good condition, nothing that a good brush or a scrape with a metal rasp didn’t fix.
So I set about picking the slighter nicer/cleaner/less scrappy ones to use on the top layer, and started to figure out what I was going to build.
Easiest was the coffee table, that just took two pallets sat on top of each other, but then I needed to attach them together. For that I’d need some off-cuts from the other pallets.
So next, I started to lay out the main sofa and had a think about how the back-rests might work and where to put them.
I used 4 pallets in an L-shape but I wanted the back-rest to be on one side only and at a slight angle, so that you don’t end up sitting bolt upright.
I ended up using the wooden stakes I had made a garden planter out of, to create a bit of a tilt where the back-rests meet the base.
For the back-rests I hand sawed one pallet into about two thirds and that gave me the off-cuts I needed for fixing the coffee table together, plus a few extra bits for the main sofa.
The off-cuts had a lot of nails in them and chipboard pieces which I had to detach, so that involved pulling a lot of long nails out with a claw hammer, then measuring them to the correct length and sawing them down again to size.
Some of these pieces I used on the sides of the coffee table, some on the sides of the base and the rest on the back, to join the two pieces of back-rest together.
It all came together within the day, and before long I was ready to start painting. I chose a matt white exterior paint (about €15 per can) also from Leroy Merlin hardware store.
Since the wood was untreated, the paint absorbed pretty fast, and I needed to order another tin to get it all finished. For the first batch I just painted round the edges which the cushions would sit on top of.
It dried pretty quickly so I was able to pop the cushions on to see what it would look like. That extra piece of wood on the coffee table was meant to provide a flat surface for plates and drinks, but I’ve decided to use it for another project instead, maybe a bench??
The final thing I wanted to do was to put some plants in the back rests. I took some garden netting that I had bought for my tomatoes, and a few pieces of plastic from the bag of soil in the woodshed, and staple-gunned them onto the back-rest at the top.
Some little succulent plants I had fitted quite nicely 🙂
So that’s it finished! I really enjoyed making something for myself 🙂
The cost for everything was €158 for the pallets, €130 for cushions, €30 for paint, €5 for a box of 40 heavy duty screws, = €323.
I ended up with 2 spare pallets which I gave to the guys next door to help extend their compost heap, and they’re gonna pay me back with some lovely compost 🙂
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