Ginger says ...
Pallets come in different shapes and sizes. Check that all your pallets are exactly the same in all dimensions before you start the project.
It's so easy to get caught in the consumer mentality - all those lovely desirable items you would like to own displayed in the shops. Things like designer sofas - trouble is, they usually cost a lot of dough!
But there is an alternatives open to you - how about making your own sofa out of readily available items that you can source cheaply online.
You will make an angled divan at around 80" x 40" long with 24" high bolsters - the overall length decided by three double stacks of wooden pallets. You can create an effective side table at either end of the sofa depending on how long you make the cushions.
As an option, if you're handy enough, you can fix Velcro strips to both cushion and material so that the covers are removable for washing.
If you like the look, there's limitless possibilities for you to express yourself - you choose the design of the covers and the colors of the wooden framing.
Supplies Needed72"long x 24" high x 6" deep Firm Upholstery Cushion
Hot Melt Glue Gun complete with 30 Glue Sticks
Choose 54" wide material to allow plenty overlap of your material to top cover the cushioning. You can calculate the yardage once you decide how many pallets will make up your couch. The settee we show would take about 10 yards of material.
Wooden industrial pallets - there's every chance you can pick these very cheaply or even free from the goods area of large stores - most bulk items are delivered to shops on pallets. Ask first - don't just take them!
Extra glue sticks.
Measuring tape or judge by eye if you're confident about doing that.
Scissors or retractable knife.
Fine filtered face mask and safety goggles for protection when sanding wood. Ear defenders if needed.
Dust sheet to work on to protect the material from stains and scuffs.
Work gloves to prevent splinters and bruises.
Sanding machine and/or sandpaper and block - use rough grade paper for both.
Primer to undercoat for the paint finish.
Paint to your color choice. Water-based are more or less odorless and easily cleaned by running water.
Wide paintbrushes with stiffish bristles.
Optional: 3" x 1/4" CSS bolts, nuts & washers bolts to secure the pallets once they're in place.
Step by Step InstructionsCollect all your materials and tools and lay aside within easy reach.
Cut the bolster pads to the overall length of the joined pallets. Use either one long piece foam or cut squares as shown in the video.
Once that's done, measure out the covering material against the foam cushions and cut to size. Allow a generous overlap that can be trimmed to size.
This can be done either by measuring with a tape or simply wrapping the cloth around the foam - same as you would do when packaging Christmas presents.
Then take your glue gun and stick the fabric down to one long edge of the foam to start. This gives you an anchor point to pull the rest of the material firmly around the bolster - don't pull so hard that the cushion is distorted. Once the right tension is reached wrap fabric around the pillow and trim to size and apply adhesive..
Repeat the process for all edges doing one pillow at a time. One dexterous person can do this easily but if unsure get someone to help hold the materials in place while you apply the adhesive.
Complete each cushion in this way and lay aside for now.
Prepare the pallets for painting by sanding them to a smooth finish. To save you time and effort, you can sand just those tops where the cushions will lie. Remember to do all the exposed edges as well.
Before you proceed to paint your pallets make sure that the exposed edges are well sanded down. Some of these edges are end grain and very rough. So to prevent some painful splinters it's worth giving these parts extra work with a sander. You can always drape some matching cushion material over the edge to protect your clothes and your legs.
If you do use a machine, do the sanding in a well-vented space if you can. Wear eye protection and a face mask for safety. If you have sensitive hearing, ear defenders will help if you're using a loud industrial machine.
Prime and paint pallets to your color choice - allow to dry overnight.
Stack the pallets where you want your sofa to sit and place the cushions.
If you want, you can tie the pallets together to make the whole assembly rock solid. You can either glue them or use something like 3" x 1/4" CSS bolts, nuts & washers to snug them together - your choice.
This is a very simple construction job. There are no complicated measurements to take or involved preparations to apply.
With the right tools and material, all it takes is a bit of effort to pull it all together.
To save you a lot of time and effort, we would recommend buying a sander. A hobby one would do or you can rent a pro model from your local hire shop. An industrial quality belt sander will reduce a rough surface really fast and give a smooth enough finish for a rough paint job, which will suit this project.
If you're into the rustic or industrial look in your house decor a not-too-precise finish will look great. The shabby-chic look is still popular and it saves pennies!