Make a folding chair with pallets for your garden

Would you like to have an easy chair to move to your terrace or garden? This tutorial will show you step by step how to make your folding chair with pallets. It will be so comfortable and light to move that you’ll even want to take it to the beach during the holidays!

With pallets you can furnish and decorate outdoor spaces in an economical and sustainable way. Examples are also some tutorials that you can find in our blog:

  • Garden organiser
  • Counter with pallets
  • Sofa with pallets
  • Outdoor trunk

Since the possibilities are almost endless, today we want to show you how to make a folding chair with pallets. Following our instructions you can make as many as you want and store them folded taking up less space during the winter or when you do not use them.

Tools and materials

To make an outdoor chair for your terrace, balcony or garden, you will need these tools and materials:

  • Crowbar or blade saw
  • Orbital sander and/or electric planer
  • Cutting or sawing machine for wood
  • Drill/screwdriver
  • Old wood drill bit 18 mm
  • Hammer
  • Pallets
  • 18 mm and 24 mm wooden battens
  • Mounting adhesive
  • Wood screws
  • Impregnating
  • Brush

Cost, duration and difficulty

This DIY project requires some practice in the use of electrical equipment, for this reason we consider a medium difficulty level.

The approximate cost of the materials is about 20 €, although this amount may increase depending on the amount of colors we decide to use.  

To complete the chair you need a day’s work, although half of the time was spent preparing the pallet boards. For this reason, depending on the state of the pallet, the time required for the realization can be greater or lesser.

Folding chair with pallets step by step

This outdoor chair made with pallets can be folded and take up less space when not in use and is therefore made up of two parts:

  • The backrest is made up of two pallet axes in the vertical direction to which several axes are attached in the horizontal direction.
  • The seat is composed of four pallet axes to which various axes are fixed in the horizontal direction, leaving a space to introduce the backrest.

When not mounted, the backrest can be inserted into the space available between the lateral axes of the seat. In the same way, the front legs bend inwards. Once folded, the chair can be easily transported.

Making a folding chair

If you want to build this chair so practical and comfortable, you just have to follow these steps.

Dismantle the pallet

The first step is to dismantle one or more pallets depending on their size. In our case, we used a European bench measuring 120×80 cm to make the chair. To disassemble it you can use a crowbar or a blade saw. In the latter case, remember to use a blade that can be used for both the wood and the metal of the nails.

Sanding or planing the planks of the pallet

Usually the wood of the pallets has imperfections, humidity, splinters, etc.. To eliminate them and obtain a uniform surface, once the planks have been removed, we planned them.

Then we recommend using an orbital sander. In this way we will have a much more uniform surface and smooth to the touch.

Cutting the pieces

Continuing, we cut the boards with a mitre saw or a wood saw. The pieces we will need are:

  • 4 boards with a length of 100 cm for the sides of the lower part of the chair
  • 2 with a length of 35 cm cut at an angle of 15º in one of the ends and that will be our legs foldable
  • 2 by 70 cm for the sides of the backrest of the chair
  • 15 by 50 cm for the seat and backrest axles

Make a hole in the front legs

The next step will be to make a hole in the front legs, following these steps:

  • Drill with the old point one of the ends of the 4 lateral axes of the seat. A tip to make sure that they coincide perfectly is to put together all the axes and drill holes together.
  • Make a hole in both legs, but make sure that when turning to position them at right angles do not touch the upper part of the sides.

Protecting and decorating the wood

Before assembling the chair, we recommend to protect and give colour to the wood using the impregnating agent. In this way we will be sure to correctly protect all the pieces and the chair will be protected to withstand the elements. Ideally, you should apply a couple of layers, combining different colours to obtain a cheerful and decorative result.

The impregnating agent allows the wood to breathe, regulating its internal humidity, which is why it is perfect as a finish for outdoor furniture.

Mounting the folding legs

Once the impregnating agent has dried, we will mount the folding legs. The steps to follow are:

  • Cut two pieces from the 18 mm diameter wooden batten, so that they have the same length as the thickness of the three planks of the joined pallet (in our case, 5 cm).
  • Position one of the lateral axes, one leg and another lateral axis making the holes previously made coincide.
  • Insert the batten with the help of the hammer, if necessary.
  • Cut two pieces from the 24 mm diameter, 2 cm long wooden batten.
  • Attach them to the ends with mounting adhesive.

Screw the crossbars to the seat and backrest of the chair.

As a last step we will screw the crossbars to the seat and back of the chair. We start with the seat, in which we start 6 axes leaving a space of a couple of cm between them. Then, we leave the space necessary to introduce the backrest and we start a support axis in the upper part and the last one in the lower one.

In the backrest we start 6 axes leaving the same space of 2 cm between one and the other. We must keep in mind that the backrest must be able to be inserted between the lateral axes of the seat, so it is better to position it in order to align the crossbars.

Finally, we start a pair of reinforcement boards to the folding legs, to prevent them from separating when we sit on the chair.

After following all these steps, you have discovered how to make a folding chair with pallets, ready to sit!

All we have to do is find a place for them in our garden or on the terrace to start using them on sunny days.

Did you like our idea to make an outdoor folding chair with pallets? Don’t miss our next DIY projects to decorate your terrace or garden!

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