Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Find a Pallet Pick it Up

Pallets are the 'It' DIY material these days and I couldn't help but jump on the bandwagon when I stumbled upon some abandoned ones in my neighborhood.
After replacing my sofa's overstuffed back cushions with something a little less... overstuffed I'd been using the old cushions as a mini sofa for Frances in our living room. So when I found the pallets I knew immediately I had to make them into a sofa frame for my Little Lady.
What was great about this project was that I did not have to spend a dime to make it, even the labor was free, thanks Dan!
The project required 2 pallets (luckily I had 4!). (1&2) We started by placing the cushions on one of the pallets to determine where we would cut it to create the sofa seat and sofa back for the frame.

(3) With some brute force (a.k.a. a hammer and some round house kicks) Dan disassembled the other pallet to use its 2x4's to connect the sofa seat to the sofa back. (4) He cut and (5) attached the 2x4's from the other disassembled pallet to the bottom of the sofa seat.
(6) Then he used the newly attached 2x4's to drill the sofa back into the sofa seat. We made sure the sofa back had a slight angle to ensure maximum comfort. (7) The end result.
(8) After some extensive sanding to make sure most of the rough edges and splinters had been removed (9) I used some leftover stain from my floating cubby buffet counter top and stained the frame to camouflage any flaws and liven up the unfinished wood. I topped it off with a semi-gloss finish. 
Once the frame was complete I had to make a slipcover for my sofa cushions. I used some black and white zig zag indoor/outdoor fabric leftover from a project that never came to fruition. (10) My enormous cushions had a cut-out in each corner (11) so I had to fill in the cut-outs using some upholstery foam.
(12&13) I wrapped the foam in some batten material and then wrapped the whole thing, including the cushion with more batten just to make sure it stayed in place. I wanted to be able to remove the cushions if needed (14) so I sewed on some velcro to one side of the slipcover. 
Of course I repeated the whole process for the second cushion.
I love our new pallet sofa, it's a great place to snuggle up for story time (Clifford is the "It" book in our house these days). Dan and I have even found ourselves choosing it over the big kid sofa on occasion. I considered adding some casters to the base to make it mobile and a little higher off the ground. But cozied to the floor fit's all 2'-7" of Francie much better. 
In the context of our life at the moment our new sofa fits us just right. And to think the pallets started their life holding sod. 

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. I love it! That's such a cool idea. Looks way better than my regular furniture.

  2. Wow, very cool. There was no sewing, just velcro? Also, where'd you get the fun chevron indoor/outdoor material?


    1. Thanks! I sewed on the velcro, so there was some sewing, but very minimal. I got the fabric for cheap from fabric.com they have lots of great patterns well priced.

  3. This looks great! How do you keep cushions from sliding off the pallets?

  4. It really has not been an issue at all, they are quite bulky, which is why I removed them from our actual sofa in the first place, but they do stay in place just fine as is.

  5. This looks amazing! Can you tell me more how you sewed the cushions? I have some similar projects but the sewing has intimidated me.

  6. Hi Meagan,
    I am still a bit intimidated by sewing, it takes a little extra motivation for me to take on sewing projects (: I have found that learning more about may machine has helped a ton. I found tutorials on YouTube that explained how my machine worked, very helpful!

    As for this project I tried to do as little sewing as possible so here's how I did it:
    1.)I first get the fabric so it was as wide as my cushions and then I added about 2" to both sides. I did everything with the inside of the fabric facing out that way when I fliped it right-side out the seams would not appear.
    2.)I then wrapped the fabric around the cushion until the two ends meet. I pinned where they met and then sewed them together. This covered most of the cushion all I had left was the two sides.
    3.)Both side panels were cut about 2 inches larger than my cushion sides all the way around.
    4.) One side panel I just pinned to the main fabric from step 1 and sewed them together.
    5.) The other side panel I velcroed to the main fabric as I wanted to be able to remove the cushion. I sewed half the velcro to the main fabric and the other half to my side panel.

    While the cushions are not perfect the pattern kind of helps conceal any errors and so far it has held up just fine. I used chalk to mark right on the fabric where I wanted to sew if it wasn't clear and the chalk just wipes off. I also had a seam ripper handy to fix any mistakes.

    Again, I'm not an expert at sewing but it worked for me. I really think the biggest thing was taking the time to learn how my machine worked. Doing some practice with some scraps of fabric also helped me figure things out and get some confidence.

    This is a link to how I sewed our couch cushions:

    Hope that helps and good luck with your projects!

  7. I'm a bit confused as to how the sofa back, was attached to the sofa base. What kind of joining technique was used? Is it possible that could be explained in more detail?

    And this looks GREAT of course!!

  8. Hi Cheryl, Thanks! We cut a single pallet almost in half, with the seat portion being a bit larger than the back so it was stable (step 2 image). You can see in the pics for steps 4 and 5 that my husband attached 2x4's to the 2x4s that already made the base of pallet and what would be the seat of our sofa (step 5 image), they extended beyond the seat so that we could then attach the 2x4's that made the sofa back to them. My husband used screws to attach them (step 6 image). Hope that makes sense...

  9. This is fantastic. I've seen a few already and I love them. I'm thinking I need one in our space as well! ;) Thanks for sharing! -Mika

    1. Thanks MIka, it really was not that hard to make and we use it everyday!

  10. Hey, you are doing a great job. I love your show and lately your website has been a real help for me.Very useful information to help your back feel better while sitting all day. Thanks for sharing. Donald

  11. That is such an attractive furniture. I moved my office into a sitting room my family uses and have wanted to update the traditional office furniture I use. My desk is an antique and the armed swivel chair really isn’t a good fit. Going to look into this one right now!


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