When we moved into our house, we had this beautiful outdoor area but no furniture to make the space useable. New outdoor settings were upwards of $1500 and second hand ones within our price range were old and uncomfortable. So I set out to make a beautiful space on a budget of $0. Yes, that’s right, I spent nothing.
1. Decide on your design
Have a vision of how you want to use the space. Is it for your morning coffee? For socialising? I wanted a space that I could lie down to read but also to be used when we have friends over for a barbeque. Depending on how big your space is and its intended purpose, decide on your arrangement of pallets. If you need inspiration, Pinterest has a multitude of ideas!
2. Hunt for pallets
Pallets are everywhere and you should be able to pick them up for little to no cost. Try local warehouses, gumtree or local Facebook buy and sell pages. I happened to be driving through an industrial area and asked with my best puppy dog eyes if there were any unwanted pallets and scored 6 huge pallets. Aim to get pallets of the same size so they easily stack on top of one another and come to the same height.
My pallets were super heavy duty and carrying them from the roof of my car to my back patio was a mission. We ended up balancing them on a wheelbarrow to transport them. Plus side is that my couch is stable and could hold a baby elephant. Down side is that it is not something that you want to be moving around often.
4. Stack pallets and ensure an even height
My couch is two pallets high which is the perfect height. Unfortunately my pallets were different sizes so we had to place some extra planks of wood underneath to create an even height. This took a lot of fiddling to get stable so I urge you to find the same size pallets if possible! I debated whether to create a wooden backrest for my couch but I didn’t have the technical skills or tools so ended up just putting cushions down.
5. Sand down
I used an electric sander to remove any splinters from the sides of my pallets.
Get thrifty again and keep an eye out for old couch cushions and mattresses to use as a base. My couch is made up of two cot mattresses (perfect size for covering the pallets) and old couch cushions from road side pick up that others were throwing away. Give them a good wash and they work just fine!
7. Cover with throws
I had these beautiful wall hangings that I got from the markets years ago and had on the roof of my yoga studio. Any sheets or blankets that you have on hand will work here. If you are a competent sewer, go ahead and sew covers for the cushions. I just lay the throws on top, that way I can easily remove to wash!
I had a bunch of mismatched cushions inside that weren’t getting put to use so I threw them on for aesthetics and comfort.
There’s is something about a piece of furniture or space that you have created yourself. It perfectly suits your needs and tastes and you feel more inclined to use it. I ritually come out to my couch in the late afternoon to read a book or journal while enjoying a cup of tea.