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Build pallet furniture: DIY pallet sofa with backrest and drawers

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There is a lounge chair made from pallets with two drawers standing in a garden.
Pallets can be transformed into a comfortable lounge chair with space to store your things with two simple additions.
  • Difficulty
  • Costs
    < 50 €
  • Duration
    1-3 h


Pallet furniture has long been popular. Most people like to make their own bench or table. But there are more things you can do: We’ll show you how to build a drawer and backrest for your pallet furniture in a few simple steps. Improve comfort and give your sofa a more personal touch with these two add-ons.

The measurements shown for the individual parts refer to standard Euro pallets. Make sure to use this type of pallet to ensure the new add-ons fit perfectly when you’re done.

It should go without saying that your safety is paramount throughout every step of the project, so make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find an overview of the correct protective clothing you need when using each type of tool here:

What you need

Icon accessories
Additional items
  • G-clamps
  • Pocket rule
  • Pencil
Icon confirmation
Material list
  • List of materials for drawers:
  • 2x plywood boards (744 x 84 x 18 mm each) / 2x plywood board (375 x 84 x 18 mm each) / plywood panel: 375 x 780 x 6 mm | Torx screws (3.5 x 50 mm) | Torx screws (3 x 25 mm) | Water-resistant wood paint | Paint roller
  • List of materials for backrest:
  • 9x wooden boards (800 x 75 x 27 mm each) | 2x wooden boards (730 x 75 x 27 mm each) | Screws (3.5 x 50 mm) | Paint roller | Weatherproof wood paint
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's start - step by step

1 15

Securely clamp the side and back panel

Two boards are being clamped together at the corner on the worktop.

What you need: G-clamps, Plywood board: 744 x 84 x 18 mm | Plywood board: 375 x 84 x 18 mm

Let’s start off with the drawers. You can build them with ease with just a few tools and materials.
You can find all the wooden boards and planks pre-cut to the right size at your local DIY store.

In step one, take one long side panel and one short back panel. Next, clamp the two boards at one corner of your work surface.

2 15

Drill the holes and fasten boards together with screws

Two wooden boards are being joined together at a corner using a screw.
Two other wooden boards are being connected together at a corner with a screw to create the frame for a drawer.

What you need: Cordless sander, wood drill bit 3mm, T20 drill bit, G-clamps, Plywood board (744 x 84 x 18 mm) | Plywood board: 375 mm x 84 mm x 18 mm | 8x Torx screws (3.5 x 50 mm)

Now drill two holes where the boards overlap. Then screw the two planks together (Fig. 1).

Now take two other wooden boards, place them at a corner on your work surface and fasten together with screws. Next, connect the two corner pieces to each other. Finally, screw the finished frame for the drawer together (Fig. 2).

3 15

Fasten the bottom panel in place

A bottom panel is being placed on the wooden frame of a drawer.
A bottom panel is being fastened to the wooden frame using several screws.

What you need: IXO, drill bit, G-clamps, Plywood panel: 375 mm x 780 mm x 6 mm | Torx screws (3 x 25 mm)

Now position the bottom panel so that it is aligned on all sides with the frame of the drawer (Fig. 1) and fasten in place with screws. Place screws every 100 mm or so along the length of the frame to ensure the panel remains firmly attached to the frame (Fig. 2).
Alternatively, you can also use nails instead of screws.

4 15

Drill holes for the handle

A hole is being drilled in the front panel of the drawer.
Make sure that the holes for the handle are uniformly offset to the centre.

What you need: Cordless sander, 8mm wood drill bit, Pocket rule, Pencil, Finished drawer

When you are done, you will be able to open the drawer by simply pulling on the cord. Firstly, mark and drill holes on the front side in order to attach the cord. Choose the appropriate drill bit based on the thickness of the cord.

5 15

Sand the edges

A drawer is being sanded with a cordless multi-sander.
You do not want your drawer to have any rough edges or surfaces.

Once everything has been fastened in place and all the holes have been drilled, you will now need to sand the nearly finished drawer.

6 15

Paint the drawer

A drawer is being painted with brown wood paint.
Simple brown or bright and colourful: You decide how you want the drawer to look.

What you need: Paint roller, Water-resistant wood paint

You can now apply a coat of paint to give the drawer a premium look. The paint will also make the wood more weatherproof. It’s completely up to you what colour you choose.

7 15

Thread the cord

A piece of cord is threaded through two holes on a drawer.
You can open the drawer by pulling gently on the cord.

What you need: Cord

Has the paint dried?
Then attach the handle for the drawer. To do so, thread the cord through the holes you drilled earlier and tie a knot at the ends to prevent the cord from slipping out.

8 15

Attach the cover of the drawer

A wood panel is securely clamped to a pallet from below.
A wood panel is fastened from below to a pallet with screws.

What you need: IXO, cordless screwdriver angle screw adapter, drill bit, Plywood panel: 375 x 780 x 6 mm | Screws (3 x 25 mm)

If you will be using the furniture outdoors, it is recommended that you attach another wood panel to the pallet. This will serve as the cover for your drawer to keep the magazines, blankets and pillows you store in it from getting wet.

Securely clamp the panel in place (Fig. 1) and screw it together with the pallet from below. The easiest way to do this is to use an angle screw adapter (Fig. 2).

Your drawer is finished and can now be inserted into the pallet.

Are you looking to make your pallet furniture even more comfortable? We’ll show you how to build a matching backrest for Euro pallets in the steps to follow.

9 15

Draw the notches used to adjust the position of the backrest

Use a template to draw the pattern on a wooden beam.
Make sure that the pattern is drawn at the same height on both sides.

What you need: Pencil, 2x wooden slats (730 x 75 x 27 mm) | Template

You’ll only need a few tools and materials to create a backrest for your pallet furniture.
You can find all the boards you’ll need pre-cut to the right size at your local DIY store.

To make it possible to adjust the backrest later on, you’ll need to saw out the notches on the two wooden support slats.
Simply check the template to find out where to saw the grooves and the angle you’ll need to use. Print it, place it at the lower end of the short slats and use a pencil to trace the design onto the wood.

Download template here

10 15

Saw out the notches and sand them

A design is being cut out of a wooden slat using a cordless jigsaw.
A wooden beam is being sanded with a cordless multi-sander.

Now, clamp the first plank securely in place and saw out the marked notches.
Repeat this step with the second slat and then sand all the sawn edges once.

11 15

Position the boards

A wooden slat is being clamped to a work surface.
A third wooden slat is being clamped securely to a work surface.

What you need: Pocket rule, G-clamps, 2x boards with pre-cut shape | 1x wooden slat (800 x 75 x 27 mm)

Now clamp one of the long wooden boards at the front to your work surface. Next, position the two short pre-sawn boards so that they are flush with an inside spacing of 430 mm. Clamp them securely in place to ensure you can drill all the holes and fasten everything with screws.

12 15

Screw the boards together

Two wooden planks are being screwed together.
Remember to predrill the holes before you fasten with screws.

What you need: Cordless sander, wood drill bit 3mm, T20 drill bit, 4x screws (3.5 x 50 mm)

Predrill two holes and fasten the boards together with screws where they overlap.

13 15

Attach more boards

A wooden board is being placed flush to a wood frame.
Several wooden boards are fastened in place with screws to act as cross braces on the wood frame.

What you need: Cordless sander, wood drill bit 3mm, T20 drill bit, 7x wooden boards (800 x 75 x 27 mm) | 4x screws (3.5 x 50 mm)

Now attach seven more slats from above to the frame. Begin by placing the first board so that it is flush with the top edge (Fig. 1), predrill holes and fasten in place with screws.

Now position the other six boards 15 mm apart from each other. Use a spacer here if you want. Predrill the holes and use four screws to fasten each board into place (Fig. 2).

14 15

Paint the backrest

A wooden backrest is being painted using a roller.
The quickest way to apply paint to the backrest is using a roller.

What you need: Paint roller, Water-resistant wood paint

How about a splash of colour? You can now paint the backrest any colour you want. By painting it, you also help to weatherproof the wood.

15 15

Install the backrest

A wooden board is being screwed to a pallet.
A wooden backrest is attached to a pallet.

What you need: Cordless sander, wood drill bit 3mm, T20 drill bit, Euro pallet | Wooden board (800 x 75 x 27 mm) | 4x screws (3.5 x 50 mm)

In the final step, take the Euro pallet to which you want to attach the backrest.
You will now need to attach the last remaining wood board from below at a distance of 80 mm to a crossbeam of the pallet. This board will be used later on to hold the backrest in place.
Securely clamp the board (Fig. 1) and fasten in place using several screws (Fig. 2).
You can now attach the backrest (Fig. 3) and adjust it to the desired angle.

Relax and enjoy!

Legal notice

Bosch does not accept any responsibility for the instructions stored here. Bosch would also like to point out that you follow these instructions at your own risk. For your own safety, please take all the necessary precautions.