How to Build a Wood Patio Sofa

An outdoor sofa must be strong enough that it supports the weight of anyone sitting on it but also have a decorative look.
An outdoor sofa gives you more room for entertaining outside.An outdoor sofa gives you more room for entertaining outside.
Consider making your own patio couch from lattice pieces and ordinary pallets. Most large cities have pallet distributors that sell the pieces cheap. The pallets serve as the base of your patio sofa, while the lattice pieces act as the arms and back.

Step 1

Sand two wood pallets measuring 40-inches-by-40-inches with an orbital sander. Use a coarse-grit disc and sand the top, sides and edges of the pallets. Replace the disc with a finer-grit sandpaper and go over the pallets a second time.

Step 2

Set the two pallets side-by-side, so that the front measures 80 inches. Turn one pallet onto its side and drill four holes along the edge. Repeat with the other pallet. Slide a ¾-inch bolt through one pallet and into the other. Slide a washer and nut onto the bolt and screw in place. Repeat this step, adding a bolt to each hole, which holds the pallets together.

Step 3

Measure 2 inches in and 2 inches down from each corner and mark the spot. Set a rolling locking caster on the mark. The rolling casters act as short legs for the outdoor couch. The caster has a metal plate with four holes. Mark each hole and remove the caster. Drill a hole through each mark and set the caster back on top. Slide a ¾-inch bolt through the wood and screw into place with a nut and washer. Repeat this step on each corner.

Step 4

Apply a coat of polyurethane, which is a clear protective coating, onto all areas of the wood. After the polyurethane dries, lightly sand the wood with fine-grit sandpaper. Apply two or more coats, sanding each layer after it dries.

Step 5

Place a garden trellis piece 40-inches-by-36-inches on the side of the couch base. Position the piece so that it sits flush with the base of the pallet. Screw 2-inch wood screws every 2 inches through the trellis and into the wood. Repeat this step with a second garden trellis on the opposite end.

Step 6

Position a garden trellis 80-inches-by-36-inches across the back of the couch base. The bottom of the trellis should sit flush with the bottom of the pallet. Screw 2-inch wood screws every 2 inches, making sure that the screws go into the wood pallet.

Step 7

Wrap a piece of twine through the bottom of the trellis, wrapping the piece around the longer trellis and through one of the side pieces. Weave the twine through the holes in both pieces, attaching the pieces together for more stability. Tie a knot at the end of the twine and cut off the excess. Repeat this step on the opposite end of the couch.

Step 8

Cover a twin mattress with a waterproof cover, which protects the mattress from rain and moisture. Wrap a daybed cover over the waterproof cover. Set the mattress on the couch. Use bolster pillows on both ends of the couch and fabric pillows across the back.

Things You Will Need

  • Two wood pallets, 40-inches-by-40-inches
  • Orbital sander
  • Drill
  • ¾-inch bolts
  • Washers
  • Nuts
  • Measuring tape
  • Four rolling locking casters
  • Polyurethane
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Two garden trellis pieces, 40-inches-by-36-inches
  • 2-inch wood screws
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Garden trellis, 80-inches-by-36-inches
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Twin mattress
  • Waterproof cover
  • Daybed cover
  • Bolster pillows
  • Fabric pillows

Tip

  • Depending on where you get your pallets, you might not have access to these sizes. In this case, you must cut down the pallets to the right size.

About the Author

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.