Pallet Adirondack chair

As part of my 13 skills in 2013 challenge ( I wanted to learn how to build something using wooden pallets. And what better thing to build then some outdoor furniture! So after a few weeks of searching for some free pallets and days of searching Pinterest for a good easy design, I found a few that I like but they were a little hard to follow. So I took a few plans and made my own.

And here it is, and how I made it

Here are the steps I took to turned 2 small pallets into an awesome chair!

In only 10 easy steps! 😉 (I hope)

***This is only a guide, feel free to make changes anywhere you would like***


From 2 small pallets to 1 cool Adirondack chair!

Working with pallets is great, due to the fact you can get them for FREE or really cheap! But there are some things I’ve learned. One, most pallets are put together very well so taking them apart requires you to be gentle so you don’t bust all the boards up into little pieces. You can find lots of “how to’s” online.  Two, when pallets are made not all the boards they use are the same size.  (so when your making your cuts they may not be exact)

Step 1:  Take pallets apart and remove nails

Weapons of choice

Weapons of choice


Before and after

Bucket for old nails

Bucket for old nails


One way to start to break down


12 short boards (SB) & 10 Long boards (LB)

The pallets I used where made of 1×4’s. (+/-)  Twelve that were 24 3/4 ” long (we’ll call these SB or short boards and Ten that were 31 1/2″ long (we’ll call these LB or long boards)

If your using larger pallets you could always make a larger chair or make more cuts and use my measurements!

I wanted to see if I could build a chair and make the fewest amounts of cuts possible.  That is how I got my measurements.

Step 2:  Build the Seat and rear legs  

(SB = 24 3/4″ board /  LB = 31 1/2″ board) 

– You will need 2 LB and 5 SB

– Screw one SB to the 2 LB to make the front of the chair


Front board attached

– To make this part easier I go ahead and start the screws in both sides


screws started

– Screw the remaining 4 SB to the top the the 2 LB (I use a 1/2″ gap between the boards)


Seat finished


1/2 ” gap

*** I’ll show you how to cut the angle’s on the back part of the seat later***

Step 3:  Build the Back

– Measure the inside of the back legs. (a little over 23″)


Measure inside of seat


A little over 23″

– Cut 2 LB a little over 23″ , these will be your support boards


Back support boards

– You’ll now need 5 LB to attach to your freshly cut  a little over 23″ support boards.  I like to attach the 2 outside boards first.


Attach outside boards first

I do this because your 1×4 boards may not all be the same so this will make your GAP between the boards off.  I found that the gap I used for the back was between 3/4″ and 1″ .


Back finished

Step 4:  Attach back to seat

– Attach back and seat at 90 degree angle


Attached seat and back

– I use a lot of screws here for extra support (once you get the arms on it will be really solid)


Level the back and seat sections (90 degree)

Step 5:  Front Legs 

– Take 2 SB and cut them to 20″ (I got this measurement form another plan) (you could use the full length if you wanted and have a steeper angle or higher arm rest) As you can see, this is only a guide, feel free to make changes anywhere you would like!

– From the bottom of the front legs measure up 15″ (got from another plan)  and mark it (you will line this up with the top to the seat)

Step 6:  Attach front Legs

– Line the top of the seat up with the 15″ line you marked on the front legs and attach the legs at a 90 degree angle


Front legs attached


Before you cut the legs

I use a lot of extra screws for support (you don’t want someone to sit in your newly built chair of awesomeness and break it!)

Insert pic (take pic)

Step 7:  CUT angles for legs

– If you want your chair to sit flush with a level surface then you’ll need to cut some angles.  One plan I was trying to use called for 15 degree angles, but the length of my boards were different so I did not think it would work.  So I did a little more research on how to cut angles and what i should do about this issue.  I found somewhere where it said just to cut the bottle and top of the legs (just the front) parallel with the ground.  Made since to me so I figured out a easy way to do it.


Use level to measure for cuts

This may not be the best way to do it, but it worked for me.  (lengths that you cut off may differ depending on the size of your level) I cut off the bottom part on the back and the front legs.  and you’ll want to cut off the top part for the front legs so the arms will rest nice and level.


After cuts

Step 8:  Measure for Arm support and Attach arms

– Depending on the width of your boards you may not need to cut any off you LB (31 1/2″) this chair measured in at 30 1/2″, so I had to cut off 1″.

You’ll need 2 SB for the arms

– Level off your arms and mark the side of the back to use as a guide to attach the arm support


Level arms and mark back for arm support

– Use a lot of screws to attach arm support and arms (check level every once and a while and make corrections if needed)


Arm support and arms attached


Lots of screws

Step 9:  Sand/Stain/paint or add some cool custom feature (wine glass or beer bottle holder)

Step 10:  Have a seat and enjoy you hard work and new skill!  (Best part)


Make 2 while your at it!

** I really hope this helps and you find it easy to understand.  If not, feel free to comment any suggestions or questions you may have**


5 thoughts on “Pallet Adirondack chair

  1. Couple quick questions. What size wood screws did you use? How did you cut the angles on the arms and legs did you unattached them after you used the level to determine your cut or did you flip the Chair on its side and make the cuts with a circular saw? Thanks. I’ve been studying this blueprint for a while now and I’m excited to try it out.

    • Sorry just saw your questions. I used some leftover drywall screws I had. But I’m sure any 1.5″ screws would work. And I guess it depends on the wood your using. I just flipped the chairs on their side to cut the legs. I hope this helps and and your chairspouse turn out awesome!

  2. Pingback: How to Construct a Pallet Chair? | Pallets Furniture Designs

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