Y es, pallet couches are all over the internet. Yes, you can find other tutorials. But Bobby and I mashed together several different tutorials and have been happy with how our couch has held up – so I think it’s worthwhile to share. We made this couch back in November along with our no-tools-required pallet bed frame.

We initially decided to try pallets because we didn’t want to invest in expensive furniture and pallets were a much cheaper option. Now that we’ve lived with the pallet furniture for several months, we often remark how we truly like it, regardless of the budget aspect. The “warehouse feel” fits for us. If you think it could be the same for you, read on!

Most of our “design inspiration” for this couch came from this great tutorial on Pretty Prudent. I LOVE the look of the daybed they created and we were aiming for a similar feel, just without the use of extensive power tools and headache.

Here are the materials we gathered to create our couch.

  • 4 pallets
  • 2 twin mattresses
  • 1 twin-sized foam mattress pad
  • 1 quilted mattress topper (we wanted this to be extra comfy and also serve as a good place for friends and family to crash)
  • queen-sized blanket/quilt to cover couch
  • Pipe and flange for the bolsters on the sides – 4 pieces of galvanized steel pipe (18”), 2 pieces of galvanized steel pipe (22”), 4 flanges, 4 corner pieces (to connect the pieces of steel pipe), 16 wood screws to attach the flanges to the pallets (get the type of screws that you can muscle in with a screwdriver – unless you happen to own a drill)
  • In terms of tools, we only needed a screwdriver. That was IT. I’m telling you, this is a drama-free DIY.
  • lots and lots of pillows

I believe in transparency with DIYs. I must admit, we went into this project thinking it would cost SO much less than buying a decent couch in a style we loved. Once all was said and done, this ended up costing much more than we expected. I had read some tutorials that claimed the entire couch could be created for under $100. I don’t know WHAT kind of magic they were working with coupons and deals, because our purchase of the hardware alone – all of the steel pipes etc – cost over $100. YIKES. We will salvage all of that hardware and definitely re-create this couch again, so it was ultimately worth it. Just warning you, though…

First things first, we stacked the pallets. Four pallets total, two stacks of two.

That’s it. No cutting boards down, no sanding. Maybe we just like living on the edge, but we have yet to encounter any splinters. Basically, the goal with this whole couch was: let’s see how easy we can make this.

Then it was time for more stacking. We piled the two twin mattresses on top of one another, followed by the foam mattress pad, followed by the quilted mattress topper. (In the picture, you’ll see two foam pads – we ultimately removed one of them because it was TOO squishy and sank down more than we wanted. Even so, this is a couch fit for The Princess and the Pea.)

The quilt to cover the mattresses wasn’t quite long enough to cover the ends when it was folded around and tucked in.

Luckily, it had come as a set with two large, decorative pillow cases. We were able to sneak those under the big quilt like this:

Then Bobby did some fabric origami and we pinned everything in place with small safety pins. If you don’t have matching pillow cases to work with like we did, you could try to get a cheap sheet in a similar color to cover the ends.

The most intimidating part of this entire process was putting the bolsters on the end to serve as “arms” to the couch. If you’re scared, just go look at some of the other tutorials online…if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably start hyperventilating. Then, come back to this tutorial, take a deep breath, and realize that this is SO much more do-able than those other ones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super impressed by bloggers who are comfortable with power tools and know what a flange is…but I’m not really in that category so I need to keep things simple. If you’re in the same boat, then welcome home.

Let’s start with a pictorial definition. This is a flange:

This is a connector:

We got our steel pipe, connectors, flanges, and screws at Home Depot. Keep in mind, we measured the height of our two mattresses to determine the length of pipes that we needed. If you only have one mattress, your pipes would be shorter. When you’re at Home Depot, make sure all the male/female connectors fit together.

Just to be sure that the pipes didn’t have any grease on them, we washed them down with Dawn dish soap before we assembled them and screwed them on to the pallets.

We assembled the arms – first attaching one 18 inch pipes to the flange, then attaching the corner piece, screwing in the longer 22 inch pipe, and then finally attaching the other corner piece and pipe with the flange. Then, Bobby screwed each flange into the pallet, making sure that it was centered and nestled against the mattress.

Graham was a fan immediately.

We had searched long and hard for just the right combination of pillow sizes and covers. When that triumphant photo of Graham was taken, only a couple of the pillow covers had arrived.

I’m telling you, Graham LOVES this couch. Almost as much as he loves squirrels.

It’s the perfect couch for us because, really, it’s a dressed up bed. After super long days at the golf school, Bobby comes home and keeps Graham company:

Here’s how it looks without any humans or dogs on it…

I’m only able to keep Graham off for so long, though. Who can blame him?

For the pillows themselves, we decided to invest in pillows that actually felt good instead of opting for the cheap inserts that are solely for decoration. These synthetic down pillows were a splurge, but they are AMAZING. I love leaning back into the pillows and feeling like I’m in a cloud.

We found the majority of our pillow cases on Etsy. The knobby, orange ones were on clearance at Target. I realize that the center pillow has a grammatical error (it should say lie instead of lay)…but I only noticed that once it had arrived. Ultimately, I hushed the grammatical queen inside of me and decided that I loved the overall, cheery sentiment enough to look past it.

I alluded to it earlier, but since this couch is made up of two twin mattresses, we can easily deconstruct it and sleep two people in our living room. We did this when both Bobby’s parents came to visit and when my parents came – it was great!

We will be taking this couch apart when we move back up to Vermont this summer, but will most definitely be recreating it in future homes. (I think Graham would cry if we didn’t.)

What about you? Have you made any furniture out of pallets? We are big fans over here!