How to build ‘Garden Side Tables’ from Pallets

Here’s a quick and easy one for you. I wanted some garden side tables for, well, you guessed it, the garden. But it seems that everyone else in lock-down did too! What was left online was either expensive or rubbish…so let’s build some garden side tables!

As the title suggests; a pallet, a few wooden blocks, screws and some metal brackets are all you need for this one. I had everything lying around already but it shouldn’t cost any more than £10 to buy everything and less than an hour to make!

Prep’in the Pallet

The first thing to do is prep the pallet. There are loads of YouTube videos and blogs out there explaining how to pull pallets apart. However, for this project, a nice quick method is all that is needed.

Grab a hand saw, circular saw, jig saw or magical wood cutting wand device; and lay the pallet on a sturdy surface. Start cutting along the lengths of the support timbers (stringers?) which will leave you several strips of timber to work with.

Making up the deck

The next step is to make up the top section of the garden side table. So look out some of the straightest and flattest sections of wood you have. How many you need will depend on the type of pallet you cut up. But in my case, 4 boards was plenty to be able to stand a beer on.

Line up the boards on your smoothest grassy surface and secure the four boards together with another strip of timber running across the boards. A couple of short screws into each board is plenty strong enough. Trim off any excess on the support board.

Making it stand up

Now we want to get some feet on our little table. I decided to use some off cuts of construction timber I had for the legs. However, you certainly use the blocks from your pallet or even some of the ‘stringers’.

Now flip the table over and position the 4 legs in the very corners of table top. For ease, I used some metal right angles brackets to screw the legs to table top. However, with some careful drilling, you could screw the legs directly into the top. Just make sure you don’t go all the way through! The last thing you want is a screw popping your beer can.

Give it some sides

The final construction step is to use a couple more strips of your pallet and put some sides onto the table. These strips need to be measured up against your table top and cut down to length. They can then be screwed directly into the legs.

The sides full-fill two jobs: hide all the nasty construction and strengthen up the legs.

Making it look pretty

That’s it! Your almost at the end. But before you go spilling your beer on your newly constructed garden side tables, you need to make it pretty. Since the pallet wood is already treated with a boat load of nasty chemicals, it is fine for outdoor use. But a bit of a sand never hurt anyone.

So I sanded the sides and top surface of the tables down using a 120grit followed by a 240grit. I was careful not to go too deep and remove all that nasty chemical from the pallet. Nor did I want to loose the character! As a final bit of protection I sprayed the whole table with a bit of clear lacquer.

Now it is time to kick back and enjoy your beer…

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