A step by step tutorial on how to build a pallet bar for $7! It’s easier than you think! A quick an easy way to spruce up your backyard.
Hi Friends! I’m really excited about this bar made of pallets that I just built!
About a month ago my hubby told me new needed more room outside next to his BBQ to put things on. Since he’s an amazing BBQer and he uses it a lot I decided to make him something for his birthday.
This is my first big DIY pallet project from scratch and it amazed me how easy it was. I am hooked! The most amazing part is that this only cost me $7!!
Say what??? Yes, I only had to buy 2 bottles of spray paint and everything else I already had or was able to get for free.
Isn’t it fun? I kept seeing some Pinterest posts on cool pallet wood bars with different designs and so I decided to take the plunge and make our own pallet bar. I made this wooden pallet bar by myself, so if a retired 41-year-old female optometrist with three kids can do it, so can you!
Before we get to actually putting together an outdoor pallet bar, let’s first talk a little about wooden pallets.
Where to Find Wood Pallets
So, let’s get started with what you need. The most important is the two pallet wood boards. Asking friends or neighbors on Facebook or going to your local lumber stores is a great place to start.
I went to my friendly Lowe’s and asked and they gave me three pallet boards for free!
They don’t give you the really nice ones since they send those back but my local one said if they have extra ones they are happy to help a DIYer! Here’s what my bar started out looking like:
Another place I’ve found wood pallets is from local Facebook sites and Craigslist. A lot of people will list them for free if you come pick them up.
Or you can always ask on Facebook or Instagram. I have friends that own shipping companies or get large things delivered and they text me to ask if I could use a wood pallet. My answer is always yes! Now, I have a few too many…
How to Stain a Wood Pallet
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The first thing I did was sand them down. I used my power sander and sanded with 80 grit, then 120 grit, and finally 220 grit sandpaper on the one that I was going to use for the front side of my pallet bar diy. Since the backside was not really going to be seen I only sanded it with 120.
After I wiped the dust off I stained the boards on the front pallet.
My creative pallet bar idea included a saying so I did a few extra steps. If you just want a plain wood DIY outdoor bar you can skip the next few steps.
Since I wanted to add a saying and I wanted the words to be a little darker, I stained the entire front of the bar with Minwax Dark Walnut. Just wipe on the stain with a foam brush and then wipe off extra with a cotton cloth.
Let the stained wooden pallets dry.
If you are keeping the stained color (and not adding paint on top), add an outside sealer like a spar urethane to help protect the wood against the outside elements.
Stenciling a Wood Pallet
I designed my saying in Cricut Design Space and then cut out the lettering with my Cricut on vinyl. It doesn’t matter what color since it will get peeled off. This is what it looked like after I weeded it.
I cut it in strips and pressed down my favorite Transfer Paper Tape on it and then lined it up on one of the dry boards.
Put a piece of blue painters tape on the top to keep it in place and then peel off the back of the transfer paper. Click here for my tutorial on applying vinyl with the hinge method.
Press the vinyl down well and peel the transfer paper up.
This is what it looks like after:
Now on to painting! I used Rust-Oleum Spray Paint Satin Oregano.
If you have a Walmart, it’s pretty cheap there. I painted the front with two coats and the back with one. I didn’t paint the back of the front pallet since it wouldn’t be seen. I wanted it to have a rustic look so I let some of the wood show through.
After a few minutes, I peeled off the vinyl with my Craft Weeder.
How To Make a Bar out of Pallets
While the boards were drying I cut a fence board into 12 inch pieces with a jigsaw (or use a mitersaw). I originally cut 6 pieces of wood, but only ended up using 4. I had some old fence boards from a neighbor’s junk pile so always nice to find a project to use them!
After the pallets were dry I laid them on their sides and attached all the 12-inch boards to one of the pallets first on the inside edge. I put two on each side and screwed the boards in with deck screws.
Then I flipped the pallet over and screwed the other two boards in behind the same pallet plank board. It looked like this with the 4 boards screwed it.
Then I put the two pallets together and secured the boards to the second pallet with a C clamp.
I drilled two starter holes on the outside with a Countersink Wood Drill Bit and then screwed the boards together. Repeat for all 4 boards so two pallets are fully attached.
Putting Together the Bar Made Out of Pallets
For the top of the bar, I originally thought of putting on a board and then adding vinyl tiles on top since I had some left from my bathroom makeover. I might still do this in the future if the wood top gets ruined.
However, I looked around at what random wood pieces I had in my garage and found these wood shelves or leaves from a table ( don’t know which!). I thought they would work great for a tabletop.
So first I put some wood glue down the middle and then attached a couple of brackets to the underside.
I flipped the pallets over and centered it on top of the shelves. I used 6 corner brackets to secure the top to the pallets. I had a package of these but you can get them at your local hardware store.
That was it! I had a few Cast Iron Bottle Opener left from a project I had done earlier so I screwed one on the side.
I was so happy with how it turned out and my hubby was very surprised and happy with it especially since it only cost $7 to make!
I found everything in my garage beside the paint, so if you have some you might be able to do this for nothing!!
It is a great addition to our back yard but it would also go perfect in a man cave!! The easy pallet bar is now ready to serve our favorite drinks and munchies on!
Last summer I made another simple DIY pallet bar in a different color and added our patio rules sign above it to complete our outdoor space.
For this homemade bar, I added a long piece of plywood to the top and then added vinyl tiles to that. I also add the boards to the outside of the pallets and added hooks.
If you are wanting more than basic designs, check out all these other DIY pallet ideas on Pinterest.
- 2 old pallets
- stain or outdoor paint
- 6 12-inch pieces of scrap wood (I used old fence boards)
- Brackets (L shaped or corner brackets)
- Saw - Miter saw, circular saw, jig saw
- Screwdriver with pilot hole bit
- Outside wood screws
- Sand two old wood pallets.
- Stain the wood pallets or paint with outdoor paint and let dry. Be creative! You can use a different color on each side to suit your needs! Everyone has a different design idea in their head!
- Lay one pallet on its side and attach two pieces of 12-inch long wood 1/4-1/3 down from the top and bottom of the pallet. Screw in the other two pieces of wood to the other side.
- Secure the other pallet to the ends of the pieces sticking out and screw them together.
- To add a top to the bar, secure a large piece of plywood or scrap wood with brackets.
See blog post for more detailed step by step instructions for the DIY bar with photos.
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Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!