Shawn is an Airstream enthusiast and outdoor adventurer. He lives full time in the 1973 Airstream that he remodeled.
How to Make a Patio Out of Pallets
Repurposing used wooden pallets is fun, and the possibilities are endless. I have seen so many crafty creations and great ideas. But my favorite has to be the patio I built for Gusto the Airstream.
It was easy, and all the pallets were acquired for free at a local mechanic shop. You can find businesses that will love for you to take their old pallets off their hands. Be aware, however, that some people recycle their pallets.
Now, let me show you how I did it.
Scroll down for more details on each step.
- Level the area that will be your patio.
- Select the best pallets for your foundation.
- Gather your flooring material.
- Lay out your flooring design to get the perfect look.
- Attach your floorboards.
- Make your finishing touches.
Step 1: Level the Area
- Start with an area that is as level as possible. Building on a slope may be possible, but it would make the process much more difficult. For this project, the site was fairly flat but did require some fill dirt for the low spots.
- Using a shovel, garden rake, or whatever tool you have to do the job, try and even out any high and low spots. You may need to add some soil or sand to fill in places and use the shovel to lower others. Once the area for your patio is level, compact the loose soil and get ready for step 2.
Step 2: Select Pallets for a Good Foundation
- Now that we have a level site, it is important to select the best pallets for a good foundation. Decide the shape and size of your patio. Select pallets by size that best accomplish the shape you want. As you can see, I added a cut-out area for my fire pit. The possibilities are wide open. Be creative.
- When selecting pallets for your base, it is important to choose the strongest and best pallets and be sure to select pallets that are the same height. (There are standards in pallet construction, but there are lots of variations as well. So measure carefully.)
- Arrange the pallets into the size and shape you chose. I used long screws to attach the pallets together for extra stability. Use your drill and driver bit to screw through each pallet to the one next to it. Once the base is complete, it's demolition time.
Step 3: Break Apart the Pallets
- Now it's time to break apart the other pallets and select the boards we will use for the actual flooring. I think part of the beauty is in all the variations of color and texture of the boards. Once again, selecting boards of the same thickness will give you the best and smoothest patio surface.
- Breaking apart the pallets is an art in itself. I tried a few ways to do it. Some worked well, some did not. Some pallets seem to just fall apart with a few knocks with a hammer and a pry bar, while others seemed to be permanently attached. Whenever I ran into the latter, I simply opted for my power saw and cut the outer runners off. Then I forced the boards from the remaining center runner with a hammer and pry bar.
Step 4: Lay Out the Pattern and Attach the Boards
- Now that we have a large selection of boards of different lengths and colors to choose from, it's time to start laying out the pattern. I recommend using the 45°-pattern because it gives the best strength by crossing over the other boards. You will benefit from a chop saw or mitre saw to give each board a nice square end and to remove any split parts. Lay the boards out and allow them to overhang the edge of the pallet base. We will cut that nice and straight later with the power saw.
- Using wood deck screws or a nail gun, attach each board to the pallet base. Snug each board up against the other before nailing. Continue this process until the entire surface is covered.
- Now, using a straight edge and power saw, cut the excess off the edges to give you a perfect look.
Step 5: Add Finishing Touches (Optional)
- You can get as creative and fancy as you like with this project. Using pallet boards, trim around the edges to close the open ends of the pallet base. Use stone or mulch around the base to really make it look complete. Next just add some patio furniture.
- Enjoy your new patio!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Can you tell me where to buy the wood pallets? We live in the Memphis area and we want to make a nice patio in front of an RV.
Answer: You can find them sometimes on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You can purchase new ones from a business supply company like ULine. However, they are expensive when bought new. I saw some at a local business and just stopped to ask if I could have them. They were glad to get rid of them. It took a little time to collect enough but was worth the savings.
Shawn Wright (author) from U.S. on June 26, 2019:
Thank you! So glad you enjoyed it.
RTalloni on June 26, 2019:
Such a nice patio for Gusto! Well done from start to finish, including this post. Thanks for the tutorial.