DIY Deck and Patio Seating

Log seats on a patio.

You can’t fully enjoy your outdoor space if you haven’t got anywhere to sit. Put a personal stamp on your patio with DIY deck and patio seating. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a great outdoor space, but you will need to put in your fair share of sweat equity.

Wooden Pallet Seating

With inexpensive wooden pallets, it’s possible to build great-looking outdoor seating. Wooden pallets are used to transport heavy items, and you can find them everywhere from grocery and department stores to local plumbing companies. You can get them for next to nothing – and even for free if you know where to look. To make a full sectional sofa, you’ll need at least six of them.

Use a belt sander to smooth away any rough patches and potential splinters. Try to get a smooth, even finish. Sand the pallets in entirety, front and back and along the sides. Paint your pallets with exterior paint, which is more hard-wearing than the indoor stuff. Depending on the type of paint and the color you choose, you may need to apply more than one coat. For a more natural look, stain the wood. Old pallets may have spent years in the outdoors, and that kind of weathering leaves the wood with a lot of character

Because of their uniform size, pallets are perfect for pieces of sectional. Determine how you’d like to arrange them in your space. You have the option of placing them end-to-end to create a long sofa, or putting one at a 90-degree angle to create a corner. Use brackets to secure the pieces together.

You can create cushions from outdoor fabric to cover the seats, or leave them bare and dress up your sectional with throw pillows if you like.

You can always use your pallet-assembling skills to create chairs, an ottoman, even a table. Sand them, paint them, stack them together and you can create many different outdoor items.

Natural Outdoor Seating

Add more DIY seating to your outdoor spaces by re-purposing large logs and rocks.


If you live on a property with lots of natural stone in the ground, you may be able to find these close at hand and for no money at all. If not, they can be purchased from a stone yard or rescued from nearby excavations. You may be surprised how frequently people offer up free materials if you’re willing to haul it away.

Look for stones that already have the smooth shape and size of a seat. Create a base with mounded earth or a pedestal of smaller stones. Just be sure that everything is secured with either gravity or mortar. Set your seat atop an earthen mound covered with sod to match the look of the lawn makes for an interesting effect.


Another material you may be able to get for free is logs, which often can be found just lying around. Nothing stops you from simply sitting on one as is, but make a log seat more inviting by modifying it to suit your space.

Place a thick log against the ground lengthwise. Use a chainsaw to cut a long, clean line down one side of the log. The flat edge only needs to be 2-3 inches wide, though it can be bigger. This flat spot allows the log to sit on the deck or patio without rolling. Cut out niches into the top of the log to serve as seats. A bench log seat is perfect for kids, who are already low to the ground. Of course, a log can also be cut through it's width and the pieces can stand on end, as individual seats.

(Are you relaxing on a deck or a patio? Find out the difference here.)