DIY Crafts

How To Build A Backyard Pallet Bar

Two great things about your new local: it’s always open and couldn’t be closer to home.
By Tamara Smith
Paper bar illustration, made of pallets Photography, Erik Putz. Paper illustrations, Caitlin Doherty. Art direction, Stephanie Han Kim.

DIY design guru Tamara Smith—find her on Instagram @mygrandparentschair—designed and built this backyard bar using a couple of freebie pallets (check your local Kijiji) and a little elbow grease. Here’s how you can make one, too.

Headshot of Tamara Smith, author

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 2 wooden pallets (47 x 38 or 42 x 38)
  • 2-1 x 6 x 6'
  • 1-2 x 4 x 8' (only if you’re using 42 x 38 pallets)
  • 1-2 x 12 x 8'
  • 2 ½" deck screws
  • 4-4" shelf brackets
  • 2-4" stainless steel mending plates
  • Paint, in the colour of your choice
  • Deck stain, in the colour of your choice


  • Mitersaw (or a miter box and handsaw)
  • Drill
  • Nailgun
  • Orbital Sander
  • Circular Saw

And here’s how to build it:

1. If your skids are 47" high, cut 5" from the top of each skid. (If your skids are 42" high, this is not required.)

Skids, large

Sawing excess off skids, per instruction

2. Attach the full-size skid and one of the half skids together at a 90-degree angle with screws.(You will not need the other half skid.)

Two skids attached at a 90 degree angle

Tamara nails skids together

3. Cover the gap between the pallets with a 1 x 6 cut to size.

Attaching cover between skids

4. Attach the toe plate with screws. (Make this from the wood cut off the top of the 47" pallet; if you’re using 42" pallets, you’ll need to use a 2 x 4 x 8'.)

Adding bar step to the pallets

5. Attach “shelves” using remaining 1 x 6 cut to size to the inside of the skid on the cross pieces.

Tamara adds shelving in the middle of skids

6. Sand and paint the bar.

Sanding the skids

Painting the skids black

7. Cut a 2 x 12 to size for your bar top. Stain the two pieces of bar top, then use two stainless steel mending plates to screw the two pieces together. (You can use either a butt joint or a mitered corner to attach them.)

Staining a piece of bar top

8. Attach the bar top using the shelf brackets; leave a 7" overhang.

Adding bar top with shelf brackets


9. Enjoy your new bar!

Completed bar, front shot

Completed bar, back shot
To see more ways to get the most out of your summer, check out our Summer Fun Guide hub.