Frugal Garden Furniture – Save Money!

Thanks to a few years of niche TV programmes, the garden has become the extra room, the great landscape surrounding the water feature and a general status symbol.

Recycled Pallets Garden Furniture

Recycled Pallets Bench Seat
Built from pallets and scrap wood, plus a coat of wood stain.

Fair enough, a well designed and good looking garden will add value to your property, but most of the time we are using it for simply work, rest and play and have the attitude that, should we sell the house, the new owners are going to rip it apart anyway.

Some people want their garden ‘designer’ with all new steel furniture, huge gas fired barbeque sitting in central position, with lawns like Wimbledon and grass edges which look like the corner of a kitchen work top.

Others though prefer the more aged, rugged and rustic look, although they may be called simply lazy!! That’s not so, many gardens will look right with very little spent on them and suit the surroundings and personality of the owner far better.

Every Spring, the DIY Stores stack up the garden furniture and patio sets 50 feet high and display a range of ‘looks like they’re old’ flat pack benches – which cost the earth. Why not just buy a second hand bench. It’s already assembled, will be far sturdier and will look just as good, if not better! Or you can wait until the end of the gardening season and buy the same thing off them for half the price.

Build Your Own Garden Bench & Garden Furniture

A better idea, if you have time, is to go down to your local timber yard and buy the wood and build your garden furniture yourself. There are many plans available on the net or in books or you can just go down to the local Pub or Park and make note of the stability issues.

The best low cost of all of course is no cost! With the exception of a bag of nails or a packet of screws this can easily be achieved.

In this country there must be enough discarded pallets to build a Fleet for the Spanish Armada 50 times over. They’re everywhere you look, especially on business parks, outside the back of DIY stores or just dumped somewhere. Help yourself !! Probably better to ask first in some cases though!

The hardest job of all building from pallets isn’t so much the sawing and building labour, it’s getting the nails or staples out of the built pallets. A good crowbar will usually do the trick.

Some pallets are ‘better designed’ for tables and others for seats, benches, rose arches or whatever. They often have the added plus of being weather treated, so there’s no work involved there unless you want a pristine finish with stain or varnish.


Then we come onto barbecues. To be fair, you can buy them pretty cheap nowadays, but these are usually very tinny, black and red (don’t know why) and haven’t the versatility of much height variations for the grill and so on.

If you want rustic, then just search around for some old building bricks and build one yourself. The only cost will be with the grill, but even then you may find an old grill from a cooker lurking around in a forgotten corner of your shed that will make the perfect grill for your BBQ


For Parasols, ask around at your local Pub. These are often quite colourful, well made and give your garden a very ‘English look’. Especially as you shelter from the summer rain

Articles on the Frugal Garden

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