I admit it wholeheartedly, I am in love with pallets. They are right up there with shipping containers in versatility. Though maybe, just slightly, more transportable and easier to work with. So, when I came across a picture on Pinterest for a hanging garden bed made from pallets, I fell in love. It went to the top of the project list.
A hanging bed is actually quite easy to make. It’s finding the trees to hang it from that is the tricky bit. (Other ideas on this below.) You need two good sized trees at least 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) apart. It took us longer to determine where to hang it, than actually making it.
Now, let’s get on with making the bed.
What you need is simply:
- 2 pallets
- 2 or 3 2×4 pieces of wood
- some good strong rope
- 2 carabiner clips that fasten closed
- and some screws.
- Paint (optional)
We’re lucky in that we have both an excellent local hardware shop. And a recycling centre nearby that let us have pallets for free. The world, therefore, is our oyster on the pallet project front.
Ideally you want 2 matching pallets, or at least the same size. Put them side by side, with the cross supports going length-wise. This means the slats will go horizontal, from side to side of the bed. Slide a 2×4 through the pallets, along the supports each side, screwing it to the support post. We added a 3rd 2×4 in the middle for added strength. (This would allow for two people to be on the bed safely together.)
Once built we gave it a coat of paint to pretty it up a little, using some left over white paint from another project. But you could of course use up any colour you have hanging about.
Cutting our thick rope into two, each piece was wound under and around an end. It was then attached to a carabiner before continuing up to be tied to a large tree branch.
We didn’t hang it too high, only about 20 cm (a foot) or so off the ground. This made for easy access of getting on it. It does swing a little, particularly end to end, rather than side to side. By keeping it low, a foot could be put down easily to manage this. Once settled, there’s little movement and it simply relaxes you to lie there.
The relaxing atmosphere itself is in the details. We strung a line across the top between the branches to hang a bug net so naps could be taken in peace, without being ‘bugged’. (Sorry, had to be said).
Now for the topping. A single mattress was given a waterproof mattress protector, to protect from rain, and then a fitted sheet over the top. An old quilt and lots of pillows made up the rest.
Rather then carting the bedding back and forth, we opted for a waterproof box by the bed for storing the pillows and quilt in when not in use. For added protection we tucked a waterproof tarp around the mattress when not in use. It keeps off the nights dew or the odd rain shower. Of course, you could also purchase or re-purpose wearther-proof garden cushions instead.
The original plans were found initially on The Merry Thought. If you would like detailed images and instructions, do check out their page.
Other hanging options
If your garden struggles to provide you with big enough trees, or trees in the right place, then some alternatives are to make a free standing frame for it to hang from. Think rather like a kids swing set. In fact if you have one of those about, remember kids grow up, so you could consider re-purposing it for adults with your own hanging garden bed.
Or, if you are lucky enough to have a porch and have always wanted a porch swing, this is another place you could hang your bed. There are a few videos on ‘how to’ for these. We include one here. They vary in costs and style, but the principle remains the same. A place to relax, nap, and simply enjoy.
There are of course more complicated ways to make a hanging bed. But to our mind, it isn’t how pretty the built underneath bit is. Rather it’s how comfy cozy you make it look and feel on top.
For more Pallet Projects
Making Compost Bins (from pallets)
Making Raised Garden Beds (from pallets)
And continuing the gardening theme…