I’m a huge fan of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. I’m also really into upcycling. Repurposing wooden pallets to make furniture, storage, and other household furnishings and accessories combines the best of these intentions beautifully. Wooden pallets are relatively easy to obtain (start by calling local big box stores to see if you can score some for free or cheaply!) and wooden pallets are easy to work with. I especially like the rough-hewn and airy look you can achieve using wooden pallets as building materials. Read on for some great ideas on what you can make out of wooden pallets.
Couch – This is my favorite way to make outdoor furniture. Use the top of the pallet as the seat of the couch; cut it down to the appropriate size if desired. More pallets can be used vertically – give your couch a seat back, and raise it as high off the floor as is comfortable for you. Casual cushions and pillows complete the look.
Coffee Table – A wooden pallet on your living room floor makes an instant coffee table. Raise the height by stacking pallets or adding feet (or casters if you’d like to move it around to where you need it). Want a smooth and finished tabletop? Have a piece of glass or an acrylic sheet cut down to size and simply lay it over the top of the pallet.
Shelving – Use the back side of the wooden pallet to make shelves – see how the planks along the edges make something that looks like a pocket? It’s a great place to put books, magazines, and even wine bottles! Cut the pallet down to size so that you can hang it on the wall.
Bed Frame and Headboard – You’ll need a few pallets to make a wooden bed frame. Use pallets to make the flat part that will hold your mattress; additional pallets can be cut down and used on the vertical to make the height of the bed to your specifications. Maybe making a bed frame out of wooden pallets is a little rustic for your taste. A headboard could be just right – use pallets vertically against the wall for a quick and easy headboard. Get creative and paint them first to match your bedroom décor.
Garden Planters – Is space at a premium in your yard? Are you interested in having a garden but unsure where to put it? Secure a wooden pallet lined with landscaping fabric vertically against a fence or wall, and then fill with soil and plant small blooms. I like to use flowers, but maybe vegetables are your passion! Have more space to play with? Keep your pallet horizontal along the ground and enjoy plantings in perfectly straight rows.
Wooden Shed – If you can get your hands on several wooden pallets, you can make a shed! Build a simple wooden frame of the size you want the finished shed to be. Attach vertical pallets to the frame securely, such as you’d put up sheetrock on a wall. Use pallets across the top to make a roof for your shed; depending on how the wooden planks are laid, you may need to take a few extra steps to make sure the roof doesn’t leak!
Table – Use a wooden pallet to make a table. This DIY project works best when the planks along the pallet are set close together. If the spacing between them is wide, you may need to get pieces of wood – either custom cut or from other pallets – to fill them in. Sand down any rough spots and apply a polyurethane to seal the wood. Break up another pallet to make custom legs for your table, or use what you’ve got – pull the legs from another table and enjoy the contrast between fancy legs and a plain tabletop.
Art – Let a wooden pallet serve as your canvas and turn it into a beautiful work of art. There’s no limit to what you can do here. Perhaps you really found a great pallet with some gorgeous natural wood grain – seal it with polyurethane and let it add a natural touch to your home décor. Think about painting it, making a collage on it, or even drilling holes and installing lighting for a super modern look. Have your kids step in paint and then walk across it to make a family art project. No matter what you choose, have fun with it!