How to convert your shed into a pallet barBy Chrissy Brown

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Garden sheds, once a thing at the bottom of the garden to store your gardening tools and general junk, are being transformed into an array of weird and wonderful small spaces.  One very popular change of use for a shed is converting it into a pub/bar.

As you know Gumtree is all about saving you money so below I am going to show you how you can build your very own home bar out of pallets for pretty much no cost. What’s more only basic DIY skills and a bit of graft is required.

So let’s get started.

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Step 1: Dismantle the pallets

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Upcycling using pallets is all the trend at the moment so as a result you’ll find them easier to get hold of. Of course start your search on Gumtree. For a more rustic look the bigger variety of pallets the better although you will need two pallets of the same size for the bar.

Be prepared for a bit of blood, sweat, tears and splinters (we recommend you wear gloves! metal and a crowbar was the easiest. 

Start by trying to pry the pallet apart with the crow bar, you’ll find you have more success on some parts than others.  Once you’ve managed to prize the joints open a bit you should be able to get the saw in to saw through the nails.

Remember to keep two identically sized pallets aside which you will use to make the actual bar.

Step 2: Line the floor and walls of the shed with pallet wood

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Once you have a pile of pallet wood start by laying bits of wood on the floor. If you have different sizes and shades then mix them up to get a great effect. Start in the top corner and screw the boards in place using an electric screwdriver with screws long enough to go through the pallet wood and floor of the shed.  You’ll need to cut some pieces to size so use the tape measure to mark the wood then cut using a saw of choice.  Once the floor is down then line all the walls apart from the doors and eaves.

Optional: Paint the wood

I wanted to add a bit of colour so I randomly painted lengths of pallet wood with pastel colours.  I used watered down chalk paint but watered down emulsion would give the same effect. I also painted the door, the eaves and other bits of exposed wood that hadn’t been covered with pallets with watered down chalk paint.

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Step 3: Lining the ceiling

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This step is easier with two people. Start by measuring the length of the ceiling then cut the amount of straw cladding you need – allow a 5cm surplus.  You will need two lengths.  While one person holds the straw cladding in place the other can nail it in place. Hit the nail in until secure then hammer it at a 90-degree angle so it holds the straw cladding in place.  Put nails in every 15-20 cm to secure.

Step 4: Building the bar

Take your two identically sized pallets.  Place your pallets together so the top part of the pallet is facing the outside and the bottom part of the pallets should be touching (see picture).  Cut one of the pallets as shown by the cut lines in the picture.

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Put the pallets back together and secure them by screwing the pallets together.

Move the pallets into place in the bar.  The pallets should stand freely.

Measure and cut out plywood to fit on the top of the bar, the side of the bar that is not jutted against the wall and also two pieces that you can insert on the inside of the pallets to make shelves.

Optional: Decorate the ply wood that is going to be used for the top and side of the bar.  I decoupaged the top of the bar by ripping up old glossy magazines and gluing them onto the ply wood using PVA and when finished and dry I coated it all with varnish. The side panel was painted with chalk paint.

Fix the top and side panel and shelf in place using screws. You can then use corner braces to attach the bar to the floor to make it more stable.

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You now have a basic bar that is ready for you to titivate and customise to your taste.

Below are some of the additions you can add:

You can make shelves using blocks that are left over when you dismantle the pallets and you could use left over pallet wood or ply wood.  I used some old decking off cuts. Drill two blocks on to the wall – good to use a spirit level to get these straight, then lay the pallet wood/ply wood/decking cut to size on top and screw the shelf onto the blocks.

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I also used a length of decking wood that was screwed horizontally to the wall and screwed optics into it – Gumtree is a great place to start your search for optics and bar paraphernalia.

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For a seating area I cut 4 x 18 inch lengths of 3x3 post and I had some 12mm thick wood that I used for the seat but you could use ply board (I recommend 18mm for strength). Simply cut the ply to size then drive a screw through the ply board into the posts. Once made then use corner braces to secure in place to add that extra strength and make sure you test it out before you use it. If you are making a longer seating area then you may need more posts in the middle for support.

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Another great thing to add are solar lights, LED strip lights and disco lights that change according to the music - you can these up cheaply and they light the bar up nicely in the evenings.

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Also you could collect beer mats from your travels and use drawing pins to pin them in your bar.

Oh and don’t forget to name your bar and make a sign out of leftover pallet wood. I used chalk and acrylic paint and varnished it with clear varnish once dry.

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So what are you waiting for?

We would love you to post and tweet pictures of your home bar creations @Gumtree with #UpcycleRevolution.

*Please note the content in this blog post is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on building a pallet bar. It is not intended to be comprehensive. You should refer to the instruction and safety manual of tools and paints you use and seek professional advice if unsure of how to execute the tasks before acting or relying on any of the instructions.