Where can I find pallets?
As pallets are mainly used in business and industrial settings, you could consider asking at your local supermarket if they have any they no longer need. They might even keep some aside for you to collect later that day. You should also be able to find pallets on building sites. One idea could be to call up the construction company office and ask if there are any you can safely collect with their permission. Wooden pallets are also sometimes available online from local people keen to see them upcycled.
What can I make from old wood pallets for outdoors?
If you’re looking to add something new to your outdoor space, upcycled wooden pallets could be just the job. Here are a few suggestions on ways to transform a pallet into something new:
Hanging basket shelves
The slats of a pallet give you an opportunity to hook hanging baskets onto the edges. If you can attach a pallet to a wall, the baskets will hang down and offer a floral display. You could finish off by painting the pallet to complement or contrast against the flowers in the baskets.
Pallets can also make handy privacy screens. By hanging or attaching pallets upright, you can make garden dividers. If you can plant ivy or a similar climbing plant up it, that’ll offer even more privacy and some greenery too.
A wood pallet offers many opportunities to create something new for the outdoors, including ways to help wildlife. These little wooden huts provide a safe place for insects to sleep over the winter. They encourage wildlife to stay in your garden all year round. You can fill the gaps with straw, stones or terracotta to provide shelter. If you’ve got more than one pallet, it can be a multi-storey hotel with space for even more wildlife like hedgehogs.
Making use of wooden pallets in the home
Inside the home, you can use wooden pallets to create furniture and accessories for daily use. Ideas include:
You can use pallets as the basis for big projects or simply to add a rustic touch to smaller creations. An old wooden pallet can be carefully broken apart and the slats used to frame a bathroom mirror or a picture.
You could also take the slats from a pallet and add hooks to them before attaching them to the wall. That way, you have a practical coat rack or dog lead holder to hand right by the door.
You can reassemble the slats of a pallet to make a small tray. By giving it a good finish of paint and a nice design, you can then use this as a serving platter on cheese night. With the addition of a cushion to the bottom, you could even turn it into a TV tray.
Shelves and bookcases
If you have lots of slats, you could make a feature out of them by attaching them to a wall as shelves in the shape of a pyramid or cube. This offers plenty of flat space to place objects on while also making it visually appealing. Another approach could be to rearrange the slats into a bookcase. The benefit of this is that you can put the shelves as high as you want, meaning even the tallest of your books can find a home here.
Larger projects can make wooden pallets almost unrecognisable. By giving them a coat of paint and adding legs, you could transform them into office desks. The legs could be wooden or even wire to bring a touch of contemporary style into your home office.
Inside the home, you could create storage space by attaching the top surface of a pallet flat against your wall, making sure the slats are horizontal. Then take some extra slats and nail them across the leg beams to create shelves. This would be suitable for areas in the home used as an office, or perhaps as a bookcase for children to use.
If you have a pet, then this DIY pallet furniture project is for you. By removing around one-third of the pallet and slats and attaching it upright to the end of the pallet, you will be able to use that section as a headboard. This gives your pet something to lean against when sleeping. Comfy pillows or a duvet will complete the look and give your pet somewhere to stretch out in style. And if you also install wheels on the bottom, the bed can always easily go wherever the sun is shining in the home.
What can I make with a single pallet?
People starting out often favour projects using a single pallet. That way with just a few simple tweaks or additions you can soon end up with a new piece of furniture. Here are a few ideas:
One simple way to make use of a wooden pallet is to turn it into a coffee table. By placing a sheet of toughened glass or a wooden panel to the top and some legs or wheels to the bottom, you can transform a wooden pallet into a unique and eye-catching table space. It’s light enough to be lifted or wheeled around the home or tucked away when you need more floor space.
You can create stylish flower boxes using three slats to create the front, back and bottom. Attach them securely using wood from another slat, cut to shape to make the two shorter sides. By applying a coating of wood preserver and then a suitable wood oil or paint, the wood will survive whatever the weather throws at it. Lining it with strong polythene will also add some extra protection. Gravel or hardcore at the bottom, followed by some compost and the all-important plants, will create a nifty little planter.
Perhaps the simplest way to make use of an old wooden pallet is to take out the slats and lay them outside like stepping stones. You then instantly have a path to cross a patch of grass or soil to keep your shoes dry and clean.
Stools and tables
Wooden pallets are versatile, so there are plenty of ways for you to create furniture for a home or garden. By stacking a few pallets together and adding a comfortable cushion on top, you can make stools to sit on. This can also be done on a bigger scale then finished off with a flat surface to produce a table that will be sturdy and look unique too.
If you’d prefer to sit closer to the ground, pallets can make comfortable benches. By adding some legs to raise it off the ground slightly, you can have a new bench for any area of your home in no time. You can use a smaller-sized pallet to construct chairs.
You can craft upcycled wooden pallets into beds of all sizes. Once you’ve appropriately sanded and treated the pallets to make them safe, you can build them into futons. For the more adventurous, you could even try creating a set of bunk beds.
You can construct stylish dining tables from upcycled wooden pallets, with lots of serving space for many people to sit around comfortably. For a coordinated look in your kitchen or eating area, you could give them a painted finish to match the existing décor.
If you’re looking to keep your food off the ground on your summer picnic, an easy project is a pallet picnic table. By stacking two pallets on top of one another, you can construct a table that sits at a comfortable height for everyone to reach from the ground. There’ll be plenty of room to lay out lots of delicious food and, when treated correctly, you can store it and use it year after year.
Easy DIY pallet furniture
We hope you’ve been inspired by some of these ideas and tips. Upcycling wooden pallets is an environmentally friendly way to re-use wood. If you’re looking for even more project ideas, why not check out our tips on how to make garden furniture from pallets?