If you’ve ever had work done to your home, you’ve probably acquired some wooden pallets that get left behind after the workers depart. These platforms are seemingly useless and probably headed for the dump, right? Wrong! With a little bit of creativity, they can be transformed into one-of-a-kind home decor. Repurposing these pallets is not only an affordable and sustainable way to decorate your home — it’ll also provide your space with a charming aesthetic mix of industrial and rustic. If you don’t have any pallets on hand but want to try these DIY tricks anyway, you can find them at most home improvement retailers (like Home Depot). Keep reading for five ways to use cast-off shipping pallets to craft unique household furnishings.
Make… A Houseplant Display
A pallet turned on its side is a perfect shelf for plants. Use it on your terrace or patio, or add it to the potting shed. No matter the location, the plants and gardening accessories will make an attractive still life. No need to fret if your pallet has a bit more wear and tear to it, either — any extra dirt or erosion serves as a contrast to the bright greenery or florals you’ll fill it with.
Make… A Lounger
This DIY perch will require two pallets. (Depending on your available space, you might want to use a power saw to cut the pallets down to a smaller size.) Sand down the edges with medium grit sandpaper. Stack one pallet on top of the other, and use wood screws to adhere the four corners together. Craft a cushion using a 5-inch-thick piece of foam rubber cut to fit the pallet, and make a cover for the cushion with a piece of fabric cut 6 inches larger than the foam on all sides. Place foam in the center of the back side of the fabric and tightly wrap around each edge, using heavy-duty fabric glue to secure.
If you want to give back support to the piece, you can add casters to each corner, which will let it be pushed against a wall when needed. As for the style and size of the lounger, that part is completely up to you!
Make… A Coffee Table
Start with two pallets; if desired, use a power saw to cut down pallets to a smaller size. Place the two pallets atop each other, then attach with wood screws at the four corners, as well as any other spots where the two items touch. Add casters if you want, for mobility. The open spaces provide storage for items like magazines, and the already-weathered wood makes the table ideal for both indoor or outdoor use.
Make… A Dining Table
Create an attractive kitchen or dining table using a pallet as the top and adding four decorative legs bought in a builder’s supply store. Attach the legs using corner braces or metal supports. The “holes” or empty spaces between the wood slats can be used for centerpieces or items like salt and pepper mills. Top with a cut-to-fit piece of plexiglass for a flush surface that’ll more easily hold cups, plates, and silverware.
Make… Storage Shelves
Transform a mismatch of pallet pieces into a storage shelving unit. You can try a minimal approach, in which you simply prop a pallet on one end and use the slats to place trinkets, keepsakes, or houseplants. Alternatively, you can craft a towering shelf. For the latter option, use two-by-fours and screw plates to make a rectangular frame of your desired height and width. (Stain to match pallets before assembling.) Use a power saw to cut down the tops of the pallet for shelves, and attach to the frame with wood screws.
Whichever approach you choose, let your personal style lead the way. Turning a seemingly useless item in the back of your shed into a rustic centerpiece for your space is both money-saving and impressive.