When it comes to easy and effective DIY projects, there is no material that matches the humble pallet in practicality or affordability. Wooden pallets easily add a rustic feel to any space and are suitable for a wide range of uses, from furnishings to planter boxes. In recent years it’s become really popular to transform the pallet wood into useful or decorative pieces for the home, with pallet recycling projects regularly trending on Instagram and Pinterest.
One of the reasons for their popularity is how easy it is to acquire them, often given away for free by a local pallet provider once they have completed their job of carrying cargo. The best way to get your hands on some is to look on Craigslist, Facebook or by contacting a company in your area that offers total pallet management services.
With endless possibilities to explore, let’s have a look at a few ways to transform wooden pallets from ordinary to extraordinary.
Decorating a bedroom doesn’t have to cost the earth, it’s easy to achieve effortless bohemian vibes by simply laying down a couple of pallets and putting a mattress on top. The bigger the mattress, the more pallets you’ll need but that’s easy to determine by measuring the mattress. A free bed frame is just the start, you could also stand a pallet or two up against the wall behind the bed to make a headboard. Easily customizable to fit your space with a lashing of paint, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered buying bed frames in the past.
The rustic look is very trendy right now, and can be added to your living space with almost no DIY skills at all by stacking two pallets on top of each other and putting a piece of glass or plywood on top. The option of adding wheels to the bottom makes it easy to move the table around, and you could paint the wood white or black to add a sleek modern style, or use a dark stain to give maximum boho feels.
Easy to make in less than 10 minutes, all you need to make a functional compost bin set up is 4 pallets and a handful of zip ties. Making sure the place the bin will go is level, attach two pallets together at a 90 degree angle using the zip ties (you can thread one zip tie into a second to make them long enough to attach the pallets). Do this again for the third pallet and then attach the fourth pallet to only one side, so that it will act as a door and swing open.
The slats in the wood will allow for proper aeration of the organic matter, all you have to do is layer some cardboard at the bottom then start adding your kitchen or garden waste and some dirt.
It always surprises me how much it costs to install a decent planter box, which is where pallets once again provide an excellent alternative. The creation and installation is easy, all you have to do is lean a pallet up against a wall where you would like it mounted in place, and mark the points where it will be secured with L-brackets. Before you screw it into the brackets, take the time to lay it flat and attach a waterproof barrier such as weed cloth or thick plastic to the back, which will keep the soil in place and protect the wall that it will be mounted on. Then fill the gaps with soil and plants, stand it back up and secure it to the mounts on the wall.
Be sure to check with whoever provides pallet services in your area to make sure you can get your hands-on untreated pallets (to ensure that no chemical leach into your plants).
Nothing beats cooking on the grill in summer, but often there isn’t enough space to set down all the food. Good quality patio furniture is hard to find on a budget, it needs to be durable and strong enough to stand up against the weather. The perfect bar can be created in no time at all by standing two pallets up side by side (or four depending on the width of the bar) and nailing them together. By placing slabs of concrete or heavy tiles on top, the bar will be secured in place by the weight of these additions.