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What to do with unwanted pallets

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When you are on the receiving end of a pallet or you find discarded pallets around your neighbourhood, rather than tossing them out or leaving them to junk up the place, consider finding a project that transforms this ubiquitous object into something more useful.

This is an iterative article, feel free to update with as many viable ideas as possible. The article aims to list a wide number of possibilities of things to do with unwanted pallets. Either be inspired to make the suggested items or to build on these ideas and create something completely new and as yet unthought of. If you have some instructions to share, please make a link from the suggestions here to a new article on Appropedia that will help people to transform the pallet from junk to useful.


Gardening ideas[edit]

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Pallets can be very useful in the garden, when transformed into such items as:

  • Make a vertical garden from a pallet.
  • Turn a pallet into a tool rack for gardening implements and tools.
  • Grow vine plants against the pallet, using the pallet for support.
  • Make a raised garden bed from a pallet or two.
  • Turn a pallet into a a cold frame.
  • Make a compost bin from a few pallets.
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Furniture ideas[edit]

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There are lots of possibilities for furniture made from old pallets, such as:

  • Turn the pallet into a coffee table.
  • Make an outdoor lounge from several pallets. Add some durable cushion tops for comfort.
  • Make a dining table from pallets.
  • Transform a pallet into a kitchen island table.
  • Create a bookshelf or series of bookshelves from pallets.
  • Turn a pallet into a bench.
  • Make a room divider using pallet boards.
  • Make a chest for holding items.

Craft ideas[edit]

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Crafty things to try making from a pallet:

  • A doll house
  • A wine rack
  • A candle or vase holder
  • A shoe rack
  • Small wooden boxes
  • A wooden tray
  • Signage

And...

  • Salvage the pallet wood for woodworking projects.
  • Pallets can be "weathered", stained or painted, to change their look. However, do be sure to read up on prepping the surface first.


Out of the ordinary ideas[edit]

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  • Perhaps turn a pallet into a gate and a series of pallets into a fence.
  • Keep your chickens in a specific area by covering with chicken wire.
  • Cover a wall in pallets for a feature. Varnish or oil to complete.
  • Make a garden swing from pallets.
  • Turn a pallet into an overhanging holder for pots and pans.
  • Make a cubby house or treehouse from pallet wood.

Things to consider[edit]

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  • Pallet wood is rough and therefore may need sanding or treatment before reuse.
  • Pallet wood will need treatment if the wood is destined for long-term use in the outdoors.
  • Know how to break down pallets safely.
  • Know the prior use of the pallet. If there is any risk of the pallet having been sprayed or contaminated in some way, ensure that the end use of the wood is safe and suitable.
  • Always ask before taking pallets from commercial premises; there are good and bad pallets and it's usually only the bad ones that get discarded or fail to be reused. Pallets made from strong, durable wood are often reused many times and the business will want to hang onto them.
  • Share your pallet ideas with neighbours.