5 Ways for Wood Pallet Recycling

If you are like most DIY decorators, you may not have realized that the alley behind your local grocery store is a source for trendy, new design accessories! Repurposing wood pallets into pieces of furniture or art is an inexpensive and relatively easy way to insert texture, visual interest, and green living into your decor. Usually free for the taking, wooden shipping pallets are available in standard sizes and with a naturally weathered, shabby-chic patina. Take a look at the following 5 ways to transform these workhorses into fabulous furnishings.

1. Shelving

This pallet went from carrying audio equipment for a church to displaying pictures and mementos on the wall.   Find out how free junk became floating shelves at Amanda Carver Designs.  

2. Coffee Table

You’ve seen the pictures of pallet coffee tables online, but you may not have realized how simple it is to make your own.   At Papernstitch Blog, Luisa provides an easy-to-follow tutorial for transforming wood pallets into a custom coffee   table.  

3.   Desks and Tables

Over at Funky Junk Interiors, Donna turned wood pallets into office furniture.   Take a look at how she took advantage of the old wood to create a custom-size desk perfect for her rustic decor.  

4. Panelling

A Mom and Her Drill is here to prove that the decorating uses of wood pallets shouldn’t be limited to furnishings.   Katy repurposed pallets into this gorgeous, panelled accent wall in her living room.  

5.   Containers

Check out this primitive box that used to be part of a wood pallet.   This and several other fun containers were crafted by Jaime of That’s My Letter.   She’s turned pallet scraps into a variety of storage and decor solutions.   It seems like the ways to salvage wooden pallets are limitless in the world of design and decor!   What’s the best idea you’ve seen?





  • http://thatsmyletter.blogspot.com Jaime

    Thanks Beckie for the feature of my pallet bins. Confession – my garage has 3 intact pallets in it right now and tons of pallet pieces lying against the walls – hubby wants it gone but I just can’t part with it! Have a great weekend.

  • Gretchen

    I’m loving all the pallet make overs that I’ve been seeing. Katie Bower at Bower Power did an amazing wall in her son’s room with pallet wood as well.
    http://www.bowerpowerblog.com/2010/09/nursery-reveal/

  • http://katherinescorner.com Katherines Corner

    You were featured at Katherines Conner today. Hugs and have a lovely weekend!

  • Marilyn

    Be careful using old pallets. Some are treated with pesticides and some have been used to move dripping boxes of meat. I work in a grocery store so I have seen this.

    • Christina

      I was thinking the same exact thing. I’m sure that most of them are infested with bacteria. I wonder if there is any way to disinfect them before we use them for our projects?

  • http://realnetta.com Netta

    Just this week as I drove away from the house we rent out to friends I thought to myself, “What in the world could I make out of all those wooden pallets we have stacked in their basement?” I should’ve known you’d give me ideas!
    THANK YOU!

  • http://savedbylovecreations.com Johnnie

    Good stuff! I pass a big stack of these when I go running (so not telling you where that would be!), and wonder how to incorporate them into a project. Thanks.

  • Jason

    Good catch, Marilyn. You’re right about the pesticides in wood pallets. In addition, they often contain fungicides and, worst of all, formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen. When you use wood pallets for furniture and the like, you have essentially created a toxic atmosphere inside your home. These are some really creative pieces. Unfortunately, they’re like the fem-bots from Austin Powers…beautiful, but deadly.

  • Pingback: AmandaCarver Designs » Blog Archive » Pallets, Pallets, Everywhere

  • Jason

    Good catch, Marilyn. You’re right about the pesticides in wood pallets. In addition, they often contain fungicides and, worst of all, formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen. When you use wood pallets for furniture and the like, you have essentially created a toxic atmosphere inside your home. These are some really creative pieces. Unfortunately, they’re like the fem-bots from Austin Powers…beautiful, but deadly

  • http://emskyrooney.blogspot.com Emily

    Love the pallet wall! Here’s a link to some things I did with pallets recently: http://emskyrooney.blogspot.com/2011/07/pallet-project.html

  • http://www.momandherdrill.blogspot.com katy

    Thanks for featuring my living room wall! :)

    Jason, Marilyn :

    pallets are not coated with pesticides or formaldehyde or anything else, if they are made locally. I get my pallets locally, I work near two pallet manufacturers and have visited both of them. In addition, my factory will not use pallets that have been sprayed with anything like that because it costs more. If we are shipping outside of the U.S., spraying the pallets is a regulation/requirement.
    So again, if you are using local pallets it’s not an issue. I can’t speak for pallets that have been shipped internationally.
    I just hate to see people spreading this sort of misinformation, when there are a gazillion pallets free for the taking and could be recycled into cool stuff, but are sitting in a landfill.

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      Thanks for clarifying this. I am so glad you did.

  • http://denydesigns.com DENY Designs

    Just found this article in pinterest and had to repin! It really proves that one person’s trash can be another person’s treasure. I LOVE the ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://denydesigns.com DENY Designs

    I just found this article in pinterest and had to repin! It really proves that one person’s trash can be another person’s treasure. I LOVE the ideas! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Brooke Peterson

    I do love all the ideas but I used to be a sales rep & was in & out of grocery stores (all different chains) everyday and you should ask before you take a pallet. They are left in those “alleys” because there isn’t room in their backrooms but they typically send them back on their trucks and they are usually charged for the pallets when dropped off and then credited for them when they go back. So if you just take them your really stealing them but if you were to ask then if they won’t let you have one they would probably let you buy one.

  • Chris Walter

    What are the dimensions of the pallet?

    Thanks
    Chris Walter

  • Megan

    Could you tell me how you hung the pallets? Normal screws? Did you have to anchor them if they’re heavy? Thanks!

    • http://infarrantlycreative.net Beckie

      These projects are not mine, Which one were you talking about.