Furniture & Lighting Woodworking Workshop

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There’s something about shipping pallets that makers are drawn to. They’re easily obtainable on the roadside or by dumpster diving (don’t steal!). The form-factor lends itself to certain types of construction and the rustic finish is just appealing in terms of aesthetics.

I’ve had my hand in making some things from reclaimed pallets. A TV stand comes to mind that proudly held my eighty pound SONY CRT for many years. However, it should be noted that working with them isn’t a walk in the park if you don’t know what you’re doing. The wood is hard and brittle — easily split if you’re not careful. Luckily, our very own Sean Michael Ragan published a post on how to efficiently dismantle them, even discovering that there’s a special pallet reclamation bar designed specifically for the task.

I’ve included some novel pallet projects that use them so you can get some inspiration. If you have made other creations using pallet wood, please let us know!

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26 thoughts on “15 Fun and Unique Pallet Projects

  1. I actually made a 16ft dia. geodesic dome storage shed out of pallets. I used the ones personal watercraft came on that had 1/4″ OSB on it. Cut the pallet frames to length and made triangles. Then nailed the OSB over the triangles. Bolted them together, and had an awesome shed.

    Only problem was I only coated it with regular outdoor paint and caulk and the weather got to it.

  2. I built (the frame of) a workbench from the pallets that kitchen counter material comes on. Nice long 12 – 16 ft hardwood 2×4’s. Surfaced it with 3/4 ply shelving being discarded from work

  3. Ha, look at that, what a good idea, I work for a company who always throws out pallets that can be reused, looking at this i’m sure i can implement a designed walkway for my garden, just need to spray and add a preserve, what a good post, thank you :)

  4. Oh sorry forgot to mention, thank you for the link to the disassemble instructions, just had a look through more post, there are some ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT ideas on this blog, very impressed.
    Alex

  5. Pallet Love T-shirt… Awesome campaign concept shirt to spread the word about pallet love. I heart pallets! Definitely purchase this one and spread the word about how recycling pallets can change the world… and save trees! Cheers! Keep on palleting! http://teespring.com/pallet

  6. The company I work for (the one that starts with a K) had for years piles of pallets free for the taking. The ones shipped from US suppliers were almost always a low quality oak or pine.
    But the pallets from Asia, wow, lots of birch, cherry, and few made from solid walnut and nice stuff too. Even found one made from a beautifully figured wood that when worked with power tools released an acrid stench, I avoided that one afterwards.
    Alas, the flooring industry figured out that you could recycle the pallets into over priced floor planks and the piles of pallets is now gone.

  7. What makes pallets so attractive fore furniture and decoration projects is that used pallets are almost free since recycling pallets is not a followable scenario in every situation. That’s why money making through their projects is so easier. Projects like these surely have a great potential.

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In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

View more articles by Michael Colombo