Beautiful hand-painted shipping pallet coffee table

Craft & Design Energy & Sustainability Furniture & Lighting
Beautiful hand-painted shipping pallet coffee table

Can you see the red queen?

I really like this idea: A bare-bones piece of furniture made from ubiquitous salvage materials and brick-simple construction, but with meticulously detailed hand-wrought decoration. It’s from French group doobi, whose only web presence appears to be their Facebook group. [via Recyclart]

Update: Turns out they’ve got a blog, after all. [Thanks, Julien!]


16 thoughts on “Beautiful hand-painted shipping pallet coffee table

  1. BobsYourUncle says:

    Pallets are not technically salvage as they are owned by the shipping companies. So, salvage like a shopping cart or a stop sign.

    1. Silverman says:

      The pile of pallets taken to the dump from behind my building each week disagrees with you.

      1. Colecoman1982 says:

        Yea, I’d imagine it has a lot to do with what kind of company you’re dealing with. If you’re a manufacturer then I’m sure they matter to you. If you are a retail establishment, then it, usually, isn’t worth it to bother trying to recycle/sell them. The company I work for does ship some things out (we aren’t, strictly, a manufacturer or a retail company), but we get far more pallets coming in then going out. Once the pile in the shipping department gets large enough then they use the forklift to take most of them to the dumpster.

  2. jamesBrauer says:

    Pallets are typically a lower grade of wood than would be used for furniture. The plus side is that you can find highly figured/knotty wood, albeit in short lengths, for free. The pallets I have worked with were held together with cut (not round) nails, that would split the wood in half before pulling out. Running a circular saw down the top will cut the good wood away from the cross bracing fairly quickly. The nail studded cross braces still make good firewood.

  3. Alan says:

    Cutting them up as jamesBrauer suggests is defnitely the way to go if you want to recover the lumber. Way back in my college days, I worked a few summers in a warehouse, and disposing of pallets was a regular chore. We’d pry them apart with a crowbar, but that inevitably destroyed the wood.

    Speaking of pallet disposal, they’re not really “owned” by the shipping company any more than your orange juice carton is owned by Tropicana. Everyone who ships stuff on wooden pallets considers them disposable packaging. Plastic pallets are a different story – there’s usually a deposit on those.

    As a final note, the nail-filled side boards of wooden pallets do make good firewood, but only for outdoor bonfires. Please don’t burn them in your fireplace or woodstove. They’re commonly treated with pesticides and preservatives, and many are used to ship chemicals that can leak onto the wood, so there’s no telling what kind of fumes could come out of them.

  4. julien says:

    Thank for your comments.
    If you want to see our blog, you can go on

  5. julien says:

    Hy everybody,
    So to answer to your doubt, we don’t steal the pallets.
    There are tow systems in France : pallets records and not (records are the big one). So we ask pallets at a factorie near of our house, otherwise they throw it. So we can say that we are recycling those object.
    Don’t worry, we sand all the pallets, and after we glaze it, so you can eat, sleep on, wear leggings without fear.
    See you,
    Julien / Doobi.

  6. Used Plastic Pallet says:

    Excellent! Great article, I already saved it to my favourite,

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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