There are so many uses for old pallets—from simple Halloween decorations to an entire potting shed, these practical, eco-friendly materials should be a staple at any homestead. And best of all, they’re free.
Pretty much anytime we need a new piece of furniture around our home or garden, I ask my husband, ‘Can we make it out of pallet?’ So, when our rickety wine rack bit the dust, we turned to the trusty pallet.
Overall, the transition from pallet to wine rack was really easy—the only real problem we faced was the quality of the wood. The pallet we had was very brittle, so it didn’t withstand much sawing or drilling. Eventually we had to substitute a few pieces of pine to ensure stability (no one wants ten wine bottles and eight wine glasses crashing to the ground), but we retained enough pallet to keep that rustic look I personally love.
1. First we cut away the bottom quarter of the pallet with a handsaw. This would form the basis of the wine rack.
2. Next we trimmed away some of the thickness of the top plank, so we would be able to see the labels on the wine bottles once they were in place.
3. Then we nailed two 1 in. x 1 in. pine boards to the inside of the pallet to create a base for the bottles to sit on securely.
4. After several failed attempts to cut notches for the wine glasses in the base of the pallet, we gave up and removed the bottom board of the pallet, replacing it with a 1 in. x 4 in. pine board. If your pallet is made of more hardy wood, you may be able to get away with keeping it.
5. To get the correct spaces for the wine glass portion of the wine rack, we set the wine glasses on the top of the board, marked the correct spacing and then cut notches in the wood with a jigsaw (you could also use a router for this.)
6. We screwed the pine board to the bottom of the pallet, placing a couple of shims above it to create enough space for the base of the glasses to slide into the notches.
7. Finally, we applied a coat of wood stain to help blend the wood tones of the new pine and old pallet. To mount it we simply put two anchors in the wall and affixed two screws in the back of the rack and hung it in our dining room.
As you can see, this was an incredibly simple project and the end result is a nice showpiece not unlike one that people would actually pay real money for (in my opinion!).
One thing to bear in mind when using pallets for indoor projects, or related in anyway to food, is to make sure you give the pallet a good scrub down first. The wood can easily harbor bacteria, which you don’t want to bring into your home. For more tips on prepping pallets for various uses check out this article.
What home projects have you built out of old pallets?
Jennifer Tuohy is a DIYer in Charleston, South Carolina, who writes about her projects for The Home Depot. Jennifer's upcycled pallet-into-wine-rack shows what a few tools and a little elbow grease can produce. For a look at some of the tools Jennifer used to build her wine rack, click here.
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