7 DIY Pallet Projects for Your Home and Garden

Use basic tools and construction knowledge to discover new uses for old pallets. These simple DIY pallet projects are no-frills and downright beautiful.

  • Use basic tools and construction knowledge to discover new uses for old pallets. These seven simple designs are no-frill and downright beautiful.
    Photo by MerryThought Blog
  • Siff's simple pallet fence can keep the puppy in and the critters out.
    Photo by Siff Skovenborg
  • This Tactical Homesteader shelter provides shade and a wind block for Box's Arkansas herd.
    Photo by Jody Box
  • Kleinworth fashioned her ingenious and crafty nook-shelf from a single pallet and a spare board.
    Photo by Gina Kleinworth
  • Burger's garden table can support a heavy garden pot when needed and then fold away with ease.
    Photo by Jenna Burger
  • Piotrowski's handy organizer keeps the family clutter at bay and out of the way.
    Photo by Deborah Piotrowski

While wooden pallets are free and readily available, upcycling them for home and garden projects comes at a price. The process of breaking down a 40-by-48-inch pallet (the most common size in the United States) into usable wood is time-consuming and requires strength, a high threshold for frustration, and sometimes pain.

If you appreciate the idea of an inexpensive pallet project but want to avoid smashed and gashed fingers, we’ve got some simple DIY ideas for you. These no-saw or low-saw pallet project plans are doable by anyone with a few hand tools and minimal building skills. After a few hours of enjoyable labor, you can have a useful fixture for your home or garden that you’ve built yourself from recycled materials.

When you’re on the hunt, look for wood that’s dry, straight, and in solid condition. Make sure to use pallets stamped “HT,” which means they’ve been treated with heat rather than with chemicals. Some pallets have forklift openings on all four sides, while others are only open on two sides — so consider which type will be best for your project. For more advice on selecting pallets and pallet plans, see Pallet Project Ideas.

The Merrythought Pallet Swing Bed

Tools and materials: tape measure, mattress, 2-by-4 lumber, saw, drill, screws, rope.

A single pallet and some rope are all you’ll need to craft a simple swing. But, Manda of The Merrythought blog had a more substantial project in mind when she created this bed-sized swing using a pair of pallets. Manda began by measuring the twin-sized mattress that she wanted to use as a topper. The mattress’s dimensions determined how many pallets the project required. Because two pallets end-to-end were too short for the mattress, Manda extended the space between them by screwing 2-by-4 rails to the pallets’ bottoms, and then added an additional slat to fill the gap. If you have solid sewing skills, you can forgo the 2-by-4 extension and instead stitch a cushion to fit two pallets bolted together at their sides. If you hang your swing bed from a tree branch, be sure to inspect the tree’s health and research some quality load-bearing knots. Otherwise, you can hang your pallet swing from a metal support structure with a chain. Read more about this pallet project at the Merrythought blog.

Siff’s Pallet Fence with Gate

Tools and materials: drill, bolts or screws, wooden posts or metal pipe, hinges, gate latch.

6/21/2016 5:17:55 AM

Hi Guys, Apart from using pallet to make bench's on site which do work really well put together right and there strong. But used lots of ex-pallet wood found on beach's round Cornwall England to use for driftwood work, some gets some really good round edges on it, which can either be just used after some wire woolling or burnish with wax either bees wax or just simple candle wax will do which changes the whole look of drift wood. But in our house in Cornwall, used lots of pallet wood to make storage boxes/ottomans then went on to make shelving for books and video's and DVDs these was all sanded down and stained, any dinks or missing edge bits all add to the rustic look that adds to a very old cottage. In the house we are now living in, in Suffolk use pallet wood for mirror surrounds more shelving, for DVD's and in the kitchen, even a 12 inch wide one for big pots, the woods all just PVAed together, there is a stack waiting for me when get back to become a dresser base with more to come for the top shelf unit. There is far more you can do with pallet wood if you just put your mind to it and construct it soundly.

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