As someone who’s enjoyed a long career in the construction industry, I always have access to free pallets. So as a result, I’ve used them for all sorts of projects ranging from garden planters to furniture. Nowadays, there are all sorts of reclaimed pallet projects on the internet and I’d like to share with you some of my favorites along with some the best projects I’ve worked on in the past.
I created numerous boxes using old pallets. The best way to harvest these pallets is to pry the boards loose from the boards with a crowbar. In some cases, the nails were so rusty, I had to use a reciprocating saw or oscillating multi-tool to cut the nails loose. For smaller boxes, I made nice rabbet cuts on the ends and glued the boxes together. The largest box I built I used a finish nail gun and installed a lateral banding around the top and bottom-it weighs about 50 pounds!
There are numerous designs for these shabby chic headboards for sale online and some of them range from expensive to outright ridiculous. It’s easy enough to build your own pallet headboard and you don’t even have to take apart the whole pallet to make it work. Just get two pallets that are similar and place them side by side. Take off the all of the boards from the good side of the two pallets plus an extra one for good measure. Replace the boards on headboard so they are side by side, at a diagonal or whatever pattern your heart desires. Sand and finish with a wood wax and you’ll be safe from splinters in the night.
I used to have pallet shelves all over my house. Spice racks, bookshelves and even a small bathroom vanity shelf. After they went for sale on Craigslist, they got sold pretty quickly. I guess I should build some more since it’s such an easy job. I used the sides of the pallet that accept the tips of a forklift for an interesting curved spice rack. I cut the pieces in half and used the pallet 1×4’s and 1×6’s as shelves and nailed it all together with finish nails.
I like so many other home improvement aficionados frequent Pinterest, looking for ideas. That’s where I saw the next pallet project I plan to attempt: the pallet cupboard. It’s a large stand up cupboard that uses the face of old pallet box as the covers for the doors. On the inner surface of the cupboard, there are numerous drawers, shelves and cubbyholes for all sorts of stuff. I thought it work great for a kitchen pantry. I estimate it’s going to take 25 pallets to create this very large and more advanced piece of pallet furniture, but I can’t stop working with these well-weathered pieces of free lumber!