Lifestyle

14 Cool Pieces Of Furniture You Can Easily Make With Shipping Pallets

It may be tough to see the value in a junkyard full of old wooden shipping pallets, but it turns out they're basically furniture factories in disguise. So, next time you see a seemingly useless stack piled up, save yourself some money and consider upcycling them by trying out one of these 15 surprisingly simple projects.

1. A vertical garden

What you'll need: 1-2 pallets, paint, landscape fabric, potting soil, plants
How much? $40
How it's done: Cut your pallet into smaller, more manageable pieces, and, if you feel like getting flashy, paint them each a different color that'll pop on the wall you plan to hang them. Next, cover the back of each with two to three layers of landscape fabric and staple into place along the rear edges. Finally, fill them with potting soil and plants, and mount to the wall. [See more]

2. A wood-panelled wall

What you'll need: .5 pallets per square foot, wood stain
How much? Under $10
How it's done: Once you've stripped as many pallet planks as you'll need to cover your wall, begin nailing them up, consciously staggering their position to create the effect of a haphazard pattern. Once you're happy with how it looks, give the full wall a thorough sanding and stain it. [See more]

3. A bed frame

What you'll need: 4-8 pallets, nails
How much? Under $10
How it's done: Essentially all you need to do is stack two to three pallets in an area big enough to fit your mattress. If you feel like getting fancy you can go for a more elaborate setup by stringing lights through the underside to add some dramatic effect, coating it in paint to ditch the hardcore rustic look, or even suspending it from the ceiling with chains. [See more]

4. A herringbone wood floor

What you'll need: .5 pallets per square foot, flooring underlayment, flooring nails, wood stain
How much? Less than $.50 per square foot
How it's done: Once you've deconstructed your bounty of pallets and stripped them of any stray nails, locate your floor's joists and mark them. Then, lay out a broad sheet of underlayment and arrange the boards atop it in pattern similar to the one pictured above. Once you've secured the whole thing with your flooring nails, let it settle and finish the job with a dark wood stain. [See more]

5. A funky chandelier

What you'll need: 1 pallet, 12 sockets and bulbs
How much? $72
How it's done: FYI, this one requires some basic wiring skills. Once you've dissembled the pallet's planks, sand them down to remove any blemishes or rough spots. Then, fasten the single planks to one another with screws or nails in an abstract and sculptural style, wire the ends of each plank with a bulb, and hang from the ceiling. [See more]

6. A staircase

What you'll need: 2 pallets per two feet in height, mending plates, existing supports
How much? $5 per two steps
How it's done: Once you've determined how many pallets you'll need to create a comfortably pitched set of steps, begin attaching them to one another using a mending plate on either side. In order to ensure they're as sturdy as possible as you move up the stairs, you'll need to position a series of supports beneath at a variety of heights along the way, i.e., a set of filing cabinets, sturdy bookcases, cinder blocks, etc. [See more]

7. A mountable wine rack

What you'll need: 1 pallet, sandpaper, circular saw
How much? Under $10
How it's done: Separate the bottom third of the pallet, prying off a single plank from the front to create enough space to slip in the wine bottles. Next, cut planks from the unused pallet remnant and fashion it into a base strong enough to support the weight of the bottles. Finally, add another unused plank (which you've cut glass stem-sized slots into) down below, leaving enough space between it and the base to slide in a row of wine glasses. [See more]

8. A rustic modern coffee table

What you'll need: 2 pallets, 4 hairpin legs, wood stain
How much? $50
How it's done: Strip one pallet completely of its planks, and use them to fill the spaces in between the planks on the other to create a solid flat surface on either side. Sand the whole thing down, stain it the shade of your choice, and fasten the hairpin legs. [See more]

9. Adirondack chairs

What you'll need: 2 pallets
How much? Under $10
How it's done: This project involves essentially deconstructing your pallet entirely and fashioning it into a structurally sound contraption. The whole process is explained in meticulous detail right here.

10. A raised backyard patio

What you'll need: .5 pallets per square foot, weatherproof stain
How much? Under $10
How it's done: Once you've assembled enough pallets to cover the area, strip each one of its planks on just one side. Then, slot in those newly free planks in between the open spaces on the other side to create a solid deck-like surface. Finally, arrange the pallets flush against one another, and if need be, add a tiered step up to your home's door. Finish off with a thorough coat of weatherproofing stain. [See more]

11. A porch swing

What you'll need: 4 pallets, chain, wood stain and sealer
How much? $10-15
How it's done: Essentially, you'll need to divide the pallets into four sections: a seat, a backrest, and two armrests. The seat and sides can remain slatted in the manner you found them, but you'll want to fill in the spaces for the seat using planks pried from the spare pallet pieces. Once you've stained the whole rig, secure the chains on either side and fasten to a confirmed-secure joist or beam. [See more]

12. Outdoor lounge chairs

What you'll need: 4 regular pallets, 1 slightly wider pallet, 4 2x4s, paint, weatherproof seal or stain
How much? Under $10
How it's done: Once you've stacked your regular pallets two by two on top of one another, deconstruct the fifth into two backrests, and slide 'em onto the back end of the stacks. Then, secure the backrests from behind with 2x4s on either side, and finish it off with a coat of paint and seal. [See more]

13. A bike rack

What you'll need: 2 pallets
How much? Under $5
How it's done: It's not the safest place to stash your ride, but this dead-simple setup will keep your full fleet of bikes looking sharply organized. Simply lean one pallet on another up against a wall and you're set. [See more]

14. A coatrack

What you'll need: 1 pallet, 6 coat hooks, wood stain (optional)
How much? $40
How it's done: You really only need a small section of a single pallet for this one, and it's up to you whether or not to take advantage of excess planks to tack on a small strip of shelves (as shown above). If you do, fasten the coat hooks in a row along the bottom edge, and finish by staining the whole thing. [See more]


Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor with little to no woodworking skills.

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