How you can re-purpose pallets
We’ve all seen pallets in a pile on the street corner, or might even have some lingering around the house from a past project. This article is to give you some ideas of how you can repurpose the wood from pallets. As you will see below, you can be using these (oftentimes free) pallets to create gifts, household and holiday-themed items, planters for your garden, and patio furniture pieces for your backyard. You can even repurpose pallets into something for your furry best friends.
Before you begin, it is a good idea to look at this guide to sanitising reclaimed wood, especially if you plan to repurpose the wood into household items or gifts.
This guide to pallets gives you some extra ideas for where to find pallets around your area if you don’t already have your eye on a stash.
So once you have some pallets on your hands, watch this video on how to dismantle a pallet with a few handyman’s power tools. The guy in the video chose to use a recirpo saw to get his dismantled.
Alternatively, if you want to ditch the recipro saw, here’s how you can dismantle pallets without a saw. In that article, the DIYer uses a cordless drill in reverse mode to unscrew the screws holding the pallet wood pieces together. As well, if the pallet you end up with is held together with nails and not screws, skip the unscrewing step and go right to using the car jack to pop the boards off.
Household items and Festive decor-
There are surprisingly many uses for pallets in this department. I came across numerous pumpkin- and snowman- shaped decorations made from the pallet wood. The first step to creating these sort of decorations is to decouple each of the pieces of wood in the pallet.
These projects would be easy and fun to do with younger children. However, if you are looking to do a project with slightly older children or are interested in making a decorative, long-lasting alternative to a christmas tree, this is the best thing to do.
This christmas-themed DIY project requires a saw, recipro, circular, or even jigsaw to make the straight cuts of the tree.
Once the triangular shape has been cut, it is easy get the ideas flowing with how to decorate. Since there is space between the slats of a pallet, it is perfect to use decorative lights and or ornaments to decorate the wood. But, before you add any lights or decorations, read a little bit about how to paint pallets to make them look weathered; this will give the Xmas tree a more quaint demeanour.
For more year-round household items, there are some great things to be made using pallets including gifts! Great gifts for a partner or family member is a framed wood piece like the one below. This piece can be made for under $15. Using pallet wood, a frame from a second hand shop, and some paint or stain to treat the wood.
You’ll need a circular saw and a cordless drill to make a wall-hang piece like the one below.
Pallets are best utilised in outdoor furniture or in the garden since the quality and the look of the wood is more similar to the wood used outdoors and patios. Below are a few cool ideas of how to use pallets and pallet wood to spruce-up your backyard. Many of these projects require just simple tools, but a heavier time commitment than household and/or gift DIY pallet projects. For example, the first image shows outdoor furniture made from pallets and decorated with cushions. This project requires measuring equipment, a cordless drill, hinge accessories, and a recipro saw to make cuts.
This handyman used pallets to build a raised structure around the base of the tree in the backyard. A structure like this is a great way to make more comfortable the shaded seating area under a tree. Also, each bench or raised platform is customisable to fit any tree size. The platform can also be changed and reshaped as the tree grows. Think about how you might be able to use pallets raised up in tree’s branches as well. Similar to a treehouse floor, a pallet might just make a fun and sturdy place to relax up in the branches of the tree in your back yard.
In the garden, pallets can be great budget savers! Recycling the wood used or turning the pallet itself into a garden bed can be a good way to reuse pallets and keep costs low. Below, you can see a few different designs of garden beds. Similar to the DIY projects above, projects using pallets in the garden also only necesitate basic tools including a recipro saw or circular saw, a cordless drill, and also, as one of the sections show below, the use of a nail gun can be handy. Here is a mini-guide to staining the wood, if you are interested in adding some life to the light pallet wood.
Dog Beds + More!
We have covered recycling pallets for household decor/gifts, gardening and outdoor uses, and will now take a minute to show how you can reuse pallets to put a smile on your dog or cat’s face. Many DIYers have shown us how to use pallets to make food bowl holders, beds, animal houses, and yard fences.
Pallet boards are highly customisable, so with the right paint, a saw to make decorative cuts, and a belt or handheld sander to shape the wood (and get rid of the splinters!) you can make very unique pieces from pallet wood.