5 Fun & Easy DIY Pallet Wood Projects To Do In A Day

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Creating useful or beautiful items for your home from reclaimed wood is great for so many reasons. You get to exercise your creative muscles, you are helping the environment by re-using rather than buying new, you get to custom build something perfect for your lifestyle….and you can have fun doing it! Pallet projects are all the rage, and it is no wonder.

The Good Human has found 5 fantastic projects that you can do in just a day to get you started. If you have created anything already please share with us, we would love to see!

Choosing The Right Kind Of Pallet

Before we get started there is one important point to be aware of to make sure that you keep your family safe. There are two different kinds of pallet, heat treated and chemically treated. The chemical that is used on some pallets is Methyl Bromide, a harmful pesticide. Be sure that you steer clear of pallets that have been comically treated. You can determine which you have come across by looking for a stamp on the wood itself.

HT = Heat Treated MB = Methyl Bromide If you can’t find a stamp on your pallet, it is probably advisable to leave it alone.   pallet-stamp

Where To Find Pallets

If you keep your eyes peeled you will often see pallets discarded around town, particularly in industrial areas, behind big box stores, or grocery stores. You can simply ask the company if you can take some – most will be happy to see them go!  

How Much Do Pallets Cost?

You can also buy pallets at your local DIY store – and they cost somewhere in the region of $6 each.

What Tools You Will Need

Each project has slightly different requirements, but the basics that you will need are virtually the same.

  • A pallet (or 2)
  • A Jigsaw
  • A Saw (designed for nail embedded wood)
  • A Hammer
  • A Screwdriver (preferably electric)
  • Screws or Nails
  • A T Square (also known as a steel square)
  • Sander
  • Glue
  • A Tape Measure
  • Spirit Level
  • Stain/Varnish and brushes (optional)
  • Eye Protection
  • Gloves (optional….but there are A LOT of splinters)

How To Use Pallets

Once you have your heat treated pallets, you will need to set to work taking them apart. You can carefully remove any nails (keeping any straight ones to reuse) to separate the planks. For many pallet projects you don’t even need to take the pallets completely apart, they can remain assembled to some extent. Some people prefer to cut through the nails, rather than pulling them out, as the latter may result in splitting the wood.

Next you need to clean and sand the wood, by hand or with an electric sander. This step is important. After a little effort you will have a pile of great wood for free.

Project 1 – A DIY Rustic Trug


Let’s start with this useful ‘trug’ found at Lovely Greens.com 

Two of these can be made with just one pallet, and the process is explained by Tania in the video tutorial below. The drugs can be used to display items, as a planter or for afternoon tea as seen in the picture. The dimensions are really up to you, and depend on the way you would like to use your true.

Project 2 – Children’s Book Shelf



This adorable children’s shelf pallet project was found at Where The Smiles Have Been.com.

Once the pallet is deconstructed using the jigsaw (as per the image below), the entire thing needs to be sanded down and sealed or varnished.How-to-make-pallet-bookshelves-pallet-diagram1

You can add additional knobs if you like. Then simply mount on the wall, using appropriate raw plugs and a spirit level…and ta da! This is the perfect way to store children’s books, so that the pictures are clearly visible. This entices little ones to want to read more. You could even incorporate the shelf into a cosy corner, complete with cushions and story book characters.

Click on the link for more detailed instructions.

Project 3 – Wall Mounted Organiser


There are many variations of wall mounted organisers that you can create with a pallet. The choices are endless. I like this desk organiser, it uses minimal space on the desk itself and can be decorated with anything that inspires you! Build yours to your own personal requirements and space, or follow the instructions given in the video below.

Steve has some useful advice that you can use in all of your pallet projects. He explains how to choose planks for different parts of your creations.

Project 4 – Pallet Swing Chair


This beautiful swing chair can be made from 4 pallets, following the guidelines provided by Instructables.com.

This can be personalised by adding cushions and throws to create a comfortable outdoor seating area that you can enjoy with friends and family. And there is no need to stop there! Pallets can be used to build a whole host of outdoor furniture, including day beds, tables and chairs. You can build your set piece by piece.

Project 5 – Wall Mounted Wine and Glass Holder


A Slice Of Wood Workshop brings us this quirky wall mounted wine bottle and glasses holder in a useful instructional video (linked). This would look great in a rustic farmhouse style kitchen, and ideal for storing red wine in particular.

So there you have it. Five great household projects that you can complete in a day, using a reclaimed pallet and some tools. You can enjoy your work of art, with the peace of mind, that no new trees were harmed in the process!

Are there any that you are tempted to try? We would love to hear from you.

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