6 Amazing Uses for Pallets

by heather

pallet compost binNo matter where you live, you can likely find pallets behind a store, at a construction site, or by any loading dock. Wooden pallets are everywhere, and most of us rarely give them a second thought. They’re just waste, right? Nothing to do with us.

But pallets can be used for a ton  of really cool DIY projects.

For instance,  if you’re on a budget and need some furniture? One word: pallets. I’m not kidding…you can really use pallets to make some awesome furniture for your house.

Need to re-landscape your backyard? Put up a fence? Build a garden? One word: pallets.

Since so many pallets end up in a landfill once they’re done with, using them in your home or garden is a great way to repurpose them and extend their life.

Let’s take a look at what you can do with this versatile building material…

1. Build a Fence

If you take a look at the first image here, you’ll see that pallets can be used to create a fence around your yard. Treated with water sealant (like you’d use for your deck), they can last for a long time.

When choosing your pallets for fencing, try to find the highest quality pallets you can find. This means no existing mold or mildew.

You can find some great instructions for building a pallet fence here and here.

2. Build a Compost Bin

There’s no need to spend $100-$200 on an outdoor compost bin. You can easily build one yourself out of pallets.

Want to learn how? Check out the post I already wrote, How to Build a Pallet Compost Bin.

3. Build a Pallet Armchair

Ok, so check out the coolness of this pallet armchair:

Again, treated with waterproof sealant this would make a great indoor or, even better, outdoor chair. And here’s another cool design to look at…

Courtesy Design Spotter

Yeah, neat.

4. Build a Pallet Bench

Pallets work great as outdoor furniture because they’re rustic. They also lend themselves well to any kind of paint color you want to throw on there. Picture this cool pallet bench in your garden…

Personally I’d coat this bench with several colors to give it some pizzaz!

5. Build a Pallet Chair

Need some extra straight back chairs for your house? Don’t hit the furniture store…build some yourself.

6. To Cover Your ISBU Home

Ok, so I’ve been a bit obsessed with shipping container homes ever since I first learned of their existence over two years ago. Building your home using steel shipping containers (ISBUs) is super green because you’re upcycling these containers which otherwise would sit empty, rusting and taking up space. They’re also incredibly cheap to build with, and they look super cool.

If you’re not thrilled with the industrial look of shipping containers, then you can use pallets to disguise the outside. Take a look…

Although I’m super in love with the industrial look of ISBU homes, I do really like how they look covered in wooden pallets. At the very least, you could cover one side of your home with pallets and start a super cool wall garden.

What You’ll Need…

Pallets can be really hard to take apart. And getting the nails out of them might give you an aneurysm. So you’re going to need some heavy duty tools to work with pallets.

For instance, you’ll likely want a sledgehammer and crowbar for taking them apart. You’ll also want a steel or carbide saw to cut the wood. If you want some first-hand instructions for taking apart, and building, with pallets then don’t miss this great forum thread on Garden Web.

Pallets will also need to be sanded, since they’re often made with low-quality wood. But this is where it gets tricky. My good friend Alex, expert ISBU home builder, has turned pallets into all sorts of things (including, I kid you not, an pallet outhouse). He says the more you sand American pallets, they worse they get. It’s important to pick through your pallets to find the very best ones, especially when you’re using them to build furniture.

Last Word…

Have any of you built something cool using pallets? If so, I’d love to hear what you made!

(Photo #1 Courtesy: alisdair)

(Photo #2 and #4 Courtesy: http://blog.makezine.com🙂

(Photo #3 Courtesy: Design Spotter)

(Photo #5 Courtesy Design Boom)

(Photo #6 Courtesy: Arch Daily)

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