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what do you do with Pallets

17 years ago

I can get plenty of free pallets, I was looking for ideas so I could have some free or real cheap project ideas to do with these.

I'm interested in seeing what you have done with these.

Comments (84)

  • jkirk3279
    17 years ago

    What about using pallets as raw material to make raised beds?

    Trying to picture that.

    No luck.

  • breezyb
    17 years ago

    My father made a terrific 4-bin compost bin out of pallets. Each bin was 3-sided & the fronts were left open. This way it was easy for him to turn the stuff from one bin into the one next to it as they "cooked". The compartments on each end were used for finished compost & brand-new scraps.

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  • breezyb
    17 years ago

    Oh - I also use pallets to store my hay, straw, & other horses supplies off the ground in my barn. I imagine they would work just as well keeping perishable gardening supplies off the ground as well.

  • flyskyhigh40
    17 years ago

    I used mine to make bat boxes that I sold at the farmer's market for $15 a piece. You can make 2 nice nesting boxes out of one pallet.I got the screen for free from the local hardware store as they had a bin of scrap screen from replacing it on doors. They sold well enough to become a fundraiser for my environmental club at college. A little creativity and they can be made into birdhouses.

  • cherylnsw
    17 years ago

    In this month's Better Homes and Gardens Magazine (Australian Version there are instructions to make a coffee table with pallets. We also have BH&G television show which they show the projects from the magazine being made. To remove the slats all they did was run a circular saw along the slats just in from the nail holes - they pulled the centre nails out, leaving the slats only about 2-3 inches shorter.

    My husband mentioned he has some pallets at work and I'm gonna get hime to bring them home. Most of our pallets are made with Australian hardwoods - I want to try to make a bedend for our king bed with them.

    Also found a shed made from pallets.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Pallet shed

  • tomatobob_va7
    17 years ago

    Lots of great ideas here. That pallet shed is terrific. I've used pallets this year under a two-high hay bale row to keep the hay bales from rotting so quickly. Right now there's a 3" layer of soil on top of the hay bales with arugula and lettuce seedlings sprouting. Not an original idea. I also used pallets to elevate my behind-the-garage rain barrels. A layer of left-over bricks on top of black plastic, and then I topped off the pile with two pallets. Then come the rain barrels.

  • frugal_gary
    17 years ago

    Grassisevil, I would love to see pictures of the flying bins. Sounds like something I would do just so people would have something to talk about!

  • sladybug2
    17 years ago

    I use them as an area subfloor on my basement floor. I keep my roof vegetables there with crates and baskets. I also read that someone built a small shelter area in there basement with six of them for walls, ceiling and floor.

  • Vernonia
    17 years ago

    ahh, my dream topic, LOL. I am incredibly cheap, and I was tedious enough to remove nails with a hammer, until my hus got the circular saw out... that was not good enough for me though because you have to sacrifice length, so we went with a sawsall. We worked it ti the nub too! He finds my frugality to border on ridiculous, but he confesses that we have made some nice things.

    We made a beautiful pump house using really nice pallets from a paper company, the slats were 10 inches wide and sanded. we even made trim for it. It was difficult to separate the center support with the sawsall, so he drilled around the nails with a 1/2 inch hole saw, and we left the holes for ventilation.

    We also made a moveable chicken pen out of pallets 2x4s and chicken wire salvaged from out old pen. It is a 2X4 frame and runners, and we can drag it. it is about 6ftX3ftX3ft, complete with a little hasp on the door :)

    The precursor to the moveable pen was a lean-to pen made of nothing but pallets, and the central support was made by marrying the supports together to make a long rafter. This one was big for our cornish X rocks. But has since been torn down. our only flaw (lack of a wood roof) soon became apparent when out goat climbed on the porch and jumped on top of the pen caving in the chicken wire roof to get at the feed. crazy goat :) LOL The goat was a feast for a hispanic friend that september, and a new moveable pen was built :)
    If you disassemble the pallets, you are only limited by your imagination ;) We also used them to build the sides on our porch, they were only framed when we bought the place. And our next pallet adventure will be compost tumblers using plastic barrels from a cola company... $3 apiece! Have fun!

  • Vernonia
    17 years ago

    PS.....taking notes on that shed!

  • joefalco
    Original Author
    17 years ago


    I started this thread a while back and I am glad to see it is still going and there are lots of great ideas here.

    Recently I used some pallets to enclose a homemade trailer (old pop-up camper)

    Also someone mentioned using a hold saw to cut around the nails in pallets and then leaving the holes as ventelation. I have found that if you use the hole saw and then use the next size up hole saw on a scrap piece the larger piece fits as a perfect plug for the smaller hole.

    A little wood putty for the drill hole and your good.

  • chuckr30
    17 years ago

    You can stand a pallet on end vertically, then nail on a cross-board to the bottom for stability, and you have a saw horse. Make 2 sawhorses, add a top, and you have a temporary, movable work table. Or gardening table.

    I have yet to find pallets, but I want to make some shelving for my garage using the boards.

  • chuckr30
    17 years ago

    I found a wrecking bar at a major store for only $5. And it wasn't even on sale. But the next cheapest one was $13. It's a 1" hex steel thing for pulling nails and demo work. Now I can use all sorts of scrap wood, and I can get those stubborn ring shank nails out so they won't mess up my saw blade.

    And it's good exercise.

  • Chrissy Chris
    17 years ago

    I have a grody basement and when I first moved here, the floor was damp. I'm a germ/scuz nut, so I refused to step on the floor. I had my washer and dryer put on pallets and made a walkway from the bottom of the stairs to the appliances with pallets I got from a shipping company (which was GLAD to give them to me) I used old plywood, a table top etc on top of the pallets. It worked great.

  • Mark__M
    17 years ago

    Why you make furniture with extra pallets! See link below.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Table

  • thorspippi
    17 years ago

    THAT IS FROM A PALLET???????????? OMIGD!!

    *falls in a faint on the floor*

  • suzieh
    17 years ago

    Hello member here.
    Can't believe I found this incredible post all from a Google search.

    I plan on making a simple potting bench with a medium-sized pallet.

    I have a smaller pallet that I'll be putting wheels on to use as a dolley.

    A larger pallet was going to be used for lifting stuff in garage off the floor which flooded with the heavy rains in the Los Angeles area.

    But, saw pretty neat u-shaped firewood holder at a craftmen house and will probably do that instead.

    I recall that on one of the home decorating shows that they used pallets to put in a wooden floor.

    Ain't recycling great :0)

  • MagnoliaMommy
    17 years ago

    Mark M.... that table is gorgeous!

  • bgrow
    17 years ago

    Well back when I had access to a whole lot of land to garden with ( A pasture mostly weeds and solid clay soil of course ) I was hooked on the idea of having a square foot garden. I had no $$ for materials but access to pallets and lots of compost - every now and then. So I knocked out select boards on the pallets - stacked one on top of another for height and used the boards I knocked out to seal up the sides of the pallets to contain the soil... needless to say they were small odd shape squares. However, I had lots of them they were spread out but I built a lot of them. I also recycled dresser drawers in this manner - I just knocked the bottoms out of the drawers and had an instant frame to place soil in and added plants grown from seed. Voila a cheap great tasting crop of plants and flowers. Yes it was quite odd looking but the field was away from local neighbors and I am not one for 'looks' just practicality. I had a great time with it and now that I have moved I sure do miss it +sigh+ I now am at a smaller lot and don't have the loads of room I used to but I am getting by. This is something I have tried successfully before. It does work.


  • wecareagain
    17 years ago

    All pallets are not created equal. A good place to get pallets with 1x4x6, and 2x2x3's are a home center or lowes. The crates that log spliters and mowers are packed in is great lumber and very smooth. We have a good source and have built several shelves, a well house, a tool shed, a feed shed, a temp. goat house, and a temp. chicken brooder with 2 rooms. and several 6 1/2' by 6 1/2'by 4' tall duck and chicken tractors.

    We have done the sawsall and circular saw routine but if you are being truely tightwaddish it's not practical. We have found as long as you have 2 good hammers and get them apart before they can take up moisture they come apart decent enough. (practice makes it go much faster). We have a very good supply of very nice boards that we have stacked up an area cross stacked by size totaling about 10'x20' 4 feet tall.

    Every calls our place the pallet palace.

    The pallets that are runs of boards on each side of 2 2x4's are the hardest to work with we avoid those like the plague (they are too hard to be worth the time for building with).

    I think it's great that people are using up pallets and keeping them out of the landfills (very few places recycle them due to transporting cost).

    We also use the shaving from cutting the boards and mix with wood glue for filler on some of our stuff, it's cheaper than filler.

    Best of luck to anyone that recycles. Let you mind wonder and have fun with it.

  • Vamptoo
    17 years ago

    My company has a huge, huge, huge mess of pallets that are free for the taking. They are all different sizes and some are even of hard woods. I am in Spartanburg, SC but if any one is interested in getting some just email me and you can have as many as you want.


  • EngiN117
    17 years ago

    Thank you everyone who has posted here. I have several things I would like to make but have not had the money for materials. Knowing this, I can have quiet a party here. Some of the things on my list are as follows:
    A dog house,
    A desk,
    A chair for my desk,
    compost bin,
    garden beds.
    Thanks again,

  • mpaige33837
    16 years ago

    I'm thinking of trying something like this for my screened pool area on my backyard patio. Theres SO MUCH construction going on in my area I can get pallets for DAYS...

    I'm wondering, though, if i should pre-treat the materials so that they are more weather resistant???? how would "ya'll" handle this type of project? I'm thinking cute the pallets to uniform size planks, treat them? sand them? stain them? and then secure them together in tile sized sections, place the "tiles onto a substrate and secure them??

    Heres' the link to my very ambitious PALLET PROJECT

    Here is a link that might be useful: The Decking Outlet

  • buggergrl
    16 years ago

    My husband wants to make a garden path out of pallets, I have searched all over the net for samples or advice, can't find any. This site has the most creative answers and things to do with pallets, any one make a path or got pics or ideas, please let me know!! Thanks Tracy

  • outofmytree
    16 years ago

    This thread started in '04, ran through '05 and now again coming back to life in '06. How cool is that?

    All I can say is....Me, myself, and I created a sunken deck using old wood pallets given to me by my neighbors son. It is pretty awesome. I love it better then the weed patch that was where I built it.


  • zachslc
    16 years ago

    If anyone is in salt lake city and wants some pallets e-mail me. I had projects for them, but chances are none will materialize (already made compost bins).

  • sly_dog1960_yahoo_com
    15 years ago

    I have built many things with used pallets. A fence to hide the trash cans. Another fence to go around and hide some junk in my back yard. I use them to stack my fire wood on and have made several that hold exacly one cord so when I have to buy wood I know if they are trying to cheat me or I built a very nice dog house which a neibhour saw and offered me 200 bucks for, yes I sold it and built another. I built a very heavy duty work table as well as a picnic table , benches, and chairs which I have sold several of. Saw horses, wow the list goes on and on. There is a company in cali that builds any kind of furniture you can think of out of them. Of course to build really nice furnitue like that You would need a wood workshop. I read of a whole town in Mexico built entirely out of pallets. Basically what you can build out of Pallets is only limited by imagination, getting the right pallets made from the right kind of wood for your project, time, tools and skill level. Like any other type of wood it can be protected from wheather in various ways and it can be planed, sanded, straightened. It's hard to beat free lumber but remember it is not really free after you put in the time and labor that it takes to make folks that see it say " WOW! That was built from Pallets!" Happy building folks.

  • lilamy
    15 years ago

    I had to bring this back up for '07 :)

  • tsdelvis
    15 years ago

    Where can I find pallets? Who do you have to ask?

    Thanks -- now I can't wait to get started making something!!

  • milesend
    15 years ago

    My neighbor works at walmart and has made many things from pallets. His dog has a pallet house, and he has utilized pallets to fence around his house. His most interesting project by far has been a twenty foot bridge across a run-off gully (usually dry, but can run heavy and fast) It's yet to be tested under "fire" so to speak. He's used 4x4 posts and pilings of concrete block, and resembles a train trellis.

  • californian
    15 years ago

    I'm surprised no one mentioned the most obvious use, cut them up for firewood.

  • amyellen602
    15 years ago

    we made a coffee table with a pallet left over from our roofing shingles. We took some old legs off a broken table and used them for the new table. We had thought of using fence posts and cutting them down to size. We are planning on making another table for our back patio and we will use the fence posts.

    here is a pic


  • arjo_reich
    15 years ago

    I was under the impression that it wasn't a good idea to burn pallets because a lot of them are pressure treated to extend their "shelf life" and prevent premature rotting. In fact, I know my wife used to have to turn a lot of people away where she worked when they asked for pallets for firewood for that very reason. <shrug>

    Also, wouldn't that make them a bad candidate for composting bins? I've been looking for a way to get my hands on enough wood to build on in my backyard and I absolutely refuse to pay over $300 for the wood to do so. <sigh>

  • thistle5
    15 years ago

    I have only used the pallets I've 'scrounged' to make a compost bin, didn't want to put it right against my neighbor's privacy fence, but I really like the idea of using it as a base for firewood. Right now, ours is stacked between 2 trees, & the stuff at the bottom is pretty yucky...

  • mikta
    15 years ago

    The usual compost bins are my main use. I also pry the boards off to build raised garden beds. The bottom frame of the pallets work good as a trellis for veggies, netting slips perfectly over the nail heads that held the boards on.

    By laying one pallet flat on the ground, scrwing on corner posts and adding another pallet on top, you can make a nice tool holder where the handles are supported between the boards and are easy to grab out.

    I use the ones with very old looking wood to build bird houses and feeders. It makes for a nice rustic feeder, and I add perches made from rusted horseshoes or tree prunings to complete the look.

    Pallets are also great for curing garlic, squash, and onions on. The slats allow for air circulation and the veggies sun-cure quickly.

  • cs7580
    15 years ago

    I make lots of stuff from pallets. look at my web page and see.

    Here is a link that might be useful: MY web page :)

  • trevor1005
    15 years ago

    I found your posting when I Googled to see if anyone else has been doing anything with pallets.

    For two years now I have, as a hobby, been dismatling pallets and making Bantam chicken houses from them. I have made many different types. I have now settled on a basic shape structure and will be working on a guide for novices to follow.

    I don't know how to post a pic on this forum so cannot show you?

  • trevor1005
    15 years ago

    OK I think I have worked out how to show a picture throught this link

    Here is a link that might be useful: Broody house and run

  • rgrace
    13 years ago

    Glad to see that I am not alone. I had the idea yesterday to make compost bins, now after reading this thread I have many other ideas. Who would you ask at Lowe's or Wal-Mart for the pallets? The general manager maybe? I am thinking of making some walls inside of my basement to separate out a romp room, home theater, and game room area. Been toying with the idea for a while, just did not want to spend the money on the wood. Any other ideas of where to get the pallets? I also need a new shed mine is metal and starting to rust, the wooden pallet idea is amazing. If it starts to rot, big deal, spend a few hours and build another.

  • maximavswife
    13 years ago

    I see free pallets listed on Craigslist all the time. If you don't have a local Craigslist, check your newspaper classifieds. Also, drive around the industrial area of your town and you will be bound to find plenty. Pallets seem to mulitply like hangers!

  • luckygal
    13 years ago

    We get free pallets at a local plumbing supply company. These are all untreated hardwood pallets.

    Pallets can be used as is and we have done that many times for compost bins. I now have a 5 bin system and will post a link to a pic. Compost bins made this way will last for many years. Nothing fancy, they are just nailed together.

    We regard pallets as free wood and my DH now cuts the ends off to obtain usable pieces. Much easier than pulling nails which he used to do. He's made many things from them altho sometimes uses them for kindling if I don't come up with a woodworking idea soon enough.

    Many years ago I watched a TV show where a guy made many nice pieces of furniture from pallets. He ran them thru a planer first. He explained that there were many different exotic woods in pallets.

    Such a waste if they go to the landfill.

    Here is a link that might be useful: 5 compost bins

  • skimmton_chi
    12 years ago

    Please consider the safety of working with Pallets. Many include harmful chemicals.

    from wikipedia:
    'Discarded wooden pallets should not be used for fire wood or crafts unless it has been determined that the wood in these pallets has not been treated with wood preservatives, fungicides and/or pesticides. Various pyrethrins and propiconazole are common treatments for wooden pallets. In addition, imported palletized goods are routinely fumigated with highly toxic pesticides such as ethylene oxide and methyl bromide. During use, harmful materials or chemicals also may spill on the pallet wood and be absorbed.'

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • pippi21
    12 years ago

    Remove all the nails and use for flooring in your attic if needed. Use them to stack things, like bags of mulch or to keep anything off the floor.

  • starflier79
    12 years ago

    Not all pallets are treated with chemicals, some are heat treated.

  • Patsey Nelson
    12 years ago

    Great Reading!! Has anyone made birdhouses and do you have pictures.

  • lazy_gardens
    12 years ago

    Check The Knock off Wood blog ... she's doing amazing things with pallets.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Knock Off Wood

  • maryohio3
    11 years ago

    I use Pallets to build my greenhouse and also an outdoor cat house and a chicken coop

  • robynscottdesigns
    11 years ago

    How about a storage counter?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Loft & Cottage / found furniture

  • pluto6210_aol_com
    11 years ago

    We are going to make a potters bench with ours. I'm thinking of what else we can do with others. I work for a construction company and they have pallets coming out the wazoooooo....

  • dianne0712
    10 years ago

    I saw a great site on the net for using them as living walls. She stapled landscape cloth around 3 edges (folding edges under), the filled with potting soil and planted with succulents. I believe she left in for about a week before hanging to get the roots to develop to keep soil in place.

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