12 Creative Things to Do with Wood Pallets

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It might surprise you to discover how much you can do with a wood pallet. See how you can transform this cast-off into various outdoor and indoor decorating accents for useful, beautiful pieces.

Pallet Garden Trellis

A pretty trellis defines and secludes an intimate garden seating spot. To make your own, carefully inspect pallets for solid construction, including straight nails (they're easy to remove). Then simply stack pallets, removing boards as desired. Stain or paint as needed and attach garden containers using brackets. Frames filled with chicken wire offer complementary bookends and spots for flowering vines, too. Most of the time, a crowbar, hammer, and gentle, methodical touch will be the only tools you need to remove extra pieces of wood from your pallet.

Pallet Outdoor Art

Screen a view or create a backdrop for an outdoor seating area with this one-of-a-kind yard art. Hang from a wire attached to 3/4-inch wood screws at the top corners. To make: Thoroughly clean the pallet and allow to dry. Roll on the background color with outdoor acrylic paint; let dry. Download and enlarge a pattern of your choice to fit your pallet. Spray repositionable adhesive on the back of the printout and secure it to poster board. Using a crafts knife, cut out black areas to make a stencil. Cut inside the lines to avoid cutting the connectors that hold the stencil together. Brush grasslike stripes of paint onto the bottom portion of the pallet. Let the paint dry. Position stencil on the pallet using repositionable adhesive. Paint image with a flat brush; let dry.

Pallet Accent Wall

Before you pass by the less-than-perfect pallets, consider using the boards for unique, rustic accent. Here, pallet boards, some unadorned, some painted white, offer pretty contrast behind a corrugated tin headboard. As you search for free pallets, skip those that might have transported food (and maybe had a spill or two) or those with an off-putting smell or any dark, stained spots.

Follow these easy steps to make a hanging planter from a wood pallet.

Pallet Vertical Garden

Trimmed-to-size pallets can offer an interesting place to boost gardening space -- especially if your landscape has less-than-ideal square footage. Learn how to turn a pallet into a vertical garden.

Pallet Coffee Table

Expansive surface space on a wood pallet makes for a generously sized outdoor table, and a few extra touches add both practicality and beauty to this bright-hue seating centerpiece. The table comes together with inexpensive materials -- half concrete blocks and mending plates -- and boasts a fun extra: a built-in planter. Find detailed instructions for building your own wood pallet coffee table. Note: Some pallets are built and shipped domestically, and others come from overseas. If your pallet has no identifying stamps, chances are it is of domestic origin. If you find pallets stamped with either IPPC (shipped internationally, no invasive species, no treatment) or HT (heat treatment), they are generally a better choice than those stamped with MP (chemical fumigation).

Pallet Tabletop Centerpiece

If you have a pallet in less-than-perfect condition, you can use some of those loose boards for a simple, flea market-style centerpiece. Remove a board and cut it to fit your tabletop. Remove all staples and/or nails, and gently sand the edges. Place vases or salvaged coils on top of the pallet (add a dab of construction adhesive to make a permanent creation). Remember: Finishes used on pallets are not a good match for food of any type. Before you use any pallet in the home or outside, scrub it thoroughly with soapy water, or a diluted bleach solution, and dry thoroughly.

Pallet Platform Bed

A simple stack of cleaned-up and painted pallets was all it took to create a rustic platform bed. For a full-size bed, plan on using eight 40x38-inch pallets. Scrub thoroughly; allow to dry. Paint with one or two coats, as desired, and stack.

Pallet Outdoor Dining Table

Pallets come in a range of sizes, which means you can lash them together with bracing and brackets to create a just-right-for-you dining table. Here, this one is braced with extra pieces from other pallets as well as standard-size lumber. Note the A-frame underneath, which helps to support the center. Cutouts in the tabletop make a spot to tuck in pretty mini planters for accents.

Pallet Potting Bench

Pallets are typically used in shipping, then discarded or recycled. That means they can often be picked up for free, especially from a local garden supply or hardware store. Just two pallets yields enough wood to build this practical addition for any gardener: a potting bench. Look for strong and long pallets for this project, and add hooks and extras as needed for your supplies and tools.

Pallet Compost Bin

A simple compost bin can help you tackle garden waste and save money on store-bought compost, too. To create one out of three pallets: level the ground where you'll place your bin. Using 4x4s, create two corners for your pallet compost bin. Secure the pallets to the back corners using heavy-duty wire. If needed, add front pieces to secure the open corners.

Pallet Headboard

Pallets come in a range of finished sizes, which means you can probably find one to fit your bed and create an almost-instant headboard. Thoroughly clean the pallet and mount it behind the mattress, placing at a height of your choosing, for a rustic accent. Another option: Paint to match your color scheme.

Pallet Holiday Tree

Hampered by small space? Or just looking for more inventive ways to exhibit your holiday spirit? Try this hangable wall decoration, perfect for favorite ornaments and holiday cards and suited for just about any room in the house. To make yours out of pallets, look for sturdy boards. Draw a large triangle on the pallet to desired size (our tree is 44 inches tall). Cut out the triangle using a jigsaw. Use sandpaper to smooth all surfaces. 
Paint slats, using a foam paintbrush, with alternating shades of green paint; let dry. 
Predrill holes, then screw small cup hooks and drawer pulls to the front. Hang cards and decorations on the cup hooks. Tie rope between knobs; attach clothespins to rope.

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