New Uses for Old Things | Wooden Pallets

wood pallet coffee table reuse

wood pallet coffee table reuse

April may be the month when the urge to spring clean takes over, but it’s also the month when we seem to give the most thought to our environmental impact. While you’re in the midst of purging and re-organizing, don’t underestimate the power of re-purposing. Case in point: the lowly wooden shipping pallet.

They’re easy to overlook leaning against dumpsters and tossed in ditches, but wooden pallets also have built-in rustic charm with a nod to industrial functionality. With a bit of TLC, they can be transformed into fresh furniture pieces or smart storage. We rounded-up a few clever DIY examples. Don’t miss all the step-by-step instructions for these projects in the “Sourcing” section below!

Pallet-Turned-Coffee Table

A bit of sanding, four castors, a glass top and a coat of stain or paint turn these pallets into large coffee tables with built-in shelves for storing books, magazines and removes.

wood pallet reuse table lounge day bed

Pallet-Turned-Day Bed

Add a futon mattress or high-density foam topper to a painted pallet to create a day bed or lounge. Perfect in a finished basement or a teenager’s bedroom.


wood pallet wine rack plate shelf reuse

The basic construction of wooden pallets makes them prime storage solutions (especially for wine). On the left, they’re stacked and lined with deep rectangular baking sheets for bar storage. Mounted on the wall (right), the slats are perfect for displaying a collection of pretty plates.


wood pallet balcony garden

For apartment dwellers who want a balcony garden without tons of hanging baskets or heavy pots, line a pallet with landscape fabric to keep soil inside – then plan to your heart’s content.

+ DIY Coffee Table 1 from Noepa Hjertet /  DIY Coffee Table 2 from Fjasevashuseton, both on Stylizimo.com
+ DIY Day Bed from Siljesol on Stylizimo.com
+ DIY Wine Shelving from Remodelista.com
+ DIY Plate Rack by Katrin Arens on Remodelista
+ Balcony Garden from Life on the Balcony

  • hearttypat
    April 4, 2011 at 23:49

    This is soo great! I have been looking for ideas for the ‘lowly wooden pallets’

  • Julei
    April 5, 2011 at 06:56

    oh my! I absolutely LOVE the garden idea! I’m definitely going to give that a try this summer! Thank you!

  • Martine Louise Resnick
    April 5, 2011 at 09:09

    Amy – These photos of pallets are great! I’m really drawn to the two country cottage style images (the white pallet coffee table in the neutral living room and the kitchen with the green plate display) they remind me of French farm houses – wonderful! I’m on the hunt for the perfect pallet to make a coffee table, and I don’t want to pay a fortune for one in a retail store – i’ve seen some crazy pricing!

  • Elizabeth
    April 5, 2011 at 13:21

    wow these ideas are SO neat! TFS 🙂

  • Hannah
    April 8, 2011 at 19:00

    I love the planter idea. you just have to make sure it is ornamental only, those things are treated with some pretty nasty stuff, so you wouldn’t want to grow edibles.

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  • Gerry
    May 14, 2012 at 11:05

    What great ides for using pallets WITHOUT having to cut them up. Because of the type of nails used to construct them, they are horendous to try to dismantle.

  • Judy @ Cleaning Junkie
    January 8, 2013 at 21:40

    My favorite is the pallet as a wine shelf. I also love the rustic look as a garden rack. So many uses for pallets, great DIY ideas for upcycling!