10 Surprisingly Impressive Ways to Upcycle Wooden Pallets

This article has been contributed to Recyclart by the Packaging Supplies service PecPac – and written by Matthew Crist.

Millions of them are put to use every year for transporting large and articulated items from A to B. But when the working life of a wooden pallet is up, their fate often lies in forming the foundations of the nation’s bonfires every November.

That’s not to say, however, with a little thought, creativity and a bit of effort to boot, these transportation stalwarts can actually be turned into a range of practical and (would you believe it?) attractive accessories that can compliment your home and garden.

Here are 10 uses for wooden pallets that might just make you consider using them as furniture in your home!

Wall Light Fitting

Cratewood-light-600x418Source: Recyclart

Illuminate any room in your house while creating a rustic feel thanks to this wall mounted light constructed from the struts of a wooden pallet. Attach a simple fitting to the rear of the shade and the light will reflect onto the back wall, as well as through the gaps in the wood.

Shoe Rack

noid-shoe_holderSource: Recyclart

By removing some of the wooden slats on a pallet and turning it on to one end you have the perfect shoe rack to keep your hallway clear of clutter and ensure shoes of all shapes and sizes are safely stored away.

Shelving Units

pallet-shelvesSource: Recyclart

You’ll need to know some basic carpentry skills in order to create these free-standing shelves. But the long wooden struts are perfect for displaying small ornaments or picture frames and can be treated and stained to suit any room.

Hanging Planters

woodpallet_02_0Source: 1001Pallets

Due to wooden pallets being hard wearing and weatherproof, they are ideal for use in the garden. Carefully poke some hanging plants through the gaps in the wooden cross-pieces while keeping the soil and roots contained behind in grow-bags. You can also paint them any color you want to really brighten up a boring wall.

A Garden Shed

TonyUtterbackShed-3Source: Recyclart

Believe it or not, with a little (or a lot of) application, wooden pallets actually make great frames for just about any buildings or construction project. Okay, maybe not ideal for a beginner, but due to them being strong and durable, pallets are good for any of those small outbuildings you have in mind – though admittedly they might be a little cold in the winter!

Fence Panels

20130718_191401Source: 1001Pallets

An upturned pallet can make a great garden fence panel and several stood end-to-end will form an effective border for your outdoor areas. Once sunken into the ground they are strong and robust and create a great look, and you can use creosote or wood stain for added protection and maybe even some climbing plants to really give them your own unique twist.

Garden Decking

salon-de-jardin-en-palette12Source: Lila sur sa terrasse

Like fence panels, pallets are a great alternative to conventional wooden decking for the garden – and without all the time and effort it takes to install. In fact, you can even create a temporary decking area, which can easily be taken up and stored during the winter months.

Coffee Table

basqueSource: 1001Pallets

Fed up with that boring old coffee table that makes your living room look dated and unoriginal? With a little bit of imagination and a helping of elbow grease (not to mention some lime-colored paint!) you can turn an old wooden pallet into a modern and stylish looking addition to your home.

Garden Chair

pallet-chair-1Source: Recyclart

Another one for the budding carpenters, but this garden chair will set your garden furniture apart from the neighbors thanks to its originality and unique style.

Outdoor bar

IMG_1906Source: 1001Pallets

Wooden pallets are designed to spend a lot of time outside and if you like the great outdoors too, this garden bar is the perfect place for you to sit and relax come the summer months. Constructing it could prove a little tricky – but well worth the effort too!

And if you want to continue to be inspired with recycled pallet ideas, you should visit 1001Pallets.com website where you will find thousand of upcycled pallet ideas!

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About Author Neokentin

Co-founder of Recyclart. Working hard on Recyclart to bring you your daily dose of recycled creative ideas! :) A passion for people creativity when they start to think "recycled-upcycled"! :)


  1. Jamie Villnow - May 25, 2014

    I see a lot of stuff made out of wooden pallets these days, and as someone who works at a factory, I always wonder, where do they find such immaculate pallets?! lol. All the ones I find are broken, painted on, crooked, missing boards, etc.

  2. Marcella Incerti - May 25, 2014

    Mattia Avanzini il banconedi pellets con tanto di sgabelli io lo terrei presente ;)

  3. Mirjam Mim - May 25, 2014

    Maaike Molenmaker die stoel ofzo kan er ook nog wel bij jullie bankstel! Nog even doorklussen ;)

  4. Jennifer Boyd - May 25, 2014

    Robin Watterson Fox Drift Wood Lure

  5. Sofia Pompei - May 25, 2014

    Barbara Tempestini Eliza Sommers

  6. None - May 29, 2014

    i used to love the idea of pallet wood, and then read an article on them, and i wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole anymore..

    1) there is NO possible way to track where they came from, where they’ve been, what they carried, what spilled on them, what’s infested in the wood, what’s been used to treat the wood..etc.etc.etc.
    2) sure, you got it from the back of a grocery store, so it carried potatoes right?!? how do you know that last week it wasn’t carried nuclear waste from Hanford, the leaky as a hell nuclear plant in Washington State, a giant producer of vegetable goods.
    3) no way, no thanks! i wouldn’t even use this stuff to start a bonfire!
    4) stop thinking that just cause you found what LOOKS to be a clean pallet is guaranteed to be a clean pallet. a majority of chemicals are clear, many are odorless after a few hours of exposure to air.. You really want that in the wood you “salvaged”. and then you’re going to make furniture and bring it into your house?!?

    I’ll stick to buying FSC wood, knowing it’s coming from sustainable growers who care about a good quality natural product and aren’t pumping it full of chemicals in an effort to extend it’s usage in freight.

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