From benches to tables, a little elbow grease is all you need to turn discarded wooden pallets into a work of functional art.
In the industrial shipping world, wooden pallets
are as plentiful as styrofoam
packing peanuts. After a productive week, it's not unusual to see hundreds, or even thousands of shipping pallets stacked up behind warehouses all across the US (and abroad). Most are reused, but some have been known to stray into back alleys and parking lots, where they're left alone to fend for themselves. I'm sure many warehouses would be willing to part with a pallet or two, so make sure to ask before you abscond with a truck-load of them.
Once you find yourself in possession of one (or more) pallets, you should consider using your DIY prowess and repurposing it into something totally awesome. The options for what you can do with your pallet are virtually endless, but if you're having trouble thinking of something, here are a few projects that might pique your interests:
Compost bin - Use the slats to create a bin for your compost. Additional pallets can be used to create separating bins for various types (or stages) of compost.
Pallet shed - These projects are definitely not for the DIY novice, but do a great job demonstrating just how far you can push the pallet craft medium.
Firewood - Pretty obvious. We're going camping tomorrow, and I have a feeling I'll be wishing I had a couple pallets worth of wood when I'm building the fire.
Pallet bench - ReadyMade magazine held a competition to find the best use for old pallets, and this one took the cake.
Guitars - Another (albeit complex) project highlighting just how much you can do with some old pallets.
Pallet art - This site focuses on "the hidden lives of wooden pallets" by using them in new and unusual ways to create works of art. Very cool.
Tables, tables, tables! - Apparently every wooden pallet is a side table in cocoon form; it just needs a little help transforming from one stage to the next.
If you're still having trouble figuring out what to do with your new-found pallets, why not use them as they were meant to be used, which is to store stuff and keep it off the ground. While it's not the most ideal DIY solution, it at least keeps the pallets out of the landfills, and that's always a good thing. What's your favorite pallet crafting