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Recycled Pallets: The Down Low On DIY Furniture

Pallet furniture has gotten more and more popular over the past few years, and for good reason: pallets can be free, they’re (relatively) easy to work with, and you’re reusing old goods and materials. Karma points from Mother Nature.

If you’re looking to get started with your own project, we’ve got some handy insider tips from a pallet pro.

Our resident production designer, Lori Wilson, is an expert in making her own pallet furniture. A few years ago, she built a pallet bed for her daughter, posted about it on her blog, Home Again Creative, and received quite a bit of attention from blogs like Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy.

When we asked her to indulge us on getting started with pallet furniture, she kindly obliged.

Pallet Furniture 101

Where to get pallets?

Finding pallets is relatively easy. Practically every business ships and receive their merchandise on pallets, so you’ll often find a stack of them on their back dock.  Be sure to check with the business before taking them though – many reuse their pallets or sell them back for credits, but most would be willing to part with a few.

What should I look for in good-quality pallets?

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 1.12.09 PMWhen selecting pallets, pay attention to the stamp with the IPPC logo on the side. Pallets are either chemically-treated or heat-treated to resist bugs and such, and the stamp will tell you how that particular pallet was treated. Chemically-treated pallets will have “MB” (for Methyl/Bromide) stamped on it, while heat-treated pallets are stamped with “HT.” Naturally, you’ll want to focus on finding heat-treated pallets.

What kind of tools will I need?

Depending on how big your project is, the list of tools you must have is pretty basic.  

 • palm sander with medium grit sandpaper
 • circular saw
 • drill and drill bits
 • bolts and/or screws
 • tape measure
 • T-square
 • pencil

If your project is a bit larger or you already own the following tools, these will also come in handy:

 • hand saw
 • reciprocating saw with blade specifically for cutting metal
 • Pallet Buster (we have the blue one)

Any sources of inspiration or helpful resources?

I was first inspired to build these beds for my daughters after a friend shared a version she created for her daughter on her blog, Under The Sycamore. I really enjoyed seeing what she made and then re-imagining it to create my own unique version.

When I first made the beds there were very few resources for inspiration, but now a quick search on Pinterest for “pallet diy” will leave you with no shortage of ideas!

You can view Lori’s original pallet post and lots of other wonderful DIY projects on her site, Home Again Creative.

If you’ve made any reclaimed creations and want to share, we’d love to see what you’ve built! Post them in the comments below!