Design Ideas for Wood Pallets

By Andrew Leahey
Free or cheap wooden pallets will be in varying condition.

Wood pallets are a low-cost source for wood, and an interesting base on which to build your next do-it-yourself project. When using pallets, ensure that any pallet exposed to chemicals is not used indoors, or put in direct contact with soil that will grown fruits or vegetables. Ideally, you will want to use new pallets, but if used is all you have, give the pallets a good pressure washing and allow to dry before bringing inside.

Shoe Rack

The simplest use for a wooden pallet is to use it as a shoe rack, or drying rack for wet shoes and boots. Simply stand the pallet up near your doorway, and tuck the toes of your shoes in between the slats to allow for drying. To make your project a bit more interesting, sand and coat your pallet in waterproof wood sealant.

Indoor Faux-Vine Trellis

A wooden pallet can make a great trellis for a plastic vine. Buy several lengths of various types of vines; wisteria, grape, ivy and rose all look great. Weave them between the slats of the pallet so they appear to have grown naturally on the wood. Lean against a wall in an entryway or foyer for a great conversation piece.

Display Case

By removing every other slat on one side of your pallet, you can create a great rustic display case. Use it to show off plates or platters, dishes or dolls, or anything that can stand on the small cross-sections that act as shelves.

Tool Organizer

Take your pallet out in the garage and use it as a tool organizer. A few well-placed holes for screwdrivers, hammers hung over the top, and crowbars and long tools tucked in between the front and back slats and you're in business.

Planter

An upturned pallet makes a great planter. The front and back slats of the pallet, when it is standing on its side, will act as walls for your planter. You need to add small pieces of wood to act as a floor for each chamber. When you are placing your floor pieces, the sections for planting should resemble a set of window boxes stacked on top of each other. Pre-drill holes in the wood you intend to use for the floor of each planter for drainage.

About the Author

Andrew Leahey has been a writer since 1999, covering topics as varied as technology how-to guides and the politics of genetically modified organisms to African food supplies. He is pursuing his J.D. while renovating an 1887 farmhouse located in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.