There’s much to love about upcycled furniture: You can save money, keep items out of landfills, and add some personal style. But one person’s recycled armchair on Pinterest might be another person’s DIY disaster.
Pallets—the wooden platforms used in warehouses and factories to store or move materials—offer a solution. Usually made of rough, undressed wood and measuring 4 by 4 feet, pallets are so ubiquitous that you can usually get them for free from old warehouses and shipping areas. That means that even when you make a mistake, you’ll have plenty of material to try again.
You can turn pallets into just about anything, and their appeal comes in part because you don’t need an apprenticeship in woodworking to make something beautiful. It’s important, however, to know a bit about the pallets you are using.
Pallets can be exposed to things like harsh chemicals, mold, or bugs, so it’s best to clean them up and determine their origin before you begin any project. Newer pallets require a logo that says how they were treated, and most pallets are reused within specific industries.
The best—and safest—pallets come from dry goods industries, so that’s a good place to start. Head over here for a comprehensive look at how to tell if a pallet is safe for reuse.
Once you have your pallets, the sky’s the limit. We turned to Instagram to round up 36 innovative examples of pallet furniture—for all parts of your home—to get you started.
- Pallets can look chic and minimalist inside the home as storage.
2. Or as a monochromatic bed frame.
3. Pallets and Prada, naturally.
4. Pallet daybeds might make for the cheapest guest room furniture ever.
5. These DIY pallet bedside tables look like something straight out of a catalogue.
6. And pallets can work in the bathroom, too.
7. Pallets work as rustic chairs and desks for adults...
8. Or for the kiddos!
9. The pallet bar looks dreamy lit up with a few twinkle lights.
10. With a bit of extra work, even fancy coffee tables can be built from reclaimed pallet wood.
11. Or painted a cheery yellow.
12. Add some metal piping hardware for an industrial look.
13. Or stack the wood for a completely new take on pallets.
14. Dining tables too!
15. This pallet staircase is a new take on industrial chic.
16. Outside, pallets can be transformed into big structures like outdoor green houses.
17. Or chicken coops—all the materials seen here were free except for the $18 sheets of glass in the windows.
18. Pallets can even be used as outdoor play kitchens for primary school children.
19. Smaller play kitchens made out of pallets are also a great idea.
20. Pups can enjoy the pallet life too.
21. A pallet bar is an easy choice for entertaining outdoors.
22. And pallets also provide an excellent way to create shelving for garden tools.
23. Or adorable multi-tiered planters.
24. These photogenic hanging plant decorations work inside or out.
25. Need a vertical garden? Pallets could be the answer.
26. There are a ton of different ways to use pallets as outdoor couches. Some designs come with built-in side tables.
27. And even smaller loveseats are summer ready if you add a few pillows.
28. Some designs are so good you have to look twice to see that they are made out of pallets.
29. Good pillows are a key component to making pallet furniture comfortable and stylish.
30. Add a glass top to a table to make the pallet shine.
31. We’re obsessed with this irresistible pallet swing.
32. Put rollers on a pallet and you have a moveable coffee table.
33. A coat of paint can help transform a pallet from dull to chic.
34. Or provide a pop of color.
35. Teal blue, anyone?
36. Heck, you could host a 30-person party with this pallet furniture set.