DIY Home + Garden wooden pallets image via Shutterstock

Published on August 28th, 2012 | by Julie Finn

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What to do with a Wooden Pallet: 6 Crafty Projects

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My favorite thing about crafting with wooden pallets is the aged, worn, antique look to the wood. It gives the results so much personality!

Actually, my favorite thing about crafting with wooden pallets is the fact that I’m upcycling–I don’t worry about the wood’s provenance when I’m rescuing it.

No, wait–my REAL favorite thing about crafting with wooden pallets is the price tag; businesses where I live are perfectly happy to simply give them away, which means that I can work wood projects for free.

Whatever YOUR favorite reasons are for crafting with wooden pallets, check out the following gorgeous, useful, DIY projects:

Before you begin each project, you have to two two things with each wooden pallet:

  • Disassemble the pallet. Unless you’re using the entire pallet AS a pallet, you’ve got to take it apart without tearing it all to pieces. Although you can, of course, hack your wooden pallet apart any way that you’re able, I especially appreciate this method for disassembling a pallet from Dishfunctional Designs because it’s so careful, resulting in very little waste.
  • Seal for safety. Shipping pallets are not, in general, safe; among the other dangers of shipping pallets are their possible exposure to chemicals such as insecticides or preservatives. However, this does not rule them out as a craft supply–this simply means that you must seal them completely so that anything toxic stays inside. I usually seal the finished product, rather than the individual disassembled pieces, and although I do permit my children to craft with me, they’re not particularly sensitive to chemicals, and I require them to wash their hands afterwards.

Now, let’s create!

Next Page: 6 Wood Pallet Craft Projects


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About the Author

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now. Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.



One Response to What to do with a Wooden Pallet: 6 Crafty Projects

  1. James says:

    You should make sure to include a warning for your readers about the potential risks of stockpiling wood pallets for projects or using them in common household furnishings or accessories.

    A few useful tidbits from Pallet Truth that are worth passing along:
    1. A lot of wooden pallets are treated for insects with methyl bromide and formaldehyde. Scary names, and scary effects on humans.
    2. A lot of wood pallets have sat around in pretty disgusting conditions- they are a perfect hiding place for bacteria and other nasties.

    Ultimately wood pallets account for major deforestation every year and using them again is not a bad idea (rather then sending it to the dump). BUT at least get the word out to be careful about using them. Avoid anything not stamped with HT, and even then, make sure you’re using masks, gloves, and in well ventilated area. Also keep finished stuff away from kids or infants.

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