Do It Yourself: Pallet Roundup

Pallet Roundup by Sam Henderson of Today's Nest

If you've been hanging out in the Nest for the past few years, you've seen plenty of DIY projects made with pallet wood. I enjoy using it for a variety of reasons. It's rough and rustic, but I like to create more contemporary designs with it. It's cheap... in my case, every single project has been made with free pallets, but you can find some for sale if you don't want to dig around. Lastly, it's ok to make some mistakes... within reason. The raw nature of it rules out perfection. The boards are seldom perfectly straight and include knots and bumps. A little misguided cut will hardly be noticed and will more likely add to the charm.

Below I have assembled some of my favorite pallet projects over the past few years. Some are found here on Today's Nest and some over at HGTV.com. Have a look and tell me which is your favorite.

savour... rough edges

Hungry for more pallet inspiration? Check out my PALLET PROJECTS pinterest board.

Things you should know...

  • Pallets can be found just about anywhere. A quick search behind shopping centers is likely to reveal more than you need. However, if you don't find any there, a quick web search should provide contacts for local places that sell them in bulk. They might even deliver.
  • Use caution. Pallets are riddled with nails and staples. Wear gloves and protect your feet.
  • Get more pallets than you need. They are sometimes impossibly difficult to disassemble without breaking up the planks. I typically gather twice as much as my plans require.
  • Do not expect perfection. These projects are rough by design, which makes them well suited for pallet wood. If you are looking for precise, straight lines and perfect straight corners use something else.
  • Clean them well. Depending on where they've been stored, there are likely to be critters involved. 
  • Treat them after your project is complete. Cover them with a little white wash, or stain and varnish or just give them a good waxing.
  • Do NOT use them for food service projects. There is no way to know if or how your pallets have been chemically treated. 
  • Keep the bigger scraps for future projects.
  • Get a more authentic look by including stamps and brands in your cuts.