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Upcycled Pallet Ideas – Transform Old Pallets Into Functional Home Pieces

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Upcycling old pallets is both a great way to save money and keep pallets out of landfill. Get inspired with the following upcycled pallet ideas. 

We were at the garbage tip a few weeks ago when we came across a HUGE mountain of discarded wood and a big sign, written in angry red paint that said ‘NO SCAVENGING ALLOWED.’

It was a travesty to drive away without bringing home at least as much as what we were leaving behind.

Because, why else do you take a trip to the tip, right?!

In that mound there were old fence palings, hundreds of pallets, old wardrobes, broken tables and all sorts of assorted wood pieces, just waiting to be reclaimed and tended to with a little TLC.

DH is pretty handy with woodworking, he has made a few tables and furniture pieces in the past, and my mind was racing at all the lovely new furniture we could have in our home, knocked up from a few old (and free) bits of scavenged wood.

If you too have the urge to repurpse old wood, I’ve included a selection of ideas below to whet your inspiration.

Some of these links aren’t tutorials, but pictures of what people have built, meant to inspire rather than instruct.

Here are some instructions on how to handle pallet wood, and this is a YouTube video explaining how to work around the nails.

And to be on the safe side, this article provides information about choose pallets that haven’t been treated with chemicals (although I recommend reading the comments for more detailed information).

You might also like: 40 Inspiring Repurposing Ideas for Making Old Things New Again.

Upcycled Pallet Ideas

Get inspired with these gorgeous and ingenious pallet transformations into functional pieces of furniture.

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7 Comments

  1. Hi Melissa,

    Seems a shame to waste good ‘stuff’. Our tip here sells lots of ‘stuff’ through a shop on site run by a local charity. By the way you are very on trend with your ideas on recycling pallets. One of the couples on the television show ‘The Block’ used pallets as a bed base in one of their rooms. :)

  2. So what are your thoughts re the risks??? I’d been planning on doing stuff like this for a while, but now I’m a little freaked! The ecoli etc is no biggy for me, but the formaldehyde et all is a bit freaky!

  3. Hi Sharon, I saw The Block, I think that must be where I got the idea for this round up, although that didn’t occur to me at the time :)

    Hi Mel, all imported pallets are required to be treated according to this website, http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/timber/ispm-15-faq#treatments, from what I understand, it is best to look for local pallets (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Standard_Pallets). As far as I know, local pallets aren’t treated, the Mom with a Drill link (pallet wall) mentions this is so in the US.

    As a side note to your question (not meaning to freak you out or anything), I’ve read that particle board found in most furniture is also treated with formaldehyde (although I read somewhere else that this practice is being phased out) so a lot of new furniture and flat-pack installations potentially have formaldehyde. I have also read that there is also a common ingredient in skin care products (I can’t remember which one, sorry) that turns into formeldehyde one a celular level, once it enters the body via absorbtion in the skin. Why our houses can be more toxic than outside.

    1. It is true that particle board is treated with chemicals as well and I have smelled certain furniture items that is unpleasant. Is that the same thing?

  4. I was all excited about all the ideas I have seen on pallets lately (I am way behind the times) however, now that I see these warnings, which make sense I am not quiet as excited. I am thinking that perhaps they would be okay for yard projects but perhaps not so great for indoor use. I would was already concerned about splinters and nails and pulling the wood apart, and maybe I will find another way to get wood as opposed to pallets. Hmmm….point to ponder. Thanks for the heads up.

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