29 Cool Recycled Pallet Projects

Reuse, Recycle & Repurpose Old Wooden Pallets

December 20, 2012 By  101 Comments

People amaze me.

I get a real kick out of re-purposed wooden pallet projects.  People have come up with some awesome ways to recycle and reuse wooden shipping pallets and it’s pretty darn inspiring.  While not specifically survival related, the mentality of creatively using resources is a key theme in any survivor’s mindset.  I put together a collection of some of my favorite recycled pallet projects below that I thought you would enjoy.

A note on using pallets.  Pallets are typically marked with either MB which means they’ve been chemically treated or HT which means they have been heat treated.  Some pallets are also pressure treated with preservatives.  You should try to avoid using MB marked and pressure treated pallets for interior projects and gardening projects.  Try to avoid those nasty chemicals if you can.

Have any of you re-purposed a wooden pallet?  Share and comment below!

 

Vertical Planter

Project can be found at: http://www.designsponge.com/2011/09/diy-project-recycled-pallet-vertical-garden.html

 

Wall Shelves

Project can be found at: http://www.myluckylemon.com/2011/04/pallets-of-love.html

 

Garden Work Bench

Project can be found at: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/tools/make-your-own-potting-bench/#page=17

 

Variety of Chairs

Project can be found at: http://www.slownoodle.com/search/label/Recycle%20and%20Upcycle

 

Retro Coffee Table

Project can be found at: http://www.designfinch.com/2011/05/28/pallet-possibilities/

 

Wall Covering

Project can be found at: http://homedecorinterioridea.com/decorate-the-walls-of-your-living-room-with-recycled-pallets.html

 

 

Breakfast in Bed Tray

Project can be found at: http://ehomeandgarden.net/gallery/pallet-furniture-ideas-02

 

Room Divider

Project can be found at: http://ehomeandgarden.net/gallery/pallet-furniture-ideas-02

 

Office Furniture

Project can be found at: http://www.decoist.com/2012-02-24/office-design-from-recycled-pallets-at-brandbase-in-amsterdam/

 

Wickedly Cool Flooring

Project can be found at: http://ehomeandgarden.net/gallery/pallet-furniture-ideas-02

 

Dining Table

Project can be found at: http://super-simpless.blogspot.com/2012/10/recycled-pallets-sanded-finished-as.html

 

Mason Jar Chandalier

mason-jar-lights

Project can be found at: https://www.etsy.com/listing/66488968/mason-jar-chandelier-diy-candles?ref=shop_home_active

 

Compost Bins

Project can be found at: http://www.threeandathirdhomestead.com/2011/06/three-bin-composter-from-recycled.html

 

End Table

Project can be found at: http://www.treehugger.com/eco-friendly-furniture/home-furniture-pallets.html

 

Wood Shed

Project can be found at: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/Pallet-Woodshed.aspx

 

Off Grid Cabin

Project can be found at: http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/design-architecture/firm-turns-shipping-pallets-into-transitional-homes-for-refugees/2841

 

Day Bed

Project can be found at: http://www.inhabitots.com/adorable-toddler-bed-made-from-shipping-pallets/

 

Stairs

Project can be found at: http://www.shft.com/shopping/most-architecture-brandbase-pallet/

 

Shoe Rack

Project can be found at: http://www.curbly.com

 

Recycled Walking Path

Project can be found at: http://littleecofootprints.typepad.com/little_eco_footprints/2010/07/pallet-dreaming.html

 

Barn

Project can be found at: http://charlesandhudson.com/pallet_shed/

 

Raised Bed Garden

Project can be found at: http://blog.greenergreengrass.com/2012/03/11/recycle-pallets-as-garden-planters/

 

Garden Tool Organizer

Project can be found at: http://gardenista.com/posts/diy-garden-pallet-as-instant-tool-shed

 

Retail Fixtures

Project can be found at: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/diy-reclaimed-pallet-shelving.html

 

Artful Coffee Table

Project can be found at: http://dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.com/2012/01/god-save-pallet-reclaimed-pallets.html

 

Flatscreen Backdrop

Project can be found at: http://www.simonetasca.com.br/

 

Pallet Sofa

Project can be found at: http://www.theironstonenest.com/2011/09/transformation-tuesday-outdoor-pallet.html

 

Pallet Headboard

Project can be found at: http://homebyheidi.blogspot.com/2011/06/introducing-pineplace.html

 

And finally… one last project to wish you Merry Christmas!!!!

 

Pallet Christmas Tree

Project can be found at: http://www.greendiary.com/10-creative-christmas-trees-recycled-materials.html

 

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,

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Painter’s Ladder Shelf

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Kids Corner Bench

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Drum Table

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How To Quick Flip Furniture For Fun And Profit.

Upcycle, Re-purposed, Custom Building, Restoring, Refinishing Furniture And Having Fun Doing What We Love!

This is a Coffee Table we purchase at Trosa for $10. With a little TLC we changed the look of this table and put it in a consignment Shop.

How to paint furniture

#1. Do I use an oil-based paint or a latex-based paint? 
The answer is that you can use either one. Their are pros and cons of both. Latex dries faster and is easier to clean up, but it’s not as durable as an oil-based paint. For something like my desk, I chose an oil based primer and oil based paint because it gives you a really hard, durable glossy finish.
#2. What paint do you usually use? 
With the exception of my desk and a couple of other small projects, I usually opt for latex. It is durable enough for what I need, it can be cleaned up with water, and it isn’t smelly like an oil-based paint. That stuff lingers. Emphasis on the lingers. For most of my furniture, I’ve simply used a flat interior paint in the color of my choice, usually Behr or Valspar. Then, I use a topcoat of my choice.
#3. Do I use wax or polycrylic or polyurethane as a topcoat?
I always prime first, then I usually paint with flat paint, then seal with a wax or polycrylic. Wax is less durable but gives it a softer/matte look. Polycrylic is more durable and can be bought in satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finish. I only use Polyurethane on furniture I’ve painted a dark color. It’s super durable, but it yellows overtime, so it’s not ideal for light colored furniture. My preferred method is polycrylic.
#4. How do I get the smell out of old furniture?
Wiping the insides of drawers out with vinegar can help remove any old smells. If that doesn’t help, wipe down the drawers and then paint them.
#5. How do I repair small dents or scratches on furniture?
I use wood filler on any dents or scratches. Just smooth a small amount over the dent, let dry, then sand until the excess is removed. Once painted, you won’t see any of the imperfections. I do this to almost every piece I paint.
#6. How do I get rid of brushstrokes?
I usually use a high quality brush followed by a small foam roller , but I’ve recently discovered a great new tip that I am loving! When using latex paint, you can use a product called Floetrol. You add a few tablespoons to your paint and it’s basically like a conditioner for your paint that leaves barely any brushstrokes behind. It’s kinda awesome, and I can already tell that I’ll be using it a lot going forward. More on that later.
#7. How do I change the hardware out for a different size?
If you want to swap a knob for a pull, or vice versa, remove with a screwdriver, and just fill in the current holes with wood filler and drill new ones wherever you want your new hardware to go. Once painted, you’ll never know the old holes were there.
#8. Do I have to sand my furniture before painting?
Easy answer. Nope. Sanding a piece first will always give you better adhesion, but these days I usually just prime it using a primer like Zinsser. It holds up really well.
#9. Can you just spray paint a piece of furniture?
 Sure. Spray paint is predominately oil-based, so it clings really well to just about anything. The only con is that it’s super smelly and difficult to clean up, so you’ll want to do it outdoors in a well-ventilated area. I often have a really hard time getting spray paint to look even on table tops or large flat surfaces, so I usually only spray paint smaller pieces of furniture like chairs or end tables. Plus, it takes a lot of cans of spray paint to cover a large item. All of the above reasons usually mean I end up using a pint of latex paint on my larger pieces. :)
#10. What about using a paint sprayer?
I’ve never used one before, so I can’t give you any advice on that one. However, I can promise you that a paint sprayer is at the top of my list of ‘things I want asap’, so I promise to share my findings with you once I finally get my hands on one. For those of you seasoned painters who have them, any suggestions? I’m listening! :)

10 Thrift Store Furniture Makeovers

I’m not the best decorator, designer, or photographer, my socks have probably only matched twice in my life, and my cats are rather plump. I’m far from perfect, but one area I’m getting pretty good at is paint. Jesse has definitely witnessed several ‘I JUST RUINED IT!!!!’ mini-breakdowns after one of my furniture makeovers has gone awry, but my goal has always been progress over perfection.

After painting probably 20 pieces of furniture in the past few years, I’ve definitely made some progress in my painting skills. So, today, I thought I would roundup 10 of my favorite painted furniture makeovers, and then afterwards answer some of the FAQ’s I get about painting furniture. 
Let’s get started with my 10 favorite furniture makeovers, going in chronological order. I’ll share some failures, some successes, and what I’ve ultimately learned along the way. 

#1.  The Flip-Down Desk Makeover

This was the absolute first piece of furniture I ever painted. I did an awful job. 
I didn’t prime or sand it, and it’s basically a giant piece of string cheese now. I’m showing you this for two reasons. One, because I’m about to strip this piece and redo it, and now you can say you knew it back when. Two, because it’s a great reminder. A great reminder that if you make a mistake, even on your grandmother’s fine antique furniture, you will live to tell the tale. It’s not the end of the world. 
Leave it alone for a bit (bit = three years) and circle back around. 
*That being said, I would suggest avoiding the heirlooms until you know what you’re doing. Do as I say, not as I do. :)
 
 

#2.  Gold Stenciled Vanity Desk

This little vanity table was one of my first furniture makeovers as well. I painted it and stenciled a gold lattice stencil on top. I’ve since sold it on Craigslist, but it still holds a special place in my heart. For being one of the first makeovers, I totally think this one came out pretty cool.

High five, little guy. So sorry I sold you.

 
 
 

#3. Office Desk Makeover

Oh, the desk. I’m sitting at this desk right now as I write. I love this desk. It’s one of my favorites. I love it because it turned out amazing, but only after a lot of heartache. There is some definite truth behind the saying that you learn more from your failures than from success. I painted this table twice, and scraped the paint off twice. Then I cried twice. Then, I finally figured out the most durable solution, which was using an oil based paint and primer. I’ll elaborate more on oil based vs. water based at the end of this post.
 
 
To see the before pics of the desk, go here.
 

 

#4. The Dresser Makeover That Launched It All.

This was the first dresser I ever owned as an ‘adult’, and I eventually decided to paint it, even after the debacle with the heirloom. As fate would have it, it turned out so great that it sent me into a tailspin of painting everything in sight and eventually starting a blog about my adventures. 

 

 

#5.  The French Provincial Dresser Makeover

This is the filet mignon of dressers…as in, it’s my favorite. Also, it was originally $50, so it’s just biding its time before I trade it in for a steak. Kidding. I would NEVER.

 

 

 

#6. Chalkboard File Cabinet Makeover

This little file cabinet was my first ever roadkill transformation, and I’m hoping it won’t be my last. I will never be too proud to drag someone else’s trash across the street. Even if it’s my own neighbor’s, and I totally get stuck in the middle of the street because I overestimate my strength. 

 



#7. Piano bench turned STRIPE.

I’m not including any chairs since I’ve already listed my top 10 chair makeovers here, but this bench is just begging to make the cut, especially after holding his own in the closet makeover. And I can’t argue with that. So an exception we shall make.
 
 
Full tutorial here.

 

#8. The Blue Dresser Makeover

I mostly took a break from painting furniture to paint our trim and our cabinetry throughout the house, and when I came back to it, I had really learned so much. My painting skills really started to improve by the time this makeover came around. I started out with an old dresser given to us by a friend. It was in great shape, but needed some updating.


 

I used my favorite color of aqua blue paint and some fancy new hardware to completely transform this dresser into something that looks amazing in our master bedroom.

 
See the full tutorial, hardware source, and paint colors here.

#9. The Herringbone Dresser Makeover

This is one of my most recent makeovers. For this makeover, I decided to do something a little different and throw some pattern into the mix. Here’s the before picture of Kevin*.



And here he is after some fresh new blue paint and gold spray painted hardware.


 

 

*Update: Kevin lives on in this post even though we tried desperately to go our separate ways.


#10. The Silver Leaf Vanity Table Makeover

 

This is my most recent furniture makeover, and although it was difficult, I think it might be my all time favorite. I started out with a $15 thrift store desk that had definitely seen better days…



And after a grueling session with 50 sheets of silver leaf, I ended up with a lovely place to sit and get ready each day. I also learned something cool about Plexiglas during this makeover, so I give it an overall thumbs up. It wasn’t easy, but I still learned so much.

 Plus, I still find silver leaf floating around my house sometimes…

 so accidental disco = awesome. Or something.

See the entire silver leaf adventure here.
And those are my 10 favorite furniture makeovers so far. I’m sure there will be many more to come. 
Now, let’s answer some of the frequently asked questions that I get after posting my furniture makeovers. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions, too.
 
And that, sweet friends, is all for today! 
Thanks so much for stopping by!
 

17 Things You Can Make At Craft Camp

Brooklyn Craft Camp is a day-long event where all of your wildest DIY dreams come true.

1. Papercut art.

Papercut art.

One of the many classes Craft Camp attendees could sign up for was taught by Julie Schneider of Your Secret Admiral. Papercut art is one of those crafts that looks wicked impressive when it’s done but isn’t at all difficult (or expensive) to execute.

You can most likely do it yourself with things you already have in your house.

You can most likely do it yourself with things you already have in your house.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

All that’s required is a frame, an X-Acto knife, two pieces of card stock in contrasting colors, a pencil, and a piece of scrap paper and tape if you want something to sketch your design on beforehand.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

Simply trace the width of the frame on the scrap paper, then draw or write whatever you want (it’s important to make sure the shapes are connected and not TOO intricate, or you’re in for a world of pain during the cutting process.

Tape the scrap paper over one of the pieces of cardstock; this will be the top color, and you’ll save the other so that it peeks through underneath. Carefully use the X-Acto over a self-healing mat to cut out your shapes. When you’re done, affix the second piece of cardstock underneath the first.

Pop it in the frame and force everyone around you to admire your handiwork.

Pop it in the frame and force everyone around you to admire your handiwork.

For an added challenge, start to play around with negative space and connecting different shapes.

For an added challenge, start to play around with negative space and connecting different shapes.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

Here is how to use your newfound papercut skillz to make adorable Valentines out of doilies.

2. Felted sloths.

Felted sloths.

Nguyen Le taught needle-felting, which can a) draw blood and b) result in life-endingly cute projects like this lil’ guy.

3. And Cheshire cats.

And Cheshire cats.

4. And pigeons.

And pigeons.

5. HISTORY.

HISTORY.

In her opening speech, Craft Camp founder and all-around DIY powerhouse Brett Bara recounted the backstory of the church where the event took place. After remaining open for over a hundred years, the Greenpoint congregation dwindled to around 35 members and was on the brink of closing when it started to rent out space to artists and musicians. That revenue and community spirit helped keep the church open, and resulted in “a second life for creative, entrepreneurial small businesses.”

Because of that, Bara added, “the restrooms are, um, extremely vintage.” The entire crowd laughed because everyone knew what that meant in Etsy-speak.

6. Sequined bracelets.

Sequined bracelets.

As taught by Jessica Marquez of Miniature Rhino.

7. Terrariums.

Terrariums.

Terraria? That sounds weird. Either way, creating an entire self-sustaining naturescape in a candy dish makes you feel a whole lot like God.

Gönül Yetim, who taught this class, is a former attorney-turned-terrarium-seller, which is possibly the most delightful narrative of all time.

Beach it up.

8. Lady power.

Lady power.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

Crafting is totally for everyone, but this event happened to attract four dudes in a crowd of around a hundred attendees. NOT MAD.

9. Extremely full stomachs.

Extremely full stomachs.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

The almost-too-cute-to-eat-jk-all-food-should-be-immediately-devoured meal was catered by local Brooklyn chef Lisa Leonard-Lee.

Just look at those ‘nuts.

Just look at those 'nuts.

And those Pinterest-worthy treats.

And those Pinterest-worthy treats.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

10. Nail art.

Nail art.

As (very patiently) demonstrated by Jessica Washick of U Don’t Need a Man, U Need a Manicure.