Because they’re designed for heavy-duty hauling, shipping pallets are traditionally made from pretty sturdy stuff and, as such, are perfect for upcycling into anything from robust furnishings to chunky items of functional art. Low-cost, readily available and versatile, they’re the building blocks of a do-it-yourselfer’s dream, as these genius projects demonstrate.
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Spilling over with edible or ornamental plants, a pallet is miraculously transformed into a living work of art with little more than a hammer and a staple gun. You’ll need to first remove the slats from the top of the pallet and cover its back with a thin piece of wood overlaid with plastic sheeting in order to protect your walls from moisture. Use landscaping fabric to create a pocket on the underside of each removed slat, then nail them down, fill with potting soil and start planting.
Photo credit: designsponge.com
Four or more pallets firmly nailed together are the makings of a strong — and pocket-friendly — platform bed base. Go for a single layer if you’re after a contemporary futon style bed or stack them if you’d prefer something higher (with the bonus of storage space underneath). Try to find pallets that are in good nick and give them a lick of paint to coordinate with the colours of your cushions and bed linen while, at the same time, offering protection against fungal growth.
Photo credit: chicshabbycottage.blogspot.com
At once rustic and industrial-chic, pallets are the perfect size to be remodelled into coffee tables, and come with an added advantage of offering storage space for magazines and books. You’ll need to sand your pallet before giving it a coat or two of wood stain or varnish, depending on the look you’re after. Top with a sheet of heavy-duty glass cut to size and attach swivel caster wheels if you’d like the flexibility of being able to easily move your table about.
Photo credit: cdn.homedit.com
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Because pallets need to be sturdy in order to carry the weight of heavy supplies, they are often made of strong, durable wood, such as oak. This means that reclaimed pallet wood is often beautifully rustic — perfect for a personalised headboard. A belt sander will do the job of removing splinters from the boards in two ticks, and you’ll need to build a scaffold on which to attach your boards once sanded. Use a stencil or stick-on vinyl lettering to create the message of your choice, or go freehand with a paintbrush or can of spray paint.
Photo credit: 101pallets.com
Remove a slat or two from an old pallet, bolt it to the wall and you have a quirky plate rack, perfect for displaying chunky earthenware in a country style kitchen. For an item as large and heavy as a pallet, it’s advisable to use a wall cleat (a board that is fastened horizontally to the wall, on top of which the object that you want to hang, sits) to ensure a firm hold. Mix and match your plates or stick to white only (which looks lovely against the natural wood) and secure them using nails or plate hooks.
Photo credit: J. Canosa/katrinarens.it
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