There are dozens of uses for wooden pallets – they are possibly one of the most hack-friendly products out there. Best of all they come cheap, if not free (people tend to leave them on the side of the road when they’re done using them). From coffee tables to wine racks, here’s how upcycled pallets can fit into your home and garden.
1. Functional coffee table
There are multiple ways a pallet coffee table can be customised depending on how rustic or fancy you want it. At its very simplest all you have to do is nail two pallets together, one on top of the other; include wheels and you have yourself a versatile patio table. You can create a stylish centrepiece for your living room by adding a glass top and applying varnish. Personalise a table further by applying a few coats of colourful paint or, if you’re particularly handy, fitting them with drawers.
2. Versatile shoe rack
Here’s another pallet hack that can be as simple or elaborate you wish. Keeping it basic, lean a small pallet upright against a wall and slot pairs of shoes, toe-first, between the slats. If you’re happy taking a pallet apart, it has all the bits necessary to knock together a more traditional-looking two shelf rack. You can even adapt it into a bench by adding a cushion above the other shelves. Perfect for an entranceway – somewhere to sit and take your shoes off that comes complete with a place to store them.
3. Rustic wine rack
An upcycled pallet wine rack can give a kitchen a charming country aesthetic. A single pallet can be reconfigured to create an eight-bottle wine rack that fixes onto the wall. You can even include space underneath from which to hang glasses (plans for this type of thing are abundant online).
4. Handy room divider
Perhaps you want to create an office area or section off a place in a room for the kids to play, in which case you can screw two pallets together vertically to make a smart room divider. Incorporate it into your room’s aesthetic by hanging pictures or photos from it, or make it more elaborate with shelving, or even a place to put the TV. Add more pallets for a larger divider, or go all in and make a whole pallet wall!
5. Space-saving saucepan rack
This is a great idea for saving space in the kitchen on a budget. You basically take a pallet, cut it to size and then anchor it to the wall or ceiling with chains. This then gives you a large rack from which you can hang pots, pans and utensils. You could empty a couple of cupboards’ worth of stuff with one of these. (For more, check out our top tips for how to organise your kitchen to save space.)
6. Beautifying vertical garden
There are many uses for pallets in the garden – this is one of the more undemanding projects that will look striking on a patio. No sawing is required as it’s just a matter of lining the pallet with burlap or landscape fabric in order to hold potting soil. Plants and flowers are placed so they pop out between the slats. Then, given enough time for them to grow out, it creates a wall of arresting fauna.
7. Tasteful garden path
If you take a pallet apart the boards can be laid to form an elegant pathway, one that looks as though you spent more money on it than you did! You’ll want to treat the wood to seal it and use a layer of sand beneath the boards to hold them so they don’t slip around. Adding a curve or two to the pathway makes it particularly attractive. Bitten by the upcycling bug? Don’t miss our guide to making amazing upcycling creations with charity shop finds.