Repurposed furniture ideas: How to make cool furniture from shipping pallets

Learn how to make a pallet table and platform bed using repurposed furniture pallets.

24 June

Man treating DIY furniture with a brush
Sustainability

Key steps

To make your own pallet furniture:

  1. Get hold of good quality pallets from a shipping yard, local business or online.
  2. Treat them with varnish or paint depending on your preference.
  3. Assemble them to build a sturdy structure perfect for storage or even sleeping!

After they’ve been used for shipping and transport, wooden pallets can also make stylish, shabby-chic items of furniture. Instead of buying a new coffee table, why not save money and environmental resources by creating your own one with upcycled pallets? If you’re looking for some easy pallet furniture ideas that will help you transform these handy pieces of wood into the centrepiece of your home, try our DIY pallet furniture ideas.

Varnish and paint your pallet before assembling for a professional finish.

How to make a pallet table

One of the most popular and easy to execute DIY pallet ideas is a coffee table. Not only do pallets tend to come in just the right size for an average living room, they are also sturdy enough to hold all the things that tend to get placed here: coffee mugs, magazines, remote controls and the odd sleeping pet.

To make a pallet table follow these key steps:

  1. Find two unused, wooden pallets. Try local manufacturing yards or look online.
  2. Decide on your style and colour scheme. Most people either varnish the wood to prevent splinters or paint it to match their colour scheme.
  3. Prepare the wood by lightly sanding the surface, applying primer, and painting or varnishing with 2 coats of your chosen product.
  4. Once the wood is fully dry from your treatment, stack the pallets on top of each other to make a single unit.
  5. Nail these in place and make sure your new table is nice and firm
  6. To make the table more functional, cover with a sheet of wood or MDF board cut to size and nail into position firmly. Remember to sand any rough edges and treat the wood in the same way as the pallets.
  7. If you want your table to be easier to reposition in your home then screw small wheels to the bottom, one in each corner.

How to make a pallet platform bed and other repurposed furniture for the bedroom

Maybe you’ve got a nice coffee table already and are looking for other DIY pallet ideas. How about a pallet platform bed? This is surprisingly easy to do, looks great and can save you a lot of money on a more conventional bed frame. You’ll need at least 4 pallets, potentially more depending on how big they are and how big you want your bed to be.

  1. Paint or varnish your pallets, as described above, to match your bedroom décor.
  2. Build your frame by arranging the pallets in a flat, horizontal formation.
  3. Nail each pallet together securely.
  4. For a platform bed, layer your pallets on top of each other.
  5. Make sure your structure is sturdy enough to take the weight of one or two people.
  6. Place your mattress directly on top of the pallets or use a large piece of MDF to create a flat surface first. Either way, remember to sand the surface first to avoid splinters or wooden shards from damaging your mattress.

If you want more repurposed furniture inspiration or tips on updating your home in an eco-friendly and financially-friendly way then why not read our advice on getting rid of old furniture or ideas or furniture restoration projects.