Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.
How to Upcycle Pallets Into Storage
Old wooden pallets are an ideal medium to create practical, versatile storage for virtually any area of the home. From constructing a living room coffee table with built-in storage to putting together a vertical storage system in the garage, there are endless ways to use pallets to gain the storage that you desperately need at home without breaking the bank.
Where Can You Get Old Pallets?
- Small commercial and manufacturing businesses. There are a wide range of smaller commercial and manufacturing companies that receive weekly if not daily pallet deliveries, and usually they don't know how to get rid of all of them. Try hardware and garden stores, feed and pet supply stores, power equipment and lawn mower shops, and motorcycle parts shops. Typically these businesses receive small, clean pallets, which are ideal for storage repurposing projects. You'll have better luck with smaller businesses, who often dispose of pallets in the dumpster, instead of through a large-scale recycling company.
- Craigslist. Individuals and businesses are always placing listings for free pallets. You may find listings on Freecycle as well.
Keep in mind that the best options for finding old pallets will vary from one area to the next depending on the preferred recycling systems.
Finally, when you're in the market for pallets, keep your eyes open whenever you're out and about. You never know when you'll see a whole stack of pallets piled in front of the curb or behind an office park.
If you can't find pallets anywhere or simply want to get started on your pallet hack right away, making your own pallet is also a great option. Talk to construction crews building new homes or businesses and ask for spare boards or pick up boards at your local home improvement store. Grab the directions to make your own wood pallet at Instructables.
A basic pallet shelving unit is one of the simplest and most versatile pallet hacks out there. You'll get the storage that you need for virtually any area of your home in a matter of hours. From living rooms to bedrooms to kitchens and even bathrooms, a pallet shelf blends right into the existing space. You can construct the shelving unit to be the exact size that you need so you don't even have to rearrange furniture. Pick up simple wood bookcase plans at Family Handyman.
You can also use an old wood pallet to take an average pre-fab shelving unit up a notch. Most pre-fab shelves have a cheap cardboard backing that doesn't look great and is sure to get damaged the first time you move the shelf. Cut pallet boards to size and line the back of your shelf with wood to make the unit more durable and visually appealing. Check out a great example with detailed instructions at Over the Big Moon and another beautiful example at Noting Grace.
Many homeowners are in the market for affordable bookshelves that work in smaller home spaces. While a six-foot tall mahogany bookshelf is beautiful, it simply isn't practical for most homeowners. From a compact living room to a kid's bedroom, a pallet bookshelf feels right at home in a cozy reading corner. You have the flexibility to design your bookshelf to fit your specific book storage needs. A single pallet mounted to the wall may work for kids' books or cookbooks while several open stacked units may be a better fit for a larger living room book collection. Grab tutorials from Thriving Home and Home Stories A to Z, and check out further inspiration at Beyond the Picket Fence, Me and Madeline, and Made With Love That Can Be Felt.
Coffee Table With Storage
If you want a coffee table in a living room or family room and need more storage, a pallet coffee table with built-in storage is a natural option. Many people like to keep books and magazines in their living spaces but don't necessarily enjoy looking at them all the time. When reading materials and other small items are stored within the coffee table, the room looks less cluttered and your items are still close at hand. Grab tutorials at Sustainable Decor and 1001 Pallets.
Headboard With Storage
DIY headboards are all the rage these days, which means that you'll find tons of tutorials for them, including pallet headboards. The beauty of the pallet headboard with storage is that it comes together naturally. Whether you want to have visible or hidden storage or a combination of the two, you shouldn't have trouble finding a configuration that gives you the storage that you need without too much work. A pallet headboard is also extremely versatile. Create an elegant headboard for a master bedroom with a dark stain and concealed storage or design a fun headboard for a kid's bedroom with a bright paint color and visible shelves for displaying favorite books, toys, and stuffed animals. DIY and Crafts is a fabulous place for pallet headboard inspiration.
Pallet Wood Headboard With Coach Lights and Recessed Shelf
Kitchen renovations are expensive. Adding a pallet storage unit is a simple way to get the short-term or long-term storage that you need for food, dishes, or kitchen equipment. From building a basic pallet display for fresh fruits and vegetables to constructing a sliding cabinet that hides away next to the refrigerator, there are limitless ways to incorporate pallet storage in a kitchen. If you're limited on floor space, consider storage options that mount to the wall or tuck away into small otherwise wasted spaces. Get tutorials for a hidden fridge gap slide-out pantry at Instructables and a wine rack on The Kurtz Corner. Check out inspiration for a wooden potato bin on gardeners.com.
The bathroom is another area of the home where mounting pallet storage may be critical for making an added storage unit work comfortably in a tight space. One of the most popular ways to use a pallet to create storage in a bathroom is to mount a pallet board and then attach glass jars to house small bathroom items. You can also mount a pallet shelf and simply place items on it just as you would with any other type of bathroom shelving unit. Grab a tutorial for mounted pallet bathroom storage at Saved by Love Creations.
No one wants laundry baskets taking up valuable floor space in a small bedroom or laundry room or cluttering up an elegant master bedroom. Creating a stacked laundry basket unit keeps baskets organized and allows you to sort laundry with ease. For increased versatility, add wheels to your laundry basket unit. Pick up tutorials from Ana White and Hoosier Homemade. You can also build laundry storage into a larger clothes storage, closet, or dressing room unit.
There are a lot more fun ways to spend money than on shoe storage. If a high end entryway bench with built-in shoe storage is out of your budget, think about making one yourself. You'll get the shoe storage that you need to stay organized and clutter free while creating convenient space to put on and take off shoes for a fraction of the price. A pallet shoe storage unit is also perfect for a mudroom or bedroom closet. Get tutorials from Between 3 Sisters and My Sophia Ryan.
The garage is an ideal spot for a pallet storage solution because most homeowners aren't too worried about the aesthetic of their storage units in the garage. Simply assemble your pallet storage and call it good without worrying about staining or painting. A large pallet or a row of smaller palettes is perfect for shovels, racks, and other large yard equipment while a single smaller pallet is a better fit for smaller tools, garden supplies, and even loose boards. Check out garage pallet storage ideas at Hometalk, Unexpected Elegance, and Our Little Acre.
Pallet Storage Rack for the Garage - Modular and Easy DIY
More Repurposed DIY Resources
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Denise McGill from Fresno CA on March 22, 2016:
Very clever ideas. I love the shoe storage ideas. Thanks so much for sharing!
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on March 17, 2016:
Oh, Rose - I'm wild about the shoe storage/table made from an old pallet!
Boy, do I need more storage for my shoes. (shoe hog)
Such an incredible hub with great photos and so many ideas. Super helpful.
Thanks and sharing, pinning and more.
tebo from New Zealand on March 17, 2016:
Some great ideas there and they look so good. I saw a stack of pallets the other day looking like they were free to a good home. Thanks for all the ideas and the links for instructions.
Mary Wickison from USA on March 17, 2016:
What wonderfully creative uses.
My personal favorite was the headboard. It has that rustic look to it plus adds storage areas.
I know that Billybuc uses them also, often outside the home as animal pens. They are very versatile and it is such a good idea to reuse them instead of burning them.