Ready for some DIY recycling projects? Don’t know what to do with those wooden pallets lying around your back yard? Tired of seeing those old wooden crates stacked in your garage? Here are some creative ideas we are eager to share with you!
We all know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Although they might seem like something the modern man thought of when he realized his actions were damaging the environment, the truth is this is an old dictum.
Recycling, especially, isn’t something new. Almost every culture from the beginning of time has practiced recycling, or the art of turning trash into useful items. For example, every time the ancient Romans conquered a new region, they melted down old metal and turned it into statues. They also recycled coins, jewelry, and old statues.
Recycling can be a pretty daunting task, we have to admit that. Melting an old can and turning it into a new one isn’t that exciting. Luckily, creative reuse comes to the rescue. With a little imagination and some crafting skills, you can turn almost any boring, broken, or useless object into a piece of art or home decoration. You could, for example, turn a plastic bottle into a chandelier or some used plastic straws into a decorative curtain.
Time to empty the recycle bin, clean the basement, and turn your potential junk into furniture pieces or home decoration! We have some creative ideas about how to recycle wooden pallets, wooden crates, pallet tanks, and wire baskets, and we are eager to share them with you!
Have a look and give them a try!
Wooden pallets are very popular. They make the transporting of nearly any product easier. In a single move, a forklift operator can lift a pallet loaded with shampoo, groceries, engine spares, cereals, or nearly anything you can think of from the truck to the warehouse, or the other way around.
Did you know that there are more than 2 billion pallets in the USA alone? Annually, more than half a billion pallets worldwide are added to the staggering number already in existence. Statistics vary regarding how many wooden pallets end up at the junkyard, but some estimates claim 200 million wooden pallets in the US alone are thrown in the landfill every year.
Not long ago, the only “recycle” use for a pallet would be to fuel a bonfire. But, as we know, mankind is extremely creative. We have, after all, turned sand into the silicon chips that drive our computers, smartphones, tablets, and the rest.
The ways pallets are being used and re-purposed have also grown significantly. So, here are just some of the many wonderful possibilities wooden pallets have to offer:
We’ll have to admit, turning something into a piece of furniture might seem like a job suited for a professional carpenter. However, there are plenty of easy things to do with pallets! Turning a them into a fashionable item of furniture is generally so easy that anyone with a little crafty enthusiasm can do it.
Even if you never handcrafted anything before, a little imagination and some elbow grease is all you need to get started.
Read on for some inspiration about want you can do with a worthless wooden pallet!
See, you do not need a MBA in Woodcraft to build this bed. With a hammer, a few nails, a saw, and an extra pair of hands, you can have great father-and-son DIY projects using wood pallets. As a matter of fact, this is so simple that two children, with some guidance, could make this for mother’s day.
Make sure that you use pallets that are the same height. Ensure that you sand away splinters and rough pieces or the pallets may damage the fabric lining of your expensive mattress.
Pallet Wine and Food Rack
For this, all you need to do is stack them. This will create a wonderful retro wine and/or food rack. You could even use this to create a very trendy vibe for a restaurant. Think of the money you will save on the decorations.
To save yourself some time, make sure that the pallets you bought are all the same size. Seeing that you will be using these pallets in an environment where there is food, make sure that the wood is clean and free from spills like oil or other pungent chemicals.
Apart from the obvious health risks, strong chemical smells can negatively influence the atmosphere that you are trying to create.
You don’t need a crafting bone to put together a wooden pallet shoe rack. It is, in fact, a three-step process: get a wooden pallet, prop it against the wall in your hallway, and start storing your shoes. No hammers, no effort, no trouble! Of course, you can paint it or accessorize it if you wish so.
Dining / Coffee Table
A recycled wooden pallet table isn’t only a great piece of furniture, perfect for both indoor and outdoor use, and is also extremely easy to build.
To start, get yourself some pallets. It goes without saying that the pallets shouldn’t be too broken down and can still hold themselves together. Also, make sure that the pallets haven’t been chemically treated.
Now, that you have the basic materials, start by cleaning and sanding the wood. For a simple coffee table, just stack and screw two pallets one on top of the other. You can add a custom-cut glass top for a more modern look.
For more challenging DIY projects using wood pallets, deconstruct the pallets and remove all rusty nails. After individually brushing and sanding the slats, start combining the pieces together. Get creative by changing the size, the color or even the design of your future dinning or coffee table.
Pallet Computer Desk
Want a cool computer desk? You can easily make one out of wooden pallets.
Go get yourself some pallets, a box of assorted wood screws and sturdy legs. Take the pallets apart, clean them up a little, cut them if you have to, and then screw them together. Sand down the wood to smooth it and tah-dah – behold your new, fabulous computer desk! If you want to avoid the disassembling process, find a four-way entry pallet – it will save a lot of time and effort.
Pallet Bar Stools
How about you accessorize your bar with some cute pallet bar stools? They are handy and fairly easy to make.
Start by choosing the height of your stools. Then, after you’ve cleaned and sanded down the wood, start disassembling the pallets so that you have enough planks for the different parts of your soon-to-be bar stools. Cut the seat boards and secure them; add the legs and secure them as well. Now, all you have to do is paint your new stools and start using them.
Now, if you’ve started making wood stools, why stop here and not craft a pallet bar as well? All you need are 2 wooden pallets and some traditional accouterments. Clean them, paint them, glue them together, and before you know it, you just build yourself pretty wood-bar where all the fun will take place from now on.
Cozy Pallet Sofa
You don’t have to be a professional DIYer to make a sofa from scratch. Yes, you heard me – you can create a cozy sofa from practically nothing. Cut a wooden pallet in half and screw the pieces together at a 90-degree angle. Add some legs for stability. Sand all outer surfaces, paying special attention to the edges and corners. Paint the pallets, add some cushions, and there you have it – a pallet sofa you built yourself. It will be a great addition in your living room, and a perfect extra napping space.
Pallet Bookshelf and Bike Rack
Sometimes, space can be a luxury not all of us can afford. Living in a tiny space can be a nuisance but, instead of complaining, you can put your creative hat on and start thinking of ways to decorate your small apartment. Smart storage and multi-functional furniture can make a small space more livable.
For example, you could store your books and your bike with the help of wooden pallets. Because of their structure, pallets can easily be turn into bookshelves or bike racks. Just place them on the wall, secure them, add some shelves, and you’re done.
Pallet Kitchen Shelves
The great thing about wooden pallets are that they can be used to create all sorts of things. Take a kitchen shelf, for example. Sure, you could buy a fancy one from your local furniture store or you could build one yourself using a common wooden pallet. And you won’t have to put that much effort into it either! Just find a pallet, cut it in half, sand all outer surfaces and fix it over the wall.
Patio furniture can be pretty expensive. The good news is that you can decorate your garden without breaking the bank. Thanks to wood pallets, a truly versatile material, you can build cheap, yet cute furniture. Not to mention the fact that, due to their sturdiness and longevity, the wood pallets make the perfect material for garden furniture. Here are some ideas you can get inspired from:
Pallet Sun Beds
Create the atmosphere that any other sunbed would struggle to emulate with this easy-to-build pallet sunbeds. One important thing to remember though: a splinter in the back would take the fun out of your sunbed experience. So, before throwing a barbeque party, make sure the wood is sanded and has a smooth finish. Again, it is important that the wood is free from chemical spills as it might come into contact with bare skin.
The angle might need some experimenting. Ideally, it should be somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees. If you are willing to spend some extra time and money on the project, you could add the ability to adjust the angle of your green sunbed.
Pallet Flower Pot Hanger
You don’t have to be a flower lover to admit that flower pots are a lovely decorative addition to any garden, terrace, or indoor space. Beautiful and colorful, they can add a touch of summer splendor to your home and garden.
Although you could purchase flower pot stands, it can be more cost and space efficient to build your own. Not to mention, DIY projects using wood pallets could be fun to do with the kids or when you are bored.
So, how about you turn a useless wood pallet intro a flower pot hanger? It’s really easy to make and requires the most basic crafting skills. In the end, you’ll have a beautiful and extremely useful hanger that takes up very little space, and can accommodate your plants and flowers. You can even move them around the back yard or hang them to create vertical garden. There’s no one stopping! You get even more creative – you could liven up any wall by painting or remodeling the size of the wooden slats.
Wooden pallets can be combined and remodeled into practically anything. Take this beautiful and sturdy bench for example – it’s a piece of furniture created from an ordinary pallet. It might not be the easiest crafting project, but it’s still something you can do alone, in you spare time, with no draft sketches or special tools. In the end, it won’t matter if your potting bench is not perfectly square or 100% straight. Its imperfection will add to its beauty and uniqueness.
Picture this: a beautiful summer day or a sunny autumn afternoon, a good book, a glass of lemonade and a pallet swing bed on which you can lounge – what more can you ask for? Well, you could ask for some wooden pallets to turn this idea from fantasy to reality. Take a pallet slab, add some cushions, hang it from the ceiling or a tree and prepare to delight yourself everyday watching the clouds go by.
If you are looking for cheap and easy ways to protect your delicate flowers, you could turn, once again, to good old wooden pallets. It will be a fun and easy activity you can turn into a weekend project.
Start by dissembling the slats. Pick out the pallets you want – measure them, trim them, give them a total makeover. Now, screw the pieces together, sand away splinters and rough pieces, and there you have it – you just built a fence that cost you practically nothing.
Pallet Garden Frames
Some say wood pallet garden frames are a great way to grow flowers and vegetables. They are practically free, they don’t require any assembly, and they will add a rustic look to your garden. More than that, a garden frame cuts down the time spent weeding the plants. So, if you have some extra pallets lying around in your back yard, you just got yourself a perfect garden frame.
Pallet Picnic Table
What better way to spend a lazy afternoon than with your loved ones, gathered around a picnic table you built from scratch in your beautiful garden? What do you mean you don’t know how to make a picnic table? Believe me, you do! We all do.
The approach is simple: get some wood pallets and re-purpose them. Take the slats apart then join them together with a bench on either side. Add some legs, secure them, sand the edges, and paint the slats. Now, all you have to do is buy a bottle of wine, some appetizers, call your friends in, and enjoy the perfect picnic.
Why spend money buying a toolbox when you can craft one yourself? You can organize and keep your gardening tools handy with the help of one, probably free, wood pallet. Find a large pallet stand, brush it, sand the edges, and add the tool hangers. Secure the pallet against the wall and start storing your gardening tools.
Perk up your garden with a beautiful garden path that requires little expense, time, and effort. Build your own pallet wood paths and walkways through the garden. Basically, you need nothing but pallet slats to create a pavement outside your house.
Complete the rustic look of your new garden path with large cobbles and boulders, old sprinkles, and other vintage looking objects.
OK, this project might require some more advanced crafting skills, but we believe you can achieve almost anything with a little enthusiasm. Or you could always ask the help of a more skillfully blessed friend. If you have some time on your hand, and some wooden pallets to spare, put them to good use and build your kids a playhouse.
Have other amazing pallet design ideas? Share them with us!
What do you see when you look at a wood crate? Do you see a shipping container, a storage box or a pile of junk taking up space in your garage? How about, before deciding to throw it away, stand back, have a good look at it and think what can you do with an old wooden crate? Who knows, ideas might start popping!
Not too long ago, a pile of wooden crates was garbage material. Now, they became one of the most wanted home décor material. Versatile pieces par excellence, they can make great furniture or home decorations. Painted or adorned with logotypes, vintage looking or with rustic patina finish, wood crates are extremely functional and really decorative.
With some imagination and little carpentry skills, you can turn almost any wood crate from junk to handy home accessories. Here are 10 crate ideas to get you going:
You know what they say, “One man’s trash is another man’s coffee table”. Coffee tables can be quite expensive and, in this recycle-upcycle-downcycle era, we are all about creative reuse.
So, if you have some old wine crates lying around your garage, you could put them to good use and make a beautiful and functional coffee table out of them. You’ll need some basic tools and a little DIY knowledge, but don’t get intimated by the looks of it – it’s a reasonably easy project.
Hanging Wall Shelves
Apartments get smaller. We, on the other hand, own more things than we can track. In a bedroom without lots of floor space, hanging wall shelves are the perfect storage for our books, photos and decorations.
Wooden crates make for nice hanging shelves. All you need to get started is: wood crates, paint, sandpaper, and wall hanging supplies. Give this DIY project a try, and make your small place feel much bigger.
Storing your shoes can be pretty tricky, especially if you own a couple dozen pairs. A shoe bench will help you organize your pumps and sandals, and keep the hallway neat. The only problem is that you rather spend your money on a new pair than on a shoe bench. But, if you keep your mind open, you can easily make one out of cheap, ordinary wood crate. All you’ll need is a fruit or wine crate, some paint and some sturdy legs for stability.
Here’s a creative recycling idea you will definitely love: an ottoman chair.
A stylish ottoman chair can add a touch of class and refinement to your living room. It could also be a great hidden storage for all the remote controls, old magazines, USBs, and other objects lying on your couch and coffee table.
To make one, go get yourself a two wooden crates and a cushion. Sand and paint one of the boxes, cut a chunk of wood out of the other one, and convert it to create the lid. It’s that easy!
DIY Storage Boxes
A wooden crate’s main purpose is to store different items – from fruits and vegetables to wine and medical supplies. Instead of repurposing your old wood crates, you could use them as a storage solution. Paint them in different colors or add a vintage patina touch to make them both cute and functional. Now that you’re all set, you can start throwing things into them.
As much as we would all love to live in a million bucks penthouse, life doesn’t work that way. And decorating can be pretty expensive. To save some money, you could craft your own furniture, decorations, and DIY storage boxes. It might sound difficult but anyone with a little imagination, some wood crates and a small crafty bone in their body can do it.
Take the night stand, for example. Instead of buying one from your local furniture store, buy some really cheap wood crates (really, they cost practically nothing), paint them, customize them and screw them one on top of others.
If you’re like us and like to stay informed about current events, you probably have a hoard of newspapers and magazines piled up around your house. To keep the living room clean and neat, build a magazine holder from a wood crate. Tuck a sanded and painted wood crate next to your couch and start stashing newspapers, magazines, and books.
If your pile of books is getting bigger and bigger, and you are in desperate need of a storage solution, wooden crates might be the answer you were looking for. A few customized wooden crates stacked together and secured on your living room wall will do just as well as a regular bookshelf.
Wooden crates are great for growing beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables. You can repaint and decorate the crates to give them a vintage look. They will make a charming decoration in your garden or on your balcony.
There’s something utterly charming about a bicycle’s basket. Perfect for carrying your groceries, a bike basket will make your life easier. Install a wood crate on the back of your bike to make your bike prettier and more useful.
Have other amazing wooden crates design ideas? Share them with us!
Bonus round: 5 more creative ideas to recycle reusable containers
It’s easy to think of ways to ingeniously recycle things like wooden pallets or crates but, if you stretch your creative muscle, you could find creative reuse for other industrial containers. IBC totes, metal bins, nest totes might look dull and good for garbage, but with a little imagination, almost anything can be repurposed.
So, we did a little brainstorming and came up with this list of alternative uses for different reusable containers and packaging:
Make Fish Tanks from IBC Totes
Intermediate bulk containers, also known as IBC Totes or Tanks, are usually used to transport fluids. If you think outside the IBC tank, you can find alternative uses for these massive containers. If you cut the tote apart and re-purpose the parts, you can transform this industrial container into a fish tank. Brush it, paint it, add some LED illumination, and give an old IBC tote a second life.
This video will show you how to make a fish tank from an IBC tote.
Make Hanging Shelves from Wire Baskets
Decorating on a budget can be really frustrating – you have to compromise and give up a lot of cute furniture pieces you can’t afford. To keep your sanity and your soul happy, you have to be resourceful and try new things.
Wire baskets, for example, they look like something you can discard of. But, if you look closely you will see that they can make some stylish hanging shelves. Hang a few of wire baskets on your wall, stash some books and a vase, and give your house a modern, edgy look.
Make DIY Storage Boxes From Nest Totes
A nest tote might look like something you would rather hide in your basement, but with a little imagination, you can create a colorful storage supply.
Make Planters from Metal Bins
A simple makeover can turn any drab metal bin into a retro looking planter. It’s even better if the bin is rusty – the patina will add to its edgy look.
Make Stylish Eco Shopping Bags from Bulk Bags
Reusable shopping bags are trendy, durable, and can last for a long period of time. Instead of spending money on designer eco-bags, you can make one from bulk bags. Add a creative design or logotype to make them more fashionable and wear them as a statement-making accessory.
There’s no limit to what you can do with reusable containers, such as wood pallets, wood crates or metal bins. From easy to make kitchen shelves to more elaborate projects, they can be turned into unique pieces of furniture and home decoration. With imagination and some basic carpentry skills, you can any pallet, tote or container from industrial trash to treasure!