One of the most popular contemporary trends in DIY and woodworking and home design is pallet furniture. Because wooden pallets are easy to find and better yet, mostly free, it is a great material for making your own household items and objects. You can find some great inspiration for re-purposed pallet furniture by companies such as EcoDeco, one of the professionals listed here on homify.
Wooden pallets are frames used for lifting and transporting a large number of products and contents via forklifts and into ships, trucks and other modes of transportation. They are often discarded by companies after a couple of uses but at this point it is far from useless! Used pallets can be easily transformed into a number of furniture pieces for both in and outdoors.
Lets take a look at some DIY pallet furniture ideas and tips on going about making them.
A really innovative way to use wooden pallets without dismantling it, is for the base of a bed. Simply lay down a few pallets up to the surface area need and secure to one another. Done! All you need now is to lay your mattress on top and your boudoir is finished. If you're looking for something a little more creative though, why not try out this suspended base (pictured). You'll follow exactly the same steps and simply add ropes to suspend the base from the roof. What a fun and unique bed!
Before you start assembling your pallet furniture and after you have done all the necessary prep, make sure that all the pieces are finished off before you put it all together. This means cutting and sanding of all the pieces, as well as painting and treating it where necessary or wanted. This will make the assembly process so much easier.
Remember, you are working with rough and untreated wood, so when starting out, make sure to wear some gloves to protect your hands from splinters until you have finished the sanding process.
Another very simple pallet project is to stack to layers of pallets as long as you want, to add a vertical pallet for a back rest, and to secure all of these. Viola! You now have a complete couch or sofa base. With the addition of some plain foam pillows, you have a whole new couch or sofa for any space in your home. The only drawback of this piece is that you'll need quite a lot of pallets, so see what you can find first.
Although you'll want as many pallets as you can find for this project, you still have to be careful in choosing used pallets. In addition to being stain and spill free, you should check if there are any markings and symbols on the pallets beside a company logo. Pallets marked DB (debarked) or HT (heat treated) are fine to use since they are untreated and non-toxic. Those with a MB (methyl bromide) stamped on it or coloured pallets (used to transport pools of chemicals) should be avoided completely, as it is highly toxic.
The surface area of a standard wooden pallet makes it ideal for creating a dining table. The size of a standard pallet is just about right for a dining table top, to which you can simply add legs to stand on. Can you think of anything simpler? Of course, you can always add more pallets if you want a larger dining table.
It is pretty easy to source wooden pallets, and at many places you can get it for free. Good places to start looking are animal feed suppliers, hardware stores, newspaper distributors, and residential (but not commercial) construction sites. Most of these require untreated and non-toxic pallets which are perfect for household furniture. Just make sure to ask for permission before you take any! Also, it is always useful to go online and see if anyone in your area is giving away pallets for free.
Here again the pallets surface size is quite ideal as is for the top of a coffee table. If your into little fuss projects, you can simply stack and secure two pallets atop one another for the perfect size and height coffee table. These will work great in a living room area, as there is a nifty storage space between the two pallet levels for coffee table books.
Once you have found a source a free pallets, you'll have to choose the ones that are most appropriate. Avoid pallets with any visible stains or spill marks, as this might have been toxic or dangerous materials still lingering on the pallet's surface. Once you have found good, clean pallets in good shape, you might want to wash them down—just to be on the safe side!
Pallets can also be used to make chairs, but here we get the opportunity to look at what can be done with pallets outside of its original form. Dismantling pallets can allows for a good amount of lumber to be used in your furniture project however you wish. As seen in this picture, the planks obtained from wooden pallets are still a great size and shape to build elegant and easy furniture.
Before starting build furniture from your pallets, it is essential to make sure that you dismantle it correctly. You don't want to damage the wood when taking it apart! To do this, you simply need a hammer, prying tool and cat's claw. These instruments should be sufficient to take apart the pieces without damaging the surface of the wood. If some of the nails are still reluctant, you might want to look into using a drill or oscillating tool.
Because of the structure of a wooden pallet, it is ideal to be used for a shelving system. You can simply take a standard wooden pallet (treated or painted according to your taste), place it along a wall at the desired location and secure. You may add an extra shelf or two in the middle of the pallet for more storage space, but otherwise you are set! You can always add more pallets as your vertical storage needs grow.
As mentioned before you can paint or treat your pallet furniture with to make it more suited to certain spaces, but this is not a necessity. The untouched edge of pallet furniture actually provides a pleasant rustic or shabby-chic look.
So now we have looked at a number of projects and tips for making your own wooden pallet furniture and there is nothing to wait around for. Get started!
If you need a little bit more inspiration, take a look at: How To DIY Decorate a Flat.