Pallet wood is like nothing these you can find. It comes to you unique, rustic, distinct and best of all – free! Pallets are readily available if you know where to look, (which I can help you with) and they can be repurposed to build anything you want. With the right pallets and the right tools, you can build almost anything you want for next to nothing.
While pallets are great for your budget, they are also great for any farmhouse, shabby, cottage, or rustic vibe in your home. They come with distinct characteristics that is perfect for an amazing DIY project you can finish in a weekend.
One search on Pinterest shows you just how many options there are with pallets and it can quickly be overwhelming with possibilities. We have gathered here all the tips and tricks to working with pallets and a few of the BEST ideas Pinterest has to offer.
How to Get Free Pallets
Start by looking up small businesses around your area. Especially landscaping companies, but really any small business likely has pallets. These small companies often have to pay someone to come get the pallets for them so they can be disposed of.
If you call them while they have pallets available, you could pick them up and save that company money at the same time so they will likely be happy to give them to you for free. Bigger companies like Home Depot or Lowe’s probably won’t give them to you, so stick with the smaller guys who are more willing to help out.
If you can’t find a local business who is willing or able to give you pallets, there are still other places to search. Start with local yard sale, Facebook, or Craigslist pages. These are great places to search for pallets. People will often advertise if they have pallets that need to be disposed of in hopes that someone will come get them.
A third option for pallets is either construction sites or farmers. It’s a long shot, especially depending on where you live and what season it is. But if you have farmers nearby or a construction site or they might have extra pallets they might be willing to give you. You’ll just simply have to show up and ask nicely.
Don’t ever take pallets just because they are on the side of the road or in a stack. Always find someone to ask and make sure you have permission to take the pallets before you take them.
Determining If Your Pallets are Safe
Before you use pallets for a DIY project, you need to evaluate whether it’s safe or not. This is especially important if you plan on using the pallet in your home. Not all pallets are safe because of the way the wood is treated. Unfortunately, most of the pallets you find will not be safe for home use. Most pallets are treated with harmful chemicals to make sure they can be used in commercial operations and last forever. Here’s how you find out:
On each pallet there is an IPPC marking. It’s easy to spot next to the IPPC logo. Each marking has a country code followed by a dash with unique registration number. Underneath this is a treatment code. This is what you’re looking for. There are several different type of treatment codes and they each mean something very different:
· HT: Heat Treatment – safe to use
· MB: Methyl Bromide – not safe to use
· DB: Debarked – safe to use
If there’s an MB code, it is not safe to use under any circumstances. It’s best to check for these markings before you take a bunch of pallets home and then realize you can’t use them.
What if I can’t find the IPPC Marking?
IPPC markings are required to be printed on international pallets. If your pallets are used for domestic purpose only, they may not have an IPPC marking at all. Most likely, domestic pallets aren’t often treated, but you can’t be 100% sure, so it’s up to you whether you choose to use them or not.
Lastly, if it looks like there’s something spilled on your pallet or the wood is rotten, don’t use it. It’s not safe, and your finished project won’t look great anyway because the wood is compromised to begin with.
Now that you know how to get pallets and making sure it’s safe, let’s get started with the pallet projects.
Using pallets to create a rustic wood backdrop is a beautiful way to incorporate the various woods in pallets to give your home a rustic, farmhouse look. You can use this method in various ways. A queen backboard from the Thinking Closet, a barn wood door from Ana White or a full pallet walls are ingenious ways to create a beautiful rustic wood backdrop in your home.
Pallets also make great organizational tools! You can use pallets to solve many problems around the house. They make a sturdy shoe shelf or a beautiful place to hang your coat both from Lada Home.
Pallets can also create beautiful boxes. Simple and small and oh-so-versatile from A Piece of Rainbow.
Pallets are a great option for outdoor furniture and piece because they are designed to withstand the weather. Make sure the paint and coatings you use are weather proof, and enjoy having a place to enjoy your outdoor space.
A beautiful planter from Wood Pallets Furniture, or a multi-planter from Home Talk are both beautiful options. I also love outdoor furniture and pallets make it a lot cheaper with Big DIY ideas and this beautiful bench that looks oh-so-comfortable!
You can use pallets in almost every room in your home, from the kitchen table to a bed for Fido, it creates a beautiful backdrop to enhance your space. A little creativity and a few tools are all it takes to transform your pallets from drab to fab!