It may still be too cold or wet to get out in the garden where you live, but it’s the perfect time to make yourself some pallet furniture for the patio.
Pallets are used all over the world to move merchandise. In fact, each year over half a billion pallets are made in the United States alone, where as many as two billion are in use at any given time.
In the past couple of years, inspired DIYers have found creative uses for wood pallets. With their straight lines and right angles, pallets are perfect for making contemporary-looking outdoor furniture like benches, chairs, tables, planters–you name it.
Where to Find Pallets
You can find pallets wherever there’s a business that gets merchandise or supplies in bulk. Pallets are often used a few times then trashed. You can usually find them piled up behind big stores, but be sure to ask before you take.
Most wood pallets (including all wood pallets that go overseas) are treated with either chemicals or heat to kill microorganisms and insects. The chemicals could be dangerous to your health, so play it safe and only use pallets labelled “HT” (for heat-treated) for your DIY projects.
How to Take a Pallet Apart
Don’t let their simplicity fool you; pallets are very well made, which means it takes a bit of effort to take them apart. You’ll need a hammer and crowbar, and don’t forget work gloves to protect your hands from the splintery wood and eye protection to keep flying particles out of your eyes.
Start at one end of one of the outer slats. Use the pry bar to lift up the top board, making it easier to start pulling the nails out. If you can’t get the pry bar under the slat, use the hammer to ease the bar under. Then work on the other end of the slat, easing the nails out. If there’s a middle nail, do that last. Once you have one slat done, you can work on the rest of the slats.
Make this Simple Pallet Table
The only materials you need to make this fun pallet table are:
- One pallet 100 x 100cm (39.4 x 39.4 inches) for the table top
- One pallet 120 by 100cm (47.2 x 39.4 inches), taken apart
- One piece of tempered (safety) glass 100 x 100cm (39.4 x 39.4 inches)
- Four meters (about 13 feet) of timber 2 x 2
Step 1: Cut the wood to size:
- For the legs, cut eight pieces from the slats, each 70 x 660mm (2.8 x 26 inches)
- For the table frame, cut four pieces from the timber, each 70 x 680mm (2.8 x 26.8 inches)
- For the table braces, cut eight pieces from the timber, each 320 mm (12.6 inches) at a 45-degree angle, like this:
Step 2: Piece the main table frame together, like this:
Step 3: Join two pallet slats together to make each leg:
Step 4: Attach the legs to the frame, like this:
Step 5: Add the braces to reinforce the legs, like this:
Step 6: Screw legs and frame onto the 100 x 100cm (39.4 x 39.4 inches) pallet, then turn upright, like this:
All that’s left is to decorate your table. We chose crisp white paint to go with our blue pallet chairs, but you might want to paint colourful flowers, butterflies, or designs on the wood. Or, maybe you have other ideas. Whatever you do, have fun!
If you would like matching chairs for your table, you can find the full guide here.