For someone who enjoys making quite a few DIY projects, I love to also show off my creations to my friends and family! Doing a pallet accent wall with changeable shelves provides me a cheap and classy style all in one that you can have too! Here's how.....
Step 1: Pick a Place
The wall in my house has an inset where I have chosen to exhibit my DIY projects.
If your house does not have a wall inset, you can still do this project! Options to make this project work for you would include doing a whole wall of pallet wood and placing shelving opportunities throughout or doing a portion of the wall with the pallet wood and expose the raw edges. This second options will let you have an art piece and shelf all in one!
Step 2: Find a Pallet and Deconstruct
This step will depend on the area that you live in. My recommendation for where you can find free pallets would be grocery stores, hardware stores, or furniture stores. We have a local grocery store that recycles their pallets by letting people from the community take their pallets for free!
Once you find your free pallets, carefully deconstruct them. Watch out for nails or splinters
Step 3: Laying Out the Pattern and Putting It on the Wall
After all of the wood from your pallet is deconstructed, it is recommended that you sand the wood down and rearrange it by the width (smallest side) of the wood. This extra little bit will help out in later steps because you will have to arrange the wood on the wall and if you have varying widths, gaps will form.
Start to layout the pattern in your wood and test if it will fit in your given area. You can either do this by laying out the pattern on the ground or by laying it out on the wall. The ground is much easier but to make sure that it will fit you will need to have very accurate measurements of your space.
Figure out where you want your shelves and screw in the pieces of pallet wood to the wall besides the pieces of wood where the shelves will go. I screwed in the pallet wood to the wall through the preexisting holes in the pallet from where the nails once where holding the pallet together.
Step 4: Making a Shelf Insert
Once you know where you would like your shelf to go, you will need to make a shelf insert. This will allow you to have an ever changing shelf pattern for later on and will let you have shelves that are friction fit. In this project you will never have to make your shelf. You can use a piece of pallet wood that you trimmed down as your shelf that will be friction fit into your pallet wall.
Start creating your shelf inserts by measuring how thick of a shelf you would like. I used a 1" shelf because I had a 1" thick piece of wood. . With a table saw, cut out the thickness of the self in the piece of wood where you would like your shelf to be at. Your piece of wood should be in three pieces after this step like the picture shows. Make you keep the center piece and screw on the outer two pieces that you cut to your pallet wall.
Step 5: Unique Splash of Color
For the shelves, you can either place in the wooden shelves that you have, or you can go for an upgrade! I choose to add the upgrade by adding in colored plexi for a unique splash of color. To do this. I used a piece of plexi that was the same thickness as the blade on the table saw (about 1/8") and ran a channel down the piece of wood. Then I cut off the top to create an L shape to showcase the plexi better.
I was able to get colored plexi at my local art supply store. I have found that no big name brand art supply stores carry colored plexi. If you do not have colored plexi in your area, another route that you may use is to find dyed wood or metal as your unique splash of color.
Step 6: Friction Fit Plexi
Once you have the channel in your piece of wood, you should be able to friction fit the piece of plexi into the piece of wood.
You may have to hit it lightly with a hammer. Be careful when doing his because too hard of a hit will crack the plexi.
Step 7: Moment of Truth
After you have your shelves made, you place the shelves that you have made into your wooden pallet wall. Everything is friction fit and is very sturdy. Make sure that you keep the pieces of wood that you cut out so that your shelves can fit in so when you are ready to change where your shelves go, you wont have any strange gaps or small lines of wood.
Step 8: Finished Product
Start to showcase your DIY projects!
When you are ready to show off different projects in a different way, simply take off your shelf and place in the thin piece of wood that you saved where the shelf just was. You will have created an endless opportunity of mix and matching shelves!