This was my wife's idea. She wanted to use this for cupcakes at our daughter's graduation party. However, it didn't get finished in time and the weather didn't cooperate, so we'll find another use for it.
Step 1: Getting Started
Make sure you are using good clean pallets, ones that have not had chemicals on them or were treated with chemicals. Pallets stamped with HT were heat treated and this is what I used.
Step 2: Gather Tools
tape measure & pencil
air stapler with compressor & staples
cordless drill driver
table saw & accessories
Always use safety gear properly to prevent injury to yourself or others.
Step 3: Measure and Cut
I used my table saw to cut some pallet boards into thin strips, about an inch wide. These will be used to hold each shelf together. You will need two for each shelf cut to the length of each shelf.
Next I used the runners from a pallet to make the risers. I cut six equal pieces to make square blocks. Be sure to watch for nails in this part. If possible, make your cuts so you can avoid the nails.
Step 4: Sanding
I used a power sander, but hand sanding will produce the same results. The board in the picture is my template for cutting full sheets of sandpaper into smaller sheets for my sander.
Step 5: Begin Assembly
Then I used one of the small strips, applied glue to one side and placed it on the bottom shelf, which currently has the top facing down. I used the air stapler to put at least two staples into each board through the narrow strip, this will hold them together while the glue dries. If any glue squeezes out wipe it up with a damp rag, it will be easier to clean up now than after it dries.
I repeated the same steps for the remaining two shelves.
Next I moved on to the square riser blocks. I glued three blocks together using clamps to hold them in place while the glue dries. You could also use screws for this. This was repeated for the second riser as well.
Step 6: Continue Assembly
I repeated this process for the middle shelf. The top shelf will be done differently.
Step 7: Attach the Two Lower Shelves Together
These holes would allow me to attach the two shelves, but not see the screws later. Make sure to use screws which are long enough to sink into the lower riser to hold the two shelves together firmly.
Step 8: Attach the Top Shelf
Now there are screws visible, which I did not want. I cut one piece of pallet wood square and just large enough to cover the exposed screw heads. I then glued it over the screws.
To hold it down while the glue dries, I used a long scrap piece of wood to span the distance and clamp it down on the outer edges of the shelf. This worked well since I don't have a clamp to reach back far enough. Just don't overtighten the clamps since too much pressure will pull the corners of the shelf up.
Step 9: Finished Display
Now find different items to display.
You could also attach a lazy susan spinner to allow your display to spin around.