Introduction: How to Build a Portable Pallet Wall
At this point, there’s a lot of people that are accustomed to working from home. Before the pandemic, I did a few video calls, and I never put any attention to improve my background. The more video calls I did, the more I realize my background wasn’t that great.
I am also creating youtube videos, and when I’m creating a video intro, I’m often moving around trying to find a spot. Since I don’t have a nice backdrop I can rely on, it's added work setting up a new background every time.
This motivated me to create this portable wall; now, I can switch things up on the fly. If you have the space for one of these, it makes a great room divider, photo backdrop, video wall, and so on.
To see more of my work visit my links:
Lots of pallets (see below for how to get them)
- (7) 2 by 3 by 8ft Lumber
- (4) Sheets of 1/4 by 4ft by 8ft Plywood
- (1) 2 by 4 by 8ft lumber
- (4) 2in Casters
- (32) 1/4in by 1in lag bolts
- (4) 10in corner brace
- Wood glue
- Danish Oil
- Masking Tape
- (1) LED Strip per panel (RGB Color)
- (1) LED Strip per panel (white)
Step 1: Prepare the Cuts
Start by cutting the lumber to size. Here are the measurements, I used.
2X3 lumber (Frame)
- (2) Top and bottom 2in X 3in X 96in
- (5) Studs 2in X 3in X 72in
- (4) Backing 2in X 3in X 22-1/8in
- (2) Feet (2in X 4in X 27in
- (2) Top half 27in X 96in
- (2) Bottom 48in X 96in
Notes: The panels are just the cut-offs from plywood used on the wall. You can find the measurements to the LED Panels below.
Step 2: Build the Frame
Layout the 2 by 3 lumber. To build the frame, you can go about this in a number of ways. I used pocket hole screws to build the frame. You can either use nails or screws. Each stud was spaced 22-1/8in apart.
Step 3: Attached the Plywood to the Frame
Although I use a quarter-inch sheet of plywood, this isn’t the only approach. You can use drywall or even Thicker plywood. I use a quarter-inch sheet of plywood here because of the weight, and it was not too expensive.
The frame is designed to be the full length of the sheet of plywood. Most of the doorways are between 80 and 81 inches at my house. That was something I had to keep track of when I was planning this out. With the frame laying down, I applied wood glue to the frame facing up. Then, laid the first sheet of plywood on it lining up to the frame. I used a brad nailer to secure the plywood.
Step 4: Making the Feet
The feet are made from 2 by 4 lumber cut to 26.5in. I lined up the casters on the 2 by 4 lumber and set them back 1in from the end. I drilled a pilot hole and install the lag bolts.
Then, install the feet to the wall using brackets and lag screws.
Step 5: Get Pallets
Adding pallets is optional, but I think it gives an excellent solution for a backdrop.
You can find pallets just about anywhere; I often see them on the side of a road. You can also check on craigslist or even local stores that have a receiving dock. Don’t be afraid to ask. Home Depot sells pallets. Before attaching the pallets, I painted on the side of the wall black. On occasion, the pallets do not butt up against each other entirely. The black will cover the most imperfection.
Step 6: Attach Pallet to the Plywood
I painted one side of the wall black. This way you can't see the raw plywood if the pallet does not cover tightly.
After disassembling the pallets, you need to cut them to size. This is where you can add a preferred look to them, sand it, stain it, or leave it as is.
You will need a nail gun for this section. Starting from the bottom, create the first row. If you are working in a garage, you may have a pitched floor if this is the case level the wall first. The last thing you want is to have slanted pallets when you are done. This does not have to be perfect, just not noticeably off. Work your way from the bottom up.
Step 7: Paint the Backdrop
Before painting the other side of the wall, some additional prep work will be required. Fill the nail heads and the plywood joint with wood filler or Bondo.
Sand it down, apply paint and primer.
Step 8: How to Build an LED Accent Panel
The idea of this panel is to give off a cool effect when it’s in the background. It’s not meant to be attached permanently; it will just sit in position, which makes it movable so you can get it in the perfect viewing angle of the camera. The LED panel is made from the cut-offs from the plywood on the wall. Keep in mind you can go wider, but additional plywood would be required.
Cut list for the panel:
- Part A – (2) 76in X 2.5in X 3/4in
- Part B – (2) 4in X 2.5in X 3/4in
- Part C – (2) 5in X 2.5in X 1.5in
- Part D – (1) 76-1/4in 20-3/4in X 1/4in
- Part E – (1) 6-11/16in X 20-3/4in X 1/4in
- Part F – (1) 20 3/4in X 5-3/4in X 1/4in
- Cut part (A) to size.
You can join the parts (A), (B), and (C) with pocket hole screws and wood glue.
Now you can line up the two assembled hooks to the plywood part (D), (E) and (F).
Create a one-inch setback for the two hooks. This will allow the LED to be hidden while giving off a nice glow. Now, it can be glued and nailed the parts.
Fill in the nail holes, prime it, and paint it.
Step 9: Adding the LED Strip to the Panel
Keeping it simple, starting from one side, place the LED strip on the 2 by 3 lumber. Start from the bottom, go up, pass through the notched section or drilled hole, and back down. The controller can be attached and to the LED panel. This way, the panel can be shifted from left to right.
All you need to do is a plugin in to and control it.
Step 10: Using the DIY Mobile Background
This backdrop has a lot of uses not only for doing video calls or having a fantastic video background that is perfect for taking photos. There’s a lot to like about this. Not only is it mobile, but it’s also easy to build.
Here is a close up of wall, You can give the illusion that you have a great setup.
As you can see you can set up any where.
Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2020