Introduction: Kitchen Shelf From a Wooden Pallet

In this tutorial, we will demonstrate one of the many ways to turn an ordinary wooden pallet into a useful addition to any home! There are plenty of Instructables that show how to make a chair or table from a pallet, but our shelving unit can be used virtually anywhere inside or outside the house. We decided to tailor our instructions to fit the kitchen best, with nails for hanging spoons, shelves for spices or cups, and even a paper towel rack. However, many kinds of modifications can be made to the shelving areas to fit your specific needs, just be creative!






-Ruler/Tape Measure


-Carpenter Square


-Wooden Pallet


-12" Dowel Rod


This project requires a partner to assist with the build. Anyone within 5 ft of the work space must be wearing safety glasses and closed-toed shoes at all times. If wood is very worn, use work gloves to prevent splinters. Keep the work area clean and neat; do not leave rusty nails lying around. Use a sharp blade for the jigsaw. If cuts seem awkward or difficult, use the hacksaw. If using a corded jigsaw, use a minimum 12 gage heavy duty extension cord. When cutting individual boards let the piece hanging off the table fall to the ground, do not try and hold or catch it. Use caution when hammering nails in, no more than a 16 oz. hammer is necessary. Sand rough surfaces and edges of the finished product to prevent splinters.

Step 1: Pallet Deconstruction

Using the crowbar and hammer, remove the outer four face panels so only the middle three panels remain. Take care when removing them, as two will be used for construction later. Remove all back panels so only the stud boards and three face panels remain. This step takes the longest and boards may break-- choose the two best boards to use for construction later and remove the nails, or buy new boards.

Step 2: Trimming the Stud Boards

Using a jigsaw, carefullysaw off the three stud-boards on one side flush with the edge of the outer face panel. Use pencil and measuring tool to draw lines to guide cut. Cut starting from the side opposite the face panels. A hacksaw may need to be used.

Step 3: Trimming the Stud Boards Continued

On the other side, saw off only two of the stud boards, flush with the outer edge of the face panel. Leave 12” of the remaining stud board from the outer edge of the face panel. Cut the remaining stud board 12” from the edge of the outer face panel (instead of flush). Leave the wider part of stud board for dowel rod.

Step 4: Making the "Roof"

Flip the pallet so that the face panels are lying on the ground. Using one of the face panels removed from step 1, lay it flat against the top of the pallet, so as to make a “roof” to the shelving unit. Nail the board in at each of the three studs.

Step 5: Trimming the Bottom Shelf

Measure the thickness of the stud board that extends 12” off the bottom (about 1”). Cut this length off of one of the panels removed during step 1.

Step 6: Securing the Bottom Shelf

Fit the face panel onto the bottom of the unit as the bottom shelf. Ensure that the front of the face panel is flush with the front of the stud board that extends 12” longer. Nail into the long stud board from the outer edge so that it secures the new bottom board. Also nail into the other stud boards from the bottom.

Step 7: Measure for Shelves

Choose either the left or right side for the shelves. On this side, measure the distance between the outer and middle stud boards.

Step 8: Cut the Shelves

Use one of the boards from step 1 to cut the two shelves, using the measurements from step 7. More than one board may have to be used if the boards are broken.

Step 9: Secure the Shelves

Space shelves out evenly, flush with the front. Drive two nails into each side of the shelf, perpendicular to the stud boards. Another person may be needed to hold the boards in place while hammering. Repeat for the second shelf.

Step 10: Paper Towel Holder

Cut dowel rod to be 12” long. Starting 2” from the bottom of the longer stud-board, make a mark on the outside and inside edges of the stud board. Place one edge of the dowel rod on the inner side and a nail on the other to nail in the dowel rod horizontally. Again, a partner may be needed to hold the dowel rod while it is secured.

Step 11: Hanging Nails

Hammer nails into non-shelf side for hanging items.

Step 12: Thanks for Viewing!

Thanks for viewing our Instructable! Construction, from start to finish, took about an hour and 15 minutes. However, that doesn't account for the hours of planning that went into both the build day and the Instructable itself. At the end of the day, we wound up making a functional and cool piece of furniture for the cost of a few nails (and some power tools); definitely something we were all proud of.

(From Left to Right: Will Nash, Islam Nazmy, Maddie McCleary, Autumn Murphy)

Inspiration Credit :