Introduction: Your Rustic Charmed Pallet Shelf

I just moved and wanted to have something special and handmade, that turns our living room into a cool place for displaying photos, plants and some of our books. We happened to have old pallets and thanks to a creative idea and some tools I was able to make a really good looking shelf.

In this instructable I’m going to share the 14 easy steps that it takes to build this shelf so you also have a unique item with a rustic charme to display all the stuff you want.

Before you start: Make sure that you have enough space and a socket close by. It’s easier and more secure to work in a clean area with enough light. Since it was a nice day I choose to go outside, as you can see on the pictures. :-)

Step 1: Gathering Your Supplies

You need:

  • 1 pallet
  • electricdrill
  • stone drill
  • wood drill
  • ratchet spanner
  • hammer
  • circular saw
  • grinding machine
  • measuring stick
  • spirit level
  • pen
  • 4 carriage bolts
  • 4 nuts
  • 4 washers
  • 2 metal brackets
  • 2 dowels and suitable screws
  • decoration
  • helping hand

Step 2: Sizing and Marking the Saw Cut

First of all you need to decide how big your shelf is going to be. I decided to make one short and one long one. The steps I’m showing you contain pictures taken while making the short one but they apply to all sizes you want to make. Take a pen and a measuring stick to mark the saw cut on the pallet.

Step 3: Sawing

Use the circular saw to separate the part you would like to use as the shelf from the rest of the pallet.

Step 4: Grinding

Now you have to grind the pallet in order to gain a smooth surface. Make sure to round off the sharp edges. That’s more secure and also gives the shelf a comfortable haptic. After grinding the imprinted logo and EPAL stamp (European Pallet Association) is visible agin, which gives the shelf a cool look.

Step 5: Marking the Borehole for the Metal Brackets

The shelf will be fixed to the wall with metal brackets later. To fix those you need to mark, where they should be attached to the pallet. Use the pen and the measuring stick again to mark the boreholes. In my case, I need four of them (two for every bracket).

Step 6: Drilling Holes

Use the electric drill with the attached wood drill and drill holes at the marked spots.

Step 7: Attaching the Carriage Bolts

In this step you want to attach the carriage bolts to the wood. Use a hammer to drive the carriage bolts in all four holes.

Step 8: Attaching the Metal Brackets

Attach the metal brackets to the carriage bolts. Then use the four washers and nuts and finally the ratchet spanner to fasten everything.

Step 9: Admiring

Congratulations – the shelf is ready! Now you need to find the perfect spot for it in your house.

Let's go inside!

Step 10: Marking Drilling Holes on the Wall

Once you found the perfect spot, take the shelf and place it on the desired position on the wall. It’s way easier if you have somebody’s help for this. Use the spirit level for levelling the shelf. If the bubble is centered between the lines on the tube, your shelf is level.

Now you want to mark your drilling holes with a pen.

Step 11: Drilling Holes

Use the electric drill with the attached stone drill (in my case) for drilling two holes in the wall at the marked spot. Please check your walls first and decide for your yourself, which drills you need.

Step 12: Inserting the Dowels

To insert the dowels into the predrilled holes, use the hammer.

Step 13: Aligning and Fixing Metal Brackets

Ask somebody to help you with the next step as well, that will make this a lot easier for you.

One of you can align the holes from the metal brackets to the holes in the wall. Take the screws and drill them with the electric drill through the metal bracket hole into the wall.

Your shelf is now ready to use! :-)

Step 14: Decorating

Find some cool things to highlight your new pallet shelf...

... and make another one!

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