Easy and Awesome Pallet Shelf




My Grandpa got me into wood working when I was five years old. Ever since then I have been hooked...

I love working with pallets. The wood is hard to work with, it's hard to get, and it takes way more work to finish. But even with all of that I love them. I don't know if it is the unique way the projects turn out or if it's that you are using wood that would get burned or chipped if you didn't use it. Working with pallets is rewarding and the wood is free. It's so much fun to turn this trash into something beautiful.

This is a pallet spoon shelf. It is super easy and doesn't take much time at all. I would say this took me about 45 min. Not counting drying time for the stain. With a few common tools you can make this great looking shelf. I have given a bunch of these as gifts and they always get a great reaction. Enjoy

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Step 1: What You Need

What you will need for this project

2 of the wider pallet boards( the wider boards are usually on the bottom of the pallet)

3 old spoons

A miter saw


Sand paper

A brad nailer (you could use regular nails or screws)

1/2 in screws

Screw driver

Step 2:

Let's start with the pallets. You need two of the wider pallet boards and one of the side piece. Cut the first pallet board at 34 in. I don't know why I used this measurement the first time but it looks really nice. So the first board at 34 and the second at 28in.

Next it's time to cut the side piece . I want the shape of the side piece to be noticeable on this self so I measured 3 in from the curve and cut the end off, then I put the piece against the board and marked how log it would be.

Step 3:

That's all the cutting you need to do. Pretty easy right. Then you need to sand all the the cut pieces. I don't sand them too much because I like the rustic look of the pallets but you can use your best judgment. Make sure you sand the edges and get all of the slivers off.

Then dry fit the pieces together to make sure you like the look. I do a 3 in overhang on each side.

Step 4:

I like to use a brad nailer for this part. I know that not everyone has one, but if you work with pallets I recommend getting one. I use mine all the time and it's not too expensive, 50 to 100 bucks.

I nailed the base first. Turn the back upside down and use a table to line everything up. Nail through the back of the pallet board into the side piece. About 4 nails will do it.

Next lay the shelf on the back and line up the top. Like I said I have a 3 in overhang on each side. Nail through the top into the side pieces and then into the back piece. It's as easy as that. The self construction is complete.

Step 5:

And then the stain. You do not have to be careful with this stain job. You can just glob it on with any old brush or rag. Once you get the whole self covered, wipe off the excess stain with a rag. I used red mahogany from minwax because I love how it looks on pallets but you can use whatever you like. While the stain drys, you can start on the spoons

Step 6:

Please use old spoons, not your good silver. I would hate to get angry comments from your spouse because you ruined their good spoons. You can find tons of spoons at garage sales or Salvation Army stores for really cheap.

Start by laying the spoons face down in a very hard surface. Be careful because this step will mark up a wood table. Use a hammer to pound flat. Start in the middle of the spoon and work your way out. If you pound too much in one spot you might have to turn it over and pound from the other side. It should be totally flat and bent away from the handle.

Step 7:

You want to bend the handles so the design of the handle is on the outside of the bend. This way you will see it when you hang it. For most spoons you can bend them with your hands, but it's a good idea to find something round so you get a smooth bend.

Try to make all of the bends uniform so it looks nice on the shelf.

Step 8:

I used a drill press to drill two 1/8 holes in the spoons. This is pretty easy, just drill one on top and one on the bottom of the spoon face.

After the holes are drilled, make sure you remove and metal shards that may have been made from drilling. I removed them with a bench grinder.

Step 9:

All that is left to do is screw on the screws. I used 1/2 in stainless steel screws for this. First you have to measure between the two side pieces and find the center. After you screw the middle one in place the other spoons where you think they look best. For me it was 4 in. From the side piece.

After you screw the other two screws, you are done. Easy and beautiful. How cool is that.

Step 10:

And there she is. An easy project that looks really great. Thanks for looking at my instructable and I hope you enjoyed it. If there is anything I missed just let me know and I will try to explain it. I hope you have a great time making this awesome shelf.

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9 Discussions


That doesn't sound dumb at all. If you are only going to hang light items, shirts, jewelry, and so on, you can just use some saw tooth hangers and nail them in the back. If you want to use it as a coat rack I would screw it into some wall studs. With the dark stain on mine you can barely see the black screw head. Thanks for looking


3 years ago

Great idea. Are the bent handles of the spoons strong enough to suport jackets, etc? Is there any way to harden the metal, like maybe heating it and then quick cooling it so it would support more weight? I know there is a name for that but it escapes me right now.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

It is called heat treating. The problem with heat treating is that it needs carbon in the spoons to heat treat well. The spoons are usually made of things that won't rust. If it won't rust it cannot be heat treated very well. Not a bad idea but I don't think it will work. After heat treating things you must draw them back as they are too hard and will act like glass and shatter and break. Usually this is done by putting them into an oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for about a half an hour or so. When they cool off they will be hard (not like before) but won't break easily.


3 years ago

Great job and good inspiration. Thank you


4 years ago on Introduction

Very attractive, nice upcycle and great ible!


4 years ago

I made sonething similar using existing shapes on the pallet components. I love the look of a rustic shelf.


4 years ago

Great idea, my friend! been looking for some shelving ideas that are "less traditional" than the scroll saw/2x6 situation (not that they don't have obvious advantages and endless possibilities as well) but given I've got just as many pallets to toy with as i do left over lumber, along with more antique spoons and whatnot than i can count- this looks like a great (and easy) shelving setup that one could add any sorts of "personal touches" to and be prefect! thanks bro! couldn't have hit me at a better time or better customizable creation! nice!