Make Your Own Pallet!

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About: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is Sam and I'm a community manager here at Instructables.

So you want to make that crafty pallet project that you saw on Pinterest, but you just don't have access to any pallets.

What's a person to do?

Make your own!

Follow these easy steps to make your own homemade pallet, and you'll be ready to make your own pallet-based projects in no time!

Step 1: Materials

Pallets come in all shapes and sizes.

This is a very simple design for a 32-inch square pallet that is five inches tall.

This only requires three standard 8-foot framing studs ("2x4s") and a box of 2-inch nails.

You will need a hammer, a saw suitable for cutting 2x4s (hand saw, circular saw, miter saw, etc.), and ideally, a band saw (for ripping boards in half across the width to make the slats).

Step 2: Initial Cuts

Begin by cutting each of your three 2x4s into three equal pieces (each should be just a bit less than 32 inches long).

Step 3: Create Slats

To make the slats, we need to cut six of the boards in half across the width.

I first marked a line down the middle of one edge on each board indicating where to cut, and then cut these in half on a band saw.

Step 4: Attach Bottom Slats

The three remaining boards will become the middle support pieces which are called "stringers."

Fasten three slats to the stringers as shown to create the bottom of the pallet. Use two nails through each location as shown in the photos.

Step 5: Attach Top Slats

The top slats are fastened in the same manner as the bottom ones.

However, you have some aesthetic options here.

You can use all of the remaining nine slats for a "full deck" pallet . . . or eight, seven or six, depending on what you think looks more "pallet-ish."

I was going for the "classic pallet" look, so I went with seven evenly-spaced top slats. (The remaining two slats were not needed to make the pallet, so they were thrown away.)

Use nails to fasten the top slats in place, and you're done!

Step 6: All Done!

That's it.

Pretty easy right?

Now stand back and admire your homemade pallet!

Optional step: For a more complete pallet look, you may want to weather it a little. Toss your pallet around, slide it in and out of a truck bed over and over, or even leave it out in adverse weather for a while. This will all increase the character and true-to-life-ishness of your homemade pallet.

Step 7: Disassemble

When you are ready to harvest the material from your pallet, get out a hammer and a crowbar.

One of the major benefits of making your own pallet is that they are much easier to take apart than their commercial counterparts. Simply pry off the slats and remove the nails.

Occasionally a board may split in the process. But that's all part of the challenge when working with pallets, and is to be expected.

Step 8: Now Make Something Awesome!

Congratulations,

You now have a pile of pallet wood that you can use to make some crafty thing!

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    57 Discussions

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    69fordf100

    3 years ago

    I was actually looking at Home Depots unbuilt pallets last night. Thought great way to get super fresh unweathered pallet

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    crosenbaum

    3 years ago

    My wife has grown tired of our pallet coffee table. I might harvest the lumber and give this a shot!

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    dr_peru

    3 years ago on Introduction

    LOL!

    Some suggestions for more great projects:

    1:

    Buy a really expensive piece of "shabby chic" furniture (you know, the new furniture, that has some paint sanded off again to make it look "vintage"), than neatly paint it to make it look new again.

    2:

    Buy "worn" jeans, patch them up and redye them to look new again (I name those "unworn™")

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    sethpiro

    3 years ago

    It's nice to see we've come full circle!

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    rgallimore

    3 years ago

    very nice instructable. I followed your design exactly. I couldn't afford to by new wood though so I used some old pallets that I found on the curb. I think I managed with that okay

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    jwl41085

    3 years ago

    Man this is great!

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    normy

    3 years ago

    Bravo!

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    monkeyracing

    3 years ago

    This is one of the best bits of trolling, EVER! Awesome!

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    JörgenBörg

    1 year ago

    lol, reversed world in diy :-)

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    pkr316

    2 years ago

    OK great ible... greater troll. AND Home Depot carries "ready to make pallets"???? LOL When they have a pile out back? The irony... BUT I get the "new wood" for pallet projects. the person who first looked at a pallet & said "hmmm free wood.. what can I not make?" is a master genius and probably gets no credit.. or is a hillbilly with no internet who has no clue about this trend! It is a toss up! Thanks for the few minutes of great entertainment!

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    AndrewD39

    3 years ago

    Can someone show me how to break apart a table or chair to make into a pallet?

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    Bill Rose

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Would this idea work with some oak wardrobes I have in the spare bedroom, I could dismantle them and re-size the wood. Then I could use the pallet for another project I have been thinking about for some time. I timber Xmas tree for the porch..! Hmmm!

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    seamsterBill Rose

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Now that is a brilliant idea!

    I've been on the lookout for an antique piece of furniture to use to make some pallets for a while. So jealous that you've got those wardrobes. You could really make something nice out of them! :)