Simple Modern Pallet Shelf




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What inspired me?

I love using this type of material. Not just is it cheap and practical but the aesthetics are amazing! Anyway, I was looking on google at a few pallet ideas and lots if shelves came up, so I began to design a very simple shelf using only a few of lengths of the pallet.

This us a very easy project and if you complete this instructable, but still need a little bit of guidance, be sure to inbox me ot comment bellow.

You will need;

- A pallet

- 6 1.5inch screws

- A jig saw or panel saw. Any type of wood saw I guess.

- A drill

- A 3mm drill bit

- A 12mm drill bit or counter sink tool

- Sand paper and files

- A measuring tape.

- tri-square

If you have all of these, then youre ready to begin. If not then you can substitute a few things in. Such as a ruler instead of a measuring tape and nails instead of screws.


Step 1: Marking Out the Pallet.

Step 1 - Marking out the pallet.

Okay so once you have taken off two lengths of the pallet, you need to take the nails out. Once thins is done, place your pallet wood onto a flat even surface where you have enough room to mark out.

Place the measuring tape on one end and then on the other so you have the tape running all the way along the wood. Mark on three 400mm lengths, you might need to go onto a new piece. On top of this mark on a 500mm piece, this is what will hold them all in place (back panel).

When all of the four panel are marked on, use the tri-square to draw a 90 degree line from the side surface. This will give you a straight cut. However, if you feel as if its too simple, feel free to cut the edges how ever you want, make it yours, add a different angle, make it curved, all up to you.

Step 2: Cutting the Panels

Step 2 - Cutting the panels

Place your pallet wood onto a large desk or work table so it is over hanging about 50mm. You can either get a friend to hold it down by pushing their entire weight onto the back end. However you can use vices or G-clamps to secure it so there will be no movement. If the wood decides to move, then either apply more force, or try to cut at a slower rate.

Place the blade of the jig saw on the line you wish to cut, gently press the trigger and cut away at the material. Dont forget to blow away any saw dust so you can see your line. When you have nearly a cm left, make sure you hold both sides to ensure you dont splinter the edges. If you do dont worry, just grab a file and it will go. Complete this with all four panels. (feel free to add more panels its just this is what I did.

Step 3: Marking the Slots

Step 3 - Marking the slots

Grab the three smallest panels and place them all on top of each other to make sure they are all the same size.

On the first piece, place tge measuring tape on both sides and begin to mark out 100mm from the left. When this is done, measuring the width of the pallet wood you are using then add that onto 100mm. Mark this on of the left also. This is where the back panel will sit. Measure the depth of the panel wood and mark that onto the slot you just marked out. For example the the depth of mine was 20mm and tge width was 100mm. I added 100mm to 100mm and received 200mm. I marked that on using a pencil and a tri-square. Then I marked on the depth and the end result was a long rectangle.

Complete this process with the second panel but for the last you will need to reverse it. Mark on 100mm from the right and then add your pallet wood width. Then add the depth. This should give you a nice rectangle. It should be directly opposite of the first and second.

Step 4: Marking the Back Panel

Step 4 - Marking the back panel

Place the measuring tape on both sides. Place the tape from left to tight. Using a pencil, mark on 100mm then add the depth of the wood and mark this on. Add 120mm to your total and then add the depth once again. This brought me too 260mm. For the last tine add 120mm to your total and mark this on to the wood and then add the depth and mark it onto your panel. This will bring you too 400mm. Use the tri-square to make sure you draw straight lines.

Step 5: Cutting the Slots

Step 5 - Cutting the slots

Place your panel onto a level surface and over hang it the length of your slot. When this is done, get a friend As apply pressure to one end while you cut the alot or use G-clamps. Place the blade of the jig saw onto the line and begin to remove the material, make sure you blow away any unwanted saw dust so you cab easily, clearly see the line. This will work for the two vertical line, but for the horizontal you will need to either drill two stress relief holes, or cut a curve from tge vertical to the horizontal. This was easy as I was using a jig saw which is more then capable to cut curves. A coping saw would be a good too for this as you can cut curves.

Complete this process with all three panels, make sure you cut away all the slots.

When you have cut out the slot, grab a file and begin to remove any unwanted material. Such as burs or splintering wood at the cut edges. When this is done, feel free to use sand paper to get a great finish.

Step 6: Marking the Holes on the Back Panel

Step 6 - Marking the holes on the back panel

Once all the panels are cut, use a ruler to find the centre of each rectangle. And mark this on. For example, if the rectangle is 20mm in width then mark on 10mm. If the width is 15mm, then mark on 7mm.

When this is done with all three rectangles, you need to mark on the holes you plan to drill. Place the panel such that the smaller side if the rectangle is pointing the same way you are. Mark on 20mm from the left and 20mm from the right. Complete this with all three rectangles.

Find the top of the back panel and mark on the wood where this is. Mark on 20mm down so you can drill this holes, ready for the fixings.

Step 7: Drilling the Holes

Step 7 - Drilling the holes

Okay so now place the 3mm drill bit into the drill and drill all 6 holes in the rectangles and make sure you remember to drill the top hole. When the top hole is frilled, use the counter sink tool to sink the fixing. This will make sure your fixing is flush with the surface if the wood.

Using the ruler, mark on 20mms from the left of each slot and then mark on 20mms from the right. This needs to match up perfectly with your holes drilled in the back panel. This allows a better and tighter fix between the panels.

Complete this with all three of the shelf panels making sure you measure the holes twice before drilling. Make sure you drill these only using the 3mm drill bit. Use the counter sink tool to allow the heads of the screws to become flush with the surface. If you haven't got a counter sink tool, you can use a large drill bit but make sure you dont drill too far, only drill 2-4mm down so it doesn't go all the way through. To make sure it doesn't go all the way through, you can wrap some tape around the drill but at about 2-4mm.

Step 8: Attaching the Panels

Step 8 - Attaching the panels

This is a very easy step if you have a drill driver. Place the panel shelves such that when the back panel is placed on top, the shelf is faced down. This will make it alot easier to insert the screws.

Use your hand to screw the screw in just a little bit, then using a Phillips bit and the drill driver, tighten the screws in as far as they can. Complete this with all of the shelf panels, making sure there are very secure.

Step 9: Put on the Wall and Enjoy!

Step 9 - Put on the wall and enjoy!

Great! You have finished this project. If you have loved this project as much as I then make sure you favourite and follow for more ideas! Please follow my facebook page, insta and twitter!!!!



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    10 Discussions


    Tip 9 months ago

    put the images to scale then people can understand what the size is


    Question 9 months ago on Step 9

    can you make the images to scale?


    Question 9 months ago on Step 9

    can you say what the length and the width of the frinal project is so we can measure it and draw a scale


    2 years ago

    Nice work! Might I suggest if you want to amp it up a bit, you could use nicer wood with defined grain, top it off with a nice dark finish and some polyurethane to make it last.


    2 years ago

    awesome idea! and wife approved!!!! will now have a shelf for my metal earth models.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    thank you so much!!! have fun making it!


    2 years ago

    Very nice...going to attempt to make one..will share pics when done...thanks for sharing

    1 reply