10 Clever Ways To Upcycle Pallets

10 Clever Ways To Upcycle Pallets

Here are our top 10 ways to upcycle pallets from industrial waste into useful, sustainable stuff (that isn’t just more hipster cafe furniture!).

Beloved equally by upcyclers and hipster cafes, the humble pallet is an abundant resource for the savvy DIY enthusiast.

While pallets are a symbol of our capitalist dystopia: the vessel on which we transport goods manufactured overseas to our shores by fossil fuelled boats, trucks and forklifts – they are a huge waste product, so finding clever ways to upcycle pallets into sustainable projects has become a bit of “a thing”.

Here are our top 10 ways to upcycle pallets and flip them from industrial waste product into useful household DIY item (that is not just hipster cafe furniture!).

1. Bike rack

Via 1001 Pallets

The power of pallets is harnessed in this stupidly simple design for a porch bike rack. It is a pallet, leaned up against a wall at a 45 degree angle… and that’s it! If you really wanted to fancy things up you could bolt it to the wall, but you know, we like to keep it simple stupid.

2. Seed planting organiser

This thing looks like a really cool way to organise your seedlings, but it’s actually just a pallet, turned upside down.

We like the idea of being able to pop a bit of salvaged glass over the top frames to turn it into an itty bitty greenhouse too.

Image via themicrogardener.com

3. Compost bin

It’s a bit of a classic thing to do, but the square-metre nature of pallets makes then ideal for hot compost bays for making 1-cube sized hot composts! While you can make a more rustic version using little more than pallets and a few star pickets this design is pretty swish:

Image via Backyard Feast

4. Bike trailer

An excellent way to carry stuff or people (or both), bike trailers are pretty nifty little things that can turn your bike from leisure-time mate to serious-cargo-hauling-car-killer. This one can be made for less than $10 + pallet.

Image via Instructables

5. A fence

Image via Bless my Weeds

We reckon you might not ever pay for a fence again once you’ve clocked the plans for this super simple fence made from… you guessed it… pallets!

6. Composting toilet

Via sustainabledevelopmentblog.co.uk

Pallets, with their breathable gaps, make the perfect shelters for composting toilets, with bonus inbuilt shelfy things and magazine racks for your favourite dunny accessories.

7. Steps

Via designrulz.com

Possibly not the greatest use of space, these pallet steps would come into their own though if you were in a tight spot financially, but blessed with plenty of room!

8. A potting bench

Via kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com

The shabby chic paint job is 100% optional, but this funky little number has got to be the rolls royce of garden pallet furniture.

9. Chook coop

image via thewhoot.com.au

The internet overfloweth with ideas for making chook coops out of pallets, so it seems fitting that you consider putting your pullets in a pallet whilst feeding them with pellets, no?

10. Burn them

via survivalife.com

Heat treated pallet wood is pretty safe to burn in your favourite variety of wood fire, however burning them in a super efficient rocket stove might just make you a candidate for upcycler of the year.

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Comments (6)

  1. Avatar

    Love this blog … always looking for new ways to look at pallets and all things really …. it’s a condition I heard called ‘multiple opportunism’, I think I have it.

    Peta Burchell
    Sep 19, 2017 Reply
  2. Avatar

    Don’t you get termites where you live? I’ve just put six or eight pallets on the burn heap after gathering up their termite shredded bits where I had been using them as the walls between composting bins.

    Sep 19, 2017 Reply
  3. Avatar

    Love it. Also chook gate

    Sep 20, 2017 Reply
  4. Avatar

    Does anybody know how to tell if they’ve been chemically treated (e.g. to prevent rot)?

    Sep 20, 2017 Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Greg.

      Good question and I think the writer of this article should have had a link to this information. Check out the codes that are marked on the Pallet – stay away from MB as it is methyl bromide fumigation which is toxic. I could give you the links to government sites but this site seems to be a good one. http://goodlifepermaculture.com.au/using-timber-pallets-in-your-garden/

      Good luck

      Mar 19, 2018 Reply
  5. […] Pallets are most commonly made of pine which is great for kindling or getting a fire going fast. […]

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