Bright ideas instead of trash (2) - The busy pallet carpenter!

chrysoliteStarred Page By chrysolite, 29th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Money>Money Saving Tips

Normally pallets are returned to sender as they are expensive and made of pine. But as soon as a pallet is broken in one place, it's of no use for transport and we can pick it up for free in a skip or in a builder's yard or, and here's the "secret" tip, at the "back" of garden centres, they are gold mines for all sorts of recycling material! Just ask!


Buying wood is expensive, so why not make it a "green" weekend project and DIY something for the house or garden using an old pallet! Things made from "real" wood are always more appealing and pallets are made from pine. Our neighbour even told us about a book in German describing how to make things from pallets. I haven't seen the book myself yet (yet!), but I can vividly imagine that there is no limit to what we can make from pallets when we let our imagination run free.

Take them apart

Well, that's the only issue, but is it really? With a hammer and a round nosed pliers we can pull and bend and push until we have the pallet in bits again. I personally (as stated before, I'm a woman AND a blonde!) am too lazy for that, I just cut the "good bits" I need off with a jig saw and use the rest as firewood. It really depends on whether you need the boards longish and/or if you need the "stumps" to complete your project.

And if you take a lot of pallets apart with a jig saw, why not spread out a piece of plastic first and save the sawdust for another project. Saw dust for the compost toilet or for pressing logs for the fireplace springs to mind.

Basic tools and materials needed

  • an old pallet or two (even very old looking pallets can often be made into new "antiques")
  • round nosed plyers
  • jig saw with very fine wood saw blade or a small bow saw with very fine blade
  • sand paper of various grades or sanding machine
  • hammer
  • nails, screws and fixings
  • wood glue
  • screw drivers
  • light beeswax to hide nail holes
  • wood stains or paint
  • brushes
  • water based acrylic varnish (doesn't darken and are non-toxic!)
  • some rags or cloths for cleaning

Anything can be made of pallets

Pallet wood is not perfect, but with a little bit of beeswax or wood glue mixed with sawdust, we can hide cracks and holes from nails. Then we sand the wood down to a smooth finish, the smoother the more professional it looks when it's varnished or painted.

Maybe you already have a project in mind! Or maybe you want to make a new shelve for the kitchen, the bathroom, the garage or the garden? How about some real nice wooden flower pots or containers for the terrace or a little, white painted fence for the vegetable plot. Just to make it look nicer!

The super busy pallet carpenter (SBPC for short ;))

Or you stick a few pallet boards together with wood glue, press it overnight and then there is no end of projects and ideas that can be realised. An absolute pallet master piece I saw on a medieval market once. The man had built up the fencing for a "medieval" farm entirely of pallet wood, lovingly painted and decorated! I commented on it to him and he said that it really WAS a lot of work, but he loves making things from pallets.

From cupboards, boxes, gifts, stools, tables, chairs to even entire garden houses, dog houses, chicken run, everything can be made from pallets. And if you happen to like "tricky" things, my dad once build an old model sailing ship using pallet scraps.

The lady pallet artist (LPA for short ;))

Ok, I was lucky, my dad taught me how to use woodworking tools when I was a child. I even had my own kiddy's woodworking tool kit. I just loved anything "hand-made", a little chair or a little trolley for a doll or a little soap car. Little by little with the help of my dad, I learnt to do it. And I'm still learning. Sometimes I just got this fancy idea and if I don't know how to do it, I ask my husband or a friendly bloke in the shops or our neighbour who actually is a master carpenter.

Later then, I learnt to do Decoupage or Serviette technique and then there was no end of gifts and other "little" trinkets I could manufacture from pallet wood decorating them with serviettes. These things are highly sellable on flea markets or craft fairs, but not expensive to make!

Here's to "made from pallet" success!

Have you got a bright idea on how to recycle rubbish? If so, I would be glad if you left me a comment in the comment box below, or sign up free with and write an article about it. I'm sure I won't be the only one who will read and appreciate it.

If you like this article, see my list of articles and enjoy the titles you like.

What else does Chrysolite do?

I write blogs, articles, advertorials and infomercials that bring business to your doorstep. Have a look at Chrysolite's Article Desk!

Thanks for calling in!


Boot Sale, Bright, Carpenter, Crafts, Creative, Decoupage, Farm, Fence, Flea Market, Furniture, Garden, Gardening, Idea, Left-Overs, Medieval Market, Money Saving Tip, Pallet, Recycling, Rubbish, Serviette Technique, Smallholding, Trash, Yard Sale

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author avatar Euphonos
30th Jun 2010 (#)

wow!!! this is useful and helpful...good work

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author avatar Retired
30th Jun 2010 (#)

Yes, I do agree with you: this is useful and helpful

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author avatar Judy Sheldon
6th Jul 2010 (#)

Fascinating! I love woodworking. The plants would love the sawdust too, and it works for stuffing in toys.

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author avatar chrysolite
6th Jul 2010 (#)

Yes, and so many other ideas we can come up with. Stuffing toys is great, I forgot!!! Thanks! :)

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
6th Jul 2010 (#)

Awesome! And in this economic climate great advice. You could even sell stuff at flea markets or on line when you
ve made it.

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author avatar chrysolite
8th Jul 2010 (#)

Thanks, Melissa for this comment! That's exactly what we do. We sell at Medieval Markets and flea markets. :)

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author avatar Retired
28th Jul 2010 (#)

What a wonderful article. This would also be popular with people who do folk art. good stuff:)

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author avatar Imonnights
10th Aug 2010 (#)

Another effortless way to take apart Pallets..

Check this out...

Hope this helps with your Build and everyone else that reads this...

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author avatar chrysolite
11th Sep 2010 (#)

Thanks, Imonnights! Just watched this video, brilliant! And so many more videos on the subject!

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