The wood from clean pallets is a great building material for projects from wine holders to a pallet sheds. You can often find pallets for free on Craigslist so start searching then get to building!
Recycling pallets to build projects is a sustainable activity, just make sure your pallets are chemical and nail-free before using them.
Buy New Pallets
We actually recommend you shop for new pallets as often times used pallets may be contaminated with chemicals without you even knowing it.
Buying Used Pallets
A mini-industry has popped up for anyone with a pickup truck that is willing to find pallets and sell them.
The best way to find used pallets is to scan Craigslist. Do a general search as often times people post pallets under all types of categories such as household, materials, and tools. If you only search under one area you might miss some others.
Avoid pallets that look they they were used to haul oil or any other chemicals. Also pellets that have been left outside for a long time have probably been compromised by insects or the weather.
Having all of the above tools will make quick work of stubborn nails and damaged pallets. You shouldn’t mess with old pallets that have rusty nails as it can be extremely dangerous, and make sure you dispose of any unused pallets before someone steps on them.
It also helps if you have a planer and jointer to get your boards completely flat and square. Once you’ve got solid stock to work with, you can build anything and for much cheaper than if you were to buy the wood from a home center or lumberyard.
Butch Bridges built this shed from pallets. He documented the project with more detailed information on how he built it including the number of pallets used, time to build, and overall cost.
In addition to sheds, there are a ton of other pallet projects you can build. Search Google and YouTube for “pallet projects” and you’ll find a never ending list of DIY projects.
Pallet shelves, chairs, tables, and other household items are all great projects.