Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ten Unusual Uses for Old Pallets

By Falesha Wojitysiak

Cheap, plentiful and crafty, old wood pallets can be upcycled into some incredibly inspiring décor.
There is something charming and quaint about upcycling pallets for home décor. Whether your theme is minimalist, rustic, junky or modern, pallets can add an entirely new dimension. They can usually be found extremely cheap, if not free, on Craigslist, which makes them perfect for decorating on a budget. Here are some examples of awesome ways they have been repurposed.

1. Pet food stand
wood-pallet-1.png
Image: Kustomwood
Looking for something that matches the deep wood tones in your home and can also stand up to the wear and tear of having your excited, furry family member bound over to it each day? If so, then this mahogany-stained food table built from reclaimed shipping pallets may be just for you (and Fido).
2. Serving tray
wood-pallet-2.png Serving breakfast in bed to those with hearty appetites requires a tray made of pretty sturdy stock. Since pallets come in a variety of thicknesses that won’t be a problem. Are you artistically inclined? Secure two extra-large hooks on the wall in your kitchen, stencil something inspirational on the bottom and hang them up when not in use. The definition of functional art!
3. Picture frames
wood-pallet-3.png These frames are simply perfect for showing off pictures year-round. You can place fun beach photos in them to get the spring and summer feel going. Then, in the fall and winter, they would be great for displaying the memories from a pumpkin patch or even your Christmas photos. They can be stained or painted any color you’d like.
4. Wall clock
wood-pallet-4.png So many ways to use the unassuming idea of making a clock from a pallet. Why not alternate the stains on the wood? If you are good with a saw, you can round the edges for a softer look. You can leave the numbers on or off, and even paint it a solid color with a glossy finish. Maybe you are like me and not experienced in any of that; if so, you can have montesanoalpacas send you one and rest well knowing that you are still indirectly doing your part to stay green.
5. A sign with a little something extra
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Image: NotJustSigns
Let’s take a moment and admire the simplistic genius that adding a jar here is. It can be filled with mementos or used as a vase. Would this not make for the best swear jar, though? Are you a parent of a young one and have friends that curse like sailors? Have them help fund Junior’s college fund by making this piece and hanging it in the den. You could even make one for newly expectant parents as a cute gag gift — a useful one at that. Plus, this is literally one of those gifts that folks are always talking about. You know, the one that keeps on giving!
6. Old Glory
wood-pallet-6.png Hosting a barbeque next Fourth of July or Memorial Day? Want a yard decoration that screams “’Murica,” is durable and weatherproof all at the same time? This beauty may be just the thing you have been searching for. This flag, in its splendor, will make for a noted staple in your yard for many years to come.
7. Scrabble, anyone?
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Image: ReUse It Art
The possibilities of this project are endless. It can be fun all in itself to plan out and put together. You could paint the squares a base color or use the letters that intersect each other as a different color from the others. Use your family’s last name as a center point and then have everyone’s first name branch from it. I don’t know about you, but my first thought when I saw this picture was, “YES! Gigantic Scrabble!” If you are feeling like having a good time, make up a bunch of these squares and let your kids play with them outside. They will be getting physical with the words they make, which in turn helps encourage their vocabulary as well!
8. Wine rack
wood-pallet-8.png Limited space should not equal limited style. If you are living in a tight area, like a small apartment or starter home, then this is an impeccable space saver. Display your wine selections and glasses by hanging them in your dining room, kitchen or even outdoors. This rack can be stained to match your décor as well. This mahogany stain with a gloss would look great in my home. However, your home may esthetically benefit from the raw look of unfinished wood.
9. Candle holders
wood-pallet-9.png These amazing candle holders look like they could be found at any high-end décor boutique. Play around with the height until you are satisfied and make as many as you’d like to place on your mantle. This would also make for a lovely centerpiece for your dining room table. Want the look without the work? TheRustyWheel has your back and Mother Nature’s, too.

10. The best bench ever
wood-pallet-10.png
Image: Woodzy
This particular piece was made out of pallets, driftwood and paint from a recycling center. To say that the artists, Robert and Suzanne Norman, are certainly handy with a saw and paint is absolutely an understatement. This is undoubtedly an intricate project, as you can see from the way the wavy slats fit together. One word: talent.
Items like this bench serve as inspiration of how something beautiful can be made from items that were destined to be thrown away and forgotten. The great thing about pallets, other than their sturdiness, is that they are made from unfinished wood. This gives you a blank canvas to work from.

All images used are copyrighted and used with permission of the photographers/artists.

About the author

Falesha was born and raised in Chicago, and has been working as a freelance writer for more than 13 years. She was raised in a holistic household and currently uses green practices. She has always had a strong desire to help save our earth, and ever since learning about the Three Rs in elementary school, Falesha has been doing her part to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Learn more about Falesha Wojitysiak
- See more at: http://1800recycling.com/2015/01/ten-unusual-uses-old-pallets#sthash.ErNFVGc0.dpuf

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