Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Recycled Wood Pallet Shelving

Did you know you can make shelves out of wood pallets?

Well, I didn't... until a few months ago that is. My husband was researching creative inexpensive shelving ideas when he came across the idea, and we have been wanting to test the project out for ourselves for quite sometime.

We were stoked to find a functional furniture piece that cost next to nothing to make and we love the worn distressed look that naturally comes with old used pallets! Plus, from an "earth friendly" standpoint its great to be able to create usable shelves out of something from a trash pile...literally. (Don't worry we cleaned them up a bit, and asked permission to take them)!

In most of the online examples I've seen, the shelf is most often used as storage for children's books. But, we decided to mix things up a bit and make a 2nd shelf for my husband to store his records in (for the music/storage room). He even did the wall art above the shelf himself. I'll admit, he's pretty creative!

If you like what you see, click below for the tutorial!

Wood Pallet Shelf

Materials & Tools Needed
Wood Pallet, or several depending on how many shelves you want
Sander, electric is most efficient
Saw, Skil or hand
Hammer, or other tool to help take out staples and pound in loose nails
Screws and a screwdriver, to hang shelf on wall when completed
Optional: clear spray enamel for a finish coat

Step 1. Using a saw, cut your wood pallet to desired height. It is easiest to make your cut in-between the open spaces of the wood pieces. Below you will find where we made our cuts...

Step 2. If you pallet is fairly dirty (like ours was), clean it up with a damp rag.

Step 3. Pound down or remove any loose nails or staples.

Step 4. Sand down all rough edges until they are nice and smooth. Don't forget about the inside.! 

Step 5. Of course you need a bottom piece to insert in your shelf so your books don't fall through. So, measure the length of the gap at the bottom of your self and cut a piece of wood according to your measurements. You can use a scrap piece of wood from your pallet (this is what we did), or a 2x4. For a secure fit, pre-drill and nail in the 2x4 piece. Below you will see where to insert this piece of wood. 

Step 6. Make sure to screw your shelf into at least 2 wall studs, because they are pretty heavy-duty!

Note: Before hanging on the wall, you can go a step further and spray a finish coat of enamel. Besides making the shelf looking a little smoother, this step is not necessary.  


  1. What a great idea! You're so clever. Abe did a great job.

  2. I am loving your site. I can't remember how on earth I got here but I'm so glad I found you! Loads of creative ideas. :)

  3. Hi, just wanted to let you know that I linked to your post from my post on how I made my own shelves. I actually had not even seen the tutorial, just your finished image, before I made mine. Wish I had, it would have saved me some time! Anyway, you can see it here:


  4. I have been wanting to make one of these for a very long time, now we just need a saw. Thanks for the tutorial!

  5. I really liked your idea.....I had recently, before reading your blog...made my own 2 tier shelf...I got the idea from pinterest this is a really neat site. it took me about 3 days to make fron start to finish. I did a few modifications of my own made it very unique....Ive gotten alot of compliments on it...even got some requests to make a few....I love doing crafts and being creative....can say that the shelves I make, not 2 are the same...each one is different.

  6. It looks like you used an ebony type stain but you completely left that part out.

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