If you are a fan of shabby chic decorating, your Pinterest board is probably filled with dozens of pins of DIY pallet projects. Pallets can be repurposed for both indoor and outdoor decorating, and lately, it has become popular to take them apart and repurpose the individual wood planks.
Wood pallets add a kick of rustic charm and are a fun way to add some texture to your walls. You can paint and distress them, or just leave them as bare wood. Used outside you can add stain, or allow them to weather naturally.
Using reclaimed pallets for your projects isn’t just a great way to flex your creative muscles. It’s also a way to be environmentally sustainable. By using pallet wood for your projects, you are reusing a resource, and saving a tree from being cut down.
Not only does using recycled wood help save trees by reducing the need for new wood, but it also lowers your carbon footprint by saving on the energy that would be used by processing that tree.
You want to build with pallets, you have a plan, and some tools, but now comes the tricky part. Where can you find used pallets? You can’t find them at craft stores, not the largely used kind that is perfect for upcycling. So where to look?
An online search can help you find used pallets. It may be tricky to find some that you don’t need to purchase in bulk since many sites are targeted toward retailers, but it can be done. Some retailers will also sell their unused pallets online, or even give them away. We’ve compiled a list of where you can find pallets online, and some ideas to kick start your creativity. Let’s talk pallets!
The possibilities for wooden pallets are endless. If you’re trying to think of ways to incorporate this trend into your home design, here are some fun ways to do it.
- Pallet signs like this one by Jennifer Allwood are easy to create with paint and a stencil and can be customized to suit your tastes. Pallet signs make adorable rustic decor indoors, or out.
- Stain or paint some pallets to make a space-saving, wall hanging bookshelf, like these by Jenna Burger. These are great space savers and perfect for a kids room, or shabby chic office.
- Interested in growing succulents? You can use this tutorial from Design Sponge to make a standing succulent garden from a pallet.
- You can use this coffee table from Homedit as a design inspiration for your own table. Substitute the wheels with short decorative legs, use paint or stain instead of varnish. Use your imagination and see what happens.
- Have a shoe collection you would like to display? There are many ideas for shoe organizers all over the internet. From hanging organizers to mudroom style shoe racks, it’s amazing what you can do with pallets and some ingenuity.
- You can use the pallet wood to make a rustic looking porch ceiling. Stain it for an elevated cottagey look, or go traditional and paint it a pale “haint blue”.
- Pallets can be used to create adorable and affordable outdoor furniture. Be sure to smooth out any rough spots before allowing guests to make themselves comfortable.
Where To Buy Used Pallets Online
Finding pallets that are right for your project can be challenging. If you are in an area without many retail establishments, it might be an unreasonable distance to drive to a location where you can inquire about taking their pallets. If this is the case the internet may be a better answer.
You can not buy pallets directly from this site, but Repalletize will let you know when there are pallets available in your area. You can sign up for email notifications to be alerted when there are pallets available near you. This site allows you to find both free pallets or pallets to purchase.
Dales Transport purchases and refurbishes wooden pallets and resells them. While they do intend their pallets for commercial use, you are able to buy a single pallet as well. The majority of pallets they sell are the large 48×40 pallets used in trucking. Call Dale’s for a quote and to find out about their delivery options.
Etsy is known mostly as a platform for small businesses to sell handmade items. They have now grown to the point where you can find almost anything for sale. If you search for wood pallets on Etsy, in addition to the finished pallet crafts it will pull up, you will also find wooden pallets for sale. There are several Etsy sellers who specialize in selling pallets, some of which you can purchase in bulk, and reclaimed wood from pallets. Shipping prices will vary by seller.
If you can think of something, someone is selling it on eBay. Wooden pallets are no different. A quick search will bring up several different sellers offering used pallets for sale.
Several of these sellers offer bulk pricing, so if you plan on using pallets for multiple projects, you can save money by purchasing several at a time.
If you are planning on taking the pallet entirely apart and using the wood, then stop by the Home Depot website. You can purchase disassembled pallet wood from the Home Depot and have it shipped to you.
You will receive the entire pallet, for under $30.00. PUrchasing this way is a good way of ensuring that the wood you are using hasn’t been stored in the damp or exposed to hazardous bacteria that may have sunk into the wood.
Internet megastore Amazon won’t let you down if you are trying to find something, and you can’t find it locally. Reclaimed pallet wood, as well as full-sized used pallets, are available through Amazon.
Facebook Marketplace is another place you can search to find hard to locate items. There are sellers who have reclaimed wood from pallets listed, as well as used pallets.
Since Facebook Marketplace caters to your area, results may vary. Before purchasing be sure to find out the condition of the pallets. Workout payment terms before money exchanges hands.
South Carolina Wood Waste Management
This pallet recycling company based out of Charleston South Carolina is a rare find. They don’t just recycle pallets for continued industrial use, they also dismantle them and offer them in “craft packs” to the public. South Carolina Wood Waste Management offers its craft wood in bundles of various sizes, and if you do not live in the area you can have them shipped to you.
Additional Websites to Check
There are numerous pallet recycling companies listed on the internet. They do not specify if they sell to individuals, but it never hurts to call and ask.
While most of them only sell in bulk, they may be willing to work with you if they have something that would otherwise be turned into mulch. Check with the companies in your area. We have also linked a few below.
Other Ways to Find Used Pallets
If you would rather see your pallets before you order them, there are other ways of finding used pallets for crafting and woodworking. It might seem like a no brainer that you can walk into a store and ask for their pallets. Unfortunately, many retailers already have someone coming to pick up and recycle their used pallets.
Smaller companies are more likely to throw their pallets away. Ask them if they can set one aside for you on shipping day, and you may be able to work out a deal. If you offer to take all their palettes off their hands they may be more willing to work with you if it helps declutter their storage area.
Try posting in your community “buy sell trade” website if they have one. You may be able to find someone who has pallets they are willing to part with. Always proceed with caution when picking up items this way. Meet in a public place and have the terms of your agreement worked out beforehand.
Before Crafting With Your Pallet
When using pallets for projects, there are a few things you need to look for. If a pallet is made of pressure-treated or fumigated wood, it is best avoided. These are treated with chemicals that could potentially be hazardous to your health.
These potentially hazardous pallets will be marked MB, for Methyl Bromide. Look for Pallets marked KD for kiln-dried, HT for heat-treated, DB for debarked, or EPAL European pallet association. Fortunately, Methyl Bromide treated pallets are not that common in the United States because its use is strictly regulated. Avoid taking home pallets painted red or blue. These have been used to ship internationally and do not always meet international safety standards.
There is some controversy about the use of Methyl Bromide treated pallets for craft purposes. The first being that it dissipates quickly, and unless it was recently treated the risks are low. The second being that these pallets are extremely rare now, and so not even worth a mention.
Since there are no definitive studies into the long term risks of exposure to Methyl Bromide in a pallet, the decision is ultimately up to you and how you feel about using them in your home Though they are rare, there are still a few of these treated pallets in circulation.
Do not use a pallet that has been used to ship food for anything inside the house. You can try to clean it, but bacteria can get inside the wood. If you aren’t entirely certain where the pallet has been, it may be best to use it for an outdoor project. Only use heat treated pallets with a known origin for projects inside your home.
Beware of a pallet that has been stored in a damp place, or has been sitting in the rain. The potential for mold growth is there, and if used inside could introduce mold spores and aggravate allergies. Save this for outdoor projects, or walk away from it entirely
Be careful when handling pallets that aren’t in perfect condition. A puncture from these could introduce bacteria and cause infection at worst and give you a wicked splinter at best. Consider lightly sanding any rough spots to prevent injury, especially if it is a project meant to be used inside. If a pallet seems like it is in particularly rough condition, it is probably best left alone to go to recycling.
If you are taking the pallet apart yourself, watch for any screws or nails that are holding it together. You don’t want to ruin your saw by hitting one or risk a serious puncture wound. Remember safety first when handling pallets. Gloves and eye protection will help keep your project from turning into a DIY disaster.
Now that you have your pallet, have fun with your project. Let your imagination run wild, and enjoy creating something new out of something used.
Do you enjoy DIY projects? Want to turn DIY and crafting into an opportunity to bond with your kids or less experienced crafting friends? Head over to this article about the best online craft stores for kids, and some fun DIY projects.