When it comes to do-it-yourself design, trends often take just as much as priority as they do in other worlds. One recent trend that has slowly been spreading through all parts of my humble abode is the pallet. Back when I was a mere country child in the heart of Arkansas, pallets would stack higher and higher by the dumpster waiting to be picked up by the “trash man.” Last week, when visiting a Whole Foods on the California coast, pallets served as hip and crafty store decor. These pallets have come a long way, from mere dumpster inhabitants to coveted wall dwellers. While many of their uses are rather obvious, the possibilities of design that they provide are almost limitless.
Pallets come in a variety of sizes and can also be found in a variety of places. As stated earlier, one place to find pallets is next to a dumpster behind a large store, such as Lowe’s or Home Depot. However, it is always good to check with the store first to make sure they don’t want them. Another place to look for pallets is on Craigslist. Normally, one can find pallets listed in the “free” section on the website. However, after your slight pallet obsession has sprouted, they will seem to pop up in random places throughout your day, and occasionally in your very own apartment complex, so no need to worry about a dying pallet supply.
One important thing to keep in mind when starting your own pallet collection is cleaning. Since pallets are normally used to transport bulk sizes of material, they are often very dirty. The first thing to do upon obtaining a pallet is to give it a thorough cleaning. This can be done by a giving it a good rinse with water, or using other cleaning product of your choice. You can also spruce up your pallet by covering it with a wood finish or stain, depending on what type of look you are hoping to obtain. However, the primary step to a pallet creation is a thorough cleaning.
After cleaning your pallet, the possibilities are seemingly endless. After this article, you will be ready to adorn every room of your house with a recycled pallet, saving you both a hefty buck and a heavy carbon footprint. The first room of a house is the entryway. For this part of the house, a rack, whether it be used for coats, keys, or umbrellas, is often essential. In order to create an effortless rack from a pallet, simply buy a bag of long nails. After obtaining your pallet, (smaller size is recommended for this project), simply hammer the nails in place wherever you wish and hang on the wall. For that added touch, try getting a fabric you enjoy and wrapping the top half of the nails with the fabric, securing the loose end with super glue or a thread and needle. Also feel free to replace the nails with other hooks, such as vintage dresser knobs. This simple creation will give your entryway an effortless yet original look that can welcome all guests into your home.
For the kitchen, a simple pallet shelf for that special wine or spice collection makes this much used room an aesthetic delight. After cleaning a pallet, one side of the pallet must be removed, leaving the other side, long vertical boards, which are crossed by three horizontal boards that extend from the vertical boards a few inches and will serve as your shelves. At this point you can hang the “shelf” anywhere in your kitchen and use it to house your favorite chardonnay or jars of coffee beans. Another simple idea for storage is to turn a pallet vertical and slide it in between that empty space between your fridge and your counter. Simply collect your round-bottle spices one on top of another in the narrow space provided by the pallet. In this case, be sure to have your spices labeled on the lids so they are easy to identify. Bon apetit!
Moving on to the living room, a pallet coffee table is in order. This works best with two pallets and wheels which can be attached to the bottom pallet. Four wood blocks, which are optional, can be used to stack between the pallets, creating a small shelf for magazines or books. First, attach the wheels to the four corners of the bottom pallet. Then, if using blocks, stack blocks on top of the bottom pallet and nail or screw them in. Finally, place the top pallet on top of the blocks and nail or screw it in to secure it. If no blocks are used, simply place the top pallet on top of the bottom pallet and secure them. The top pallet can be covered with a piece of glass or left as is. This crafty coffee table will not only add to your “green” collection, but can also be easily rolled from the living room to the patio for those outdoor hang-outs.
Finally, the place where the magic happens, we have reached the bedroom. The door cracks open and what else but a beautiful pallet bedframe, rustic and effortless in all its glory. For this project, it can be fun to paint your pallets a bold color to add to the character of the bedframe. For a twin size bed, one row of pallets can simply be stacked to make a bed frame. For a larger bed, two rows of stacked pallets would be necessary for the width of the bed. Wheels can also be added to the bottom pallets if preferred. In this case, all pallets should be nailed or screwed together to secure the bed frame. If pallets are simply stacked, this is not needed. If the pallets extend further than the mattress on either side of the bed, feel free to place a piece of glass on top and use it as a night stand. Don’t forget to use your imagination when coming up with headboard ideas to top this ultra-creative bedframe.
As can be seen, pallets can hold a place in any room, anywhere. With a little creativity, they become one of the most useful eco-friendly design ingredients ever stumbled upon. Keep an eye out and many often discarded pallets will soon find their ways onto your walls. Happy pallet hunting!