In the UK, 42.4 million wooden pallets were made in 2015 – with so many being produced each year, it’s no wonder why so many lie stacked up across building yards and back gardens up and down the country. Making your own furniture is always a fun project but making it from recycled materials can be even more fulfilling, so why not try recycling pallets into furniture? Here’s a simple and straightforward guide on how you can get started.
Why make furniture from recycled pallets?
Pallets are ten for a penny these days, and if you’re happy searching for good-quality used pallets, you can get hold of a great source of wood for a much lower price than fresh timber. What’s more, pallets are the eco-friendly choice for furniture-makers too, given that they’re typically second-hand.
How you can recycle pallets into furniture
Recycling pallets and forging furniture out of them is simple.
Step 1 – Source your pallets
There are plenty of places you can find pallets. You can buy used pallets online, sure, but often you’ll get a better deal by asking friends and family if they have any spare sitting in their garden or garage (chances are they’ll be happy for you to free up their space!).
Visiting a local tip can also be a good plan too, as well as checking to see if there are any building merchants or logistics businesses nearby that you can call up: chances are they’ll have big stacks of pallets going spare.
Wherever you get your pallets, be sure to choose the best. Make sure they are structurally sound, have not begun to rot, and aren’t infested with creepy crawlies like woodworm. That way, you can feel confident in your homemade furnishings, years down the line.
Step 2 – Plan your pallet project
There are countless furnishings you can make from pallets – beds, tables, benches, and wall art are all options, so use your imagination! The project you choose will dictate the tools and materials you need for the job.
For instance, having a set of Milwaukee power tools will help you to construct your wooden furniture securely, you will probably need a workbench to safely ply your craft, and consumables like nails, screws, and brackets are also a must for making sure the finished product is nice and robust.
Step 3 – Construct your pallet furniture
This step very much depends on the project. It’s always a good idea to find a set of instructions to follow online, especially if you’re new to woodworking, or alternatively create a piece of furniture as part of a training course. Whichever you choose, always start by making a strong base and structure for the furnishing, and don’t scrimp on screws and brackets to hold it all together.
Step 4 – Do some detailing
Once your piece is complete, it’s time to perform the finishing touches. Pallet wood can be rough and prone to splintering, make sure you sand it down properly to remove the rough surface and make it user-friendly.
Step 5 – Pallet paint and polish
To protect your pallets from the elements and give them a dose of design, decorate them with blocks of color or pretty, more intricate designs, or apply a clear finish to bring out the beautiful, natural appearance of the wood. Just try and consider the décor and other furnishings of the space the piece will be sharing.