Pallet Furniture

China cabinet made with reclaimed pallet wood
China cabinet made with reclaimed pallet wood

These traditional looking arm chairs made of pallet wood don’t require complicated joinery
These traditional looking arm chairs made of pallet wood don’t require complicated joinery

Recycled shipping pallet furniture
Recycled shipping pallet furniture

This is a continuation of the previous blog post on recycled wood. A reader left a comment about the door they built from pallets and so I thought a post about pallet furniture would be interesting. Many don’t realize how countless thousands of pallets are discarded every day. Some pallets are made with strong wood such as oak. With enough patience and care, this free resource can be turned into functional furniture, shelving and other items.

So where do you find wood shipping pallets? Some stores may not give them away because they reuse them over and over until they’re damaged beyond repair. But some stores have a surplus and will gladly let you haul truckloads away. The best source we found was a roofing supply company. Once the shingles were sold, there were loads of leftover pallets. We hauled them off and built animal pens, and cut them up for firewood with a sawzall. The pens were strong enough to contain horses and goats, and the pallets burned great because the wood was hard and dry.

Image source: Green Eco Services
Image source: Sun Ministries, Inc.
Image source: Design Squish

12 thoughts on “Pallet Furniture”

  1. I currently joined the US Army as a Combat Engineer, I been told
    by my recruiter and some veterans that as combat engineer
    I would learn a bit of carpentry and construction work.
    I have a few ideas of what I want to do when I get
    out. One is to start my own business. My plan is to
    go to a community college and take some classes to learn some electrician skills to help
    me out. Unfortunately the Army wont help me get certified, so my question is would I actually be able to have a business if I’m
    not certified in Houston, TX? Is it hard to get work in this kind of business?
    What is an estimate of what I would earn in a year?

    I understand that some projects require permits would I be able to get permits without being certified?

    Also what is a way for me to get certified with out having to do an apprenticeship?.

    . Thanks..

    • From your brief comment, I’m not sure exactly what you’re planning to do. Our blog emphasizes earthbag building, but we also cover lots of other natural building methods. Also note, codes and regulations vary from place to place. You’ll need to investigate what’s required and allowed in your area. But please go ahead and tell us more about your plan. Texas has some of the most lenient codes in the country and so there are lots of options for you.

    • Here are two possible methods to obtain the measurements:
      1. Surf Google Images using the keywords china cabinet. Look for china cabinets of similar size and proportion. Some companies (ex: online furniture catalogs) will state the overall dimensions of their furniture.
      2. Take your cell phone and a small tape measure in your pocket and visit some large furniture stores. The giant warehouse furniture stores are probably your best bet. Don’t worry about the low quality materials, ugly colors, etc. You’re after a quick sneak photo and overall measurements. Back at home you can use these to calculate the dimensions of each main part by working to scale. It’s just a matter of simple math and using a calculator.

      After you have the overall measurements using option 1 or 2 shown above, then you can transfer the main measurements to a layout stick (narrow board about 3/4″ x 1-1/2″ x 8′. You probably have some scrap wood that will work perfectly. Light colored wood is best so you can read your markings. Put the horizontal measurements on one side and the vertical measurements on the other side. Then divide up the distances between main measurements to show where everything goes (rails, stiles, doors, drawers, trim, etc.). Using standard sizes for key parts will speed the process. Ex: door frames are usually 2″ wide.

  2. Excellent issues altogether, you just received a logo new reader. What would you recommend in regards to your put up that you simply made some days ago? Any positive?

  3. I love the recycled shipping pallet furniture. It’s ideal to place outside or in a balcony I think. I’ve never seen such design lately.


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