10 Ideas for Repurposing Wood Pallets

March 4, 2024

Have old wooden pallets lying around? Instead of sending them to the scrapyard, consider repurposing them. You can create so many beautiful pieces with recycled wood, from furniture pieces to decorative features and accents. If you are building a campground, you can use these new items to furnish or decorate your property — enhancing the functionality and ambiance of your campsites.

Here are some tips and ideas for repurposing wood pallets.

Man with white hair enjoying work with wooden pallet to create new objects for home.

Tools Needed to Repurpose Wood Pallets

Before starting your project, you will want to gather a few essential tools. Many of the following items are needed to work with repurposed wood and build the items on our list:

  • Hammer
  • Crowbar
  • Screws
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Hand saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Impact driver
  • Wood clamps
  • Wood glue
  • Tape measure and pencil
  • Orbit sander, with 100-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block, with coarse 100-150-grit sandpaper

Tips for Working With Wood Pallets

Consider these pro tips when working with wood pallets:

  • Use a clean pallet: Since pallets are used for transporting various materials, they can be susceptible to spills and liquids from all kinds of products. Before starting your upcycling project, check if your pallet has any visible spills. Steer clear of anything with spills, stains or discolorations and stick to a clean pallet.
  • Smooth the wood: Splinters are a common occurrence when working with wooden pallets. To avoid splinters in your fingers or hands, use a random orbiter sander to take edges down and smooth the wood. Sand your pallet outdoors and avoid breathing any dust by using a respirator.
  • Use the right saw: If you have ever tried taking apart a wooden pallet, you know it is not always the easiest task. That’s because a lot of pallets are built with green wood, meaning they are not fully dried yet. When green wood is nailed together, it shrinks tightly around the nails, making it tough to get them out. Use a good crowbar, jigsaw and circular saw to properly wedge the boards off. If the nails don’t come off, use a reciprocating saw to cut the boards at the nail line.
  • Consider screws and drill pilot holes: Because this wood can be challenging to hammer nails into, you might want to consider using screws and drill pilot holes when it comes time to rebuild. When cutting your pallet, avoid making cuts near splits or cracks in the wood, as this can lead to further splitting and breaking.

Benches and a table made of pallets.

10 Ways to Repurpose Wood Pallets

There are so many fun ideas for repurposed wood pallets, including indoor and outdoor furniture and decorative accents. The next time you need something, consider building your own piece and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from creating something with your own hands. Here are a few ideas for repurposing wood pallets.

1. Deck

If you have been looking to add a communal space to your land, consider building a deck out of your repurposed wood pallets. Gather your wood and tools and get to work on the perfect patio that is sure to impress guests. Whether you want more lounging space outside your cabins or a platform for grilling, wooden pallets are an inexpensive and easy way to assemble an attractive ground-level deck.

2. Wall Garden

Have more flowers or vegetables and fruits than you do space in your garden? Time to put your wooden pallets to use. For this project, all you need to do is stand your pallets on their side, measuring the spaces between the planks. Arrange a small group of pots together, prop your pallet against an existing wall or use additional pallets to secure the wall up. Now you have an attractive and practical piece to grow your plants.

3. Porch Swing

Unsure what to do with extra porch space? Build a swing! Arrange your pallets into two long bench-size pieces to create the bottom and back of your seat. Then take measurements and purchase strong, sturdy ropes for the swing. Add armrests with drink holders or keep it classic by painting your swing and adding comfy cushions.

4. Walkways

Walkways make an easy and versatile idea for wooden pallets. Start by slightly digging into your soil to create a path. Pry a few boards apart and arrange them into pathways that lead to separate campsites and locations throughout your property. If you don’t have enough pallets, use a few to create a small in-ground platform around your campsites. Guests are sure to appreciate the extra surface space.

5. Adirondack Chair

Adirondack chairs are stunning, and their design makes for a comfortable place to rest. Plus, you don’t need a lot of experience to build one. All parts of your Adirondack chair can be cut with a jigsaw and a circular saw and assembled with a drill, clamps and glue. For additional color and comfort, add some weather-resistant cushions.

6. Coat Hanger

Coat hangers are an invaluable item in cabins, helping guests keep items like jackets, keys and umbrellas organized and all in one place. You can easily create your own with pieces of pallets, depending on the size of your hanger. To build it, dismantle a few pallets. Sand them down, and then cut four of your planks to length for the backboard.

Attach your planks with wood glue and dowels, and then clamp and leave them to dry. Grab a few hooks from the hardware store, space them evenly on your boards and screw them in. Next, mount your hanger to a wall, and you’re done!

7. Cupboard

While it may require more time than the other projects on this list, you can craft the perfect rustic cabinet with repurposed wooden pallets. Start by designing your cupboard, considering the dimensions and layout. Then, break down your pallets and assemble the frame using screws or nails to securely attach the pallets.

Add your shelves or partitions, ensuring they are stable, and create doors if needed. Whether you craft a wardrobe for a bedroom or a small kitchen cupboard, the finished product is sure to make a stunning statement piece.

8. Firewood Rack

Every campsite needs space for storing firewood, and pallets make a great material for building your own firewood rack. All you need are a few pallets, screws and nails. Build your base by laying your pallets on the ground parallel to each other. Attach them with screws or nails and add vertical supports at each end of the base. Consider adding shelves or a wooden cover to prevent rain from getting into the rack, and you have the perfect storage piece.

9. Butterfly Shelter

Butterfly houses provide shelter for butterflies to escape the elements and predators. You can also paint and decorate them to make a gorgeous addition to garden spaces. Start by designing the butterfly house, considering entry points, a roof, side walls and a bottom platform. Use screws and nails to tighten your panels and create a house structure. Next, install the perch using bark or small branches. Finish your project by painting the house in bright colors to attract butterflies and keep them cool.

10. Picnic Table

If you have a large collection of pallets to work with, consider creating a picnic table. Assemble your pallets into tables and use the rest to make wrap-around benches. Add a fire pit and hang some twinkle lights to create the perfect camping ambiance.

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About the Author: Kampgrounds of America

Kampgrounds of America is the largest system of open-to-the-public campgrounds in the world, with over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. Founded in Billings, MT in 1962, KOA’s family of campground brands – KOA Journey, KOA Holiday and KOA Resort – today serve more than a million camping families each year. KOA is dedicated to “connecting people to the outdoors and each other” by providing people with a variety of camping experiences and the information they need to make the most of their camping trip. Read more of their camping and travel resources by visiting

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