Pallet Recycling Projects:One Pallet At A Time

Pallet Projects Are A Growing Folk Art

These simple bluebird houses have a rustic appeal and are made from recycled shipping pallets.
These simple bluebird houses have a rustic appeal and are made from recycled shipping pallets. | Source

More Pallet Recycling Is Needed

Pallets are everywhere!  Pallet recycling projects, pallet furniture and other pallet re-purposing are great ways to reduce the number of pallets going to land fills.
Pallets are everywhere! Pallet recycling projects, pallet furniture and other pallet re-purposing are great ways to reduce the number of pallets going to land fills. | Source

The Appeal Of Pallet Recycling

Pallet recycling is a much needed service in our country and around the world. Pallets are used for shipping nearly everything and can be found discarded behind shopping malls, warehouses and other businesses. There are many ways to recycle pallets and one of the most popular is to re-purpose the pallets and turn them into furniture, fences, sheds and all sorts of other handicrafts.

Pallets Are A Great Source Of Project Material

Pallets come in all shapes and sizes and just about every type of wood. I regularly find pallets made of pine, poplar and oak. I am also always finding pallets in new and unique shapes, some good for stand-alone projects and others good for the wood. I have seen some great pallet tables with really fine finishes that have the look of well-used finely crafted furniture. It just depends on the pallets you find and what you do with them.

The Pallet Poll

Have you ever ........

  • ...built anything from a recycled shipping pallet?
  • ...thought about building anything from a shipping pallet?
  • ...wondered why anyone would want to reuse a shipping pallet?
See results without voting

Pallet Adirondack Chairs: Modern Folk Art

Pallets Make Really Good Adirondack Style Chairs.  I Made These Chairs Two Years Ago And Still Get Great Use Out Of Them.
Pallets Make Really Good Adirondack Style Chairs. I Made These Chairs Two Years Ago And Still Get Great Use Out Of Them. | Source

Easy To Build Pallet Chairs

  • Click here for more on how to build these easy to build pallet chairs.

Pallet Re-purposing Projects

Pallet repurposing and recycled pallet projects are a growing global phenomenon. There are books, blogs, websites and whole movements of people who are dedicated to this grass-roots form of folk-art.

Pallet Project As Folk Art

Folk Art is defined as art produced by an indigenous culture, peasants or other laboring-tradespeople. The art is described as utilitarian and decorative rather than as "fine" or "aesthetic" art. Because of the diverse nature of humans and human culture folk art is hard to classify in terms common to other art forms and is driven by the locality and people producing it.

Pallets and pallet projects are a great example of folk art. The pallets are being used in a utilitarian way by a diverse, working people, who are seeking to re-purpose and recycle the waste of society in ways that are often decorative and pleasing to look at.

Not All Pallets Are Available For Re-Purposing

Some businesses control costs by re-using pallets.  These are obviously part of re-use program and not available for projects.
Some businesses control costs by re-using pallets. These are obviously part of re-use program and not available for projects. | Source

Inspect Pallets Before Choosing

These pallets are made from 2x4's and 1x material, great for projects, building and furniture.
These pallets are made from 2x4's and 1x material, great for projects, building and furniture. | Source

Where To Find Good Pallets

Pallets are everywhere but unfortunately not all pallets are good for projects. Some are damaged, poorly constructed, aged beyond usefulness, dirty or just plain unattractive. The best pallets for projects are made from solid wood that is relatively free of knots and cracks. The pieces should be thick enough for strength; some pallets are not meant to hold heavy loads are a built from very thin stock in order to cut down on cost.

When choosing a pallet look for :

  • Well constructed pallets. Flimsy pallets are not a good choice. They won't hold much weight when used as a whole pallet and are also a poor choice for reclaiming boards for other uses.
  • Clean pallets. Sometimes a great pallet is just to dirty to use. Depending on the use pallets can have mud, grease or old food on them.
  • Cracked pallets. Check your pallets for cracks. Sometimes they can be hidden from plain view. A crack in the wrong place could make an attractive pallet worthless to a hobbyist.
  • Nail heads. There usually is not a lot of effort put into building pallets which means that there is an increased chance of finding nails and staples sticking out of the wood. Be very careful handling pallets.
  • Material size. when choosing a pallet for a project be sure to check what size material was used to construct a pallet. I have picked up many a good looking pallet and gotten them home to find they were built from undersize stock. This is not always a problem depending on what your intentions are.

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Comments 2 comments

TMHughes profile image

TMHughes 4 years ago from Asheville, NC Author

Bird house are great projects. I made 6 from one pallet and gave them as gifts.


internpete profile image

internpete 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

Great hub! Pallets can be a great source of wood for a wide variety of projects! I actually made a birdhouse from a pallet. It was a little challenging because the wood was poor quality and was easy to split. But it turned out well! Voted up!

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