How to Make Shelves Out of Pallets


Wood pallets are often made of hardwood to support heavy loads. They are also readily available free or for very low cost. This makes wood pallets an excellent building material for do-it-yourself projects, such as making a set of shelves. Wood pallets are often made of hardwood that has not been finished, but if you prepare them to get rid of splinters, they make unique and sturdy shelves.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 wood pallets
  • Sand paper
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Wood, 2 inches by 4 inches
  • Saw
  • Level
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Wall anchors
  • Sand all surfaces of the wood pallets until smooth to prepare them for the project; you will be using the underside of each pallet.

  • Use wood screws and a drill to attach the pallets to each other, one on top of the other with the undersides facing in the same direction. The undersides of the pallets will hold your shelves.

  • Measure the interior width of the top pallet. Cut 2-by-4 wood to this measurement. Insert the wood horizontally into the pallet, 6 to 8 inches from the top of the pallet, to be used as a shelf. Test the evenness of the wood with a level by placing it on top of the wood and adjusting the wood until it is laying flat. Secure the wood shelf to the pallet using a hammer and nails. Repeat with the second pallet, and for as many shelves as you desire.

  • Paint your shelf as desired or leave the wood unfinished for a more rustic look. Attach the shelving unit to a wall either by screwing it into a wall stud, or by using wall anchors.

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