Recycle-Chic: Make Modern Furniture from Wood Pallets

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Wood pallets, used to transport freight and goods, are often discarded after the merchandise is delivered. You can upcycle these discards by creating cool, modern furniture pieces using the ideas we’ve rounded up below. Pallets can often be found for free on the side of the road near industrial sites, at your local recycling center or by garbage dumpsters.

What’s exciting about wood pallets is the many uses for them! They’re usually made of pine or other softwoods, although it’s not unusual to find some made from oak or maple. They are sturdy, since they were designed to hold hundreds of pounds of weight. And some look aged and rustic, which is the perfect medium for your pallet furniture ideas and projects.

The trend is big in Europe, and you’re likely to find a pallet hiding somewhere in even the most upscale homes and lofts. Here are some pallet furniture ideas and inspiration for you to re-create the look.

Pallet furniture ideas for the living room

One of the easiest ways to upcycle a pallet or two is by converting it into a coffee table. Stack as many as you like, depending on the ideal coffee table height for your setup.

A couple of stacked pallets, finished off with wheels, add the industrial look to this open loft living room in France. Image: RencontreunArchi

Shop a similar look: Chairs | Pillows | Coffee Table

Painting a pallet is easy and can transform the look from industrial to polished, like in this Scandinavian-style living room. Image: Sven Fennema

Shop a similar look: Armchair | Throw | Coffee Table

A creative way to add pops of color is to stain one pallet a contrasting tone from the other and top it off with a low-maintenance colored glass or plexiglass sheet surface. Image: TomMarkHenry Studio

Shop a similar look: Chairs| Wallpaper | Coffee Table

Some pallets have a rough, splintery feel to them. A light sanding and a clear polyurethane coat in a satin or gloss finish enriches the wood’s natural tones and smooths the rough pallet surface. Image: Studio Morton

Shop a similar look: Lamps | Rug | Coffee Table

A serving tray and center table runner add a larger surface area to this pallet coffee table on wheels. Image: Unique Home Stays

Shop a similar look: Poufs | End Table | Coffee Table

Most DIYers tend to add cool, industrial wheels to their pallet base, but this Madrid designer gave the pallet coffee table a mid-century modern look with metal legs. Image: Itta Estudio

Shop a similar look: Pillows | Vase | Coffee Table

Sofas and sectionals made with pallets

Stacked pallets, a seat cushion and pillows create a daybed-style sectional complete with a side table section. Image: Sarah Phipps Design

Shop a similar look: Tray Table | Daybed Cushion | Lamp

Make use of a large open space by creating a wall of seating using pallets as the sofa or daybed base. Image: Sven Fennema

Shop a similar look: Chairs | Accent Chair | Coffee Table

A chair made out of pieces of pallets, cushions and industrial wheels. Image: My Pallet USA

Pallet furniture ideas for the bedroom

A selection of stacked pallets can serve as the base and storage area for a bed. Image: Home Polish

Shop a similar look: Vanity | Ladder | Pillows

A modern rustic bedroom featuring a pallet platform bed. Image: SWENYO

Shop a similar look: Chair | Bedside Table | Pillows

This may be the coolest bed ever — a pallet platform bed that’s mounted from the ceiling to swing. Image: Barasona Diseño

Shop a similar look: Bed Swing | Wardrobe | Lamp

Living wall room divider made out of pallets

Wall-mounted pallets hold a variety of indoor plants to create an interesting, eco-friendly focal point in this industrial-chic dining room. Image: MARTIN architects

Shop a similar look: Planter | Table | Chairs

Outdoor pallet furniture ideas

You can create a versatile outdoor seating area by collecting same-size pallets that can be stacked or separated as needed. Image: Masdeu Design

Shop a similar look: Pallet Seating | Pillows

Lounge chairs can be expensive. Here is a great idea for outdoor lounge chairs made from free pallets. Image: Wohnausstatter

Shop a similar look: Side Table | Pillows | Lanterns

Use large pallets to create a durable outdoor wall or fence to hang plants from or enhance privacy. Image: Mark Tessier

Shop a similar look: Succulent Planters | Clay Planters

Modern zen rooftop terrace using upcycled pallets for seating. Image: Andreas Ravn

Shop a similar look: Pillows | Planter

An Asian-style garden setup with low seating. Image: Amour de Palettes Creations

Shop a similar look: Candles | Pouf | Table

A relaxing tree swing made out of pallets. Image: Red Agape Blog

Shop a similar look: Swing

Create your own Pallet Furniture

Feeling inspired?  Why not attempt a DIY project to recreate some of these items above?  Here are some resources for the materials and instruction you may need to get started.