Pallets and mobile homes have a bit in common. Both have unlimited potential and can be turned into something beautiful. Both were once forgotten but have been enjoying a renewed intrest now that people are recognizing their affordability and usefullness.
Unfortunately,I knew nothing about pallets until I started researching for this article. There’s a lot more to pallets than I realized! I’ve added everything I found about these handy, and extremely affordability, sources of lumber.
I’ve added all the important stuff, like their various designs, sizes, and toxicity levels below. I also found some handy charts and safety precautions you should use whenever you use pallets.
Why Use Pallets?
Pallets are easy to find and often free for the taking. You can use pallets as a whole or by breaking them down into individual boards. Single boards from pallets are a great building material.
Wood from older pallets can have a beautiful weathered patina that is hard to mimic with new lumber and that makes them perfect for creating texture on a wall or other displays.
We’ve gathered some great information that will help determine which pallets are the best for your intended project and how to find affordable or free pallets. Also, be sure to check out our Pinterest page for some of our favorite pallet pins.
What is a Pallet?
A pallet is basically the bottom frame or deck that is used to maximize loads during transport. They are placed under packaged goods to make stacking easier and allow front loaders and forklifts to move them during shipment easily. Simply put, they act as a sturdy foundation and stacking tool.
What is the Basic Pallet Size in the US?
You can find some odd sizes but in general, 40″x48″ will be the most common size.
What are the 2 Main Types of Pallets?
There are two main types of wood pallets. The most popular is the stringer pallet design.
Stringer Pallet Design
The Stringer design has a top deck and sometimes a bottom deck of equal size separated by middle framing boards. They are perfect if you need lots of boards for your project.
Here is an image from STBPallet.com of a stringer pallet:
Block Pallet Design
The Block pallet is another popular design. They have access openings on all 4 sides, making it more convenient for forklifts to use.
Between the top and bottom decks are solid wood shaped in a block, hence the name. Here’s another image from STBPallet.com of what they look like:
Common Deck Designs
There are also deck design variations available for both stringer and block designs.
Who knew pallets could be so complicated?Outdoor DIY Pallet Projects For Your Manufactured Home
2-Way Vs. 4-Way Entry
The most popular frames used for pallets is the 2-way-entry and the 4-way-entry. The entry counts refer to the number of openings on the sides of the pallet. A 2-way-entry pallet only has 2 places for a forklift to insert its arms in order to move it. A 4-way-entry has 4 opening, 2 on each side.
Different Deck Designs
Since different types of pallet frames are used for various weight loads and stacking needs there are a variety of designs available.
The open board and closed board deck are the two most popular designs for both stringer and block structures.
Open boarded pallets have a space between them and closed decks do not. It’s similar to building a deck onto your home, open decking allows water to flow between the boards and closed decking does not.
Look at the photo below, found on a great site called DIYReady.com and you’ll better understand the different types of wood pallet:
Handmade pallet bed and dotted bedroom wall
Wood Pallet Safety
Sometimes pallets are coated or soaked in toxic chemicals to extend their lifespan and keep bugs away.
If you will be using the pallet for a kitchen or outdoor dining area it’s important to steer clear of those pallets.
Luckily, most pallets will have a stamp on them to help you determine if they’re safe. There are also a few visual clues that can help too.
The IPPC Stamp
The IPPC stamp will tell you a lot about the pallet. Here’s a handy-dandy infographic from DIYReady.com that explains the stamps and codes found on most pallets.
Finding Pallets for your Home Decor Projects
Here in WV, there’s an old gas station turned pallet station that sells any kind of pallet you want. The more you buy, the cheaper they get.
I suspect there are dealers close to you and a simple Google search should help you find them.
If paying a few dollars per pallet doesn’t bother you, that’s probably the most convenient method of getting them. You can pay to have them broken apart as well and that’s especially nice because some pallets have some crazy nails that are hard to remove.
If you’re thrifty (or what my daughter likes to call ‘cheap’) then you probably don’t mind spending a morning calling around asking store managers if they have any damaged or unneeded pallets that you could take off their hands. Smaller, locally owned grocery stores, furniture stores, and nurseries are great places to start.
Breaking Wood Pallets Apart
You can use a pry-bar to break pallets apart, but it will probably damage the wood a bit, so it’s best to use a saw and cut the nails and then pull them out. The video below will show you how:
80 Unique Pallet Projects for Every Room
Now that you know more about pallets, it’s time to learn just how awesome they really are!
If you’re lucky enough to find a few pallets for free, you can completely transform a room for practically no cost at all. You can also build anything you want – for cheap!
Below are just a few pallet projects that you can find online. There are entire websites dedicated to pallet projects so you can easily find a project that you will love. Just click on the pallet project title to be taken to the original site for instructions.
Add texture to your home on a budget.
One of my favorite pallet projects is using the wood to cover a wall. It creates a beautiful accent in any room and adds texture to a space. The room below is a perfect combination.
The wall below provides texture and color to a room, and it is beautiful!
The bedroom below uses pallets in several different ways. The possibilities are endless!
Adding pallet boards to your ceiling is a perfect project for any room, especially smaller rooms that just need a little pizzazz.
You can use pallet wood as a floor covering!
This next pallet floor project is awesome, and you can get the entire step-by-step instructions and photos from the owners of the blog called ‘A Building We Shall Go‘:
With the right construction experience, you can even build a deck with pallets!
This twin bed combo is a great way to turn a spare bedroom into a smart guest room.
This is a beautiful and unique pallet bed frame project.
This pallet bed is perfect for your deck.
You can create a great outdoor bench and flower pot combo with relative ease.
If you live close to the beach, this is a perfect project for you. Having an outdoor shower is so convenient.
This Etsy find is a perfect piece to create a little mud-room area.
With a little color and additional distressing, you can make this beautiful bench!
These hanging lamps are a perfect project for a rustic themed room.
This beautiful coffee table would look perfect in any living room. Adding a colored glass top to it according to room theme can also be a considerable option.
This island would look great in your kitchen!
This is a fantastic project that is beautiful and useful.
This relatively simple shelf made from a single pallet would be a great addition to any room.
Another great addition to your deck or porch.
Using pallet boards as a pathway is a beautiful addition to any yard.
What a great way to separate space in a large area!
This little wall office is a perfect way to have a desk in a small area.
Need a place to keep wood dry? Here ya go!
This is a beautiful piece of furniture. You could use it as a TV stand or a desk.
This is a great way to keep office and school supplies organized on your desk.
Your dog would love this pet bowl! Raising the bowls off the floor a bit is said to aid in digestion health.
Have a big pile of shoes at your front door? This is a perfect solution!
Looking for an original retro piece? This is coffee table is awesome!
These planters are easy to make and will make a statement on your porch.
This coat rack gives you a spot to add your decor and put your coats!
If you can’t live without your morning coffee, might as well have a cool place to hang your cups!
This little sofa would be perfect on a porch or by the pool!
This multi-purpose table will be perfect if you need extra storage.
An original idea for a swing!
This pool project gives you access to the pool and a place to lay out by the pool as well!
If space is an issue, this vertical planter may be just what you need.
Great spot to encourage the love of reading for your kids!
Have a green thumb? This gardening shelf will put all your tools in one spot!
Girls playhouse or boys hideout, the choice is yours!
If space is an issue, this compact desk may be the answer.
This shelf is perfect for backpacks and books.
An economical twist on the popular barn door.
A twist on the pallet bed that is a favorite pallet project.
This table would make an excellent addition by the front door.
Love this privacy fence idea!
Add a touch of style to any room.
This countertop will turn heads!
Add a touch of country to your bathroom with these towel hooks.
Tight on space? This smaller piece could be used as a TV stand or a desk. You could use a corner TV mount to save space.
Spot for those favorite wine glasses and bottles of wine!
Look at what a cute combination!
This shelf will hold tons of decor.
Who wouldn’t love to look out their window to see flowers!
Thinking of trying your hand at growing strawberries? The slats provide just enough space for the plant to grow through.
Looks like a good spot for a nap!
What better setup for the future mechanic or carpenter in your life!
Paracord and pallet slats create a swing for one!
Add some upholstery to this pallet sofa and you have the perfect entertaining spot.
Love these chairs.
So much potential in this kitchen island.
Perfect kids size table for outdoors!
These end tables will compliment any room.
Need a nightstand to go with your pallet bed?
Need a place for your jewelry? This will hold your jewelry and add some style to your room.
An original way to get crafty.
This barn look adds some country flare to your home.
Another option for all those shoes crowding the floor.
This pallet trash bin is a stylish way to hide the garbage!
Plenty of work space with this desk.
Space saving idea for all your books!
Hot option for your cooler!
Space-saving option for your pots and pans.
Game of cornhole anyone?
This gardening table will fold up and out of the way! It’s a perfect pallet project for those green thumbs in your life.
DIY a clock to fit your decor.
As you can see above, you can make anything you want with pallets and at an affordable price. The sky is the limit!
Want more pallet project ideas? Check out our Outdoor DIY Pallet Projects for Your Manufactured Home for even more ideas!
Have you created something beautiful from a pallet? Is there a lesson you learned or a tip you’d like to share please add it in the comments below.
As always, thank you so much for reading Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!