The Beginner’s Guide to Pallet Projects

Pallets remind me of mobile homes because they have unlimited potential and are extremely affordable.  You can make just about anything out of pallets at a great price. That’s why we love pallet projects.

Related:  6 Great Ways to Furnish Your Mobile Home With Pallets.

You can use pallets as a whole or by breaking them down into individual boards. Single boards are a perfect building material! Wood from older pallets can have a beautiful weathered patina that is hard to mimic with new lumber so they are 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. We’ll also cover safety issues and show you several examples of how you can use wood pallets in your home decor and design projects. Get ready to be inspired! Also, be sure to check out our Pinterest page for some of our favorite pallet pins.

The Beginner's Guide to Using Wood Pallets in Home Decor Projects 2


Know Your Pallets

There’s more than one type of pallet. Understanding the different pallets and knowing which type will work best for your project can help ensure your home decor projects are a success. You can also increase your negotiating power when buying pallets – knowledge is power and if you show them that you know what you’re talking about you may be able to negotiate a better deal.

A pallet is a basically a 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 easily move them during shipment. Simply put, they act as a sturdy foundation and stacking tool.

Stringer Pallet Design

There are two main types of wood pallets. The most popular is the 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 of a stringer pallet:

stringer pallet

Block Pallets

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 of what they look like:

block pallets


Since different types of pallet frames are used for various weight loads and stacking needs there are a variety of designs available.

Basic US Pallet Size

The basic pallet size in the US is 40″ x 48″.

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.

Deck Designs

Pallets have various deck designs as well. The open board and closed board deck are the two most popular designs. 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 and you’ll better understand the different types of wood pallet:

different types of wood pallets


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 that explains the stamps and codes found on most pallets. ( seems to be the most informative resource for pallet information I’ve found, so if you want to learn more about the subject you should definitely visit them.):




Finding Pallets for your Home Decor Projects

Here in WV, there’s a pallet dealer that sells any kind of pallet you need.  It’s an old gas station turned pallet station! 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 and nurseries are a great place to start.

The Beginner's Guide to Using Wood Pallets in Home Decor Projects


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:


Pallet Project Ideas

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.


Pallet Wall Project

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.


pallet wall project 2



Colorful Pallet Wall Project

The wall below provides texture and color to a room and it is beautiful!


pallet wall art project



Bedroom Pallet Projects

The bedroom below uses pallets in several different ways. The possibilities are endless!


pallet bedroom project




Pallet Ceiling Project

Adding pallet boards to your ceiling is a perfect project for any room, especially smaller rooms that just need a little pizzazz.

pallet ceiling project



Pallet Flooring Project

You can use pallet wood as a floor covering!

pallet flooring



This next pallet floor project is awesome and you can get the entire step-by-step instructions and photos from the owners at the blog called ‘A Building We Shall Go‘:

pallet floor project



Deck Pallet Project

With the right construction experience, you can even build a deck with pallets!

pallet-deck projectjpg

Twin Bed Pallet Project

This twin bed combo is a great way to turn a spare bedroom into a smart guest room.


twin bed pallet project


 Pallet Bed Frame Project

This is a beautiful and unique pallet bed frame project.

Pallet Bed Frame


Outdoor Pallet Bed Project

This pallet bed is perfect for your deck.

pallet bed project


Outdoor Pallet Bench Project

You can create a great outdoor bench and flower pot combo with relative ease.

outdoor pallet bench project


Outdoor Shower Pallet Project

If you live close to the beach this is a perfect project for you. Having an outdoor shower is so convenient.

outdoor shower pallet project


Pallet Bench and Storage Project

This Etsy find is a perfect piece to create a little mud-room area.


pallet bench and closet project


Colorful Pallet bench Project

With a little color and additional distressing, you can make this beautiful bench!


pallet bench project


Hanging Light Pallet Project

These hanging lamps are a perfect project for a rustic themed room.


pallet chandelier project


Coffee Table Pallet Project

This beautiful coffee table would look perfect in any living room.


pallet coffee table project


Pallet Kitchen Island Project

This island would look great in your kitchen!


pallet kitchen island project


Platform Bed Pallet Project

This is an amazing project that is beautiful and useful.


pallet platform bed project


Shelf Pallet Project

This fairly simple shelf made from a single pallet would be a great addition to any room.


pallet shelf project


Outdoor Table Pallet Project

Another great addition to your deck or porch.


pallet sofa table for deck project


Pallet Pathway Project

Using pallet boards as a pathway is a beautiful addition to any yard.


pallet walkway project


Creative Wall Light Pallet Project

What a great way to separate space in a large area!


pallet wall light project


Wall Office Pallet Project

This little wall office is perfect way to have a desk in a small area.


pallet wall office project


Woodshed Pallet Project

Need a place to keep wood dry? Here ya go!


pallet woodshed project


TV Stand Pallet Project

This is a beautiful piece of furniture. You could use it as a TV stand or a desk.


TV stand pallet project


Desk Organizer Pallet Project

This is a great way to keep office and school supplies organized on your desk.


desk organizer pallet project


Pet Bowl Pallet Project

Your dog would love this pet bowl! Raising the bowls off the floor a bit is said to aid in digestion health.


pet feeder pallet project


Shoe Shelf Pallet Project

Have a big pile of shoes at your front door? This is a perfect solution!


shoe shelf pallet project

As you can see above, you can make anything you want with pallets and at an affordable price. The sky is the limit!

Still 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! 


Image Source: Pallet Image Strips, Infographic, Pallet Type Images 

  1. Ron Fleming says

    Its all good!

  2. Mark says

    Sometimes I become really surprised how it is possible to create something cool from so simple things as pallets. But when I see a real result, I realized that it’s easier than it may seem.

  3. lori says

    How do you take apart a pallet without damaging the wood

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Lori,

      Probably the easiest method for bent nails is to cut the nails between the wood and then just pull them out. If the nails are straight just be careful when you use the hammer. The wood is usually a bit soft so you’ll want to be easy as you leverage the hammer. The guy in the video shows you how.

      Best of luck!

      1. Susan says

        How do I get the instructions for the kitchen island?

      2. Crystal Adkins says

        Hi Susan,

        I wasn’t able to find any instructions for that but here is a cute kitchen island made from pallets (link).

  4. N.bushey says

    Wow!love. Love your site!!You even got my husband excited!! And he’s NOT a handy man!!But I think that’s going to change now !! Thank you ! Nel B.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      That’s awesome to hear! Take lots of pics of all the projects you do!

    2. Cindy Myers says

      I can stain my pallet boards right?

      1. Crystal Adkins says

        Yes ma’am! You may want to sand them first.

        Oh, and sometimes the chemicals they use on the wood interferes or interacts with stain and paint (acts as a barrier of sorts). Just be aware that it may happen – it’s not you or anything you did. Sanding and primer usually help a bit (no primer for staining, though).

        Best of luck!

  5. Lynn Dillon says

    I love these ideas and am gathering pallets to do a fireplace project. What have you found is the easiest way to take the pallets apart without causing damage to the planks?

    1. jef says

      I like the nail heads to show in many of my projects and find using a reciprocating saw works best for dismantling without damaging.

  6. Great article.

  7. Yohan says

    Hi Crystal,

    First I would like to tell you thanks for share with us this fabulous ideas.

    I’ve done my living room with an industrial style, I’ve did my tv furniture ans my tables with palets and I’m really pround of the results.

    Because I really enjoy to do it and because the results are so nice I would like to make extra money selling my projects, but I dont have idea how to sell it, do you have an idea or an advice ?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for my English :/

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Yohan!

      I’d start locally at flea markets just to get the practice in. I’d also open up an Etsy store or on Ebay and have a few bloggers mention it in an article and link to it. Shipping is going to be the real issue but people pay for shipping large items every day if they want an item bad enough.

      Best of luck!

  8. Gregory Silling says

    Their is no sound scientific basis to state that MB pallets are dangerous.

    Methyl Bromide is a fumigant, there is no condensation of the product nor is their residual outgassing. It is not like chemically treated lumber.

    The concern for MB, and why it is being phased out, is that it depletes the ozone.
    It is for the most part not used in pallets anymore so if you find one they are more than likely beat up and useless.

    The only allowable pallet wood that is still fumigated and allowed in the US , that I have seen, is the thicker more dense woods and I mean 4×3’s and thicker coming from India(again the only one I’ve seen) to ship slabs of stone.

    Any deaths or illness have been from those who are actually using, applying and/or storing it. For years MB was used to fumigate homes. There were deaths and illnesses from people going back into there home while it was being fumigated… and I mean while the house was still tented.

    It is still used for the inoculation of your captain crunch and the fields they are grown in. Remember in mono-culture farming the soil is only to transport water, protect the the root from the sun, and keep the plant upright.

    It is still allowed in Europe not for pallets but for nuts, seed and grain inoculation. Pest can easily wipe out dry goods in no time….every wonder why there are no bugs in your flour….


  9. 1001Pallets says

    Very good article. Thanks for adding our website and some ideas of it :)

  10. Everyone loves what you guys are up too. Such clever work and
    reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve you guys to blogroll.

  11. Van K. says

    So my wife and I have just started collecting pallets. I am going to retire within this next year and I want to be able to make some pallet furniture for our place and to sell as an extra income. You have inspired the creative gods in me to want to get out there tonight and get busy…. (my neighbors will love me) NOT!!!. Keep up the great work and long live MHL and you Crystal

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Van! Thank you so much for the kind words! I think you’re going to have a wonderful retirement! Maybe after you get a few things built you’ll consider letting me add them to the list?

      Keep in touch – I’d love to see all the great things you build! Thanks so much for reading MHL!

  12. Jen says

    Crap. I just need to do one project for a expo… now my whole house is going to be full of pallet furniture! LOL

    1. Crystal Adkins says


  13. Carrie says

    Do you by chance have the instructions on how to make the pallet lounger chair on here? I am wanting to make one for this summer. Thank you!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Carrie!

      I looked around but couldn’t find the plans for it. I did find a very cool Pinterest board with other deck chairs though, perhaps one of those links will lead you to the schematics? Good luck!

  14. Sia says

    Hi Crystal!

    Just bought my first MH (signed papers this week), then found your site, which is chocked full of fabulous info! I’ll be renovating a room at a time by diy & will share pics along the way. Thank you for being here! MH’s have received a bad wrap for far too long. It’s wonderful people like you that are opening people up to the positives of MH ownership.

    Thank you again;


    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thank you so much Sia! It means a lot to me! I’m so happy for you! Congratulations on your new home! Please take lots of pictures – I’d love to see what you do with it!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to write this comment – I appreciate it very much! If there’s anything I can help you with please don’t hesitate to contact me!

  15. Renee Crenshaw says

    I sure wish you could put this whole page into a printable book. Or a book period. I’d buy it!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Renee! I would love to publish a book! It’s on my todo list but that doesn’t really mean much these days. Thanks so much for stopping by! Hope to hear from you soon!

  16. Esther Sunday says

    Just love all these projects! Super ideas and they all look so great!

  17. tamra marlar says

    WOW, what a cool website…we are new to the Mobile Home world. In fact, we purchased our first 1977 MH located near Menifee, CA, a year ago; gutted it – and now we are putting it back together…using vintage finds including a Cherry wood kitchen that was given to us which came out of a beautiful custom home. Each room gets new drywall and we are relocating walls and putting in new doors. Bathrooms are a total gut job as well. We plan to retire there on the cheap and do some traveling. Blessings to you and all that you have going on too.

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      It’s great to hear from you Tamra and I’m so glad you like MHL!

      You are gonna love mobile home living! Not worrying about a house payment every month is awesome! Please keep us updated on your progress and take lots of pictures – I’d love to feature you and your home someday!

      If there’s anything I can help you with along the way just let me know – you can comment on any article or just email directly at

      Thanks so much for the kind words, it means a lot to me!

  18. Troy Tuey says

    I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and exposure! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve added you guys to our blogroll.|

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thanks Troy!

  19. Rancher Girl says

    Thanks for the share! We do LOVE our floor!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Rancher Girl!

      We LOVE your floor too! It’s beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing it online and teaching us how to do it!

  20. Sherri says

    I, too, am from WV. Due to a turn in my husband’s health, we are currently downsizing to a double wide on a wooded acre. I have spent hours upon hours browsing your site, while waiting on the closing date. Thank you so much for your work – it is inspiring!

    Thanks to you and all who have contributed, I can barely wait to begin personalizing our new home <3

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Sherri!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment such kind words! I hope you keep in touch throughout your new adventure – there’s nothing like the feeling you get when getting a new home – enjoy every moment!

  21. Sharon says

    Fabulous pallet ideas!

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Hi Sharon!

      They are some very creative people out there – some of those projects blows my mind! Thanks for commenting – it’s always great to hear from you!

  22. Suzanne says

    Wow! What a great assortment of projects…tiny to huge.

    Just looking at the laundry room ceiling made my arms and neck tired!

    The thing about viewing LOTS of projects is that it allows us to think about our own projects in a new way.

    “As always, thank you so much for CREATING Mobile and Manufactured Home Living!”

    1. Crystal Adkins says

      Thank you so much Suzanne! It’s always great to hear from you!

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