7 clever ways to upcycle wooden pallets in your yard

Wooden pallet outdoor furniture
Wooden pallet outdoor furniture (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Wooden pallets have become a popular go-to for upcycling in recent years. And with its natural, rustic appeal, this makes the perfect building material for transforming into something new (or Instagrammable!).

Originally used as a transport to support and store heavy goods on, wooden pallets have quickly become a DIY-lover’s favorite. Plus, reclaimed wood is sustainable, eco-friendly, and pretty easy to use.

Nowadays, there are fun and creative ways to reuse and upcycle wooden pallets for your yard. In fact, you’re likely to find plenty of impressive ideas trending all over Pinterest and social media. 

If you don't want to go on the hunt for discarded pallets, it’s worth checking out hardware stores, grocery stores, or local shops that might be giving them away. Or else, wooden pallets are available to buy online like this Teak Tuning Wooden Fingerboard Pallet ($13, Amazon), should you wish to get your creative hat on!

So, if you’re looking for DIY inspiration however, check out these 7 clever ways to upcycle wooden pallets in your yard.

1. Pallet planters 

White wooden pallet planter

White wooden pallet planter (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you lack backyard space or want to upscale your balcony, why not transform your pallet into a planter? Simply stand your pallet upright, secure an anti-weed membrane/bag in-between the slats. This will create a trough to fill with your compost.

Next, stain or paint your pallet in your preferred color before filling the troughs with suitable compost. Once done, add your flowers or plants before wall-mounting the pallet securely with nails. 

Pallet planters are a great way to grow a vertical garden, and display your favorite plants. Plus, they will add vibrant color to a boring wall. If you can’t wall-mount your pallet planter, you can always lean it up against a wall instead. 

2. Vertical herb garden 

Wooden pallet herb garden

Wooden pallet herb garden (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Similarly, you can create a vertical herb garden to display your aromatic collection. Whether you're growing fragrant rosemary, basic or mint, a pallet herb garden will make a unique addition to your backyard. 

Following the above steps, you can even label or paint the names of your herbs onto the wooden pallet — making them easier to identify. Plus, you'll have an endless supply of fresh, homegrown produce to pick and add straight to your meals!

Just remember to avoid these 7 mistakes when growing herbs, and if you want more tips check out these 7 best plants to grow on a balcony.

3. Picnic setting 

Wooden pallet picnic setting

Wooden pallet picnic setting (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you’re dining outdoors, hosting a backyard BBQ, or a special occasion, wooden pallets can make a handy, outdoor eating concept.  In fact, a picnic seating area is one of the more popular ideas often trending on social media. 

Simply lay out one of the best outdoor rugs on the ground, before placing several, wooden pallets in the centre of the rug. This will become the main table to place your delicious, outdoor feasts. You can decorate with a linen tablecloth, centrepiece of flowers or other table accessories to make it look glam.

Then you can simply place large, comfy cushions around the table area, for guests to sit around.  This is a stylish, cozy alternative to a picnic setting, and keeps food and drink off the ground.

If you want to create more space, check out these 7 clever ways to make your backyard look bigger (without moving house!).  

4. Cozy outdoor furniture 

White wooden pallet chairs

White wooden pallet chairs (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to take it one step further, you can create rustic-looking outdoor furniture. This could include a simple table, palette armchairs or even a corner sofa. You can get as creative as you like!

All you’ll need are a few tools such as a handsaw, drill, sander and a tape measure. If in doubt, there are plenty of tutorials online with guidance on how to create specific pallet outdoor furniture. 

Pallet sofas are ideal for creating seating areas in your backyard, where you can add some plush cushions or warm blankets to snuggle under during summer evenings. In fact, palette outdoor furniture could really give your backyard a makeover, without costing a fortune. 

While most wooden pallets can withstand sun and a light drizzle in the summer, it’s best not to leave them outdoors for a long period of time. Or if necessary, keep covered with a suitable waterproof/windproof sheet. 

5. Raised garden bed 

Wooden pallet garden bed

Wooden pallet garden bed (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want low-maintenance gardening, wooden pallets are great for raised garden beds. Elevated garden beds are actually more beneficial than beds in the ground, as the soil will have better drainage and more daylight.

To build a simple pallet box, pull out eight pieces of wood from the top part of your pallet. Place four pieces of wood on the ground facing longways, making a large box with short walls. Then, place one bracket on each corner of the box, before securing them to the wood with nails. You can opt to weatherproof/paint it in your chosen color before filling it up with compost. 

What’s more, you can customize your palette garden beds to suit your backyard style, and add character.

6. Pallet coffee table 

White wooden pallet coffee table

White wooden pallet coffee table (Image credit: Shutterstock)

For those after a unique coffee table with rustic charm, why not make a wooden pallet table? Depending on the height you need, simply place one or two pallets on top of each other or you can add legs. If you want more portability, you can swap out the legs for wheels instead, to easily move it around indoors or even outdoors. Then you can stain/paint your coffee table to match your interior style.

As with most pallet outdoor furniture, you have the versatility to design it exactly how you want to suit your home. Other ideas include placing a glass on the surface, creating extra storage or adding stylish runners/tablecloths. Custom pallet tables are a great inexpensive, and modern addition to any home. 

7. Pallet hanging storage 

Wooden pallet hanging storage

Wooden pallet hanging storage (Image credit: Shutterstock)

We can never have enough storage, and wooden pallets can make excellent storage solutions. Best of all, it only takes a few minutes to do, and fuss-free. 

Simply attach hooks onto the pallet before securely mounting it on a strong wall. 

These pallet shelves and racks can be used to store bathroom accessories, towels, kitchen utensils, books or even a neat picture display. What’s more, this is a creative, rustic way of displaying your belongings. 

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!