While the main use of wooden pallets are to transport goods to other places and protect the contents being shipped, they are increasingly being used for much more. Now many people are buying or repurposing wooden pallets so they can construct everything from mini-homes to furniture with them.
Repurposing Pallets For Home Projects
The main advantage of using pallets in construction projects is that it eliminates the need to purchase lumber. As a precaution always use gloves, eye protection, and protective footwear when handling pallets to avoid splinters. You should also sand pallets thoroughly before repurposing.
The simple construction of wooden pallets makes them easy to reuse as modern day eclectic furnishings. Pallets are versatile and extremely strong. They are capable of supporting a metric ton in weight--that's 2,205 pounds. This strong weight bearing capacity allows for projects that are both artistic and durable. For example, wooden pallets make perfect patio furniture and office desks after they have been sanded, varnished and painted.
Pallets and the Eco-Friendly Movement
The eco-friendly movement is here to stay, and more businesses large and small are beginning to recognize the financial benefits of going green. Consumers are already aware of the value of the green movement and are increasingly demanding a wide variety of sustainable goods from retailers.
Habitat for Humanity currently retails a pallet bench for $180 made from recycled wooden pallets. Sales from recycled furniture like the pallet bench fund the organization's charitable work.
How to Get Recycled Wooden Pallets
A market research report available from IBISWorld indicates that pallet prices are rising. A workaround for suppliers who want to keep costs down for wooden pallets is diversifying their operations by distributing used or recycled pallets at reduced costs. Additionally, wooden pallets go unused at some manufacturers.
While there is no limit to what you can do with your pallet repurposing project beyond your imagination, here are some examples of what others are doing to get you started.
Pallet Sectional Sofa
You can use pallets to create a wooden frame for a sectional sofa in only 3 to 4 hours. Side pockets for books and magazines come standard issue, and the some designers place lights beneath the cushions to provide a modern feel without detracting from the natural earth tones and simple design of the overall piece.
Graham & Co. Platform Bed
This bedframe represents minimalist living at its best. The company that designed this platform bed is located 2.5 hours outside New York City in the Catskills; check out some of their designs here.
Pallet Flat Screen TV Holder
Instead of purchasing expensive flat screen bracket holders that can cost as much as $350.00, why not reuse a wooden pallet? Paint it to match the interior of your living room, or leave it natural.
Pallet Outdoor Furniture
Available from Etsy, this keepsake trunk is completely made from pallets. The wood from the pallets in this project has been left natural, but you could also stain your project with a beautiful finish.
Pallet Wine Rack
This beautiful wine rack made from reclaimed pallet parts adds rustic beauty to your home or local bar.
Pallet Pet Bed
For the animal lovers out there, you can customize a heat treated wood pallet for your dog or cat. Have your pets recline in style in their own custom pet bed that actually adds to your home's style.
You can find many other ideas for pallet projects on the Canadian Wood Pallet and Container Association’s Pinterest account.
The Final Word on Eco-Friendly Furniture
Contrary to popular belief, custom designed eco-friendly furnishings for the home do not have to be expensive. All of the furniture featured in this article is made from reclaimed or new pallet parts. Most of the designs are fairly simple to assemble and put together.
A huge part of preserving our environment is as simple as using what is available. Pallets are indispensable in the supply chain management process. Wooden pallet based furniture is parallel to the growing green movement and is completely biodegradable and aesthetically attractive. These are just some of the many incarnations transforming pallets into furniture. The eco-friendly niche market for the home and office furniture market is growing every year.
So if you don’t mind using a little muscle and creativity the abandoned pallet located at your local dumpster can be repurposed to fit any design need out there. Pallets are simple, functional and accessible for work projects and best of all, they can be turned into some pretty fancy furnishings for your home.