DIY Storage Ideas That Use Recycled Shipping Pallets

27 March 2014 by
desk made from a wooden pallet

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

Pallets (sometimes called skids) are flat transport structures that hold goods stable while being lifted by a forklift or jack. The wooden ones in particular are ubiquitous and, if you know where to look, often free. If you happen to come across some free or cheap wooden pallets, here are some easy DIY storage ideas for making the most of these simple wooden throwaways.

The first set of tips uses the pallet itself, or large parts of it. The second set of tips uses the wood from the pallets. Keep your eye out for pallets and give them a try!

Whole pallets or pieces of pallets

Wine racks

Looking at the underside of the pallet, measure and cut off 10-12 inches, making sure that the side facing you has some material on the top and bottom to hold bottles. Attach a discarded board to the bottom to hold the bottles in place. Stain and hang on your wall.

Wall shelving

pallet reused as shelving

Photo courtesy of Creating for our Creator.

Place the top of the pallet against the wall and secure it with the bottom supports oriented horizontally. Voila! The support beams are now shelving.

Coffee table

Stack two or three pallets on top of each other and secure with nails or screws. Attach casters on the bottom, and then paint or stain a creative color of your choice. Top it off with a solid piece of wood or glass or leave it rustic. Books and magazines can be stored in the interior section.

Towel rack

Cut off the top ten inches of a pallet leaving one piece of the bottom slats attached. Affix a board to the open edge. Stain and attach hooks for towels. Hang in your bathroom for easy drying of wet towels.


The two side walls are made by taking two whole pallets and stacking them vertically, attaching with screws. Another pallet is used as the base. Screw the two walls into the base pallet and use a piece of plywood for shelves and a top and attach a rod to the side walls for hanging clothes.

Garage storage

Purchase four 2 x 4 s of your chosen height. Attach one two by four vertically to each corner of a pallet placed on the ground. At your chosen interval (18-24 inches) attach a new pallet to the 2 x 4 s till you reach the top. The end result should resemble a heavy-duty shelving unit from the hardware store. Be sure to secure a pallet to the very top for stability.

Kitchen wall hanger

Remove the bottom boards off of a pallet so that only the intact top slats remain. Hang on your kitchen wall. Install hooks to hang mugs and a small shelf from the discarded wood for knick knacks. Include nail pails to store fun things like straws or napkins.

(Easier) garage storage

If you truly have no interest in pulling apart a pallet, just screw one top side out onto the wall of your garage. Voila! A perfect place to stick anything with a long handle, such as brooms, rakes, shovels, and hockey sticks.

Firewood storage

First, determine how much space you have to store your firewood and how many pallets will fit, laid flat. Lay out your pallets and attach them together with screws. Attach intact pallets to the sides vertically, two-high if needed. Cover well with a tarp and you have a great place to keep your firewood dry and off the wet ground.

Rustic wood from pulled apart pallets

Break down five or six pallets to a stack of wood to tackle these more challenging projects.


By far one of the most popular ideas as there are hundreds of simple plans online. The wood already looks rustic and crates can be built quickly with just a few nails.


Utilizing some intact portions, but mostly independent wood slats, you can build a cabinet to meet your own specifications. Again, many free plans are available online.


pallet made into workbench

Photo courtesy of Dishfunctional Designs

Since the wood is free and already worn, it can be the ideal choice for building a garage workbench. Depending on your space availability you can even use intact pallets for the top of the bench.

Outdoor bench with storage

For the ambitious, you can use the wood from a pallet to build an outdoor bench with a flip lid for storage. A perfect, inexpensive option for outdoor entertaining.

From easy tricks to advanced craftsmanship, pallets are exactly what your home needs to help corral the clutter and showcase your handiness.

SSF Team

SSF Team

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