What are the Different Uses for Recycled Pallets?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

With everyone looking for ways to develop a green lifestyle, the idea of making use of old pallets has become a popular approach. Pallet recycling is a great way to repurpose wood and plastic that would otherwise end up in a garbage dump. By using recycled pallets in simple building projects around the house, it is possible to save a lot of money and help the environment at the same time.

Recycled pallets can be dismantled and reused to make a garden shed.
Recycled pallets can be dismantled and reused to make a garden shed.

Homeowners can easily use recycled pallets to build doghouses for their favorite friends. By collecting several used pallets made of wood, it is possible to disassemble each pallet into usable sections that can form the walls and roof for a basic A-frame doghouse. Even the nails used in the original pallets can be used in the new construction, which further reduces the cost for the project.

A doghouse is not the only type of building that can be constructed using recycled pallets. It is also possible to design and create extra storage around the house. For example, it is possible to build a pallet shed that is ideal for holding lawn or garden equipment. The harvested wood can be augmented with framing and a few shingles from a local building and supply store. With a little paint, it will be very hard to tell the shed was created using harvested sections of wood.

Another example of pallet building involves using the recycled pallets without dismantling the components. Using wood or plastic pallets, it is possible to create a simple but practical chicken coop. The pallets are joined using wood glue and nails to form the walls and roof for the edifice. It is even possible to use old pallets to construct a ramp for the chickens to enter and exit the coop.

Different types of hobbies can also be employed to make use of recycled pallets. Artists can create primitive art objects by painting directly onto the harvested planks. Woodworkers can use etching tools to create rustic signs for use on mailboxes or house numbers with those same planks. With the use of a hobby saw, the planks can be trimmed to make planters or small storage boxes. It is even possible to cut the sections into small geometric shapes and create country-style holiday ornaments.

The range of uses for recycled pallets is only limited by the imagination. Ideas for craft projects as well as some building projects are available at hobby shops as well as a number of online craft sites.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@Oceana – Homemade items are extra valuable, especially when you have no money to buy things. My dad used to be great at whittling wood, and he made our toys from the wood of used pallets.

He would work on our toys a little while each day until they were ready. I know that he loved working with wood, because that was all he did in his spare time.

He carved my brother and I several little people in different positions to play with. He made us some little logs that we could stack on top of each other and build log cabins with, and he made wooden animals as well. My brother and I were able to construct an entire farm from the woodwork.

We're all grown up now, and we kept every one of these wooden toys. We have them on display in a curio cabinet. I think that if someone were to rob me of everything I own, those toys would be the thing I would get most upset over losing.


I moved into a house that had a door missing on one of the bathrooms. Since the walls and floor were made of wood and looked antique, my husband decided to build a bathroom door from a few old pallets.

He used the wood and nails from pallets we found in the barn on the property. He cut the planks into small sections and nailed them together, rather than using long planks that would run from the floor to the door frame. This gave the door a unique look.

We knew that a new door from a store would have looked really out of place in this old house. I'm glad we found the pallets, because we saved money and got the appropriate material.


My family didn't have much money when I was a kid. We didn't have any Christmas tree ornaments, so we had to make our own.

My mother got an old pallet from behind the grocery store that they were going to throw away. My dad had a saw, and he told us that if we would draw shapes on the wood with a pencil, he would cut them out for us.

We drew simple angels, stars, and candy canes. These were crude wooden ornaments, but we spruced them up with paint. We sanded them first, and after applying the paint, we sprayed on some clear varnish.

To this day, these are my favorite Christmas ornaments. Getting to create them with my sisters when we had nothing made them special.


I make birdhouses out of old pallets. My husband works in a warehouse, and I always tell him to bring home any pallets the company wants to get rid of so that I can cut them into usable pieces.

After I started building birdhouses, I was surprised to find that there was a high demand for them in my neighborhood. I set up a stand in my front yard and starting selling them every Saturday.

Though I probably could have afforded new wood, I hate to let anything go to waste. To me, it's much better to save a tree when I can.


My husband has many hobbies and woodworking is just one of them. He is always working on some kind of project, so wood never goes to waste around our house.

He uses wood pallets to transport honeybee hives, so there has been more than once when he has used wood from pallets for another project he is working on.

This usually involves something else to do with his honeybees. Since he makes all of his own hives and covers, there is always something he can use this recycled wood for.

If it comes to the point where there is absolutely nothing he can build with it, we use the small strips of wood for kindling for our fireplace.

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