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Want to do your bit for the environment and upcycle some old materials? Our pallet ideas for gardens will give you plenty of inspiration. Wood pallets are commonly used in the retail industry to transport goods, but can often end up in landfills. This is pretty devastating considering the humble wooden pallet has so many uses — even after it’s fulfilled its job.
Yet recycling them can be one of the most affordable and effective garden ideas out there. From adorable planters to chic garden furniture, there are so many ways you can put a wooden pallet to good use.
Designer Nikkita Palmer has even written a book, Pallet Style, on the different ways these reclaimed wooden pieces can be used throughout the home and in the garden — and she’s shared some of her favourites with Ideal Home.
Pallet ideas for gardens and homes
1. Put together a low-level pallet table
There’s no denying that garden furniture can be expensive. So if you’re looking for a way to save money then why not consider making your own with recycled materials? You’ll get a lovely bespoke product and you’ll help the environment in the process.
Nikkita says, ‘Rustic low level picnic tables are very on trend for gardens and events. These can be made in several ways, either by simply stacking pallets on top of one another, leaving rustic or painting with garden paint (which you can now get in such a wide range of beautiful colours), or by using the pallet boards to make a specially designed piece.’
2. Knock up a pallet planter
Nikkita says, ‘This reclaimed pallet planter is made using a euro pallet (usually a piece that’s left over from other projects). Especially if you’re just using the pallet boards elsewhere, this is great for herbs – drill some drainage holes for bedding plants outdoors.’
‘We line ours with a durable plastic lining, but heavy duty garden sacks would also work inside.’
3. Display plants and tools on a decorative shelf
You’ve probably seen the indoor ladder shelves that have been all over Instagram the past few years. But have you ever considered taking the incredibly practical storage solution outside?
This pallet idea turns the humble structure into garden shelves for storing herbs, plants or tools. These shelves are also incredibly useful for gardening, as they can be used as a repotting surface, or for resting tools on.
Related: The RHS says sales of this outdoor accessory have soared thanks to new gardening trend
4. Hang a vertical pallet garden
Forget horizontal garden landscaping. Attach a few wooden pallets together and create a wonderful vertical plant feature.
It’s a lovely way to hang plants if you’re limited with space in your outdoor area, as many can be showcased within a small surface area. This means there’s more room to play with in the rest of the garden.
5. Or lay it on the ground
For a rustic container, lay your pallet on the floor. Angling it slightly will allow water to run down so plants won’t get waterlogged. Create a base beneath with membrane and allow plants to poke up between the slats.
Alpine and rockery perennials look especially beautiful in pallet containers and can bring gorgeous colour to a space. Try dianthus and phlox subulata, sedums and succulents as a starting point.
6. Craft statement lanterns
‘If you’re feeling creative and are a bit more advanced in pallet making projects, use the timber to create these wooden lanterns which are great outdoors, for all seasons and occasions,’ says Nikkita.
‘These can also be finished in a range of finishes, we love Osmo oil-tinted range.’
7. Build a pallet bench around a tree
Wooden pallets can be taken apart to create a little bench or seat, like this one nestled under a tree.
It’s a lovely way to draw attention to a statement tree in your garden, not to mention it’s a cosy little reading spot.
Related: From old bed frame to a smart garden bench – this free DIY job is inspirational!
8. Make a garden bar out of pallets
Whether it’s for a summer party of a sunny solo afternoon in the sunshine, a garden bar has so many uses. If you don’t want to splash out and buy one, you can make one yourself using durable wooden pallets.
Our handy guide shows how to make a DIY pallet bar for as little as £35.
9. Use pallets for a multi-functional cart
Looking for pallet ideas for entertaining? A multi-functional garden cart is ‘ideal as a potting table or for adding style to your BBQ set up,’ says Nikkita.
It’s also a gorgeous talking point for the garden, albeit a more complex build than a simple table of shelf. If you’re feeling brave, Nikkita offers a step-by-step guide on how to make one yourself in her book, Pallet Style.
10. Build a simple pallet sofa
Make the corners of your garden a little more exciting with a pallet sofa — made by combining two or three pallets to form the base and the backrest. To make this exact piece, just follow our guide to how to make pallet garden furniture.
Add cushions to go on top for a little extra comfort.
12. Take pallets to the next level with a corner sofa
You’ll need to prise your pallets apart to build this outdoor take on a corner sofa, and nail them to a wooden framework. But this classy look will take your timber to the next level. Invest in some chunky outdoor seat cushions for comfort and a more professional finish – no one would know it wasn’t a bought from a high-end store.
13. Add castors for a pallet coffee table
For this simple pallet ideas, you’ll need to cut a pallet in half, stack one piece on top of the other, then add offcuts of board on top for a cute mosaic effect. Nail and glue together and you have a neat little cotter or side table, which can be made mobile with castors. It can also be used to transport heavy pots around the garden, if needed!
14. Build a feature wall
Moving inside now, pallets can create some fabulous features. This particular pallet idea brings warmth to a sitting room and draws away from the problematic big black box that is the TV. It’s best to nail the pallet boards to a framework that’s easier to hang from the wall. You could also do this outside to cover an ugly garage wall, and grow climbers like clematis or jasmine up its grippy rustic surface.
15. Make a storage rack
Another pallet idea that can be tried inside or out, this handy wall mounted rack can be used to hold everything from bathroom lotions and potions to barbecue tools and condiments.
16. Sleep on a pallet bed
Pallets make an amazing bed that screams boho apartment living (although not too loudly, we are trying to rest, after all). Add castors for extra height and manoeuvrability. Your bedding choice will be crucial here, so be sure to pick one of our best mattresses for support.
Do try this at home! How to make your own pallet bed – a step-by-step guide
We’ll update this page with more great pallet ideas for gardens and beyond as we find them, so keep coming back.