8 DIY Survival Projects Out Of Wood Pallets

Recycle is the word for today, so let me provide you with some deep insights regarding the benefits of wood pallets in your DIY survival and prepping project.

There are 7 days in a week so I’ll give you seven cool ideas about wood pallets and what you can do with them on these long, boring winter nights (besides burning them in the oven) plus a bonus that will take up a little more than a week but it’s guaranteed to spark your interest.

You probably already know what wood pallets are, but just in case, let’s touch on that briefly.

Basically, wood pallets are used as structural foundations for unit loads that allow handling and storing the loads in an efficient manner. They’re largely used under shipping containers and they’re usually regarded as disposable materials.

That’s one of the main benefits of using wood pallets for DIY projects because you can get them for free in certain places like hardware stores, furniture and equipment stores, feed and pet supply stores, newspaper companies, construction sites or even on Craigslist or other internet sites.

I think you’ll have better luck getting them from small companies or businesses that don’t use a specialized recycling company to get rid of their wood pallets (for a fee, remember that!). Basically, by going and picking up their wood pallets for free, you’re doing them a favor and saving them money.

With the wood pallet supply figured out, the rest depends on your skills, desires and patience.

Let’s get going!

Project 1 : How to Make a DIY Coffee Table Using Wood Pallets

Yes indeed, you can build your own furniture out of wood pallets. Okay, maybe not all of your furniture but at least a coffee table..

So, what do you need for building a coffee table using wood pallets? Well, let’s start with these:wood pallet Kitchen Storage Ideas

  • Pallets themselves (about three of them)
  • A hammer
  • A chisel
  • A nail remover
  • A circular saw
  • A chop saw
  • A drill
  • 4 clamps
  • A 5/32 inch drill bit
  • 2 ½ inch wood screws (a dozen or more)
  • Wood glue to keep them together at least for a while

There’s a written step-by-step manual right here and also a cool video below about the DIY part of the project. If you have the skills and the patience, go for it and send us a picture with the end result.

Video first seen on DIY Ready | Projects & How To

Project 2 : Make a DIY Coat Rack Using Wood Pallets

Compared to the previous DIY project, this is one of the easiest jobs around involving wood pallets, both in terms of tools and time involved in the process. Just watch the video below and start digging for wood pallets! The tools required for the coat rack are basically the same as in the DIY coffee table job but the process itself is less complicated.

I’d start with this one to be honest, especially if you’re an inexperienced carpenter. Success does build confidence, you know.

Video first seen on Joe Lydic

Project 3: Build a DIY Cooler Box Using Wood Pallets

Okay, here’s a cool project, literally, that uses wood pallets for building a cooler box. You must start with breaking down the pallets into individual planks, buy yourself some beer, get the tools nicely stacked together and watch the video tutorial.

If you’re actually building the cooler, you may want to skip drinking the beer until you’re done – it can be the first thing to go in your new cooler!

Video first seen on Beach Bum Livin

The idea behind the cooler project is to create a rustic wooden frame for a plastick cooler box, using just wood pallets and some basic carpenter’s tools.

Project 4: DIY – Build an Interior Wall Using Wood Pallets

This is a very interesting idea – using wood pallets for an interior wall. The main advantage to this kind of DIY project is that you can insulate your house both acoustically and thermally, by using dirt cheap materials (aka wood pallets), thus saving lots of money in the process.

Wood is an excellent insulating material, both against sound and heat exchange. Your house will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter and  your bills will be cut down significantly if you do the job properly. Also, this is a relatively easy DIY project.

For optimal results just watch the video below and calculate how much money you’re saving using wood pallets for an interior wall instead of, let’s say, tongue and groove.

Video first seen on Parvel Lusk

Project 5: Build a DIY Fence Using Wood Pallets

Wow, picket fences for your garden using wood pallets! Where do I sign? Here’s another awesome idea for using wood pallets.

If you’re not ready to spend lots of your hard earned dollars on materials and professional workmanship for  your picket fence, just take a look at the detailed tutorial below and you’ll see how easy it is to build your own fence from wood pallets.

This is another easy job for your free weekends and it doesn’t require much but basic carpenter tools and a bit of semi-skilled labor.

Video first seen on TAFishing

Project 6: Build a DIY Garden Planter Using Wood Pallets

The next project in my bag of tricks is entitled “how to make a rustic wheelbarrow garden planter”. Of course, terms and conditions apply; one of them is owning a garden or at least a small yard, in the first place.

They’re also nice on a smaller scale to place on your porch with a small flower pot in it.

Take a look at the tutorial below and you’ll be able to build yourself a garden planter just by using wood pallets and elbow grease during a weekend. Yes, it’s that easy. Like the best things in life, this is an absolutely free of charge project, since you don’t need anything other than wood pallets.

Video first seen on Steve Ramsey

You can take a look at the detailed plans and blueprints right here; follow them closely and you’ll be the proud owner of a decorative  planter for your garden, all your neighbors will envy you and you’ll add some mad carpenter skills to your prepping skills. That’s priceless!


Project 7 : Build a DIY Tool Tray Using Wood Pallets

Here’s my last idea for using reclaimed pallet wood for DIY projects that are actually meaningful. Basically, you’ll take a wood pallet, strip it down and transform it into a tool tray. How cool is that?

This is a relatively complicated DIY project because it involves using some pretty high-tech tools, like a thickness planer machine. But even if you don’t have one, you can rent one or borrow one from a neighbor who owns one (that’s better because it’s free of charge). The machine is required for getting the wood pallet boards planed down and equalized into similar building blocks for your tool tray.

Just watch the video-tutorial below and if you think you’ve got what it takes, start DIYing!

Video first seen on Bill Van Loo

8. BONUS Project: Affordable Housing Made From Shipping Pallets!

Slumtube wood pallet homeDesigners Andreas Claus Schnetzer and Pils Gregor have improved their original design of shipping pallets housing with an even lower-cost type of shipping pallet home that was completed five years ago in South Africa.

The ‘Slumtube‘ utilizes discarded pallets along with other local materials like clay and straw to make an insulated and affordable home that can withstand the extremely hot and cold temperatures of Johannesburg. You can find more about their project and get an idea on how to turn shipping pallets into a home on Inhabitat.

If you have other thoughts or ideas about how to repurpose wood pallets, don’t hesitate to share them in the comments section below, or send your story and pictures on [email protected].

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

Written by

Chris Black is a born and bred survivalist. He used to work as a contractor for an intelligence service but now he is retired and living off the grid, as humanly possible. An internet addict and a gun enthusiast, a libertarian with a soft spot for the bill of rights and the Constitution, a free market idealist, he doesn't seem very well adjusted for the modern world. You can send Chris a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • My husband and I scavenged large oak pallets years ago from the rock plant and built our lunge ring and first tractor shed out of them, 18 years later, they are still doing the job! Great ideas, love the interior wall.

  • Most companies that import stuff from China get it on Plywood pallets, because the regular wood has been a source of Asian Boring Beetles getting into the US. Since the plywood has been processed the beetles are killed off.
    It’s not the greatest plywood but If you need plywood its usable.