So you want to make that crafty pallet project that you saw on Pinterest, but you just don't have access to any pallets.
What's a person to do?
Make your own!
Follow these easy steps to make your own homemade pallet, and you'll be ready to make your own pallet-based projects in no time!
Step 1: Materials
Pallets come in all shapes and sizes.
This is a very simple design for a 32-inch square pallet that is five inches tall.
This only requires three standard 8-foot framing studs ("2x4s") and a box of 2-inch nails.
You will need a hammer, a saw suitable for cutting 2x4s (hand saw, circular saw, miter saw, etc.), and ideally, a band saw (for ripping boards in half across the width to make the slats).
Step 2: Initial cuts
Begin by cutting each of your three 2x4s into three equal pieces (each should be just a bit less than 32 inches long).
Step 3: Create slats
To make the slats, we need to cut six of the boards in half across the width.
I first marked a line down the middle of one edge on each board indicating where to cut, and then cut these in half on a band saw.
Step 4: Attach bottom slats
The three remaining boards will become the middle support pieces which are called "stringers."
Fasten three slats to the stringers as shown to create the bottom of the pallet. Use two nails through each location as shown in the photos.
Step 5: Attach top slats
The top slats are fastened in the same manner as the bottom ones.
However, you have some aesthetic options here.
You can use all of the remaining nine slats for a "full deck" pallet . . . or eight, seven or six, depending on what you think looks more "pallet-ish."
I was going for the "classic pallet" look, so I went with seven evenly-spaced top slats. (The remaining two slats were not needed to make the pallet, so they were thrown away.)
Use nails to fasten the top slats in place, and you're done!
Step 6: All done!
Pretty easy right?
Now stand back and admire your homemade pallet!
Optional step: For a more complete pallet look, you may want to weather it a little. Toss your pallet around, slide it in and out of a truck bed over and over, or even leave it out in adverse weather for a while. This will all increase the character and true-to-life-ishness of your homemade pallet.
Step 7: Disassemble
When you are ready to harvest the material from your pallet, get out a hammer and a crowbar.
One of the major benefits of making your own pallet is that they are much easier to take apart than their commercial counterparts. Simply pry off the slats and remove the nails.
Occasionally a board may split in the process. But that's all part of the challenge when working with pallets, and is to be expected.
Step 8: Now make something awesome!
You now have a pile of pallet wood that you can use to make some crafty thing!