7 Unique Small Wood Pallet Projects For Your Home And Garden

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While wood pallets have become nearly synonymous with DIY farmhouse décor — thanks to their rise to fame as inexpensive project wood during the ongoing era of Pinterest — they aren't just craft supplies. These simple wooden platforms are the key to storing the mass-produced goods that keep today's economy running and easily moving them with modern forklifts. Nearly every factory and warehouse you could possibly come across undoubtedly contains pallets — which is exactly why they're so readily available and inexpensive (or even free) as DIY supplies.

The internet has become so saturated with pallet projects that it can be difficult for a beginner to figure out where to start. While it's nice to know that you could potentially furnish most of your home with large, complicated designs for pallet wood furniture, those can often feel very intimidating. If you'd prefer to start small, take a look at this curated list of reasonably-sized, simple home and garden DIY projects for the wood pallet newbie.

Craft a working wall clock

Building your own wall clock out of pallet wood is not nearly as complicated as you might expect. This makes it a wonderful candidate for a first-time pallet project that will leave you with a beautiful handmade décor item you can either display on your wall or give away as a meaningful creative gift. The basics of the project are very simple. You'll need to remove a few pallet boards, connect them using a couple of smaller support boards in the back, and cut them to the desired size and shape of your clock. Decide whether you want to attach, paint, or stencil numbers on, or leave the clock blank and minimalist.

Once you have your basic shape, you can simply grab a clock component kit for less than $8 on Amazon, install it, and be done with it. You can also put in a lot more time and energy and create a much more intentional piece of art — it's totally up to you. If you'd like to put some extra effort into shaping, staining, painting, and distressing your clock, consider taking inspiration from woodworker Chris Pine on YouTube

Construct a simple wall-mounted console table

A small, wall-mounted console table in an entryway can be invaluable when it comes to having a convenient place to keep items like car keys and wallets. Going out to find one in the exact size that fits the space you have available and checks your style preference boxes, however, may not be the most realistic of goals. Fortunately, pallet wood is readily available in most areas, which means you can build your own to your exact specifications.

Start by cutting your pallet down to the desired size so you can use it as-is for the base of your table. Paint, stain, or seal the base and attach a simple board cut to the desired size to serve as the tabletop. This is where your style can really shine. Try a white base with a rich wood-toned top for farmhouse chic or get whimsical with a rainbow base supporting a metallic gold tabletop. Once the table is assembled and both parts are painted, stained, or sealed to your liking, attach it to the wall using drywall anchors and decorate your console table to your heart's content.

Build a giftable mug display rack

If gift-worthy wood pallet projects are what you're looking for, consider putting together a rustic mug rack for the coffee or tea lover in your life (even if that person happens to be yourself). First, you'll need to cut your pallet down to about a quarter of its original size, creating what will look like a smaller-sized pallet. Then, decide on a décor style for your piece. If you're going for a clean, Pinteresty vibe, consider white paint with black or gold hooks and details or stenciling.

Looking for a more boho feel? Paint each board a different jewel tone and add some distressing around the edges with sandpaper. Add hooks and lettering or detailing in brass or rose gold. Attach a bracket for hanging to the back of the rack and your masterpiece is ready for either gifting or hanging. A trip to the local thrift store to hunt for more quirky and adorable coffee mugs to display is optional, but highly encouraged.

Create a rustic command center

A home's command center is where its household members share and display shared events, responsibilities, plans, and even simple messages with each other. It might consist of nothing more than a simple whiteboard, or it could be an elaborate, decorative display of calendars, lists, meal plans, emergency contacts, and more. If you're looking to create a command center with at least a little rustic decorative flair, pallet wood is the perfect solution — especially if you'd rather not pay up to $200 for a similar handmade item.

Simply remove a few pallet boards, cut them down to the desired size, and bring them together into a base sign by screwing them into a couple of small backboards. Then, choose and attach your adornments. Perhaps you'd like a dry-erase calendar and a corkboard or chalkboard. Maybe you know your family will likely lose writing utensils immediately, so you'll need to attach a tray or jar for markers or chalk. The project is fully customizable and can also be stained or painted and stenciled to your heart's content before hanging. 

Hang cute miniature pallet signs

Full-sized pallets have become so popular as various types of home décor that you can now even purchase adorable, purely decorative miniature versions of them from retailers like Dollar Tree. If a full-sized project involving screws and saws feels a bit intimidating to you, try starting with a miniature pallet project instead. Head to your local dollar, craft, or department store and grab yourself a few miniature pallets and some twine.

All you need to do to create a small hanging sign from each miniature pallet is screw two holes into the top board, then loop through and tie a piece of twine. If you'd like to add some extra style, you can stain, paint, or distress the pallets before attaching the twine. Next, use a paint pen to write on the sign. Try using plant hangers to hang the signs as labels for your garden rows or hang one as a welcome sign for your shed's door.

Make your own custom coat rack

Ample storage for outerwear is a rare commodity in most modern homes. It isn't uncommon for coat closets to double as linen or broom closets, leaving coats, cardigans, and hoodies to be tossed over chairs and forgotten. Purchasing a rack for extra coat storage isn't a particularly inexpensive option, especially if you'd like the item to be customized to match the style and color palette of your home. Fortunately, wood pallets are abundant and easy to upcycle.

To create your customized coat rack, simply cut down a wood pallet to two or three boards tall. Then, remove one of the side boards to use as a shelf top. Attach the shelf board to the top of the partial pallet and the base for your coat rack is complete. You can paint, stain, seal, distress, hand letter, or stencil your piece any way you'd like. When it matches your home and your vision perfectly, install a row of evenly spaced hooks of your choice. Once your rack is hung on the wall, style it by adding small decorative touches like potted succulents and tealight candles to the shelf top. 

Cover your ugly radiator

Buying or renting a home that relies on radiators for heat can feel a little disappointing for those who place a high value on personalized aesthetics. There is nothing like a wood pallet, however, to serve as a free or inexpensive way to cover a radiator while also working towards curating the exact home décor style that you desire. 

First, locate a wood pallet that isn't severely worn. Once you have your pallet, remove the back to create an open cover. Remove one of the pallet's unused boards and attach it to the top of the cover as a shelf. Before placing the cover over the radiator, ensure there is open space between each board to allow the heat to escape. If the boards seem crowded, remove them, set one or two aside, and then re-attach the rest with even and ample spacing. Paint or stain the cover to meet your desired aesthetic and place it over the radiator. As an added bonus, the shelf can serve as a wonderful home for heat-loving houseplants, as long as ample lighting is provided.