15 Places To Find Free Pallets Near You

Though many may see pallets as simply a necessary tool to help with transporting particular items, akin to cardboard boxes or other packaging, crafters or DIY enthusiasts view the simple wooden item through an entirely different lens. To them, pallets can be the starting point of a wide variety of projects, providing budget-friendly raw materials if you're ambitious, or even a base to work from, if you're still not fully comfortable with full woodworking. Either way, there's a good chance you've added a few ideas to your Pinterest board that involve pallets — as Simple Most demonstrates, whatever area of your home you're looking to revamp, there's likely a pallet project out there to inspire you.

So, where exactly can you find them for free? After all, many businesses are likely just tossing them out when they're done or discarding them in some way — so why not put them to good use by giving them to someone who will offer them a new purpose? With all the creative ideas percolating in your head, here are 15 places you can start searching for free pallets to get your projects started.

1. Bars

As Packaging Revolution suggests, bars can be a great spot to find free pallets — after all, they get shipments of tons of heavy bottles and cans that need to be transported somehow. While you definitely don't want to swing by in the middle of an evening rush, consider stopping by during the slower afternoon hours to ask if there are any pallets available. Plus, if you're looking to create a home bar out of pallets, there's just something poetic about obtaining them from your local watering hole.

2. Pet supply stores

Pet stores or pet supply stores get constant shipments of bags upon bags of heavy food for the various creatures they serve, and these often come on wood pallets, as 1001 Pallets explains. As a bonus, if you have pets and there's a particular spot you go to for their food, you might even have a relationship established that could make the ask easier — after all, if the owner sees you coming in regularly to support their business, they might be more inclined to set aside a few pallets for you from their next shipment.

3. Furniture stores

In your search for free pallets, furniture stores should definitely be a spot to check, as Packaging Revolution suggests. Many get those large pieces shipped to the store on pallets and will have a surplus that they may be willing to part with, if they don't already have a recycling or disposal system in place. An added bonus — furniture isn't the type of item that might drip or soil the pallets in any way, so this could be a good source for projects where you want the wood to shine in its natural state.

4. Distribution centers

While many stores and businesses can be a good source for free pallets, you may also want to consider going right to the source. As The Balance Small Business reports, sometimes distribution centers will have pallets that may not be quite the right shape or have some type of issue where they're not the right fit for the purpose at hand. However, they could be perfect for you — ask if they have any they'd be willing to part with.

5. Small businesses

While you may assume big businesses would be the best source for pallets, as they get large volumes of shipments, that actually isn't always the case. As Old World Garden Farms explains, larger companies often already have a system in place for how they recycle or dispose of pallets. Thus, you may have more luck with small businesses — if there are any spots you regularly frequent, consider asking if they can earmark the next few pallets they may have for you. Who knows, they just might be grateful to have an easy way to get rid of them!

6. New businesses

If you happen to know of a new business that opened in an area you frequent, consider stopping in to ask if they have any pallets they'd be willing to give away, as Old World Garden Farms recommends. After all, they had to get all their stock and various store furnishings in somehow — chances are, pallets were used for at least some of that process, and they may have a surplus they're looking to get rid of.

7. Construction sites

If you happen to know of a new neighbourhood with plenty of new construction going on, or even spot a construction site on your regular route, you may want to stop and ask if they have (or will have) any pallets available, according to Do It Yourself. These spots need to bring in plenty of materials, and often at the end of the process, they simply burn any extra pallets or materials they don't need and can't use again — they may very well be willing to part with them for free if you ask.

8. Hardware stores

It may seem strange to ask hardware stores for what is essentially free wood when they actually sell wood products within their store. However, like many businesses, they get plenty of items shipped in on pallets, and likely have plenty on hand at all times. Plus, as Money Pantry explains, hardware stores deal primarily in dry goods, so the pallets are likely in good condition. As an added bonus, you can pick up any other supplies you may need for your project in the same stop.

9. Online marketplaces

There are so many online marketplaces available, from Craigslist to Facebook Marketplace and more, and they can be a great spot for finding free pallets, according to Money Pantry. Yes, people are often there looking to sell things for a small profit, but often they just want to get rid of something without having to take it to the dump. You can browse listings to see if anyone is offering free pallets, or you might even consider placing an ad, on the off chance that someone is looking to have some pallets taken off their hands for free.

10. Hobby and craft stores

If you're looking to source free pallets for your projects, chances are you're a crafty or DIY-savvy individual who already knows where to find the hobby and craft stores in your city. Like many other businesses, they receive plenty of items shipped on pallets. And, like with hardware stores, there's the bonus of being able to conveniently purchase any additional supplies you need for your project. There's just one thing to be mindful of: as WAH Adventures recommends, check to see if there are any paint spills or similar issues with the pallets.

11. Grocery stores

Since they're dealing in perishable wares, grocery stores get a seriously high volume of shipments; many come on pallets, making this a great stop for anyone in search of free pallets. Two tips for this spot, though. First, as WAH Adventures suggests, try your local grocery stores rather than large chain spots. And second, make sure to examine the pallets — you don't want any that have substances like spilled milk, mold, etc.

12. Gardening stores

If you're someone who has a massive green thumb, you probably know where various garden stores are in your city — and as Weekend Craft suggests, they can be a perfect spot to score free pallets. Sure, you may have to brush off a little dirt, but isn't that worth it for free materials? And, if your pallet project of choice is a hanging garden or planter beds, for example, you can even pick up the plants and other materials in the same stop.

13. Liquor stores

Liquor stores, like bars, get shipments of plenty of heavy bottles and cans, and thus just might have a surplus of pallets they'd be willing to part with, according to Packaging Revolution. Just make sure you're not selecting any that have been victim to spills — not only will a beer-soaked pallet ruin your crafting experience, moisture like that could potentially damage the wood (via Pallets).

14. 1001 Pallets Facebook page

Yes, we've already recommended checking Facebook Marketplace and other online selling spots for pallets. However, as The Saw Guy recommends, you may also want to check out the 1001 Pallets Facebook page specifically, particularly if you live in a large urban area. The page has a free map that details various free pallet "spots" for many cities that could make the searching process much easier.

15. Curbside

This particular area recommended by The Saw Guy involves a lot more luck than the other spots, but there's no denying that it can work. Basically, when you're going around on your errands, just keep your eyes open — often pallets will just get tossed by the curb for pick-up, or in back alleys, etc. However, you'll always want to double check by asking the nearby business whether you can in fact take them — don't just presume they're available for free.