Pallet Wood Storage Box

In my wedding décor post, I mentioned that my husband and I had made a card/gift box out of old pallets. Now that its wedding duties are over, it works as a plant shelf, storage box, and cat fur collector!

pallet box 1_watermarked

There are some really cool things you can do with pallets. Just do a Google image search for “reclaimed pallet wood” and you’ll get tons of ideas. Another pallet project that I have in the (very early) planning stages is making a coffee table with one of my friends, kinda like this one

KSwoodcrafters coffee table

(from KSwoodcrafters on Etsy)

or this one

DIY reclaimed wood coffee table

(from house updated).

To make our storage box, we more or less followed this Instructable tutorial with a few modifications. The tutorial doesn’t include measurements, so you can decide how large you want to make it. I can’t remember the exact dimensions that we used… I think we decided on the size by lining up the boards and seeing what worked so that we could minimize the number of cuts we had to make.

Here is how you can make your own:

1) Find yourself some pallets! Check your local hardware/home improvement store or any transportation hub, like a trainyard. They are usually free to a good home. Now that I know where to look, I see pallets all. the. time. And I’m always talking myself out of picking more up, like a crazy cat lady who can’t stop adopting stray cats. Except with scrap wood.

2) Disassemble the pallets using a crow bar, and discard any broken boards. For a box around this size, you probably want 2-3 pallets depending on how many boards you have to discard.

pallet box 2_watermarked

3) Remove any nails/staples from the boards. Make sure you wear work gloves and be careful,  they are probably old and rusty!

pallet box 3_watermarked

4) Choose the straightest, sturdiest pieces for your frame. Measure and mark your cuts with a pencil.

pallet box 4_watermarked

5) Cut your frame pieces to size. After we did this, we also ripped the frame pieces in half lengthwise so they would be narrower than the rest of the boards.

pallet box 5_watermarked

6) Now you’re ready to assemble your frame! Make sure that everything at this step is straight and squared off, otherwise you might find that the boards are not straight when you assemble the sides of the box. Our frame does not look square, but the floors were actually just uneven. You will need 2 pieces like this, one for the top and one for the bottom.

pallet box 6_watermarked

7) Choose pieces for the sides of the box. Play around with the layout, since the boards will have slightly different colours/weathering. Measure and mark with a pencil, then cut to size.

pallet box 7_watermarked

8) Attach the corner boards of the box to the frame first.

pallet box 8_watermarked

9) Attach the rest of the boards to fill in the gaps. You may have to trim one or two boards to get them to fit.

pallet box 9_watermarked

10) Attach the corner trim from the inside. We also used narrower pieces for this step.

pallet box 10_watermarked

11) Cut triangles from some of the scrap pieces for the feet of the base, and attach to the bottom edges of the boards.

pallet box 11_watermarked

12) Drop in the base and attach to the feet. We used a scrap piece of pine board we had lying around for the base, but you could also make the base the same way the top is made below (then you wouldn’t need the triangle feet).

pallet box 12_watermarked

13) All you need now is a lid! Lay out pieces lengthwise and then use perpendicular boards on either side to screw them together (from the underside).

pallet box 13_watermarked

14) Attach trim pieces to finish off the top edges of the box. Use hinges to attach the lid to the back of the box. Before attaching the trim, you could also line the box with some fabric, which I’m thinking of doing eventually so that we can put throw blankets and such inside without worrying about snagging. My husband also attached some leather strapping so the lid could be held open.

pallet box 14_watermarked

pallet box 15_watermarked

15) Once your lid is attached, you can have some fun with different styles of handles and clasps. We just went with el cheapo nickel finish ones from Canadian Tire but you can play around with some different ones to get the look you want (the Instructables tutorial above did some neat stuff with adding a rusty finish to the hardware).

pallet box 16_watermarked

So there you have it! And to think that wood was just going in the garbage. I’d love to hear if anyone else has tried something similar… Have you ever repurposed something that was going to meet its maker? If you’re my husband, that time you rescued an oscilloscope from the dumpster and gave it a new power supply doesn’t count.



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  1. says

    A friend of mine created a ton of household pieces out of pallet boards and old wood. Her bedframe is one of my favourites. It’s GORGEOUS! She also made a wine rack out of pallet boards too. And used an old school wooden spool for cables for her coffee table.

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