You’ve seen them, I’ve seen them, we have all seen them. Pallet projects! I am in awe of the creations that can come from shipping pallets. The construction work seems so easy and the actual woodworking and tool requirements seemed minimal so I figured I could pull off a pallet project. I also thought it would be a great way for my husband and I to work on a project we could both enjoy. I love it when he has input on our decor decisions. We have been needing a coffee table for quite some time so I started looking around at all the pallet projects for a nice tutorial. I pinned all my favorites here.
I set off to gather my supplies.
I rescued 4 wooden pallets. I destroyed a lot of pieces and ended up taking apart 3 of the 4 pallets.
Some tool to take apart the pallets. I used a hammer and a flat screw driver.
Sander and/or Sandpaper
If your design requires cutting, you may need a saw or a rotary saw.
The pallets I found were in decent condition so I got to work right away, tearing them apart. All of the DIY pallet table posts made it seem so easy, but when it came to dismantling the merchandise, it was far from easy. I worked up a sweat pounding the hammer trying to wedge the screwdriver in between the two boards.
In frustration, I asked my husband for his help which he agreed to (even on a Fantasy Football Sunday). He took a try at it and confirmed my suspicions, that it wasn’t just me, but it was a difficult task! In the end, we had a lot of pieces split, but were able to salvage enough for our table.
Once we had taken apart the pallets, we began to set them out to try figure out what sort of design we liked. We decided to create a cubby underneath our table for a little extra storage. We were hoping to create a piece that could store a few extra couch blankets. After we decided what pieces we were going to use, we figured out what size these pieces needed to be. I’m not going to go into details about this, but it’s like putting a puzzle together. Sketch your design and write down measurements as you go.
Then, the fun began! I started sanding and sanding and sanding. I am well aware of the need for sanding and it definitely makes the piece look more finished. I did leave a few pieces un-sanded that had bark on them because I liked the natural edge it created.
My poor sanding job didn’t fly with my husband. He is meticulous about his work (I love this about him!) and told me that if we were going to make a coffee table, that he wanted it to be a great coffee table. So, I moaned and stomped back to the deck and continued sanding for a short while. Then, I went back inside and pleaded for a orbital sander. I had been sanding with my Drexel tool which has a circumference of a Dorito and the power of a toddler. He agreed and found a Skil sander that had been refurbished on Amazon and got a killer deal on it. Thus, the project was on hold for 3-7 days.
Things got real serious after Mr. Skil showed up. I whipped through the sanding like it was cake batter and my work was approved.
I was finally able to begin staining. I never thought this day would come. As I stained all the different pieces, I noticed really unique patterns emerging. The marks that run horizontally are from their original cuttings before they were made into pallets. Each piece had it’s own character.
After I had them all stained and my staining was approved, I laid them out placing them where they would ultimately end up. I used small pieces of tape and lettered them so I could keep them in order.
I then, added on the side pieces which included the legs and then set the bottom on top of the side pieces (it sounds weird but keep in mind it’s upside down).
We cut shorter pieces to create a cubby.
I asked my husband if it looked OK and we agreed that we liked where each piece was. Each piece was labeled and then we took it apart so we could start screwing the pieces together.
First, we assembled the side pieces with the legs. We did all our screwing from the inside or the bottom so the screws would be concealed when the table was in it’s upright position. My husband did the screwing (what!?) and I was there for support, holding pieces together.
After we had the side pieces put together, we laid the top pieces out on the floor and then attached the side pieces.
In true form, he spaced the screws evenly across the support pieces for added support. Once we had the side pieces attached, we added the bottom pieces or the cubby bottom and screwed them on.
After he was satisfied with all the screw placements, we flipped it over and admired our creation!
We were so excited that we completed this project together and were still on speaking terms.
We asked Archer if he approved :
It’s not your best work, but it will do.
He has high standards, being French and all.
Have you tried a shipping pallet project? We are thinking of possibly doing another, but for the amount of work we had to put into taking the pallets apart, we might just buy cut wood!