Categories: Guides & hacksHosting

9 DIY Ideas to Repurpose Old Wooden Pallets

Have a few old wooden pallets kicking around? Before you start planning the bonfire, check out these nine fresh ideas to repurpose them into cool features around your land. Most of them require nothing more than a few tools and some elbow grease. So before your summer guests start arriving in flocks, take a quick look. We’d bet at least a few catch your eye…

Wood pallet deck idea at Orchard Camping, CA by Ann Nguyen.

1. Build a low-cost deck

If you’ve been looking to add a communal space to your land, here’s your chance. Grab those old wood pallets and get to work building your ideal stand-alone deck. Whether you want more lounging space near the garden, or the perfect platform for your grill—wooden pallets are a super easy way for even novice builders to assemble a simple ground-level deck.

2. Create a wall garden

Have more plants than you do space in the garden? Time to put your wooden pallets to use. Stand them on their side and measure the spaces in between the planks. Find pots or use the plastic ones you bought them in, then arrange groups of small plants for the easiest DIY wall garden in history. Prop the pallet up against an existing wall or use additional pallets to secure it in place.

Goat with the Flow Farm, HI by Natalie Achaetel.

3. Design lounge seating

Cheap plastic chairs never seem to last, so instead buying new ones why not go with something a little nicer (that’s just as inexpensive.) Sand and paint your old wooden pallets to design customized lounge seating. Whether you want a few simple chairs or a large tanning bed fit for lazy summer days, the design possibilities are endless when it comes to working with pallets. For an extra bit of color and comfort, add in a few weather-resistant cushions.

4. Craft your own light installation

Nothing completes an outdoor space by night like a light installation. Fortunately, you don’t need tons of building experience to add this whimsical feature to your property. To get started, simply buy a few strings of battery-operated holiday lights rated for the outdoors.

Skip the ultra-bright ones in favor of those with warmer tones (trust us.) After cutting your pallet to the size you want, weave lights in and out of the pallet, attaching the battery pack against the inner wall of a plank. If you want something a bit more polished, you can also opt for single-bulb battery-operated lanterns, placed inside cut sections of pallets.

Photo by Nadia B. in Coyote Sunset in Joshua Tree, CA.

5. Build an outdoor picnic area

If you have an even bigger collection of pallets to work with, you might consider using them to build an entire picnic area. Assemble a few of them into low tables and use the rest to make wrap-around benches for a complete picnic set up your guests can enjoy. Go above and beyond by adding a fire pit and some twinkle lights to create that dreamy camping ambiance.

6. Add a swing to your porch

Have the perfect porch that’s practically begging for swing? Save time shopping for the right one and build your own! Arrange pallets into two long bench-size pieces for the bottom and back of your seat. Then take your measurements and purchase sturdy rope for the swing. Depending on how complicated you want to get, add in some armrests with drink holders (cup-size punched holes) or just stick to a simple porch swing painted in your favorite color with comfy cushions.

Wood pallet idea at Cozy Cabin Under The Stars, CA by Julie Weinzettl.

7. Create walkways

No one said you have to use an entire pallet all at once, so why not just pry a few boards apart and repurpose them into a walkway? Dig into soil just a bit before arranging your planks into pathways that lead to various campsites and locations around your property. If you don’t have that many pallets, just pry apart a few to create small in-ground platforms around campsites. Your guests will appreciate the extra surface space.

8. Add in a set of stairs

Another great in-ground install you can make with wooden pallets is a set of stairs. Have a steep path that sometimes gets too muddy and slippery after rain? A simple set of stairs might be all you need to make these places more safe and accessible for your friends and guests.

9. Build an outdoor shower

If you’re ready to take on an even bigger challenge, opt for an outdoor shower made entirely of pallets. Although we can’t give you a lesson in plumbing, the structure itself shouldn’t be too complicated with a few basic tools. Be sure to sand down your pallets in advance to make them splinter-free for guests and be sure they’re water treated against mold as well. Add in an extra foot mat, and a few small shelves for eco-friendly soaps and shampoos. Everyone loves an outdoor shower, but this one is sure to add in all that extra charm with its homemade appeal.

Stagecoach Cabin, CA by Julie Weinzettl

Inspired by these cool creations? Update your property with some re-purposed wooden touches, and get to hosting!

If you’re looking for more creative ideas for building structures and campsites to add to your land to enjoy and to help earn more income, check out The Top 7 Types of Campsites Generating Income on Hipcamp.

How to start earning extra money hosting campers on your land

Want to earn extra income to help pay for property taxes, home expenses, and future dream projects? Become a Hipcamp Host. (Use the promo code JOURNAL and get an extra $100 when you host your first Hipcamp guest.)

Writer and climber, living on the road since 2018.

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