I love my hometown. I really do. I know a lot of people dream about moving away to a big city and putting some distance between themselves and the place where they grew up. But I was excited to get a place of my own and start off in the comfort of familiarity. However, I found that my small town apartment posed the same challenge as a big city studio: no space. After all, I had a whole 24 years of possessions to fit into 500 square feet of living space. After a crash course in feng shui and a LOT of vacuum sealing, I still had a few finishing touches to make which could not take up a lot of room. Enter: the pallet.
Choosing the right pallet
Pallets are fairly easy to come by for free. I have had success finding them in the dumpsters behind grocery stores – yep, die hard DIYers go dumpster diving on the regular. Once you find a good pallet stash, you want to make sure your pallet is in good condition with no nails sticking out, no rotting areas, no spill stains, and preferably no strange odors. I always choose pallets that have been heat treated as opposed to fumigated. A good way to know if your pallet has been heat treated is to look for a stamp with the initials “HT” on the wood. If you see the initials “MB” on a pallet, it means the wood has been fumigated with Methyl Bromide. I’d recommend leaving it in the dumpster.
Overhead Pot Rack
Creating an overhead pot rack with pallets is a fantastic way to save shelf and cupboard space in your kitchen. It can be mounted to a wall and extend out over your work space, or it can be suspended from the ceiling to hang above an island. You can paint or stain the rack to add a nice accent to your kitchen space. And if your kitchen is not large enough to house a full-size pallet, you can cut it down to half or quarter-size if needed. Here is a tutorial from A Greenpoint Kitchen that helped me out a lot when I was making my pallet pot rack.
Pallet Wine Rack
This pallet project is my favorite space-saver for the wino in us all. I am still in the process of completing mine, but it should look similar to the one shown in this tutorial form The Kurtz Corner. I have decided to keep the vertical ends of my wine rack square rather than cutting a decorative curve into them. And I am applying one coat of dark red paint to the wood. Once the paint is dry, I will sand it down a bit to give the rack a rustic, yet colorful, appearance.
Pallet Coat Rack
This was definitely the easiest pallet project for me. I wanted a coat rack with some character that did not occupy any floor space. So this was the perfect solution. I simply cut my pallet in half horizontally so the long slats of wood run parallel with my ceiling and floor. Then I applied a light stain to the pallet and screwed in a few hooks. Voilà! If you don’t have a lot of horizontal wall space at your disposal, you can cut the pallet vertically so the long slats of wood run perpendicular to your ceiling and floor. This is just as effective, but creates a different feel for the wall area.