10 Pallet Furniture Ideas

Updated: Nov. 20, 2023

You won't believe these rustic furniture pieces are made from pallet wood! We've collected our favorites.

pallet wood palletswitaya ratansirkulchai/Shutterstock

Is It Safe To Use Pallet Wood?

You can make lots of cool things with upcycled pallets, saving money and resources, too. But take care when choosing and using them, as pallets can be contaminated by what was stored on them, where they were used or how they were treated, editor and publisher of Pallet Enterprise magazine Chaille Brindley says.

What does safe pallet wood look like?

Opt for non-marked, plain, untreated wood pallets, or those with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) stamps DB (debarked), HT (heat treated), KD (kiln dried) or EPAL (European pallets that have been heat treated). And be sure to break your pallet down safely, too.

Look out for these things when choosing pallets:

  • Suspect stains. Mold, bird dropping, chemical stains and signs of a pest infestation are all reasons to think twice.
  • The ISPM stamps MB or EUR. Both indicate the potentially harmful fumigant Methyl Bromide (MB), commonly used to treat pallets. (EUR is an old stamp meaning Europe, used at a time when MB treatment was common.) While there’s no proof MB-treated pallets offgas, Brindley says, many DIYers prefer to avoid it, to be safe.

Can I treat a pallet to make it safe?

Maybe. It depends on what it was contaminated with. Sanding and using bleach may eradicate e.coli from produce or bird droppings, but pest infestations or chemicals are potentially deeper in the wood. Then, an impermeable finish like epoxy may—or may not—help.

Use is another consideration. You may feel more comfortable using pallet wood you’re unsure of to make a bike rack, but less so for a kitchen table.

When in doubt for any reason, skip, says Brindley. Better safe than sorry.

1 / 10

wooden Cabinet
Courtesy @xwenchyx/Instagram


When building pallet furniture, you can preserve the shape of the pallet (if it fits your design) or disassemble it and use the wood. @xwenchyx built this beautiful cabinet the latter way. The modern style contrasts nicely against the rugged imperfections of the pallet wood. Clear varnish protects the wood.

2 / 10

Kids dining table in backyard
Courtesy @vals_woodwork_creations/Instagram

Kids’ Table Set

This kids’ table and chair set by @vals_woodwork_creations was made entirely of pallet wood. Kids love furniture sized just for them, and using pallet wood saves money. However, we don’t recommend pallet wood for dining tables because it can harbor chemicals, mold and more.

If you seal and protect the table with a finish specifically for outdoor wood, it should be safe for kids to play cards and board games or create crafts.

3 / 10

wooden coffee table
TMB Studio

Coffee Table

Although it doesn’t look like it, this elegant hardwood coffee table with a modern flair was built with wood from a couple of hardwood shipping pallets.

This isn’t a beginner project. It requires a table saw, circular saw and drill press, among other tools and materials. But the resulting table is a beauty! If you’re up for the challenge, check out the full tutorial.

4 / 10
@nursewhogolfs Why spend $1000+ on patio furniture when you can build your own fo free?! #homeproject #lifeathome #quarentine #diy #palletproject ♬ Roses (Imanbek Remix) – SAINt JHN

Outdoor Sofa

This outdoor sofa by @nursewhogolfs is easy enough for a pallet wood beginner. Simply sand pallets, stack to form the base and attach pallets to the rear for back support. Seal and protect the wood with a clear outdoor finish, add no-fade cushions and voilà — instant outdoor sofa.

Check out the bonus matching dog bed in the corner, too!

5 / 10

Outdoor Bar

Watch as @charlotte.r.b_ transforms two wood pallets into an outdoor bar. One full pallet forms the front piece, and the two halves of the second pallet make up the sides.

A bar can be a great permanent fixture in your outdoor space, or pulled out for events and parties. Take it a step further and attach a shelf on the interior to hold bottles, glasses and ice.

6 / 10

Wooden headboard
TMB Studio


Although most wood pallets aren’t up for grabs, chances are local businesses in your area have some they’d like to dispose of for free or a reasonable price. Just be sure to ask permission before stocking up.

Here’s how to turn ugly shipping pallets into a beautiful, refined reclaimed wood headboard. You’ll need three pallets for this advanced project.

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Outdoor Coffee Table
Courtesy @my_tiny_terraced/Instagram

Outdoor Coffee Table

Here’s another coffee table project, this one for beginners. Simply secure two pallets stacked together, sand and paint.

The paint job makes this table so appealing. @my_tiny_terraced used three colors, along with the raw wood, to create a modern geometric design. Create your own custom pattern with painter’s tape, then seal with outdoor polyurethane.

8 / 10

Porch Swing
Courtesy @_adams_acres/Instagram

Porch Swing

Need a cozy place to enjoy your morning coffee? Turn your wood pallet into a porch swing, like @_adams_acres did, with the help of a small mattress and outdoor pillows.

Be sure to securely fasten the swing to solid framing in the porch ceiling. Use oversize chain (3/16- or 1/4-in. thick) with welded links for good looks and safety.

9 / 10

Dining Table

Watch as @morleykert transforms a wood pallet he found on the side of the road into a gorgeous designer-level modern dining table.

After disassembling the pallet, he uses the boards to form the round top and the runners to create the legs. He demonstrates some advanced woodworking techniques, including steam bending a piece of oak to form the tabletop border.

Note: Here’s more on steam bending.

10 / 10

No-Tools Bed

This pallet bed from @tea.at.shiloh was made entirely without tools!

Simply lay four pallets on the ground and layer on pieces of plywood to support the mattress. Add the mattress, bedding and pillows, and you’re ready for a good night’s sleep. Install strip lighting inside the pallets for a cozy ambiance.

About the Expert

Chaille Brindley is a journalist who has has covered the pallet industry and business for more than 25 years. He is editor and publisher of Pallet Enterprise magazine.