Recycled Pallet Bookshelf

I found the pallet before I really knew what I was going to do with it. It looked quite new, despite the fact that it had been thrown out. It wasn’t broken in any places and the slats on top of it were nice and close together.

After much deliberation I decided to turn it into a bookshelf, with a little inspiration from Ana at Knock-off Wood. I didn’t want to mess around with cutting it up, so I used the legs to make 3 shelves. This was an easy project, but it did take me a while to find all of the pieces I needed to make it. It is completely recycled, the main frame is a discarded pallet and the hidden shelves are from the backing of an old broken IKEA bookshelf I found in the basement (hoarding broken furniture comes in useful sometimes).

First of all I sanded the whole pallet down with an electric sander to remove nicks and splinters. Then I stained it a dark brown to match the rest of our furniture. I measured and cut the bookshelf backing to size, after the stain had dried I used wood glue to attach the hidden shelving. The legs of the pallet weren’t exactly even, so while the glue was drying I tied the backing to the pallet legs with twine to keep them in place properly.

After letting it dry overnight, here you have it!

The perfect shelf for my cookbooks!

I’ve spotted some more pallets out with the rubbish at the high school nearby to my apartment. I’m very tempted to liberate them and turn them into outdoor planters. My husband has vetoed me turning anymore pallets into indoor furniture, I can see that in my excitement it could get a little too much to have a house full of pallet furniture.

Posted at Metamorphosis Monday, hosted by Between Naps on the Porch and

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  1. Oh I love it!!! You did a fantastic job!
    And it fits so nicely in that little nook too!

    Just a thought – you could probably create these and sell that at the local thrift store on consignment – I know I would totally buy one for my home!

    I’ve linked my name/URL to a post where I talk about Junkin in Germany — and my husband’s similar thoughts on “If it doesn’t have two uses – please don’t bring it home!” 🙂

    • I love Junkin’ out here. There’s an apartment building about 10 minutes away from us that always throws out a real mountain of stuff! I normally just go for the scrap wood though.

  2. Oh, I love it! It’s REALLY cute.
    And seems like it was easy to do…

    Hmm… I guess I’ll be keeping my eye out for some pallets around here. It’d go really well in my living room.

    • Yes, it was totally easy! Very little cutting involved, just the supports underneath for the books to sit on. You could really use anything for that too, I toyed with the idea of chicken wire for a while or even fabric stapled on.

  3. Go, you! I love me a handy lady! The bookshelf has such charm, I love it!

    Just to share a little TMI with you that you probably have no interest in, I designed a chair that I want to market and sell. I have no idea where to start of what to do. All I have no is a mock up in cardboard. Oh, and it’s a modern design which is out of my usual context. And I have a complete line designed (in my head). Are you happy you know all that now?
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..You’ll have to excuse me while I tend to life. =-.

    • No, I love it! I have a little notebook full of various designs for furniture, clothes etc. Most of them never make it to the real world though I have to say. I used to work for a large furniture retailer in the UK (Habitat) and I loved looking at their designs and working out how I’d make it myself! They used to sell a mirrored end table that I’d still love to make.

      I’m not sure who you’d have to contact to market something like that though, perhaps send in a sample to a company like you would if you were trying to get writing published?
      .-= Satakieli´s last blog ..Recycled Pallet Bookshelf =-.

  4. that looks adorable. . .I need one of these in my kitchen!! very creative!

  5. I am SERIOUSLY liking this. I have access to all kinds of pallets and I’m still on the fence about what I want to do with them. I really love what you did and where you put it. Terrific job.

  6. What a fantastic idea! My husband has to stop me from going crazy with my DIY projects too. It’s easy to get carried away isn’t it!!

    Personally I think they’d made great outdoor planters, or even a great stand for dirty boots and shoes outside…. ooooh now you’ve got me thinking….

    .-= Jill´s last blog ..Safety pincushion with storage =-.

  7. Oh my gosh that is so cute!! I’m your newest follower…. we bought a house last year and have no money currently to do it up and decorate but I am collecting all of these ideas for the future!!! 🙂

    Your blog is so cute! Stopping by from SITS.
    .-= Emma Hughes´s last blog ..Our trip to Scotland =-.

    • Thank you!

      We don’t really have the money to spend on decent furniture either, we’ve been lucky so far and thrifted most of it or just bought something cheap from IKEA. We’re a single income military family… so yeah… not rich!

      You should go and look at the website I linked, I’m making a few of her designs right now, they’re turning out so well and I’ve never built furniture before! It works out so much cheaper too.
      .-= Satakieli´s last blog ..Recycled Pallet Bookshelf =-.

  8. Wow that’s seriously awesome you rock! Stopping by from SITS to say hi, also I’m doing a give-away on my blog so stop by and leave a comment to win!

  9. LOVE this… I always see piles of pallets sitting behind home depot and think they need to be repurposed into furniture. This is such a great use of one!
    We have a Friday Fun Finds linky party… we’d love it if you’d link to this. 🙂
    .-= kirstin´s last blog ..friday fun finds: this weeks features! =-.

    • Thank you! I added your link here and hopped on over to your blog to join the link party!

  10. We’ll be featuring your fabulous shelves tomorrow… come on by and grab a button (and see if you won the giveaway! I haven’t drawn yet, so even I don’t know- haha!).
    Thanks for linking up!
    .-= kirstin´s last blog ..totes for teachers =-.

    • Thank you! I have something else i put together to put in the linky tomorrow too, looking forward to browsing through everyone elses stuff!

  11. That’s a brilliant idea, and I’m glad you found use for it. 🙂
    I have a stack of unwanted things hanging around for that purpose; to be re-used into something that’s usable again and again.
    .-= Ana Goncalves´s last blog ..A shade of depth =-.

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