How to Make a Bookshelf from Pallets

Wooden pallets are typically used for logistical purposes. They are loaded with goods and then stacked onto trucks or containers for more efficient shipping. However, sometimes companies end up with a pile of pallets that they have no use for.

Fortunately, the creative among us have come up with a variety of ways that we can reuse wooden pallets in and around the home. All it takes is a bit of DIY knowhow and the right tools, and an old wooden pallet can be transformed into something like outdoor furniture, a cute herb garden, a coat rack, or even a bookshelf. In this article, we will talk about how to create a stunning bookshelf from old pallets.

What Do You Need?

The main thing you will need is a couple of old pallets in good condition, but you should also have the following tools and wood:

  • tape measure
  • hammer and/or crowbar
  • nails
  • drill/driver
  • screws
  • sanding machine or sandpaper
  • 2 x 4” timber
  • 1 x 4” timber.

Steps to Follow

The first thing you need to do is to dismantle the pallets. Turn them upside down and remove the bottom boards with the back of your hammer or a crow bar. You need to be careful to ensure that you are removing the boards in one piece. The experts at Devour Tools say that you could use a reciprocating saw fitted with a metal cutting blade to cut through the nails if you prefer. Keep the boards to one side as you will need to use them.

Place the two pallets (without the bottom boards) end to end. You will need to cut 4 x 12” pieces from the bottom boards to attach the two pallets together. Place the pieces you have cut on the inside of where the pallets join each other and screw them in place. You will need one cut piece of wood to join the outer sides of the pallets and then one on either side of the inside board. You should now have one long pallet that can be placed against a wall.

Place the pallet against the wall at an angle and adjust it until you are happy with it. When you have it in place, you will need to measure from the inside of the bottom of the pallet to the wall and then cut two pieces of the 2 x 4” timber in this length. These cut pieces of timber should be placed inside the bottom of the pallet, along the outer runners. You should then screw them in place.

When you have these boards in place, the pallet will stand securely on the floor, and you can start attaching some shelves. To do this, you will need to cut some supports and attach them to the front of the pallet. Use the 2 x 4” timber to cut the supports. Make sure they are the width of the pallet, minus 1.5 inches as this will ensure the shelf has an overhang at the ends. Attach the supports with screws from behind.

Cut your shelves from the 1 x 4” timber and attach them to the supports, screwing them in place from the bottom of the supports. Repeat this step depending on the number of shelves you want. Once finished, you will need to sand any rough edges and paint the shelf or leave as is for a rustic finish.

Be sure to attach the top of the book shelf to the wall to prevent it from tipping forward. This is especially important if you have young children or pets.

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