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Shipping pallets may be junk to some, but they are a treasure trove for DIY enthusiasts. They are a free or extremely cheap and widely accessible source of wood for countless projects. Wood pallets make excellent material for designing your living spaces on your terms and well within budget. Instead of shopping for new furniture, nab some wood pallets and create your own. Give your home a makeover with these simple ideas. Little or no woodworking experience is needed.

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Sandbox

Let your children dig into loads of fun with a sandbox in the backyard. Wood pallets let you design a self-contained sandbox that doesn’t require digging. You can even build a lid to keep out debris and form two seating areas when folded up. Convert the sandbox into a little lounge deck with an umbrella.

sandpit ElenaNoeva / Getty Images
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Picnic table

Upcycle wooden pallets into a stylish and durable picnic table. Cut out the center of a pallet to create the two benches. Form and place the tabletop with the pallets you removed and some pressure treated boards for legs. Put a contemporary spin on your picnic table with a thin, smooth glass covering.

picnic table Guillaume / Getty Images
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Playhouse

With a few pallets, you can construct a playhouse for a lifetime of backyard memories. Select five pallets as close in size as possible, a few boards for support, a plywood sheet, and a waterproof canvas. The plywood will form the floor, and the canvas will become the roof covering. Use a saw to cut out as many windows as you desire.

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Porch swing

Salvage some pallet wood to build your own porch swing. All you need is a pallet, some lumber, a weather-resistant rope, a mattress or pillows, and tools. You can build a simple swing without a back support. However, it is easy to construct a back at any angle you wish to sit comfortably.

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Vertical garden

Pallets are a prime bedding ground for a flower or edible garden. Build it to rest against a wall or create a modified garden with feet. In this case, avoid pressure-treated wood as it may leach potentially toxic chemicals into your plants. It’s important to consider the weight of a full, watered pallet when choosing location and hardware that can support the vertical garden.

vertical garden panchof / Getty Images

Bed frame

A homemade bed frame of pallet wood can be a healthy addition to bedroom decor: research suggests that sleeping low to the ground is beneficial for circulation. A pallet frame also fits perfectly in a minimalist scheme. Build a simple platform for a mattress with two or more pallets side by side and stacked atop each other. Secure them with zip ties or brackets.

platform bed kinemero / Getty Images

Dining table

Wood pallets can make beautiful, rustic furniture for inside spaces such as dining areas, too. Start with an old door of the desired size and strip it. Fit planks from a few pallets along the width of the door and sand them. Fasten the planks on the door from behind, then finish. Another industrial, chic option is to sand and stain one large pallet and attach metal legs on wheels to it.

dining room Aleksandra Zlatkovic / Getty Images

Coffee table

A custom coffee table could be just what your living room needs, and wood pallets can make light work of building one. Select two small pallets or cut a large pallet into two equal sections. Stack the pallets or sections and screw together with 3-inch screws. Make it mobile with caster wheels on the bottom.

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Pallet bench

Turn oak or pressure-treated wood pallets into a bench that complements your porch or patio. One large, 48-inch x 42-inch pallet can make the back and seat, and a slat can form the armrests. Attach 2 x 4s for legs or attach caster wheels to effortlessly move around your backyard. It’s also easy to construct a simple bench without backrests or arms.

recycled make sit on bench OceanProd / Getty Images

Lounge chair

Sit back and relax with pride in saving money and building your own patio lounge chair. One large pallet, some self-tapping screws, and a little effort provide sturdy seating for indoor or outdoor use. Cut the pallet into two sections, one slightly larger than the other to form the back and seat. Make short legs from any leftovers from separating the sections. If desired, attach wheels with brakes.

deck chairs rootstocks / Getty Images

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