Upcycled Rustic Pallet Planter

Upcycle a used pallet into an oversized, rustic planter you can put to work outside this fall.

Pallets are a delivery and storage staple for goods, from big retailers down to the smallest of small hardware stores.

Pallets are used over and over again; when they’re done being used it’s not uncommon to find them up for grabs.

Once the pallet has been taken apart, they can be turned into just about anything. As you start your outdoor fall makeover list, try making a simple pallet planter that’s practically free to add to your outdoor decor.

Not sure where to find a pallet? You’ve got a few options. Local businesses, such as hardware or grocery stores, often offer pallets to customers for free as a way of recycling. Other big stores make pallets available at a small price. Check with a store near you to see if any pallets are available. You can also try sources such as craigslist, or neighborhood message boards.

Supplies Needed

  • large pallet
  • outdoor screws
  • outdoow wood glue
  • circular saw
  • drill
  • hammer driss
  • chop saw
  • measuring tape
  • marker

To get started, remove all the planks from the pallet using a circular saw.  Make sure to look for any nails or debris while making your cuts. After cutting, inspect each plank for any nails that should be removed.

Once all the planks have been cut, remove the leftover plank pieces to be able to use the 2x4 piece that supports the pallet.

It’s time to decide what size you’d like your planter to be. Pallets come in different sizes; a smaller pallet will yield a smaller planter. For my planter, which used a larger pallet, I cut the base planks to 17” long, so I created three sets of three planks to create the base bottom and two shorter sides. I then cut two sets of three planks that were 20” long.

Planter base: Stack your base pieces together and take the measurement for the length and height. Cut two 2x4s to match the height measurement.

Place the bottom planks on top of two of the 2x4s. Apply a liberal amount of wood glue and position into place. Pre-drill two holes in either side of the plank and then add 1.5” outdoor screws with a hammer drill.

Take another measurement between the two side 2x4s and cut two more pieces. Add those pieces and screw into place to create the planter base.

Finish the base by turning it over and adding the shorter side pieces to the base first, then the longer pieces.

Add corner reinforcers to your base to give the planter stability. Stack three planks together to calculate the finished height of your planter. Next, cut 4 2x4 pieces to that height. Add wood glue and drill into each corner using two 1 ½” screws on one side and one 2 ½” screw on the other.

To add sides to your planter, add wood glue to each corner reinforcer and add your set of three planks. Pre-drill each hole and then secure using your hammer drill and 1 ½” screws.

Add handles to your planter to help move it. Using a 1/2” drill bit, add two holes to opposite sides. Thread your rope through and tie a tight knot on the inside of the planter.

Embrace the used look of your planter by selecting planks that may be chipped or slightly off in size. The idea is to make this a rustic planter full of upcycled charm.

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