Give your home or garden an additional layer of rustic charm with an easy table project made from salvaged pallets.
So you’re inspired to make something for your home, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on fancy wood. Or you’re passionately committed to green living. Work with recycled wooden pallets instead of new building materials. Pallets can be taken apart, combined, stained, painted, and fixed up to create low-cost furniture, planters, artwork, and more. All you need are enough pallets to do the job, some basic tools, and enthusiasm.
Your deck becomes an even cozier conversation spot with the addition of a rustic coffee table. You’ll need two matching pallets sized to create your desired design. The standard-size pallet is 48×40 inches; but you may prefer 48×48, or even 96×48-inch models.
Many businesses that receive deliveries on pallets will give them away to avoid paying for removal. Always ask first and explain what you’re doing. Because they come into contact with all kinds of things, not all pallets can be repurposed. Pallets with an HT mark have been heat treated to kill pests and bacteria. Check for mold and mildew. Pass on any with stains or odors, which can precede rotting. Inspect the pallet for solid construction then, scrub it with bleach and soapy water before using.
To make the coffee table shown here, start with two same-size pallets (ours are non-standard 53×28 inches each). Cut four 4×4-inch blocks of wood. Carefully paint with latex or one-step paint; the better the paint coverage, the better your outdoor furniture will stand up to the elements.
Screw one 4 x 4-inch block to each corner (in between the two pallets, as shown) to add height and provide shelf space. Add heavy-duty casters to the bottom of the table.
Complementary colors bring deck furnishings to life. A hot orange tray sizzles on the vivid blue table. It corrals decorative items on the table but it’s also useful for carrying drinks or nibbles out onto the deck when entertaining.
Give your painted pallet coffee table a tropical background with lively and colorful patterned outdoor fabrics. We made cushion covers in an orange botanical print to jazz up basic white canvas sofa cushions.
Perky pillows provide softness, color, and additional pattern on the sofa and the Adirondack chair on the other side of the table. The globe pillow is made from all the fabrics used on the deck. When stuffing handmade pillows for outdoor use, opt for a pillow form made for outside use or employ non-absorbent and mildew resistant polyfiber; water will flow right through the cushion and drain and dry quickly.
A mosaic side table makes an artistic addition to the furnishings while also encapsulating the color scheme.
Harmonize the furnishings, fabrics, and surrounding garden with potted plants on the deck. Choose a mixture of flowering and foliage plants along with a good-size tropical or two. Ground the entire grouping with the texture of a woven rug made from natural fibers such as sisal, coir, or jute.
We made this small storage crate from pallet wood. It’s handy for stowing outdoor pillows on the deck, carting entertaining supplies from the house, or stashing items to carry into the garden. See more crate ideas in our next post.
© Caruth Studio