Recycled Pallet Projects, Part 1: Modern Art for the Home

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Shipping Pallet Paint (at least two contrasting colors) Paint Brushes Sponges L-Brackets Drywall Screws

This is the first installment of our Recycled Pallet Projects series.

Walls are the new refrigerator.

You can't take a step into our home without seeing a piece of our family's creative gene. From paintings to sculptures, every piece carries with it a story or memory immortalized on our walls. The challenge we faced early on, however, is that although we love our kids and their creativity, we really did want to present a modern design in our home that would appeal to everyone.

Enter our first pallet project. Inspired by colors on a vase we found at a large retailer (mint blue and fire orange), we began to brainstorm.

Step One

Get your shipping pallets. This is as easy as a phone call. Talk to some neighbors or the cashier at your local grocery store. Someone you know will work somewhere that is always discarding pallets. I got mine from a nearby plumber.

Step Two

Choose your color scheme - whether it's paint you already have or colors you need to purchase. You will need at least two contrasting colors: the base coat, and an accent color(s).

Step Three

Get painting. Lay your pallets outside on a large sheet or even just on your lawn. Paint the entire pallet one solid color. Now comes the fun part if you're doing this project with kids: open up each of the paint cans and tell them to have fun. Go traditional and let them use paintbrushes. Or, let them use sponges, toys, or tree leaves and branches to dip in the paint and apply varying textures onto the pallets. Get messy with them. The crazier, the better.

In an hour or two you will have a centerpiece for your living or dining room that both you and your kids can both be proud of. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing and modern, but it has sentimental value because you created it as a family. And, your kids will think you're the coolest because they get to see their artistic creation take center stage in the house.

Step Four

I learned how to hang the pallets on the wall by trial and error. Don't underestimate how heavy pallets are. Although the weight is fairly evenly distributed, the majority sits about 6 inches from the wall, making the strain on the nails more pronounced. To help with the weight you'll need L-brackets and drywall screws. You'll want to counter the weight-bearing brackets with weight-holding brackets. In other words, put a couple on the bottom pushing up against the pallet as well. It is probably not necessary, but it makes for a secure installment that you don't need to worry about.

If possible, hang the pallet where there are wall studs. Use the drywall screws where you don't have access to a wall stud.

And, there you have it - a new piece of art for your home and a couple hours of quality time with your kids. Best of all, everyone will think you've spent a few hours at a gallery picking out your new artwork, until you break the news behind your creative genius.