Crates and pallets are designed to protect valuable cargo in transit. When they’re built using quality fasteners, like SCRAIL®, it seems a shame to just destroy them after they’ve reached their destination. Finding new life in traditionally discarded items is extremely popular these days. Here are seven ideas on how to repurpose crating and shipping materials instead of throwing them away.
- Tables. Whether it’s a coffee table for the breakroom or a patio table for your back porch, an upside-down shipping crate makes a great table base. Clean off the crate and sand down any rough edges or protruding fasteners. If you want to take it to the next level, stain or paint the wood and get a glass top cut to fit.
- Inside Storage. If you have smaller shipping crates, turn them on their side and stack them against the wall like building blocks. Each crate can act as a storage nook for books, office supplies, and decorative objects. You can stack a variety of sizes as well for a more architectural look. If you only have access to larger crates, you can install shelves inside them. Get bonus points for making the shelves out of recycled pallet planks.
- Outdoor Storage. Finish your crate as you would for a table – sand it, remove loose fasteners, and stain or paint it. Then, add hinges to the lid of a crate so that it can be opened with ease. Add casters to the bottom so it can be moved. You can use it to store patio cushions, and it can double as a table. You can also use the inside storage suggestion of turning them on their side, but stack the crates in your garage for garden supplies and yard tools.
- Wine and Bar Storage. Pallet repurposing has gained a lot of popularity in the last decade. Turn the pallet so it is standing vertically on its side. Cut the top quarter off, this is the piece you’ll use. Remove the top front plank board, leaving one forward facing plank on the lower half of the rack. Attach the plank you removed flat to the bottom of the structure to create a base. Finish the piece with sanding and staining. Mount it to the studs in a bar or kitchen area. You can store wine and liquor bottles in it. If you want to take it to the next level, cut the pallet to a third instead so there is an additional shelf. Cut U-shaped grooves into the bottom plank before attaching. These grooves can then be used to store wine glasses hanging upside down.
- Stadium Seating. If you’re thinking of adding a home theater in your basement, maybe you’d like to add stadium seating to make movies a real experience. Lay a grid of 6 pallets on the floor. Stack four more pallets in a layer starting from the back. Then finish with two on the top row. You can add long cushions from any home store to make them comfortable.
- Bench. Lay a pallet flat on the ground. Cut it in half in the direction of the planks. Stack the halves to your desired bench height and secure them together. Now, stand a single pallet vertically against the back of the seat to create a back of the bench. Secure with quality fasteners, like SCRAIL®. Finish as you prefer and add cushions to the seat.
- Everything Else. If you deconstruct pallets, you can use the wood for any home building project from flooring to furniture construction. There is no limit. There is an art to taking them apart, but you’ll get the hang of it after a few tries.
Crates give a modern, industrial look to any space and hardly cost anything. Crates and pallets are built to hold up, especially when they’re built with best-in-class fasteners and tools, like those from FASCO America®, and that makes them ideal for small construction projects. Repurposing well-made materials is a smart way to reduce your impact on the environment while getting custom built furniture you can enjoy.