Pallet projects can be a handy hobby

In recent years, the trend of upcycling, or transforming unneeded or unwanted materials into new items or products, has become more popular. Unlike recycling, which is taking consumer materials like plastic, paper, metal, and glass and breaking them down so base materials can be remade into new, lower-quality consumer products, upcycling produces items of a higher quality than the original materials.

Wood pallet projects are an excellent example of upcycling. Such projects involve taking wood pallets, which tend to be used to stack, move and store stock, and turning them into amazing wood products. Often free for the taking, pallet wood has become a popular building material for do-it-yourselfers. This rustic wood already has an aged look and decorative appeal. Pallets are often made from leftover wood, and using them anew is an eco-friendly endeavor that can add flair to any project. The following are just a handful of pallet project ideas.

¥ Christmas trees: Start thinking ahead to the holiday season. Cut pallet planks into sizes that incrementally get larger and attach to form a triangular Christmas tree shape. Decorate with paint or other accents, and donÕt forget to place a star on top.

¥ Pallet planter: Make a planter box as big or as small as you like to grow flowers, vegetables or herbs. A narrow planter also can be hung on a wall to add flair to spaces indoors or outside.

¥ Swing chair: A pallet, a supportive back and some cushions can be used to make a swing that is fastened to the ceiling of a porch or even a tree.

¥ Wine rack: Turn pallet wood into a wine rack that also has a space to store wine glasses below it.

¥ Outdoor table: Top a disused table with pallet boards nailed or screwed to the top. Stain or clear coat them, and the result is a brand new table for gardening use or outdoor entertaining.

¥ Platform bed: Pallets can be sanded, painted and placed to form the base of a platform bed. Utilize more pallets to serve as a headboard attached to the wall or bed frame.

¥ Bench: Make a pallet bench that can be crafted child- or adult-sized. Use it inside the house or outdoors on a patio.

¥ Garbage container: Instead of generic plastic garbage pails, make a pallet kitchen garbage container that has rustic appeal.

¥ Backsplash: Give a kitchen some rustic appeal with a pallet backsplash. Cut boards into desired lengths and stagger on the wall. Leave the wood raw or seal it for protection against moisture.

Pallet wood can be transformed into many different projects, helping do-it-yourselfers stay busy at minimal cost. Go online to search for plans for building an array of pallet projects.