At OR we are motivated by the endorphin rush of a home improvement idea that can be successfully tackled on our own. Rather than simply purchase what we desire or hire a pro, we enjoy the humorous mishaps and feeling of accomplishment that go hand-in-hand with DIY, so we prefer to test the limits of our abilities first. Plus, YouTube makes anything seem possible!

When these projects involve the creative use of surplus materials otherwise destined for a landfill, we tend to get a little carried away. This week we [literally] stumbled over endless uses for an abandoned hay pallet after an encounter with one led to a near face-plant and bruised ego. In a fit of revenge-induced research, we were assuaged by a raised planter for the patio, a wall-mounted coat and hat rack, a dog bed, a garden bench, and more. And yes, the idea of wood pallets as functional decor may raise a brow, but remember that clever design touches, generous paint or wood stains, and pretty hardware can be transformative.

Some of us are wrestling with excess wood pallets from spring deliveries to the farm, but if you’re not, local nurseries, lumber yards, feed supply, and hardware stores are more than happy to part with their discarded inventory (translation: free!). Most pallets measure four feet square, so it helps to determine in advance just how many you’ll need for a particular project. Lastly, pallets usually take a beating, requiring some examination of the quality of wood.

Check out some of the inventive solutions that we have gathered and shared below. Or if you’ve already pursued a pallet project of your own, send us an email with a photo and your Insta handle for a chance to be featured on the OR ‘gram.

A simple way to grow and display herbs, while adding ambience to al fresco dining.

A comfy cushion, a bit of personalization and — voila! — furniture for Fido that competes with pricey catalog designs.

We found a variety of coffee tables with practical features such as wheels for outdoor mobility, and glass surfaces for an indoor polish.

Add some wall-mounted organization to an entryway or tack room.

A wood pallet lighting feature adds the right amount of rustic chic to a renovated farm house, and the mason jars complete its repurposed appeal.

We were struck by the ingenuity of this interior design concept.  Move over, shiplap!

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