DIY Storage Boxes from Recycled Pallets

by Johnnie Collier


How to recycle old pallets into DIY storage boxes #rustic #reclaimed #upcycle @savedbyloves

Wanna make cool DIY storage boxes from old shipping pallets?  That is what you will find here.  This project came about because I have never really loved my tapered bookshelf and decided it was time to make it lovable.  I found these DIY storage crates from pallets at Ana White, and came up with a plan to make small, medium and large ones to custom fit to my shelves.  During the process of getting the numbers on there, I found a cool, accidental image transfer to wood technique.  I finished the three boxes over 2 days, including letting stain sit overnight.  Keep reading to see how.

reclaimed wood storage boxes

SUPPLIES:

Wood from shipping pallets – (There are 1000 ways to break down pallets.  I use a pry bar and circular saw.  Google it to find videos.)

Kreg jig and screws (My wood was .75 inches thick so I used 1.25 inch Kreg screws)

1×12 board for bottoms of crates

Wood Glue

Clamps

Mod Podge (I used Antique Mod Podge)

Wood Stain and Conditioner or preferred finish

Scrapbooking Attitude or materials for your preferred transfer technique

TUTORIAL:

How to make a storage box from recycled wood pallets

Based on my 3 shelf sizes, I decided to make three boxes sized as follows: 12×12.5 inch, 13×12.5 inch and 14×12.5 inch.  To do this, I cut 6 sides from pallets, each 11 inches for the box sides.  I cut a front and box in 12, 13 and 14 inches for each box.  The bottom of the box I cut from 1×12 board to 1.5 inches shorter than the front/back pieces of each box (to account for the width of the sides).  See all the pieces above.

Use Kreg Jig Pocket holes to join pallet wood

Here you can see that I drilled pocket holes on each edge of the inner surface of the side boards for each box (to see how to use Kreg Jig and join wood with it, go to my Pallet Sign Tutorial)

Drill pocket holes in the bottom of the box

Drill pocket holes in the bottom of the box for attaching it to the front, back and side box boards as pictured.

PalletCrates7

Start by attaching side to bottom using holes you drilled in bottom.

How to screw in kreg screws in tight space

PalletCrates12

Here it is with all the boards attached.  I used wood glue in addition to the screws.  I always do.  I learned that from Ana.

Sand before wood conditioner

I sanded with 80 then 120 grit paper.

How to use Minwax Wood Conditioner

Clean away debris from sanding with damp lint free towel, then apply wood conditioner.  Let sit 15 min, wipe away excess.

Stain wood after wood conditioner

I stained with Minwax Classic Gray Wood Stain.  I did an extremely quick and dirty finishing job on these since the wood is rustic and uneven anyway.  That is one of the many things I love about pallet wood projects.  I get to move quick and messy fits right in with the look.

How to image transfer onto wood

I used these free cool vintage numbers from The Graphics Fairy.   To get them filled in, I just pulled them into Photoshop and painted the open spaces black.  I flipped them backwards and printed them onto Scrapbooking Attitude, an image transfer product you can read all about in my Image Transfer Halloween DIY using the product.

How to use Scrapbooking Attitude for Image Transfer onto Wood

Cut out around number. Set aside and go to next step.

Apply Mod Podge to area for image transfer

Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge where the image will be placed.

How to transfer images onto wood

Peel film away from backing and place image, ink side down, onto the surface.  Smooth out any wrinkles and press into Mod Podge/wood with fingers.

How to make a wood pallet storage box

O.k.  Here is where the happy accident starts.  You can see the transfer film where you cut out the number and the clear “paper” around it.  At this point I would just mod podge over everything, hoping that hid the edge of the film to an acceptable degree.  What happened here was I realized I accidentally put the 2 on the largest box, where I really wanted the three.  So, I tried to remove it, and the film came away leaving the ink behind!  Yay!  I did sanded it off the box so I could put the 3 on there, but removed the film for the rest of the numbers.  I love how it looks!

remove film, leaving ink behind for the image transfer

PalletCrates24

Here you can see me removing the film, and the ink staying behind!

Seal with Antique Mod Podge

Brush a coat of Mod Podge over the entire surface, and the entire box to seal.  I used Antique for an aged effect.  Let dry and you are done!

DIY wood pallet storage boxes

DIY storage from wood pallets

So, they are awesome, am I right?

Wanna make everything under the sun from wood pallets?

Check out our 50+ Wood Pallet Project Round-up!

We also have 50+ Image Transfer Projects to inspire your creativity!

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