Reclaimed wood has become a hot topic among the arts and crafts crowd, the home renovation and decoration junkies, and even the gardening scene. There’s the glamorous idea of finding shiplap in your home and repurposing it, but a more common theme now is to find ways to use old pallets, which are in much greater supply. In the interest of helping you get creative with reclaimed wood, we’ve created this list of garden ideas with pallets to spark new thoughts and ways to design your garden and yard using an element that is cheap or free but can be insanely beautiful when done well.
TREE IN A BOX
One of the easiest ways to use old wooden pallets in your garden or other outdoor area is to create a nice planter box. This is especially useful if you’re looking to plant a small tree and worry that putting it in the ground will lead to disaster – animals marking it, soil not being firm enough, flooding making the base rot.
By inserting your tree into a pallet made box, you make sure that it’s in a healthy place with nutrient rich soil and no chance of Rover coming to make it his territory. You also avoid bending and kneeling to care for the tree while also enjoying a beautiful wooden addition to your yard space that likely didn’t cost you a penny!
STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER
Strawberries look great in a pallet planter, and the planter is easy to make. You can pull off individual boards and cut them to size, or you can take sections and simply nail them together.
Either way, you’ll want to make sure to treat the wood if you intend to have it outside. At the same time, this works great for indoor gardening as well, since it’s small and easy to care for. You can grow herbs in a similar setup, and you may even decide to create a pallet planter small enough to set in your window sills for decoration!
No assembly is required here! You can use a pallet as is, simply adding something for ‘feet’ that help it balance so it doesn’t topple one way or the other as you stand it on its side and load it down with the hanging pots and plants you intend to grow inside it.
Make sure you face your herbs, flowers, berries, and other growing things both directions, since that’s the whole point of a double-sided planter. You’ll get twice the output and twice the beauty, making it four times as nice as a single sided pallet garden.
SHEDDING SOME LIGHT
Everyone wants their own compost pile, but we don’t all want to look at it all the time. Still, you need to access it regularly to add to the pile, and you need sunlight to help it ferment and mix. So, create a compost shed with pallets – you’ll need four of them – and a few other easy to find, cheap or free items.
Really, you just need some black garden fabric as a liner and some rocks to help hold everything in place, and you’ve got the perfect little shed to help ease the look – and smell – of the compost pile you keep in your yard.
Some garden ideas with wooden pallets aren’t about growing. In fact, there are a great many uses for them outside of the actual garden area. Try creating some furniture for yourself and your guests, using pallets as a base with cushions on top.
It makes a nice seating area, especially when you continue the theme with a small table made from wooden pallets. Don’t forget that you can also create artwork with these free and cheap pieces of reclaimed wood, including framing pictures or just painting them. Or, you can hang your herb garden behind your seating area for show!
COMING OUT OF THE WOODWORK
Moving some of the boards on the pallet is an easy fix if you’re looking to have a certain style. Larger plants may need a thicker slot, and you can butt two boards directly against each other, covering a larger pot or screen and making more room for your plants to grow large at the same time.
You can locate your creation indoors if you like, on a kitchen wall, or outdoors, against the house or the fence where it may very well blend in. Just remember to treat the wood if you intend to use the constructed masterpiece outside.
PATTERNS WITH POTTERY
While a lot of pallet gardens are created within the pallet, there are definitely other decorative ways to make use of a pallet as a garden. In this example, the pots have been altered so they can hang on the pallet and create an eye-catching design. Even if they were just in straight lines, the creativity here is amazing.
Consider painting the pallet and using multicoloured pots, or planting flowers in an array of colors to make it even more interesting when the flowers begin to bloom. You can even cut down another pallet to make a few smaller planters to line the bottom of the larger structure.
JUST HANGING AROUND
This deconstructed pallet has become three deep shelves for potted plants, build into another solid structure and painted to stand out. The mixture of textures, styles, and growing patterns of the various plants included in this particular example make it more interesting.
Try using diverse plants – ornamental grasses, berries, herbs, etc – to make your hanging pallet garden more fun to look at and watch grow. The structure will be ever changing. Also, choose a color to paint the pallet wood that will make the plants stand out more completely from the background, as if they are framed.
No one ever said you had to leave a reclaimed wood pallet intact for your garden display. Consider deconstructing and cutting the pallets so that you can use the pieces to build furniture, such as this beautiful rustic bench. Not only does the bench look gorgeous for show, especially if you choose a nice stain and treat the wood, but you can also make it multipurpose.
Display potted plants on the bench, or take some cushions outside and use it for seating. If you’re artistic and crafty, add some design elements, or simply make it functional. Both will look great in your garden.
If you don’t have the best soil or growing environment, you might want to consider a raised garden. This can also help you reduce back pain related to garden and yard work, since you won’t have to bend over or kneel to take care of your garden.
Using reclaimed pallets to build your garden up can help you save money, as well as allow you to get creative in the design of your garden area. Create winding paths, labyrinths, or patterns, and add hanging garden areas to change it up a bit. All you have to do is get to your local supermarket and grab some of their old pallets, and you’re set to go!
TABLE YOUR EFFORTS
Sure, you can make a plain box planter with old wood, but what if you took it a step further? Consider a decorative design with the wood from the pallets, or even create a nice table for display or personal use.
It can be a simple tool for your garden or a centerpiece around which you build your design, making it a conversation starter. You’ll need a little more material, so make sure you have plenty of wood pallets from which to claim the wood, and you’ll want to stain, treat, or paint the final product to fit into your space. But it’s a great DIY project for you!
Let’s take things to another level. Aside from using the wood for gardening, you can also use it as a design element. Take a look at this wall, which has been turned into a small garden area within the home.
It’s not just a garden, though. As you study it, you’ll see it’s a piece of art – shelving units designed to make the space more aesthetically pleasing, even without the element of plants and flowers. You can take the pallet wood and really create something awe inspiring that doubles as art and garden inside your home, if you just take a little time and consider the possibilities.
Even if you don’t have a lot of room for your garden, you can gain from garden ideas for old pallets. Make good use of your limited space by building up rock walls and framing them with the wood from old pallets to make a large, lifted planter that’s the perfect height for easy care and really stands out.
You can even work to make it multilayered, extending the amount of space you have for planting. Add box planters around the edges so you get more out of less and have a complete garden area that doesn’t use up your entire yard!
BODACIOUS AND HERBACEOUS
Maybe the entire hanging garden doesn’t have to be made out of the wooden pallet. You can use it for backing, taking planter boxes with lips or hooks – or even nails – and attaching them to the slats of the pallet.
This gives you the option of using a variety of box sizes, staggering them in a design if you like, and keeping your various plants more easily separated and labelled. And it still looks amazing. You can use a multitude of color or opt for basic black and white. It opens up your options for more creative design.
ALL FENCED IN
Pallet gardens come in all shapes and sizes, and you can easily adjust the height of your raised garden to suit your needs. Consider altering the pallet design to make it look more like a fence around the garden rather than designing them to look like planter boxes.
With garden cloth, this design can really give your creation a unique quality that you won’t see in every garden on the block. With some hefty round posts on the corners, this design becomes more believable, and if you’re really crafty, you can find a way to till an extra layer of garden stuff on the ground beneath your raised garden!
Some pallet garden ideas take more work than others. But if you’re looking to start with the simplest solution, you should try the basics. Really, you can create a pallet garden with a few supplies and three easy steps.
Make sure you have at full pallet, as well as landscaping fabric (to use for lining), a staple gun (it should go without saying that you need staples in it), soil, and seed starters. It’s not much, and these aren’t expensive tools. Once you obtain all the parts and pieces, it shouldn’t take you very long to put everything together in three simple steps.
NO SIMPLER WAY
Forget the intricacies of various pallet designs for your garden. You don’t have to be an artist to use your green thumb and build a work of art with plants and pallets. Here, the basic design is easy as pie.
Remove every other board, paint the remaining ones black, and stencil the names of the herbs, flowers, or other plants you insert into each space. The slats that have been removed can be returned as bases for your rectangular potters to sit on, nailed in like a shelf between the remaining front slats and the back slats. It doesn’t really get any simpler than that, and it still looks amazing!
You may or may not be able to tell what’s going on here, but the creator has designed a double pallet garden – two pallets wide for a deeper and more thorough garden. It’s not difficult to nail two pallets together and complete the job with the same steps you would use on a single hanging or standing pallet garden.
It allows greater output through additional growth in a larger space, and it stands better on its own. If you have an indoor space that holds something of this size, it’s a perfect piece of art, but it also settles in your outdoor garden beautifully.
Believe it or not, this entire design is created from wood that has been reclaimed from pallets. After some sanding and treating, the boards look brand new, and they can be fitted and shaped to meet with no spaces.
Placed together in this creative manner, you get a stair step effect that is intriguing and keeps your garden organized, artistic, and fun. You even have a built-in seating area that you can throw a cushion on and relax while you read a book or sip some tea while enjoying your own handiwork. What a perfectly splendid idea.
RACK EM AND STACK EM
Who needs to do any building? Take some of the pallets that are constructed best, and make a few changes, such as removing the slats from one side and closing the four ends with a board. Use it as a single box planter, using landscaping fabric to line it on the bottom.
Then, cut down other pallets to staggered sizes and give them the same treatment. Measure them so they can stack nicely at 45 degree angles, and plant complementary flowers, herbs, or berries in them. This is an interesting design that will make you smile as it blooms and fascinate neighbours and visitors.
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ALL BY MYSELF
Unlike the two-sided herb garden you saw earlier, this freestanding pallet garden doesn’t have dual sided growth options. However, the construction makes it sturdy in a way that it can stand on its own, using stable footing and a reinforcement with a standing pole (you can put one at each side if it suits you).
This particular design involves shelving built from more than one original pallet, and it can hold a great deal of weight. As you build it, choose to stain it for a refined look, or leave it as is for a more rustic style.
No one said you necessarily had to hang your hanging pallet garden. Notice that these pallets are perfectly substantial and are simply leaning against the wall. They’re filled with lots of green plants and herbs with a few flowering varieties, but all of this stands out against the bright neon colors that are painted on the pallets.
One way to make your efforts stand out is with brilliant colors you would expect to see only in the floral elements of an exotic yard. Even if your climate doesn’t allow the growth of these types of plants, you can bring the bright colors to your garden with a little paint.
INDOOR WORM COMPOSTER
Using pallets doesn’t always mean large projects. In fact, you can do a lot of small design projects for indoor or outdoor gardens with a single pallet, simply breaking it down and cutting the wood to size. For example, with pallet wood, you can build several small window planters that are decorative – but don’t have to be fancy – and sturdy. They add a more rustic element to any home and require little cost, effort, or time. You can make three or four of them from a single pallet, and you’ll be ready to plant in a couple of hours!
STAINED AND STURDY
Go big or go home! Create a huge, imposing design for your pallet garden. You can grow herbs and berries in bulk, use ornamental grasses and flowers for additional decoration, and constantly change up the mixture by adding new things at different times so the harvests are staggered throughout the year.
Stain the wood dark for contrast to the beautiful blooms and brilliant greenery, and set it in your garden where you can surround it with vegetables in the ground. You could also set it in a corner of a smaller yard, allowing you to multiply your growth space without taking up your whole yard!
Rather than building an entire garden with the pallet wood, consider updating your yard with a floating garden hung on your fence. You can cheaply and easily build planter boxes to hang along the top of your fence, painting the boxes to blend with other elements of your landscape and garden décor, and plant flowers or herbs in the boxes.
It’s a great way to make use of as much space as possible, especially in a small yard, without overwhelming yourself and making you feel too enclosed. It’s also easier to care for your plans without bending and hoeing the day away!
Who would have thought old, reclaimed pallet wood could be made into a gorgeous planter that looks like brand new wood? All it takes is a little elbow grease and some patience. Start by recovering wood from several pallets, choosing the sturdiest and straightest boards.
Clean them up – sanding, washing, and coating with a protective treatment can go a long way – and then measure them and make adjustments so they are perfectly even. That’s the bulk of the work. At that point, you can put together your planter and fill it up! If there’s anything uneven, another board around the top border can hide any inconsistencies.
Even if you don’t actually plant anything in the pallets, they can make great décor for your garden. Use them for tables, display boards, and more. Elevate a pallet on a piece of plywood in the middle of a spot that doesn’t grow grass well, and display some of your most interesting potted plants atop it.
Make it tall enough, and you can sit on a cushion or a blanket next to it and use it as a table, sipping tea or some other refreshment while you read or entertain. The sky is the limit, and it really takes no money or work at all to add a pallet design to your garden with this little trick!
I’VE BEEN FRAMED!
What’s the best way to display a work of art? You frame it on the wall. If you’ve crafted greatness with your herbs and berries in a hanging garden – especially using reclaimed wood – why wouldn’t you want to draw attention to it? Use some boards from a pallet to create a frame. Sand them down, cut them to size, and choose a dark color that will draw attention to your hanging garden, whatever the size or location. It is a quick and easy project, but the result is phenomenal and will give you a great deal of satisfaction.
BETWEEN THE LINES
Making a ‘peekaboo’ garden with pallets is simple enough. Like a box, you’ll want to enclose the entire structure. Then, cut out small areas for the flowers or other plants to peek through. This unique design creates an automatic backsplash and, while it lets your plants flourish and grow large, it limits what shows.
That means you can have the bulky, leafy part behind the scenes and only the pretty, flowered and colourful parts showing. Leave the top open for a thicker display of flowers, berries, or herbs in a potter or other type of planter.
Look how the pink flower at the bottom pops against the periwinkle blue of the pallet. The leaves of one plant at the top look almost white in comparison to the illustrious light blue. Nothing else has really been done to this pallet, save for a coat of paint in a shade that occurs rarely in nature, and yet, this piece of work looks like a million dollars!
Add labels, or stencil in the names of your plants on the wood below each one so you can easily keep them straight and let your visitors know what your interests are. You never know when they might surprise you with a gift!
LEVEL WITH ME
Take into consideration that you can have an entire raised garden without necessarily having everything at the same height. As with any raised garden, you can stagger planting areas, and you can create a winding path between your planters.
Make it decorative with streams of creeping plants climbing from higher rises, while bushier species reach upward. Have color stations, with blooms and berries of the same shade are gathered, or mix it up. Here, the best part is that everything appears random in a controlled sort of chaos, even though you’ve got an incredibly organized environment!
When it comes to redesigning your yard or garden, there are plenty of ways to make it unique. With some garden ideas for old pallets and a little imagination, you can build a wonderland out of your garden or yard space that will take you on a journey into another place every time you step outside your door. Take advantage of what others have designed to help establish a perfect haven for you and your flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other growing things, without spending a fortune on a designer or elements of your décor. It’ll be the best – and most enjoyable – decision you’ve ever made!
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