Pallets In the Bedroom?

Looks great, but where'd it come from?

If I say shipping pallet furniture, what comes to mind? I immediately think of stacks and stacks of flat pack being unloaded at Ikea’s back door, but that’s just me. And it’s just wrong. Turns out that people are making more than just frames out of old, no longer useful shipping pallets. There are a ton of DIY projects for the home out there that start and end with shipping pallets. Shipping pallets, you may be surprised to discover, can be made into everything from headboards to patio furniture to bookshelves and more.

But is it safe?

Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on where your pallet was born and what it has been used for since. If you want to embark upon a DIY pallet project, make sure the pallets you have at your disposal were made in the U.S. and used within its borders. Pallets used for international shipping, you see, have to be treated with some heavy duty pesticides that sink right into the porous wood. Would I want my kid sleeping up against wood treated with methyl bromide every night? Not particularly. So when you’re collecting pallets for projects, stay safe and make sure you know their chain of custody before making them into a coffee table.

What say you: Pallet furniture… cool or meh?

2 Responses to “Pallets In the Bedroom?”

  1. kt May 24, 2011 at 6:17 am #

    pallets are really, really brittle, and often spraypainted or discolored as well. at best they would need a whole ton of sanding and at worst you’d just have a broken mess. and yeah, the pesticides are nasty – i had a job that involved importing glass from china and one time the pesticides permanently discolored the auto glass. auto glass! i love the pallet furniture but i don’t think i’d try it.

  2. The Jananator May 25, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    I second kt – pallets are just the cheapest possible wood, and why would you want to make furniture out of that?!