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Festive Pallet Project – making Christmas jewels from junk

A picture of an evergreen Christmas tree with up-cycled pallet shelving.
Reinvent and breathe new life into unwanted pallets this Christmas to create unique and resourceful festive objects.

Upcycling is a hot topic and we’ve been talking a lot about it recently. It involves taking unwanted items and reinventing them - giving them a new lease of life and using them in different ways than their original purpose. It’s a hot trend right now, making treasure out of trash, and is stylish, practical and rewarding.

One of the most versatile everyday objects that can be easily upcycled is the common wooden pallet. We’ve recently done a couple of articles on pallet rescue, and continuing the theme, we thought we’d give our pallets a festive feel.

We all have the obligatory pre-Christmas clear out to make space for the gifts, decorations and other paraphernalia that inevitably comes with the festive season. So this project could serve a dual purpose for the eco-conscious and short on space amongst us.

Abandoned wood pallets can be found lurking around gardens and garages everywhere. Take care when selecting disused pallets as they may carry harmful chemicals, bacteria or be made with pressure-treated wood.

Using pallets to create Christmas decorations, gifts and even additional seating for that ever stressful Christmas meal, can save you money and create unique festive gems that will make a lasting impression.

Pallet Christmas tree

A homemade wooden Christmas tree made from up-cycled pallets
For those who are feeling ambitious

You could be super ambitious this year and make your own Christmas tree by upcycling your old pallets. It may sound like a daunting prospect, but it’s really straight forward and the result can be stunning. Whether you’re fed up with pine needles everywhere, or the old plastic tree is looking a bit tired and you don’t want to fork out to replace it, a pallet tree could be the solution for you.

Disassemble the pallets and cut the planks to shape using a mini-saw, getting progressively longer, to create a Christmas tree shape. Make sure to seal the wood to preserve it and you can then use it year after year. Then paint it, throw on some tinsel and add a few of our home made decorations.

Kids toy boxes and storage units

An image of up-cycled pallets made into storage units
Up-cycled pallets are the perfect storage solution

All the parents out there will be no strangers to the fact that kids get a LOT of toys for Christmas. It’s wonderful to see their little faces light up when they open the presents, but more often than not we’re left with a mountain of toys and nowhere to keep them. Using old pallets to create storage units and kids toy boxes is a super savvy, easy, straight forward way to increase storage space around the home.

Disassemble the pallets, then use a mini-saw to cut the planks of wood to size. Quick assembly of your creation is made simple and easy by using cordless drill-driver or a cordless screwdriver. Or you could stick them together using a hot glue gun, depending on your preference. Smooth your box over using a multi-sander, then paint it with your own design. Or maybe get the kids involved by creating their own designs?

These versatile and easy to craft items also make excellent storage units after the big day, when your house just seems to be full of presents and left over decorations that can be stored away and recycled next year!

Castle/fort or doll’s house

An image of a kids indoor play area made out of recycled pallets.
The possibilities are endless

You could also consider the personal touch and make some of your own Christmas gifts using pallets. A disused pallet could become a castle, fort or doll’s house for an excited child this festive season, depending on how ambitious you want to be. As with the toy box, you can drill and sand, then paint a design - creating your very own unique masterpiece. Multifunctional tools are perfect for this as not only do they sand, but thanks to their powerful motors and versatile attachments they’re able to cut, saw and scrape – an all-purpose tool perfect for helping to upcycle old pallets.