10 Ways to Turn a Construction Pallet Into Beautiful Decor

Pallets for Good

Okay, it's not exactly decorating. But when you can make an entire house out of pallets while aiding those suffering through a humanitarian crisis, it deserves a mention.

One of the cruxes of refugee camps and situational housing is that while living conditions are supposedly temporary, they still might be the primary location for a person or family for years, or even decades. That translates to tents, or building materials that can be easily salvaged in the area. Not always safe, and certainly not cozy.

While attempting to brainstorm transitional housing for Kosovo refugees, two architects hit on a recyclable, cheap and easy to get idea: construction pallets. They designed a roughly 250 sq foot home that takes about 100 pallets and less than a week to build from easy-to-understand instructions [source: Dirksen].

Unfortunately, the houses, like many designs for transitional housing, have yet to be put to use at actual camps. However, go online and for $75, you can purchase PDF plans, instructions, material lists and other resources for building your own pallet haven [source: I-Beam Design].

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  • Ashley, Ann. "DIY Pallet Reading Bed for the Nursery." Under the Sycamore Blog. June 29, 2009. (April 13, 2012) http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2009/06/29/diy-pallet-reading-bed-for-the-nursery/
  • CBC News. "Anatomy of a Refugee Camp." June 19, 2007. (April 13, 2012) http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/refugeecamp/
  • Crabb, Simon. "DIY Pallet Garden Planter." May 25, 2009. (April 13, 2012) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4S0O5JUb-k&feature=player_embedded
  • Diedricksen, Derek. "Pallet Chair." MAKE. Feb. 17, 2011. (April 13, 2012) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=LeGsllMgd_E#!
  • Dirksen, Kristen. "Recycled Pallet House: DIY, IKEA-style assembly instructions." Fair Companies. March 2012. (April 13, 2012) http://faircompanies.com/videos/view/recycled-pallet-house-diy-ikea-style-assembly-instructions/
  • Grandy, Nikki. "FREE that spells free." Grand Design Co Blog. June 3, 2011. (April 13, 2012) http://granddesignco.blogspot.com/2011/06/free-that-spells-free.html
  • I-Beam Designs. "Purchase Pallet House Plans." 2012. (April 13, 2012) http://www.i-beamdesign.com/products/pallethouse/orderplanswlicence.html
  • Kavilanz, Parjia. "Tylenol Recall: FDA Slams Company." CNN Money. Oct. 19, 2010. (April 13, 2012) http://money.cnn.com/2010/01/15/news/companies/over_the_counter_medicine_recall/index.htm
  • Love, Laura Beth. "God Save the Pallets! Reclaimed Pallets Revamped." Dishfunctional Designs Blog. Jan. 10, 2012. (April 13, 2012) http://dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.com/2012/01/god-save-pallet-reclaimed-pallets.html
  • Max and Me Blog. "Pallet Art." Aug. 11, 2011. (April 13, 2012) http://maxandmeblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/pallet-art.html
  • National Consumers League. "NCL calls on FDA to regulate industry after tests reveal hidden pathogens on pallets used to transport food." May 26, 2010. (April 13, 2012) http://www.nclnet.org/newsroom/press-releases/404-ncl-calls-on-fda-to-regulate-industry-after-tests-reveal-hidden-pathogens-on-pallets-used-to-transport-food
  • Richardson, Fern. "How to turn a pallet into a garden." Life on the Balcony Blog. March 25, 2011. (April 13, 2012) http://lifeonthebalcony.com/how-to-turn-a-pallet-into-a-garden/
  • Salisbury, Sheryl. "Pallet Swing." Sherry Salisbury Photography. July 11, 2011. (April 13, 2012) http://sherylsalisburyphotography.com/2011/07/weekly-wanderings-western-oklahoma-photographer-3/
  • Shelterness.com. "Colorful DIY Coat Rack From A Wood Pallet." June 9, 2011. (April 13, 2012) http://www.shelterness.com/colorful-diy-coat-rack-from-a-wood-pallet/
  • Summerville Nova Scotia. "The Pallet Fence." Sept. 8, 2011. (April 13, 2012) http://summerville-novascotia.com/PalletFence/
  • The Improvised Life. "D-I-Y shipping pallet wine rack and flat storage." Oct. 25, 2010. (April 13, 2012) http://www.improvisedlife.com/2010/10/25/d-i-y-shipping-pallet-wine-rack-flat-storage/
  • Turner, Ry. "Pallet Project Wine Storage System and Finishing Tutorial." The Design Confidential. (April 13, 2012) http://www.thedesignconfidential.com/2010/10/build-it-plans-pallet-project-wine-storage-system-and-finishing-tutorial
  • Vedel, Pierre. "Pallet Desk." Ikea Hackers. July 23, 2011. (April 13, 2012) http://www.ikeahackers.net/2011/07/pallet-desk.html


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