Pallet Book Shelves

I found an ad in the Craig's List free section advertising two pallets on a first come, first serve basis behind the new pizza place near our apartment. I talked my dh into going a checking it out and there was one left when we got there. These pallets were HUGE! Nine feet long! It hung a good 3 feet over the end of the tailgate on my husband's truck! The manager of the pizza place wandered out while we were loading up and told us that their new pizza ovens had been delivered on the pallets. Cool story to tell our son about his bookshelves!

We got the pallet home after a quick stop at Lowe's for a crow bar. Dh taught me how to use a crow bar to remove the excess wood used to stablize the pizza oven on the pallet during shipment. I also learned that they use an insane amount of nails to put these things together! After pulling off about 40 pounds of useless scrap wood (literally, 40 pounds, these suckers were HEAVY!) I used some of our own scrap boards from other projects to make the shelves. We live in an apartment complex. People wandering by all day asked what I was doing. Even dh didn't understand exactly what I was trying to do but he went along with it and helped when I needed extra hands.

After getting it all put together, I used some left over poly-and-stain-in-one that we had left over. I got most of it stained with that but then I ran out. I haven't gotten around yet to getting some more. That will be the only cost associated with this project, the rest was free. Oh and the letters used for my son's name on the shelves. I blurred it out in the picture but I used dollar store vinyl letters to put his name on the shelf.

We anchored the shelf to the wall, it's stable and sturdy but I never doubt the ingenuity of a small child and even with the 40 pounds of wood we removed from this sucker, it is still H-E-A-V-Y!!!! Since it's going in a toddler's room I figured better safe than sorry. I went to Lowe's and asked for earthquake straps and I was told that we don't get earthquakes around here so they don't carry them.... I had to explain to her that earthquake straps also keep small children from toppling heavy furniture and she said they might have something in the childproofing area. They did have furniture straps as they called them in the childproofing area. Note to self: we no longer live in an earthquake prone area, people look at you like you've lost your mind if you want to strap your furniture down in case of earthquakes or curious small children.

Built from Plan(s)
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
reclaimed pallet and scrap wood
Finish Used
MinWax PolyShades in Antique Walnut
Recommended Skill Level