Free pallets and repurposed wood are hot items right now, just look up wood pallet projects on Pinterest. They're popular due to both their low cost and the fact that you get to recycle scrap. Not to mention, they look great. But, how do you know where to get free pallets? *NOW UPDATED*
How To Find Free Pallets For DIY Projects
There are 1000s of great looking DIY pallet projects to make using reclaimed wood. We have done pallet projects for home decor, pallet projects for gardening, outdoor, pallet projects for furniture, as well as awesome pallet art. We're pros are turning wood into useful pieces and decoration, so we're here to help you get started finding free pallets. Two of the big questions we are asked:
- Where to get free pallets
- Where to find reclaimed wood
Our Best Tips and Tricks To Find Free Pallets For Your Projects
We've compiled the best tips and suggestions based on our quest to find the top reclaimed materials for DIY projects. Follow along to find these materials and transform them into something useful or decorative. Here's a list of tips to help you get started. Keep reading for more information:
- Where to get free pallets
- Where to find reclaimed wood and lumber
- Think small, not big
- Don't be afraid to ask
- Work to develop a relationship with sources
- Look on Craigslist, Facebook and other community sources
1. Where To Get Free Pallets
If you know where to look, you should be able to learn how to get free pallets for your DIY woodwork, building and craft projects. An important consideration when you go to get pallets is to find undamaged, clean and safe pallets. We like to focus on finding small stores that have a steady supply of clean, good quality pallets. Concentrate your efforts on finding a couple of small stores that have this, and you should have no trouble finding plenty of pallets to meet your needs. Once you've read this list, you'll know exactly where to get free pallets.
What are best small places to look for free pallets?
- Garden stores and nurseries
- Automotive and motorcycle shops
- Lawn shops
- Specialty equipment suppliers
Small stores like this are going to get most of there items in via pallets and shipping crates, and they are going to be happy to have help them getting rid of them. Tip: try looking when you see a new business opening. They will be getting their new supplies and inventory in, and it will be delivered in shipping crates and on pallets.
2. Where To Find Reclaimed Wood and Lumber
A good source for scrap lumber is to look at small builder's construction sites. We have found that both are good sources to find free, quality scrap lumber and plywood, as well as repurposed wood in volume. If you are willing to walk up and ask the crew on the project, they will probably be happy to point out their scrap pile and let you dig through it to take what you want. Tip: If you are looking for plywood, 1x2s, 2x4s and 2×6 pieces, you will usual be able to find lots of usable short pieces. Again, think small, not big.
Believe it or not, discarded mattress box springs are also a great place to find quality wood to repurpose. The wood has most often been protected and is in great shape. Simply cut the wood out of a discarded box spring to get great wood for your DIY projects.
3. Think small, not big
We have found it is much easier to get quality materials for our projects from small retailers. You may be tempted when you see large stacks of pallets outside of your local big box retailers, but large businesses like that tend to already have processes in place to get rid of their pallets, large cardboard and other recycled materials. It's likely they don't have free pallets for you to take.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Ask
Don't be shy, ask. When you find what you think is a good source for pallets or other scrap, do not assume you can just take things. When you see pallets in a stack outside or wood leaning against a wall, it doesn’t necessarily mean these are free pallets for you to take. Many shops that accept their deliveries on pallets pay a deposit on them and will be charged for these pallets if they do not return them. Tip: Try going first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. This is often the best time to find these items, and it's also going to be a less busy time. The business is more likely to have time to talk to you and answer your questions.
5. Work To Develop A Relationship with Sources
Once you find a business that has what you are looking for, try to develop a relationship with them. If they leave their free pallets outside for people to pick up, which many often do, you want to be able to find out when they get new shipments in. Leave your name, phone number and e-mail address, and try to get a phone number or e-mail address from them. Tip: We recommend sending a photo to them of your completed project. People love to feel like they have helped out, and this will further your relationship with them.
6. Look on Craigslist, Facebook and Other Community Pages
Your local community pages are a great place to find repurposed material. Try typing in “free pallets” or “free salvage items” on Craigslist. You can even type in free stuff, and you'l be surprised to find that many people have a listing with free stuff left at curb. Also try your local Facebook Community Pages. We have had success this year finding free pallets and shipping crates, great scrap metal and tons of quality broken tile. Tip: Your local area may have a Facebook Community Page that is set up for people to post items for that are available free, for sale or for trade.
Do you enjoy woodworking? Turn your passion into profit with this step-by-step guide! Or if you're just starting out and need detailed woodworking plans to get you started, Ted's Woodworking Plans has you covered.
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Now that you know where to get free pallets, are you ready to build cool stuff with them? Check out our other DIY pallet posts:
Also check out our article that shows how to putt a pallet apart: The Easy Way To Deconstruct A Pallet