30 Fast, Simple, and Stylish DIY Pallet Shelf Project Ideas

Shelving out of pallets

​Using pallets for indoor and outdoor furniture at your house is both trendy and cheap. Pallet wood is relatively easy to find, and once you break it all down, you can build a variety of different pieces for your house.

Building and installing DIY pallet shelves is a great way to make use of this type of wood. Once assembled, you can leave it in its natural state, or paint, stain, or finish it for an even more unique look and feel. We’ve compiled 30 sites with our favorite ideas for wooden pallet shelves.

30 Ideas for DIY Pallet Shelves

​1. DIY Candy

Hung diy pallet shelves

​Super simple, this is perhaps your most basic pallet shelf that you can imagine.

And yet, in its simplicity is exactly what you’re wanting out of a shelf like this.

This project requires a basic saw of some sort and a decent jigsaw will be able to make the cuts adequately. A scroll saw on the other hand may not be a suitable option for this despite being compared with one another,

​For the full plans, visit: ​diycandy.com​​​

​2. Re-fabbed

​This tutorial allows you to crank out a coat rack from a piece of pallet wood in no time flat - 20 minutes, to be precise. The tutorial also comes with a bunch of pictures, so if you prefer visual examples, this just might be the project for you.

Coat rack out of pallets

A reciprocating saw is used to cut the pallet wood, but the joining is done with a simple yet reliable hammer and nails. You’ll end up with a shelf along with a coat rack below.

​Learn to make this at home: ​re-fabbed.com​​​

​3. Practically Functional

​A simple tutorial to make a shelf for your home, the author uses this one to store alcohol and spirits for their kitchen. We love how functional this pallet project is - you aren’t left with a shelf and nothing to put on it. There is a clear purpose for this shelf, and everything is built around handling bottles and their sizes.

Wine rack out of pallets

This tutorial also involves using a dark stain with several coats of polyurethane over it. This will give your shelf a finished look, along with preserving it to last a lot longer.

​Related: Build a New Headboard out of Pallet Wood

Build your own: ​practiallyfunctional.com​​​

4. Funky Junk Interiors

Garage pallet rack

​What better place for a DIY pallet shelf than in your garage? If you’re looking for a great option for storing all your important woodworking tools that is quick, easy, and cheap, this is a great tutorial for you to follow.

Complete with support beams, this shelf has a lot of customized components that you can add to it to give you more functionality. You can even add in a small compartment for all your socket organizers.

Take a look at how its done: ​funkyjunkinteriors.com​​​

5. Wine and Dine

​Back to the kitchen, have you ever looked for a great way to store your spices? This set of pallet plans is super functional, giving you an easy-to-do DIY project that leaves you with a rustic series of shelves to act as your spice rack.

Pallet spice rack

This tutorial also gives you some create tips on stripping pallet wood of its nails with a circular saw and pry bar. It also goes ones step further by smoothing the rough wood with an electric planer.

​Complete details on the project here: ​​di-windeanddine.com​​​

6. DIY Show Off

Diy show off pallet

​This wall-mounted pallet shelf is large, the largest that we’ve featured so far. The creator did this project with her home brewing husband, and he used it to store empty (or full) beer bottles from this home brew.

Whatever you elect to use the shelf for, we love that this tutorial gives you lots of pictures with measurements on them, and shows you how to mount something in a really sturdy fashion so it can hold weight.

Added bonus - they put a chalk paint wall behind the pallet shelf for added DIY flair!

Related: Learn how to paint your lampshade in chalk paint with this cool DIY project

​See the full plans on: ​diyshowoff.com​​​

7. 99 Pallet Ideas

Shelf out of pallets

​One of our favorites on this list, this tutorial allows you to create a standing bookshelf that you can mount on the wall if you’d like.

 So, technically not a pallet shelf… but we loved the look and feel so much we bent the rules a bit to include it on this list.

This project has more of a finished, refined look than some of the others.

Tons of pictures and detailed instructions make this an easy tutorial to follow along with.

We would consider sanding everything down once you’re finished building to give it an even more smooth and refined feel.

​More on this project here: ​99palletideas.com​​​

8. Lil Luna

​Super simple, this project yields you a basic bookshelf. The creator adds a little extra flair by stenciling in numbers onto the pallet wood, giving it an even more rustic look and charm. While they chose numbers, you could great creative and stencil a child’s name if you’re doing this woodworking project with them for their room.

This kind of pallet shelf will nicely match your pallet bed project and give the room a rustic chic vibe.

Hung shelves out of pallets

​Create this one for the home: ​lilluna.com​​​

9. 1o1 Pallets

Wooden pallet shelving

​Another really elegant looking shelf design, you probably wouldn’t know this was even made from pallet wood if they didn’t tell you.

 The author used their DIY creation outdoors in the yard as a garden wall, but did offer it up as a suitable indoor bookshelf as well.

Where this article lacks on a step-by-step guide it makes up for with some very inspiring pictures.

The highly finished look for this pallet wood shelf offers a lot of ideas.

Related: Great DIY Ideas for Hanging String Lights

​For the full tutorial, check out: ​1o1pallets.com​​​

10. Where The Smiles Have Been

​If you’re a mom that has young children and you’re worried about buying new, nice furniture that they will destroy, pay attention to this tutorial. This pallet shelf idea is for holding kid’s books, and they use the already-weathered look of pallet wood to their advantage.

Hanging pallet shelves

​Check out the detailed plans on: ​wherethesmileshavebeen.com​​​

11. Wilson and Pugs

​A great tutorial with a step-by-step guide and great pictures, this pallet rack works to hang either beer or wine. There are a few extra steps on this one compared to some others, but this gives you a more sturdy and robust finished product.

Wine and beer rack out of pallets

Adding some wood glue to the project, held down to dry with some sturdy clamps, is a nice touch. Combine this with your standard wood screws and you’ll have a very durable finished set of shelves.

​Make this at home: ​wilsonandpugs.com​​​

12. One Little Bird Blog

Coffee mug pallet

​All this talk of making pallets shelves for beer and wine, what about a project for all of the coffee lovers out there?

This tutorial is made for you and combines the shelving with some of the same features as the coat hanger to offer you an area to hang your coffee cups from.

Similar to a project above, this creator added stenciled letters to help define it as a coffee station.

​See the detailed plans here: ​onelittlebirdblog.com​​​

13. Practically Functional

Bathub shelf

​This probably isn’t the type of shelving that you had in mind, but it is incredibly creative.

 And, if you’re the type that consistently takes long baths, then you might have a lot of use for this project.

Use pallet wood to create a shelf that goes across your bath. This simple project gives you high functionality. 

You’ll want to make sure to seal this by spraying a polyurethane at the least, if you don’t stain or paint the wood.

This is because you’re so close to water, using this around your bathtub.

​Re-create the project: ​practicallyfunctional.com​​​

​14. Yankee Homestead

Floating pallet shelves

​We love these shelves because of how minimalist they are.

So many of these pallet shelf projects are larger and bulkier, which works fine for the rough cut wood. 

But, if you want something more understated, this is the project for you.

Super simple to build, the finished product almost looks like a floating shelf on ​a smooth finished wall.

​There are no large supports or bulky wood finishes, but you can opt to paint it with the same one you used for your picture frames.

​Build this DIY by visiting: ​yankeehomestead.com​​​

15. Angie's List

​One of the more involved tutorials in this guide, Angies List delivers a fantastic floating pallet shelf design. Rather than relying on the open shelf design, where you set items inside of the already-assembled pallet wood, this tutorial makes a boxy shelf to store and feature items on top.

Painted floating shelves

In the end, the shelf has a “floating” appearance, which is elegant and refined. Finish it with a stain over the rough wood, or paint if preferred.

​Visit this site to make this DIY: ​angieslist.com​​​

16. Home Stories at Oz

​Simple and basic, this is a quick guide on making your own DIY pallet shelf. If you’re looking for a down and dirty sample of the basic process, this is a great overview.

Shelving out of pallets

The author highlights an important aspect of this type of shelf, or any shelf for that matter. You have to pay attention to how you mount the shelving into the wall. Without substantial screws into studs, you won’t want to rely on the shelving to hold a lot of weight.

​Make you own version: ​homestoriesatoz.com​​​

17. Ana-White

Wine shelves out of pallets

​This tutorial will make sure you have no excuses left - Ana shows you how to make two DIY pallet shelves in 5 minutes, with her toddlers watching, in the snow.

For the quickest of guides, this project is your ticket.

​No frills here, but you can have a few shelves cranked out in about the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee.

Create your own at home:​​ ana-white.com​​​

18. The Nest

Hanging pallet boxes

​This is the first project we’ve featured that utilizes a bit of other wood beyond just pallets for the final construction.

This can be a great idea - there is nothing wrong with adding some supplemental wood to your project, especially if you have it left over from a previous project.

It's worth noting how much easier DIY wood shelving projects are with an automatic pin nail gun. It allows you to quickly fire a few finishing nails in to hold everything together, while you then move on to heftier nails for the finished product.

Related: Pin Nail Gun vs Brad Nail Gun - Learn When You Need Each

​Learn to make this at home: ​thenest.com​​​

19. West Far Thing Wood Works

This tutorial does a great job of actually having a variety of exact plans as a part of the construction. So many pallet projects for your home are rough by nature… pun intended. Plans aren’t essential and rarely used.

Pallet display shelves

But, if you are more of a traditional woodworker that prefers intricacy, you’ll appreciate the depth that this shelving plans have. In addition, he makes uses of his miter saw. If you have a miter saw, this is a great way to utilize this power saw for building shelving.

Complete details on this site: ​​westfarthingwoodworks.com​​​

20. Design Sponge

Storage pallet shelves

​A little bit more shabby chic than others, this tutorial is basic in nature, and similar to others on this list.

There are several different designs and styles all rolled into one tutorial here, so you can get inspiration for what you want, while also learning how to do it simultaneously.

For the full details, go to: ​designsponge.com

21.The Kindred Street

Vinyl display pallet rack

​This set of plans makes full use of the entire pallet, maximizing what you get from a single piece of wood. We like the use of angle brackets to help secure your shelving a bit. You could really add this component to any of the plans you see in this article.

The angle brackets will help to keep the pallet wood in place. Over time, this is an important addition. Simple wood screws or nails are basic in nature, but don’t create the most secure of holds, and the angle brackets are a help. Wood glue is another example of this type of aid.

Check out the tutorial here: ​​thekindredstreet.com​​​

22. Six Clever Sisters

​A stylish twist on the standard pallet wood shelving that you’ve seen featured in all of these tutorials. Even more so, this specific one features a set of plans that only takes 10 minutes to construct.

Hanging pallet shelves

This design utilizes rope to hang the pallet shelves, which makes it both easier to make (and hang), along with adding some rustic charm. Finish it off by hanging a mason jar light or succulent from your new shelving.

​More of this project​: ​sixcleversisters.com​​​

23. 1o1 Pallets

Display pallet wall

​This project is as much a wall decor DIY as it is shelving.

The shelves are minimal, and a large emphasis is put on the pallet wall feature.

If you’re looking for more than just shelves, but to also add a statement feature on an otherwise dull wall, this is a great project.

​Take a look at the plans here: ​1o1pallets.com​​​

24. The Kurtz Corner

Wooden pallet shelves with wines

​We’ve featured many projects that allow you to create a shelf from pallet wood for your wine bottles, but this tutorial goes one step further and provides for a full wine station hanging from your wall.

Not only do you have the shelf for holding a variety of wine bottles, but you also have storage for wine glasses that hang from the bottom of the pallet shelving.

A great way to stylishly maximize space.

​Visit this site for more information: ​thekurtzcorner.com​​​

25. Hallmark Channel

Wooden pallet shelving

​Short on details, this basic post includes a very easy to follow tutorial for making some pallet shelves.

Perhaps this basic tutorial is really all you need to build these simple shelves?

​Make one yourself: ​hallmarkchannel.com​​​

26. Debbie-Debbie Doos

Stained pallet shelves

​Want to dress up your wooden pallet shelving?

This tutorial adds both burlap and chicken wire to create a kitschy look and feel to an otherwise standard shelf. 

The wire and burlap sits behind the shelf, so it doesn’t dominate the look.

​Create your own version: ​debbie-debbiedoos.com​​​

27. DIY Fun Ideas

Wooden pallet shelves

​We really like this set of shelf designs - it makes great use of vertical boards, rather than the traditional horizontal nature of these designs.

The vertical boards give the finished product a unique and refined look.

​For the full list of plans, visit: ​diyfunideas.com​​​

28. 1001 Pallets

​Not just general shelving, this tutorial focuses on building a towel rack for your bathroom out of pallet wood. If you’re redoing your shower or bathroom, this might be a great DIY feature to include in your remodel.

This tutorial is a little more involved than others, but you get a much higher quality finished product. Additions such as industrial piping give this finished product a more modern look.

Towels in some pallet shelving

These plans also utilize more advanced power tools like a sawzal and a table saw. If you’re new to woodworking, you can actually pick up a very reasonably priced table saw, which can streamline your projects.

​See how it's made: ​1001pallets.com​​​

29. Instructables

​You can always count on Instructables to bring a high quality set of plans to any tutorial they do, and this set of pallet shelves are no exception. With detailed pictures, you’ll be able to quickly assemble this down-and-dirty set of wood shelves.

Pallet racks in different colors

​Learn how to make it at home: ​instructables.com​​​

​30. Shelterness

Colorful pallet rack

​Our last set of plans gives you a great, eclectic DIY coat rack to put by your door, pocket door or in your closet.

While you could follow the instructions and paint the pallet wood a variety of colors, you could just as easily follow the plans and then brush on a polycrylic.

​More about this project here: ​shelterness.com​​​

​How to Build Pallet Shelves

Every one of these various pallet shelf projects offers a great approach, but here are the general steps you'll need to follow for every shelving project build: 

  1. Plan your project: Before you get to work on the project, spend a few minutes planning the entire process out. Create a list of everything you'll need, and do the math on how many pallets you'll have to have. You might even want to sit down and draw everything out, to help you visualize the process and end goal.
  2. Make your measurements: Measure the space you'll be putting the shelves, and then take precise measurements for your specific project.
  3. Prepare your pallets: Most projects focus on one of two directions to take with the pallet: use the full pallet, or cut it in half. If you need to cut your pallet down to size, you'll want to do that before you make finer, more precise cuts.
  4. Make your cuts: Know that you have your pallet wood prepared, you can make your finer end cuts. In addition, if you're choosing a set of plans that require you build the support posts, you can cut those as well.
  5. Assemble your shelves: Some plans require you to assemble free standing shelves, while others are designed to hang on a wall. Either way, you'll need to assemble your shelves, using either screws or nails or glue.
  6. Hang your shelving: If you're adding the pallet shelves to a wall, you'll need to fasten them to the studs. Or, some plans allow for you to hang the pallets.

How to Hang Pallet Shelves

If your pallet shelf project requires you to affix them to the wall, then you'll need to ensure you know how to hang these shelves.

Hanging pallet shelves is very easy, but you need to follow these steps so that your shelf doesn't fall down and rip part of your wall out:

  1. Find the studs: The best way to find studs is by using a stud finder. This tool is relatively cheap and ensures you are being accurate. On the other hand, you can knock on the wall to find a portion that isn't hollow. Confirm this by nailing a pin nail into the wall. As long as it takes hold (and doesn't punch through), you've found the stud.
  2. Clearly mark the studs: Shelves hang across multiple studs, so you'll need to find multiple studs. Make very clear marks where the stud is so you can come back and use this as you're hanging.
  3. ​Pick the right screws: Most of the time, you'll want to use wood screws. Even though you're drilling threw drywall, the screw will be attaching to wood studs, so that makes them the right option. The more weight you want your shelf to hold, the thicker the screw you'll need.
  4. Drill pilot holes into the studs: With a powerful corded drill, pre-drill the holes in your wall. Pick the right drill bit that corresponds with the screw size you have selected.
  5. Drill pilot holes through the shelf: Follow the same process as before, but this time pre-drill holes into the pallet shelf.
  6. Screw your shelf to the wall: Hold your pallet shelf up to the wall where it will be mounted (you'll probably need a friend to help you). Taking your time, screw the shelving to the wall and studs.