Inspiring Pallet DIY Garden Projects

Looking for ways to upcycle pallets? Some creative DIY pallet garden projects? Recently I repurposed a pallet and large square wooden crate lying around a local landscaping yard, into a mini garden shed for $7. I was so pleased with the result, it made me consider other ways to reuse materials for my garden needs. More of us are conscious of repurposing rather than impacting on landfill with unnecessary waste. So I thought I’d share these DIY creative ideas to upcycle pallets. You may be amazed at the possibilities!

Cheryl has turned this hardwood pallet into a stunning vertical garden - perfect for a narrow balcony or limited space. Repeating coordinated colours works well. You can find the DIY instructions below.

Cheryl has turned this hardwood pallet into a stunning vertical garden – perfect for a narrow balcony or limited space. Repeating coordinated colours works well. You can find the DIY instructions below.

“Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.” – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upcycling

Upcycle Pallets into Vertical Planters

Growing vertically saves space and pallets can be used in a number of ways to stack plants. I’m sure this pallet planter project could become addictive!

Easy steps to making your own pallet planter | The Micro Gardener www.themicrogardener.com

Britney created a stunning planter by stapling landscaping fabric onto the back of this pallet, filling with soil and her favourite plants. Inspiring result! See below for tips on watering.


Vertical gardens have many benefits including taking up less room and maximising growing space. Here are some more ways you can upcycle pallets:


Pallet vertical gardens can be stacked and staggered at different heights depending on your space. | The Micro Gardener www.themicrogardener.com

Maximum space is used here both vertically and horizontally with this abundant veggie patch filled with shallow rooted herbs and vegetables. If planting edibles directly into pallets, you may want to consider buying new and read the safety tips at the end of this article.


Veggie patch in a pallet garden | The Micro Gardener www.themicrogardener.com

An amazing quantity of food can be grown in a one square metre pallet garden. This one is intensively planted with luscious veggies!


Repurposed pallet planter | The Micro Gardener www.themicrogardener.com

Even a plain pallet can make a stunning planter against a contrasting backdrop. Are you thinking up the possibilities?

Learn how to make your own edible and flower pallet garden in this tutorial video:



Dual solution: Garden art and functional water tank screen | The Micro Gardener

This vertical planter was built as a functional screen to hide an unsightly water tank from a kitchen window. A low-maintenance succulent pallet garden is a clever solution!

Pallets can be used as they are, given a coat of paint and hung on a wall as shelving. Or dismantle and use the timber for another project. Check out these inspiring ideas:


Small space flower garden solution | The Micro Gardener

This pallet was salvaged from the side of the road & painted a cheery yellow to solve a privacy problem for the owners while sitting out on their exposed deck. Now it’s a colourful feature planter box & an inviting place to sit. This project inspires lots of variations such as a fragrant edible herb garden in pots on one tier & colour in between. Adding hooks, brackets, tea light candles or garden art also opens up the possibilities.

Pallet Fences, Greenhouses & Planters

Painted Feature Fence made from a pallet via Camelot Art Creations | The Micro Gardener www.themicrogardener.com

Create a simple painted feature fence with one or more pallets and a few garden accessories. Hardwood pallets are a lot cheaper than buying timber for fence panels and if coated with a suitable sealing paint or finish, will have a reasonable lifespan.

Via Camelot Art Creations


Glasshouse made from 2 salvaged pallets | The Micro Gardener www.themicrogardener.com

This nifty and inexpensive greenhouse has been made from two salvaged pallets. A great solution for raising plants if you live in a cold climate.


Recycled pallet window box | The Micro Gardener

A simple window box made from a repurposed pallet coordinates well with a salvaged window.

Pallet Seed Raisers

Here’s another solution using pallets for raising seeds:


Pallet seed raising greenhouse. | The Micro Gardener

In stage 1 of this project, square pots have been tucked snugly into the pallet in four ‘windows’ – this is a portable greenhouse that could be useful in many situations or cut down to size and stacked vertically.


Pallet seed raising greenhouse. | The Micro Gardener

In stage 2, panes of glass or perspex are added to each ‘window’ in the greenhouse on top of pavers as needed.

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DIY Garden Projects – How to Upcycle Pallets

Try making this simple vertical pallet garden with pots.

Pots hanging on a wooden pallet | The Micro Gardener

This idea could be adapted for use as a privacy screen, wall art, herb planters or just a decorative feature.


Pallets make great low-cost compost bays like this single Compost Bin with a Hinged Gate or a simple 4 Pallet Compost System.


Compost bin made from repurposed pallets. | The Micro Gardener

This neat single compost bin is ideal for a small space garden.


Here is a video tutorial on building compost bins:


  • Turn a Pallet into a Garden – Fern from Life on the Balcony made this one. (Please read my Tips below on this project)


Pallet garden by Fern at Life on the Balcony. www.themicrogardener.com

An edible pallet garden on a narrow balcony.



Convert a wooden pallet into a useful potting bench | The Micro Gardener

A wooden pallet converted into a useful potting bench.

Here’s another option:

Unpainted repurposed pallet potting bench | The Micro Gardener

A potting bench with a back made from horizontal timber slats provides additional hanging & storage space. The side of the bench can be used to hang small tools.

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  • A super simple bench!


Pallet garden bench | The Micro Gardener

Another low cost pallet bench storage solution.


  • DIY Planter with Succulents – these hardy plants suit these next two projects.


Pallet garden planted out with succulents. | The Micro Gardener

A hardy alternative to edibles are succulents that are drought resistant with low water needs.



DIY Succulent Pallet Table | The Micro Gardener

This DIY project shows how good a pallet can look with a stained finish and a low maintenance succulent centrepiece.

Pallet Garden Ideas


Upcycled pallet vegetable planter | The Micro Gardener

An easy low-cost solution for making a raised vegetable garden.



Upcycle pallets into a low cost raised garden bed. | The Micro Gardener

Pallets were used in this project to create a low-cost raised garden bed for square foot gardening – protecting the timber inside the bed with a plastic liner will help preserve the life of the structure.



DIY Garden Projects: Upcycle pallets into a Garden Pathway | The Micro Gardener

Repurposing a pallet and using individual timbers makes an easy pathway. Using a protective sealant will provide a longer life.


I hope these pallet garden projects have inspired you with a few ideas on ways to upcycle pallets at your place!

Tips for Upcycling Pallets in Your Garden

  • SAFETY FIRST! If you intend growing edibles in your pallet garden, do your due diligence first. You can use pallets as support structures rather than planting directly into them. No VOC or eco-friendly preserving treatments may also be an option. Remember to use PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gloves and a mask when handling or cutting timber.
  • The ISPM-15 mark is now very commonly seen on wood packaging in Australia including pallets. Additional information may be included in the mark e.g. DB for debarked, KD for kiln-dried, DUN for dunnage. The packaging manufacturer’s name may also be included.
US Pallet Treatment Stamps via Lovely Greens | The Micro Gardener

US Pallet Treatment Stamps – helpful to identify good wood.

Via Lovely Greens

  • For Australians, check out the Recycling wood pallets and packaging brochure. It contains many tips for uses, imported and local pallet chemical treatments and where to locate wood recycling businesses.

Tips for Choosing Pallets

  • Be courteous! If you are salvaging pallets from a commercial location remember to ask first. Many businesses are happy for you to remove them, but some pay a deposit and have to return the pallets to get a refund.
  • Pallet timber varies widely – from new to old, pine to hardwood and how it has been used and treated. Timber is porous and can form a breeding ground for bacteria and moulds, especially when wet or in humid conditions. Many have been treated with chemicals to prevent insects and fungal attacks on the wood, especially if they have been imported. Others are used by businesses to store chemicals or toxic industrial waste. So please consider the Precautionary Principle and err on the side of caution. Better to be safe than sorry!
  • Avoid wood dust and composite wood block pallets that contain formaldehyde – both are known carcinogens.


Upcycle pallets into benches. Pallets can be stacked to make more easily accessible benches and even store other objects horizontally on the narrow pallet 'shelves'. Storage solution for areas that suffer from flash flooding. | The Micro Gardener

Pallets can be stacked to make more easily accessible benches and even store other objects horizontally on the narrow pallet ‘shelves’. Storage solution for areas that suffer from flash flooding.


Tips on Watering and Growing Pallet Gardens

  • Watering vertical pallet gardens will be an issue you need to plan for. As in any container, plants require sufficient moisture, light and nutrients to do well.  If you want to avoid spending too much time hand watering, consider installing a drip irrigation system before adding your plants. The bottom two rows will be the driest. So consider succulents or plants with low water requirements.


Bagged soil mixes are likely to dry out too quickly and starve your plants without the addition of other ingredients.

Bagged soil mixes are likely to dry out too quickly and starve your plants without the addition of other ingredients.


  • Consider making your own potting mix so you have the confidence your tiny gardens will hold the moisture well and not dry out fast.

How to Make Potting Mix at Home Guide - increase your yields and grow healthy plantsBuy Now

  • Depending on what you want to plant into pallet gardens, you may find it tidier to staple a second layer of landscape fabric to the front facing side of the pallet (underneath the timber slats). This will help hold the soil in and prevent mess when watering.


Rocket (arugula) seedlings are a good perennial choice | The Micro Gardener

Remember annuals will need replacing faster than perennial plants so if you are looking for a low-maintenance vertical pallet garden, choose long-lasting perennials like rocket (arugula) & chives!


  • Intensive planting does require higher maintenance for your garden to stay healthy. Consider the time you have to care for it before embarking on your project.

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  • Renters and balcony gardeners should check the body corporate regulations as to what is allowed first! Remember to consider the additional weight of a vertical pallet planter too.


Wear protective gloves

Wear gloves when handling as many have splinters, nails or staples and need a little TLC.


  • Use a pallet to keep your container gardens up off the ground.
  • Screw 4 strong castors to the bottom corners of a pallet and you have an instant portable garden. An easy solution for moving plants around into/out of the sun.

Tips on Building & Dismantling Pallets

  • If you are going to dismantle a pallet for your project, here are some handy instructions or watch this video on How to Dismantle Pallets Successfully:

So what are your thoughts on upcycling pallets? Which idea are you inspired to get started on?

Related Articles: DIY Pallet PlanterDIY Projects; Clever Plant Container Ideas; Repurposed Container Gardens – Turn Trash into Treasure; 15 Helpful Design Tips for Vertical Gardens & Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters.

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© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2016. https://themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.

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