How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets

Hi Friends! I first want to thank all of you for your kind words on my Family Room Reveal Post! You all are way too kind and know how to put a smile on a girl’s face. Thank you for all of your encouragement, I really appreciate it.

As promised, here is my tutorial on How to Build A Media Center out of Pallets, so here we go! It is actually a fairly easy project, as long as you are comfortable using a circular skill saw. While it may be pretty straight forward, it does take some time because of all the different steps involved and waiting time.

And I apologize in advanced, this is not the ‘prettiest’ tutorial I have ever posted :)

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There are probably several different ways to do this, but I’m showing you exactly how I made mine.

Supplies Needed:

–  Pallets- Find ones that are the exact same length and have the same number of boards across

–  5/4″X 4 X 10″ boards (1 per pallet)

– Electric Sander and 200 grit paper

Foaming Gorilla Glue

Minwax Dark Walnut Stain

Minwax Satin Polycrylic Sealer

Galvanized Fencing Nails

2″ Metal Hinges

– Mask to help with the fumes

 

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

These are the pallets that I started with. I chose this style because the boards were evenly placed across the pallet and they were all in tact. For this project, it is extremely helpful to use pallets that are exactly the same size, this way they will fit together senselessly and the end result will look more polished.

I was fortunate to get all of my pallets from my brother’s work. The only issue is that the specific pallet I chose for this project only came in every few months so I had to wait for each shipment. I waited VERY patiently :)

Start by removing all of the staples and debris attached to the pallets.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Then cut the pallet in half, horizontally. My pallets had exactly 6 boards across, so I cut straight down the middle so there were three boards on each side.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Flip the pallets over and remove the two boards attached to the underside.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Now you should have two pieces exactly alike.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Take your 5/4 X 10 X 4 boards and cut them to fit the length of your pallet. These boards will be used to make the pallet taller.  Mine measured 19 1/4″ long.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Place a thin line of glue on top of the boards that are already sticking up from the pallets, and then place one 5/4″ X 4 X 19 1/4 ” boards on top of each board. Press gently to secure them.

Note: Use the foaming Gorilla Glue like pictured above. A little bit of this glue goes a long way. It will expand when it dries and it is extremely strong. The Gorilla Glue that is more of a cream color is not as strong and might not old this project together.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

When placing the boards on top, make sure to align them with the ‘good’ side of the pallet. Meaning, the side that was not cut with the saw. This will be the ‘front facing’ part of the cube system and they will be nice and even. We’ll trim the back in a few steps.

Wait about an hour for the first layer to dry.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Place another layer of glue onto the boards, then add another set of 5/4″ X 4 ” 19 1/4″ boards. Apply another layer of glue, then place the second pallet section on top, creating your cube system. I placed two layers of boards in between the pallets in order to fit the square baskets I was using. But if you wanted to use smaller baskets you could remove a layer of boards.

One unit measures 19 1/4″ deep, 32″ across and 14 1/2 ” high.

You may notice in the picture the foaming gorilla glue seeping out between the boards. I used an X-Acto Knife to trim away the glue when this happened. Just wait for it to dry first.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

This is what the ‘back’ or ‘rear-facing’ side of the pallet will look like. We all know pallets are rustic and not perfect, and I’m sure my cuts aren’t perfect either. So,  I used the Skill Saw to trim this section the best I could.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Next, using an electric sander, sand down every crevice of your pallets. The more you sand the better the stain will take to the wood. I sanded the top, bottom, inside each cubby, etc. I didn’t over do it, but definitely spent some time smoothing out the wood and removing any splinters or bad spots.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Now we are getting to the fun part, choosing your stain. I knew I wanted mine a dark stain so I chose a few samples and tested them out on the wood. Always remember to test out the stain first because each stain will take differently to different types of wood. Even the same color in a different brand will look different.

I went with Minwax Dark Walnut (far left) for this project (And most of the projects in my home. It’s my ‘go-to’ stain).

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

You can apply the stain using either a brush or a soft rag (like from an old t-shirt). I prefer to use a rag, I think it applies a little more evenly. Now, for this project I only used one coat of stain and didn’t worry about making it perfect. I wanted these to have more of a rustic look so I wasn’t worried if there were spots that were uneven or not completely covered.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Allow the stain to dry overnight and then apply a few layers of Polycrylic sealer. I used a clear satin sheen to help keep its rustic look.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Note: Because of how large my ‘media center’ turned out, I ended up purchasing about five 32 oz cans of both stain and sealer. That’s where all of my money went to for this project. Unfortunately, it adds up.

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After the pallets were dry, I stacked two on top of each other across the entire wall and filled them with square wicker baskets. My pallet units fit almost perfectly across the room. However, I was 1″ too long on one side so I had a ‘make it work’ moment and had to take 1″ out of the middle of one of the units.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

Lastly, once the pallets were in place I added the hardware for both a decorative and functional purpose.

How To Build a Media Center Out of Pallets, pallet art, pallet drawers, pallet storage unit, DIY pallet projects, uses for a pallet, decorative pallets, rustic family room, rustic decor

To view the rest of the family room click here.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

Sharing this project at some of the parties here along with Today’s Creative BlogTipJunkieHome Stories A 2 Z, Funky Junk Interiors, The Shabby NestMy Repurposed LifeThe Shabby Creek CottageThrifty Decor Chick, Serenity Now

 

About 

Taryn is the owner/editor of Design, Dining and Diapers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on DIY home decor, design, seasonal crafts, easy recipes and just being a mom! She is all about making things for less by upcycling thrift store finds and using what’s on hand. Taryn lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

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Comments

  1. Jodi says

    LOVE IT!!!! Can I ask where you got your hardware and the baskets? Love how the baskets are different! We are building some cubbies in our laundry room and I need about 12 baskets and would love to mix them up like yours!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. says

    Taryn, these are gorgeous and you are amazing! I hope a) I get a saw for Christmas and b) I find a place in my home to do this! Thanks so much for the tutorial!

    Love Always,
    Liz

  3. Christine says

    Whoa. So cool! And so lucky to have a family source for pallets. I never can figure out where to get these without being arrested for stealing…..

  4. says

    I’m IN LOVE! My question is: How many freakin’ pallets did you have to use?
    I love this but I doubt I’ll be able to find that many matching pallets. I planned to do something similar with the “apple crates” that they sell raw at Michaels or JoAnns but I think the pallets would be MUCH stronger and hold up for a lot longer.

  5. Kim says

    This is a great idea- the only thing is that it looks like you could have benefited from clamping the sides your glued together so they were straighter. It would be helpful to reinforce the sides with something other then glue as well in case you want to place things on top. Gorilla glue is great but it is still just glue and with wood expanding and shrinking due to humidity and heat, I would not use solely glue.

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