Repurposed pallet decor idea.

Repurposed pallet decor idea.

Turning old pallet into the rustic photo display (with lights!).

Repurposed pallet idea


We had around 1meter long empty wall space between two large windows in the living room…

empty wall space

It wasn’t big enough for any purposeful furniture. Except maybe a dresser or a table (pictured), but we had too many tables already.
Electric sockets in the middle of the wall were effectively limiting any creativity.
I was toying with the idea of hanging a large mirror to brighten up the space, but I wanted to come up with something more inventive.

One day it just hit me- it’s an ideal space for a pallet! I love furniture (and other things) made from pallets. They’ve got that rustic vibe. We had searched for the right pallet for quite a bit. They were either blue,  smashed beyond the repair, or too big. And then we spotted the perfect one, just outside the building site close to our home.

So, that’s how it looked like when we picked it up from the street curb.

Repurposed pallet decor idea.

Repurposed pallet

Not pretty, to say the least. But still, it was perfect!
It was usable, and it was the right size & color. We decided to give it a second life. The thing about pallets is that you can make virtually anything out of them. You can find thousands of DIY pallet ideas on Pinterest (from sofas and tables to garden boxes, headboards and feature walls). I had an idea to create big, rustic photo display.
For some reason, I stopped displaying photos around 10 years ago.
I definitely don’t like photo frames anymore, but barn-style photo display with lights tickles my fancy. I hadn’t seen anything exactly like that on Pinterest, so I decided to wing it and think about details as I go along.
At the beginning, I had been thinking about chicken wire background and chicken wire shelves, but I settled for the easiest concept -just a few wires across the pallet, so it won’t look too cluttered when I add the lights. The following week garden lights went on sale at LIDL…

decorative light bulbs
Although the chain of lights would suit the barns style just fine, these, straight hanging, big bulbs were a jackpot.

These are steps we took to create our pallet photo display.

Disclaimer: Let’s be honest here… When I say ‘we’, I mean Hubsters.
It goes like that: I think of the impossible, and Hubby creates stuff out of my crazy ideas. In other words, he does all the hard work and I take all the credit.


Please note the pallet is (90cm x 90cm). You can go bigger or smaller (depending on your wall size).

You will need:

-old (or new) pallet
-new plank or planks/wooden boards (if some are damaged; use boards from other pallets if possible) –optional
– saw (for cutting access wood, if you decide to replace boards)- optional
-wall plugs or drywall anchors (depending on the type of wall; wall plugs for the brick wall, drywall anchors for drywall)
-screws (together with wall plugs will fix a pallet to the wall)
-drill (electric or cordless)
-brush or vacuum cleaner (to clean the pallet)
-sander (electric, if possible)
-stain & varnish
-large paintbrush or paint brushes
-craft wire (I used one spool)
-picture frame hooks (I used 6 for attaching wires and 4/bigger ones/ to attach lights)
-mini decorative pegs (for hanging pictures on the wire)
-garden lights on individual wires, or string of lights
– pencil/painters tape
-wire cutter/pliers/heavy duty scissors
-a measure

Please note (number of supplies you need, depends on the size of the pallet).

Repurposed pallet


Make sure that your pallet is dry. If it was stored outside or in the warehouse/barn, keep it for at least 48 hours at home before you start to do anything. If there’s a sign of mold growing, throw this pallet away.
If you’re sure that the pallet is dry, use a cleaning brush and/or a vacuum cleaner to get rid of any dirt and sand. If any of the boards are damaged, that’s the best time to replace them.

Repurposed pallet
Use a pry bar or a hammer to remove damaged boards (preferably using reclaimed wood, possibly boards from other pallets). All you need here is some nails and a hammer (and a saw if the new boards are too long).

Repurposed pallet

Next, use an electric sander to smooth over the surface. Use it once or twice depending on how smooth you want your pallet to be. I preferred annual rings to be visible, so one time was enough.

Repurposed pallet

Hubby used varnish and stain for the next step. I definitely fancied a color, but I wanted the wood characteristics to be recognizable. Stain and varnish is the best choice if you want to achieve that effect.
Remeber to let the pallet dry. If you want more color, you can always add another layer later.

Repurposed pallet

If the pallet is dry, plan your display layout. You need to figure out where you want your wires, lights, and photos to be.

Repurposed pallet

I decided to hang 6 separate wires (3 on each half of the pallet)…

Repurposed pallet
All you need to do is establish the length of the wire you need, screw photo frame hooks into the pallet sideboard and attach wires to the hooks. Use flexible wire, so you can tie its ends to hooks easily.

… and 4 nails (hidden by the top board) for the lights to hang on.

Repurposed pallet

Next, use wall plugs (or drywall anchors), screws and an electric drill to fix pallet to the wall.

how to fix pallet to the wall
Use a pencil and/or painters tape to mark spots where plugs/drywall anchors are going to be (mark wall as well as the pallet). Use a measuring tape to make sure distances between marks are even.  Drill appropriate holes in the wall (not bigger than the anchor). Using an electric drill, screw anchors into the wall. Drive screws through previously marked spots on the pallet to fix it to the wall (screws should go through the pallet and directly into the drywall anchors).

how to fix pallet to the wall

Use decorative pegs to attach photos to the wires.
Last, but not least (it’s the best step!), hang the lights on.

And voila! Presenting The Pallet…
(in different light, from different angles). 

Repurposed pallet idea

Repurposed pallet idea

Repurposed pallet idea

Repurposed pallet idea

… and whatever that it 😉

Repurposed pallet idea

Repurposed pallet idea

That’s just one of the recycled pallet ideas. If you like cottage country or barn style, there are a lot more things to make from pallets.

Read more:

Free pallet plans.

21 Ways Of Turning Pallets Into Unique Pieces Of Furniture.

How to create a gallery wall – tutorial.


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Repurposed pallet idea

Mila Myk

Home Decor, DIY and Inspirational Ideas

2 Replies to “Repurposed pallet decor idea.

  1. Such a great idea (and your instructions are so simple to follow)! Thanks for sharing and it looks terrific – thinking of a kid’s bedroom that could use just this.

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