Outdoor Garbage Can Storage From Pallets

7 Materials
$40
3 Hours
Advanced

My husband was determined to make something to help keep the raccoons out of his brother's trash as it was strewn across the lawn several mornings in a row while we were there. We wanted to make a low budget storage unit for the garbage to be concealed and protected. We picked up a handful of free pallets and bought some hinges and paint and made this crate-like creation. The very next morning we saw paw prints, but all the trash was safely sitting in its proper place.
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This version really does look like a big crate, but with their old house it kind of fits in and definitely keeps the critters out.
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SUPPLIES: -5 Pallets (of the same size) -Drill -2 2x4x8 wooden beams (Not pictured) -Measuring Tape -Paint (optional, not pictured) -Circular saw -Outdoor Screws -Crowbar / hammer /etc. -6 Large Hinges -1 Handle -1 Slide Lock (the first one we tried was too small, so I suggest getting a large one!)
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STEP 1: Measure your trash cans Measure your trash can/cans to ensure you are going to make a space large enough to contain them. Measure height, depth, width and length.
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STEP 2: Take apart pallets Take several of your pallets and remove the back panels with a crow bar or demolition hammer. This will help if you have any protruding parts of the trash can (handles, etc) to fit within the crate. We will also be using them to create the siding for the storage unit so don't throw them out. Just set them aside and remove any nails that might be sticking out. I used 5 pieces per side so if you remove 10 or so you should be good to go. Also make sure that you do not remove the end back pieces, as they will be used to secure the unit together. (See the image to the right above as reference) I suggest leaving one pallet with all the back panels intact for the door piece we will create in step 3. Once you have removed all back centerpieces on one of your pallets line your trash cans up to ensure that they will fit (I know we measured before, but better to double check). This will be the back of the crate.
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STEP 3: Saw a pallet in half Grab a pallet with the same dimensions as the back pallet you just created in step 2. *I didn't remove the back panels to this pallet because I didn't need to and I already had enough pieces for the side panels. It also sits in the front of the crate and helps conceal the trash inside. Measure across the pallet and mark the halfway point. Saw the pallet in half all the way down so that you now have 2 pieces. You will be sawing down the pieces lengthwise. These pieces will be used as your swinging doors.
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STEP 4: Cut 2x4's Grab your 2x4 pieces of wood. Remember those measurements we took in step 1? Well here we will be using the depth measurement of the trashcans. For instance my trash cans were 2.5' deep so I decided to make the depth of the crate 3' for some extra space. I cut four 3' pieces of wood out of my 2x4s.
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STEP 5: Attach pallets and 2x4's Set the backside of your crate where you wish to store your trashcans. We will now set up the structure for the side panels with the four pieces we cut from the 2x4s in step 4. Measure down and up on each side of the back pallet 6" and make a mark. This is where you will screw the 2x4 pieces. Screw each piece into the front and back panel of each pallet.
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STEP 6: Add pallet planks to 2x4's Now take the panels that you removed from the backs of the pallets in step 2 and screw them into the 2x4 side beams you just screwed into the back in step 5. *I put 5 on each side, but if you want less spacing add more!
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STEP 7: Add L-brackets To help secure the 2x4s in place add L-brackets to each corner where they met the back pallet.
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STEP 8: Add side doors Now it is time to add the doors! To allow the doors to swing open (making it easy to roll the trash to the curb for pickup) we will be attaching them with hinges! Screw the hinges to the front ends of each 2x4 side beam. Take each door that you cut in step 3 and screw the other side of the hinge to the inside of the door. ***Before screwing the second door onto the hinge close the first and make sure that they line up. You will definitely need a helper for this step (honestly my hubs helped with this whole project, but this part you definitely need some extra hands)
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STEP 9: Add top door Now grab another of your pallets and screw the last 2 hinges to it. You will screw them in an even distance from each side. Set it on top of the box structure you have now created and screw the other side of the hinge to the back wall of the storage bin. This will create a lid that can open and close allowing you to dump your trash in the bins easily.
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STEP 10: Attach the handle to the front of the top / lid of the crate. Attach a sliding lock or chain lock to the front of the doors to hold them closed together. (Each just screws into place... just make sure they are centered and that the lock lines up between both doors)
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STEP 11: Step back and make sure everything is even and in place. Make adjustments if needed. You can be done at this point, but can also paint it if you wish. *We first used Wal-Mart spray paint and it was HORRIBLE... It wasn't a terrible loss at 96 cents / can, but I don't recommend it, well not for something that soaks up so much paint anyway. So we ended up grabbing a can of exterior paint and coated the whole thing down.
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Now you are all set to "protect" your trash!
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As you can see the top opens like a lid and the front like doors. This makes it easy to throw something in the cans when needed and also remove the cans to take them to the curb on trash day!

Suggested materials:

  • 5 Pallets  (Check behind stores or Craigslist)
  • Outdoor Screws  (Lowe's)
  • Slide Lock  (Wal-Mart)
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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Patti
    on Jan 15, 2017

    Where can pallets be found?

    • Tiffany
      on May 15, 2017

      hardware stores, pool supply store, Kmart,etc. Once you start looking you will find them all over. I always make a point to ask if it is not marked "Free". Many times they leave them outside for space but most places have no problem with you taking a few.

Join the conversation

2 of 44 comments
  • Joanie
    on Apr 21, 2018

    It would work for me.......great idea!!

  • Dorothhy
    on Jun 2, 2018

    Really nice! I would stain the wood, I like it better than the white. The idea is just what I was looking for!


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