Wood Pallet Wall Book Shelves

6 Materials
3 Days
My son's room was a disaster. Plus, he had gotten into the habit of having piles of books lying everywhere. Books are great. And I can't complain about my kids wanting to own a ton of books. They love to read. So, I had to come up with a free solution for more book storage, because as is the case on most of my projects, my budget was pretty much zero dollars spent. So off I went to 'dumpster dive' outside of my husband's office, where I knew I could find some wood pallets.
I got this small pallet. It didn't have the typical shape or size of pallets others have used to make wall shelves, so I had to get a little creative. You can see it has slats in the back and two boards holding the slats in place. I used the circular saw (my first time, it was scary but easy - and fun!) and cut down the middle of the slats, as you can see above.
I was planning on hanging the two pallet halves with the bar going horizontal and the slats going vertical. But I needed a 'front' to my shelves so the books could set on the shelf without falling off. I had this extra board in my shed, and cut it in half.
I used Minwax Wood Stain in Ebony (black) to stain all of the boards. I already had this on hand from several other projects (this stuff goes a long way).
You can see it's a very dark stain (above). After it dries with just one coat on the wood, it does lighten up and tend to have just a very dark brown/wood color to it. If you did more than one coat, it would probably be a truer black. I did one coat because I did not want it to look too black.
This is what one of them looks like hung on the wall. I found studs in the wall and hung the pallet up first, which stuck out like a shelf with no front to it. Then I attached the board with screws along the bottom to make a 'front' for the shelf so I could put books on it.
Here are both of the shelves hanging up with the books in them. The books are put in front facing because of the style of shelving. You can see that the pallet acts as a shelf sticking out from the wall, and I had to nail on the extra piece of wood for a 'front' so the books stay on the shelf and don't come tumbling down. These hold a good many books when you stagger them and make several rows from front to back! They also look nice and rustic for his 'rock climbing' room!

Suggested materials:

  • Pallet   (office garbage pile)
  • Minwax wood stain in Ebony   (had it already)
  • Wooden plank   (had it already)
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Frequently asked questions

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  1 question
  • Margaret Dolan Margaret Dolan on Nov 18, 2017
    Would a french cleat on the back help distribute the weight more for books?


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3 of 23 comments
  • Rita Lane Rita Lane on Jan 11, 2018
    That is brilliant!! Stores books and doesn't take up valuable floor space. I'm thinking I might even put them in my bedroom on either side of my window and put a small shelf under the bottom one! Thank you for your inspiration.

  • Kathy Kathy on Apr 11, 2018

    I think you could do the same for record albums.