How to Make a Vertical Planter from a Wooden Pallet

DIY pallet planter

For the last couple of months I’ve had 3 pallets sitting around the house and being scratched by the cat. I have a million ideas of bits of furniture I could make with them, but I haven’t got the tools, time or motivation (or skills) to start a project, so over the bank holiday I decided it was time to make a start. Knowing what I’m like I decided to start with a simple project and leave the pallet tables and chairs for when I’ve learnt a bit more.

Note that many pallets are treated to prevent them from rotting in external conditions, being eaten by insects, etc, so unless you’re 100% sure it’s safe it might be best to keep it outdoors.

The first step was sanding it down a bit and staining it. I used decking stain and a few coats seemed to do the job.

DIY pallet vertical planter

Then I measured the corner where I wanted my planter to go (under a window) and cut the pallet to fit it. For this, you should probably use a circular saw and you’d be done in a few minutes. I haven’t got one and was too impatient to wait (and a bit worried of my clumsiness resulting in me chopping my hand off) so I just used a hand saw.

Now, most Internet tutorials I’d found just like this amazing project recommended covering up only the back of it, filling the whole thing with compost and standing it up after a couple of weeks. What you can do will greatly depend on the type of pallet you’ve got. In mine, the slats weren’t close together enough to do this, and even if I’d waited 2 weeks and let the plants grow roots the compost would’ve fallen all over the place, so I had to find a different method.

I ended up creating fabric pouches under each big front slat and turning it into a 3-tier planter. You could just use plastic planters that fit the pallet thickness instead, but it might be a bit tricky to find some that have the exact same measurements.

They recommend using landscaping fabric. All I could find was weed fabric, but it seems thick enough and it’s porous, so I think it should do the job.

DIY pallet vertical planter

Start by turning the pallet over and cover the back with landscaping fabric. This isn’t necessary if you’re making the shelf pouches, but I thought the more protection the better. Attach the fabric with a staple gun and do the same for each pouch. Again, depending on the shape of your pallet this might be easier or harder. Mine had a really annoying middle piece with meant I had 9 different pouches instead of only 3.

DIY pallet vertical planter

Once it’s ready, fill with compost and plants. As you can see, I still haven’t got round to buying plants to cover it all. I re-potted the ones I had in a small planter to see the effect, but this still needs finishing off. Also, the cat ate half the plants that I put in there, so it looks quite bare. Here he is, ready to attack:

DIY pallet planter

5 thoughts on “How to Make a Vertical Planter from a Wooden Pallet

  1. Yes, definitely show us the results, Laura. They’ll probably be much better than mine – I really need to get those plants sorted and finish it!

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