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It’s no secret we’ve got a love of pallets over here at So Eclectic. You’ve seen our post on the pallet path and pallet shelves. Well, Jess’s questions on how to and where to get all those lovely pallets that have been bouncing around the blog world lately, lead me to this post. Where do you find them? Are they chemically treated? What do you do about the occasional grossness?

Pallet Swing by Sheryl Salsbury (via Better After)

Where to get ‘em: As it turns out, obtaining a pallet is actually quite easy. Pallets are a common shipping material just like styrofoam peanuts. They’re used all the time to ship stuff. Like furniture, crates, dog food, and such. After they’ve been used, pallets are often just simply discarded. So, you can find them by dumpsters and alleyways. Also, you can just ask the company where you see one if you can have it. Look at places they get lots of shipments, such as: malls, Wal-Mart or Target, Greyhound stations, furniture stores. Or, if you get a large piece of furniture or heavy item delivered as freight there’s often a pallet tied to it. Ask the driver if you can keep it.

Pretty White Coffee Table by Caisa K

The Chemicals: By law, pallets have to be treated for pests so that all those little buggies don’t make their way easily around the US. From what I understand, pallets can be either heat treated or chemically treated with methyl bromide. In March of 2010, the chemical treatment started being phased out. So, to be on the safe side try and pick up heat treated pallets. How can you tell? Well, heat treated are often marked with HT and the chemically treated ones are marked with MB. If you plan on making a vertical garden or putting any edible food on the pallet make sure you get heat treated ones.

DIY Pallet Headboard by Stylizimo Blog (via ReNest)

Grossness: Because pallets are used for shipping, they can often be really dirty, have splintery edges, or nails and screws poking out. When you get your pallet home, give it a tough scrub or power wash. Let it dry out in the sun and then use a coarse grit sand paper to get out the rough spots. Then, use finer grits of sandpaper to make it smooth. Especially if you’re making a piece you don’t necessarily want to rub up against and get splinters.

Pallet Pavillon by Matthias Loebermann

More pallet eye candy for your viewing pleasure:

Vertical Pallet Garden by Stephanie (via Design*Sponge)

Toddler Reading Bed by Ashely at Under the Sycamore

Compost Bin from Young House Love

File Crates from DIY Diva

Pallet Wall from Bower Power (via 2Modern)

Hope you’re inspired and ready to create! We’d love to see what you do with your pallet!

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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About Our Authors »

Hope Chest

In our hope chest, we share products that complement our home aesthetic or make us excited about the directions of new design.

 

Jess

I live with Kyle, my husband, in Kansas City, Mo. We have a dog, Oats, and a cat, Logan.

I am a development professional who specializes in museums and the performing arts. I write grants, fundraise, and assist with marketing in the form of donor communications. My academic background is in history and museum science, focusing on the presentation and interpretation of Africa in American museums.

As a freelancer, I work with clients in need of websites, Wordpress upgrades, and FileMaker Pro database solutions.

Mary

Hi! I live in a small two bedroom home in Austin, Texas. I believe in vintage, re-purposing, recycling, and making my home comfortable for us and everyone that visits. After grad school, I developed a love for design and giving old furniture a new life. Hope I can take you all along on my journey to rid my house of the "college days" furniture (or at least re-purpose it)! Welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

 
© 2011, Mary Marcum and Jess Rezac at SoEclectic.com