A stack of pallets to be turned into garage pallet racks

Build Your Own Garage Pallet Rack

Wooden pallets are ubiquitous in stores because they use them for easy storage. You might need the extra storage, too, and you can make shelving out of pallets for your own use. Here are 2 short, easy ways to making your own pallet rack.

  • Step 1: Acquire the materials.

    You will need wooden pallets, 2x4's, a tape measure, a power drill or hammer, sandpaper, a jigsaw, and a box of 3 or 4-inch screws. 2x4's are wood boards that are 2 inches thick and 4 inches wide. You may need varnish or paint, if you want to paint them.

    Pallets are easy to acquire. Go to any store and ask for them. Some stores are now using plastic pallets, and some stores have a policy against giving them away, but many will just give you some. Get half as many pallets as you want shelves and make sure the pallets are all the same size.

  • Step 2: Find a place for your pallet rack.

    These racks are relatively narrow, so the area does not need to be large. A corner of your garage is probably fine. Sweep out the space underneath and make sure the ground is even if you're going to use method 1.

  • Step 3: Trim and sandpaper your pallets.

    If you use method 1, the edges of the pallets need to be flush with the middle of the 2x4's. Pallets have an open front and backside so they can be lifted by a jack. The left and right side are covered. Your 2x4's will be nailed against the side edges. You can take out the center beams, leaving 2 side beams on the right and two on the left. This will leave you more shelf space for little things. You can cut your pallets in half along the width of them, edge to edge. You might have to remove the center board in order to cut all the way through, or use power tools. If you want to stain or paint the pallets, do it now. Give it a few days to dry.

Now, you can pick a method.

  • Method 1:

    Take four 6-foot 2x4's, lay them on the ground and mark your preferred shelf height. Using a drill and 4 nails per joint, nail the sides of the 2x4's to the front and back edges of the pallets. Use a cross brace, a pair of boards in the form of an X nailed to the sides, to steady it, or secure your rack to the wall.

  • Method 2:

    Nail the center beams that you removed to the bottom of an open end of the pallets. Cut the top half of the pallet off 1/2 inch above the higher slat. Use a self-drilling drywall anchor to attach it to your wall.

With the first method, you can store pretty any large item, with the biggest and heaviest things on the bottom. The second method allows you to store books or other smaller items.

Last Updated: September 16, 2014