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How to make a pallet planter

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

You can make this rustic planter out of split pallet slats and a five-gallon bucket.



  • One or two pallets (Try to get pallets that are in good shape. Large box stores and moving companies are good places to look. Old pallets that have been heavily used can be cracked and splintered and almost impossible to work with.)
  • Five-gallon general-use bucket
  • Work gloves and safety goggles
  • Flat pry bar
  • Claw hammer
  • Crosscut saw
  • Hatchet (for splitting the pallet wood)
  • Tin snips (for cutting the strapping)
  • About 50 3/4″ or 1/2″ lath screws (The screw length depends on how thick your pallet wood is.) Lath screws are generally used for metal but work well for this project.
  • Two perforated metal hanger straps about 6 feet long. Hanger straps are predrilled and come in rolls.
  • Drill, Phillips-head bit and 1/2″ spade bit
  • Pocketknife and sander with coarse sandpaper


pallet-11. Put on your gloves and safety goggles. Remove the handle from the bucket. Drill several 1/2″ drainage holes in the bottom.


pallet-22. Wrap the strapping around the bucket, leaving a 1″ gap between the bucket and the strapping. Mark the strapping and add 12″ to its length. Cut two pieces of strapping the same length. With the hammer and flat pry bar, carefully take apart the pallet. Make sure you remove all the nails. Be very careful of splinters. Use the cut strapping to measure, and saw enough slats to wrap around the bucket. The slats should be about 1″ longer than the bucket is tall.


pallet-33. Now it’s time to split the wooden slats. Carefully embed the hatchet in the middle of the end of a slat until you can pick the slat up with the hatchet. Life the slat with the hatchet and lightly hit it on a sturdy piece of wood until it splits. Shave any splinters with your pocketknife. Some of the slats will not split well, so make sure you have extras. Split each slat into two pieces.



4. Place the split sides of each slat together and tightly arrange them on a flat surface. Put the two hanger straps on top of the slats, leaving about 6″ of strapping on each side. Drive one screw through one of the holes in the strapping and into each slat. Continue to do this until both straps are connecting all the slats. You can now pick up the slats and stand them up in a circle. See if it fits around the bucket. If it is too short to fit around the bucket, add more slats until it fits. When the circle fits around the bucket, cut off the extra strap ends flush to the sides of the slats. Flip the slats over and sand.


pallet-55. Bend the slats into a circle, and on the inside, screw it together with two short pieces of strapping. Put the bucket inside the circle of slats, add some dirt and plants, and your pallet planter is complete.


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2 Comments on How to make a pallet planter

  1. i love it

  2. Thats pretty cool considering pallets are easy to find

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