How to make a picket fence out of pallets

Updated February 21, 2017

Don't waste natural resources when reuse is a viable option. For example, instead of discarding wooden pallets, use them to make a charming fence to decorate your lawn or garden. Discarded pallets can often be obtained for free from companies that use them. Used pallets can also be bought from recycling companies. To make a fence, set evenly spaced fence posts in the ground and secure the pallets between them. When pallets are placed on end, their boards will look like the boards and fence rails of a picket fence.

Delineate the desired fence line using stakes and string.

Set a pallet with its boards positioned vertically. Measure the width of the pallet and add 10 cm (4 inches) to determine how far apart the fence posts need to be (from centre point to centre point).

Mark where the centre points of the posts will be along the fence line with stakes, starting from a corner.

Dig 69 to 90 cm (2 to 3 foot) deep, 25 cm (10 inch) wide holes for the posts, using a posthole digger. Fill the holes with 15 cm (6 inches) of gravel to provide drainage.

Set 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) fence posts into the holes. Fill the holes with concrete. Tack scrap wood to the posts to help keep them propped up. Ensure that the posts are vertically aligned using a level. Measure between the posts to ensure that the pallets will fit.

Level the top of the concrete at a slight slope away from the post, to keep water from pooling around the wood.

Allow the concrete to dry for 24 hours. Mist the concrete periodically with water while it cures.

Place the pallets between the posts with the boards running up and down. Secure them either by drilling pilot holes and toenailing wood screws at an angle through the pallet's centre boards and into the posts, or with fence brackets. Line up the bottom and top deck boards of each pallet, which are now serving as fence rails.

Stain and seal, or prime and paint, the fence to protect the wood from sun and water damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Stakes
  • String
  • Tape measure
  • Posthole digger
  • Gravel
  • 10 by 10 cm (4 by 4 inch) fence posts
  • Concrete
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • Brackets (optional)
  • Stain and wood sealer or paint and primer
  • Painting supplies
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About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.