How to Make an Animal Shelter With Wood Pallets

Updated April 17, 2017

Wood pallets make handy building materials. They are widely available, often for little or no money. They are also very durable and relatively easy to transport. If you have a few wood pallets lying around, you can easily use them to build a simple animal shelter, with just a few additional materials. If you don't have any wood pallets handy, ask your local building supply store or lumber yard: they may have extra pallets that they will let you have.

Angle two wood pallets together to form an A-frame. The base of the frame should coincide with the width of a wood pallet. Join the two wood pallets at the correct angle with L-shaped brackets.

Lift the A-frame onto a third wood pallet. Ask a friend for assistance with this step: the A-frame will be fairly heavy. Attach the A-frame to the base with additional L-shaped brackets.

Measure the dimensions of the triangular opening at the back of the shelter. Cut a large triangular piece of plywood to fit. Always wear safety glasses when operating power saws. Screw the large plywood triangle to the back of the shelter.

Measure a smaller triangle for the front entryway of the shelter. Leave plenty of clearance below the front triangle for your animal to freely enter and exit. Cut the smaller triangle to fit from scrap plywood and screw into place at the front of the shelter.

Stretch a waterproof tarp over the exterior of the shelter and staple it into place. Fold all edges tightly and neatly to prevent pockets where water could accumulate.

Line the floor of your animal shelter with carpet scraps or an old blanket.


Always exercise caution when operating power saws.

Things You'll Need

  • Three wood pallets
  • L-shaped brackets
  • All-weather screws
  • Drill
  • Measuring tape
  • Plywood scraps
  • Circular saw
  • Waterproof tarp
  • Staple gun
  • Carpet scrap or old blanket (optional)
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About the Author

Fred Samsa has been writing articles related to the arts, entertainment and home improvement since 2003. His work has appeared in numerous museum publications, including program content for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and he was awarded a Presidential Fellowship in 2005. He holds a Master of Arts in art from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Brown University.