DIY Raised Garden Beds from Repurposed Pallets

Project overview:
Purpose:  To create a few simple, low-cost, raised-garden beds.


Finished Product

To create your planter boxes you’ll need the following:

Tools:
5 lb baby sledge hammer (short single hand design)
Standard hammer

Wooden pallets, number depending on how many planter boxes you wish to make.
Step One:  Break down pallets and remove nails.

I started with about 15 pallets.

I broke down the first few boards by trying to neatly pry the nails out with a large crowbar. This damaged the wood and took longer than I intended to spend on this project.
Working from the underside of each board I used a small 5 lb short-handle sledge hammer to simply undo everything. This worked very well if you hit the boards evenly to avoid splitting. I only had about 5 boards that were damaged enough to be usable for this project.
Once in single pieces, I used the standard hammer to remove/pry the nails out. If you do this in a driveway like I did, be sure to keep these in a nice pile so you don’t end up with a flat tire.

Step Two:
I used a power miter saw to cut the 2′ x 4′ material to the width of 2 long boards from the broken down pallet. These were used as support as well as a base to which the sides would attach. These were roughly 7-8″ in length. I spaced 3 evenly on the ground. The middle segment is what I attached the horizontal sides to.

Step Three:
Line up the boards level with the base of the middle 2′ x 4′ support.
Place a single nail in each.
Step Four:
Set the boards up so they lay level with the ground. Once level, put an additional nail or two in the boards to secure them in place.
Step Five:
Place another board on each side on top of the bottom board. Nail these in place.
This will give you a double height box. If you want deeper boxes, just increase the length of the support boards and add sides to the desired height.
Finished side rail

Step Six:
Repeat steps 2-6 and create another side.

Two sides

Step Seven:
Next attach the corner supports.

Step Eight:
Repeat step seven on opposite side of rail.

Step Nine:
Repeat steps seven and eight on the other side rail.

Step 10:
Install two planks on each end, enclosing your raised bed.

Step eleven:
Optional – center support. I took a piece of 2′ x 4′ and secured it in the center for added support.
Once full of soil I wanted to avoid these bulging out in the center.

Half sized square box option if space is an issue.
I ended up building 4 full sized and 2 smaller ones for our boys to experiment/learn with.
These are pretty sturdy as they withstood repeated climbing, standing and stomping on without an issue.

Summary:
Start to finish time: 4-5 hours if you have a nail gun. If you are nailing by hand, slightly longer.

Total cost:  “$” – Couple of dollars for nails. 2″ nails worked perfect for this.

Skill level:  Easy. The only cutting/measuring was for the 2′ x 4′ supports. This project utilized the existing lengths of wood so it made for a simple DIY project. Very little skill was required and a there was a large tolerance for error; small or medium gaps in the wood and being somewhat unleveled won’t effect the performance of your planter boxes.  Happy gardening!
-Dave
UPDATE:  Here’s how they look now!

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3 thoughts on “DIY Raised Garden Beds from Repurposed Pallets

  1. That’s so great that you have a garden! Jealous!! We have no anywhere near flat ground or any sun – though I suppose that is really nice in the summer for playing outside (the shady part). Oh well, guess you will just have to share. What all are you growing?

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    • He’s (this is not my project, heh) is growing corn, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, loofah, asparagus, sunflowers, rhubarb and some other stuff. It is interesting watching it all grow. The lettuce is ready now so I might use it Friday night!

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