by Allison Brooks, natural health contributor

How recycled wood can add beauty to your home

Today, money is tight, people are stressed, and depression levels are at an all-time high. Some people turn to vacations, making phone calls to home, or medications to help relieve symptoms.

But when the long distance calling bills start coming in and paying for medications is not an option, what is a person to do to alleviate stress? Easy. Make Something.  And a great way to start out is making pallet-wood furniture. Not only will it be a fun way to ease stress levels but cheaply beautify your home.

Each day, hundreds of retail stores throw away stacks of wooden pallets that had been used to hold merchandise. Pallets have many uses beyond their original retail purpose, however, and it’s possible to recycle used pallets into a number of craft and carpentry projects. Pallets can be broken down for lumber and used to build everything from fences and decks to bed frames and sofas. Here are three simple and fun projects using pallets:

Bed frames

Jumbo-sized pallets are the same width as full-size mattresses, making them an ideal base for building a bed frame. Plus you get a ton of storage space. Simply line up the pallets and measure them to fit. After cutting them apart with a saw, nail the pallets together across a horizontal support board. Two pallets should be sufficient to make a bed frame; support boards can be salvaged from one pallet and used to strengthen the other.

Adirondack chairs

These chairs are great for patio furniture, the beach or outdoors events. Several different patterns can be purchased or downloaded for free online, but the basic construction is fairly simple. Just strip the cross-planks from a pallet and cut the piece down to size. Then bolt it together in the right shape or add hinges for a foldable chair. A fresh coat of paint or stain can make these chairs new again.

Couches

Pallet couches can be as simple or complex as the designer wants them to be. At its most basic, a pallet couch can be a few pallets nailed together and stacked on more pallets or set on wheels. The couch can be upholstered with used pillows and cushions. For more adventurous DIY builders, more pallets can be used to build the couch’s back, or other repurposed items like doors can be used. Some paint and a creative cushion can add so much life to these recycled beauties.

Using a little skill and imagination, a thrifty person can transform a pallet into a useful piece of furniture. Not does this help keep useable wood out of landfills, it also enables people to relieve stress and have a confidence boast; I know I do when I make the Adirondack chairs. It also enables people to make furniture for a much lower price than if they bought it in a store. People can use pallets to save money and the environment at the same time.
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Allie Brooks studies different forms of healing and has a degree in Biomedical Anthropology from the University of Mississippi. She can be reached at naturallie23@gmail.com

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