You can add bench space that's a touch out of the ordinary with an island made from timber pallets. The repurposed material is sturdy and easy to work with, plus you can pick up pallets for next to nothing – sometimes even for free. Join them with a simple panel then top with a timber benchtop and your island home is complete.
Gather your supplies
- 1165 x 1165mm recycled timber pallets (2)
- 140 x 19mm x 2.4m pine, to enclose pallet ends
- 30 x 30mm x 1.8m dressed pine
- 2400 x 1200 x 25mm MDF (2)
- 1880 x 1200 x 30mm timber benchtop
- End cleats 30 x 30 x 150mm dressed pine (4)
- Body panels 870 x 1560x 25mm MDF (2)
- Battens 70 x 30 x 870mm dressed pine (3)
- Short pallet hooks 30 x 30 x 100mm dressed pine (4)
- Long pallet hooks 30 x 30 x 125mm dressed pine (4)
You’ll also need
Measuring tape; pencil; pinch bar; hammer; power saw; painting equipment; acrylic undercoat; semi‑gloss enamel to match kitchen cabinets; PVA glue; 50 and 40mm wood screws; drill and bits; clamps; kitchen timber oil; 450 x 300mm metal stayed brackets (2)
- When using power tools, wear all safety gear required. For more information, refer to your equipment pack instructions.
- You’ll need two pallets for this project. Buy from recycling centres for about $15 or check out trading sites like gumtree.com.au – you might find them going for free!
- Undercoat and paint all items except benchtop prior to assembly.
- Dimensions of pallet components can vary. Adjust project to suit.
STEP 1 Measure 870mm along each bearer of pallet from 1 end and mark. Using pinch bar and hammer, carefully remove slats to allow access for your power saw to cut bearers at marks. Replace slats on top and underside (which has fewer slats) of bearers flush with their ends. On 1 end of pallet, cut and fit 140 x 18mm pine to enclose gap between top and underside of boards. This will be the top end of the pallet. Repeat for second pallet.
STEP 2 Glue and screw 1 end cleat to short edge of body panel 105mm from 1 corner. Make long edge of cleat flush with edge of panel. To determine position of second end cleat, measure from top end of pallet to second last slat on underside of pallet. Add 105mm to this measurement and position second end cleat on body panel, measuring from the same corner as first cleat. Repeat to attach end cleats to other end of body panel.
STEP 3 Glue and screw 1 batten across centre of this body panel and 2 more 480mm each side of centre. Apply glue to all battens and end cleats and place second body panel on top so edges align with first. Clamp and let dry.
STEP 4 Glue 1 short pallet hook to 1 long pallet hook so 1 end of both are flush. Repeat to make 3 more hooks. Leave to dry.
STEP 5 Glue and clamp 1 pallet hook to centre of slat on underside of pallet so it is flush with the top end. Repeat to attach second pallet hook to the slat you measured to in Step 2. Repeat to attach pallet hooks to other pallet.
STEP 6 Lift pallet and slot hooks over end cleats between body panels. Repeat for second pallet at other end of panels.
STEP 7 Apply 2 coats kitchen timber oil to benchtop, following product instructions. Place over island base so it overhangs pallets evenly all around. Predrill and screw up through pine at top ends of pallets into benchtop with 40mm wood screws. Place brackets on centre of body panel under benchtop. Screw bracket to batten through body panel and up into benchtop.