Building our own furniture

… and saving money.

I always liked drawing and crafting, although it has never been one of my full-time hobbies. But, when we moved to our new home in 2016 and eventually had so much more space, especially with the garden, a whole new world opened up to us. Not only would building stuff on our own be a fun free-time activity, but it would also make us save money. A fact that became particularly clear, when we started getting pallet wood for free from our local garden nursery.

Room divider

One of my projects is a wooden chest room divider. We already had the Ikea Kallax shelf to separate our living room from my work space and the entrance, but there still was missing something. Basically my idea was to build something that would offer a little storage space different from a library.

I started with a base made from pallet wood and a thin plywood sheet. Next, I constructed a wooden frame, which was then attached to the base, using angle joints. All that was left to do now was nailing slats to the frame to close the chest and create the back part/room divider. I preferred leaving some holes in the back part, in order to loosen up the design a little bit. The same goes for the top, where, instead of a shelf, two wooden rods will do just fine.

Of course my chest also needed a lid. I made this one from thicker boards, so one can actually sit down on the chest. I took three slats and attached them to two cleats. A fourth slat was attached to the frame of the chest. In the end, the two pieces just needed to be joint by a hinge. Note that the lid is not lying on the lateral slats, but on the frame.

The piece of furniture fits perfectly into the room while it also offers the possibilities to add more to it (like the document holder). I had a lot of fun with this project and am really happy about the outcome.

Pallet wall piece/Wardrobe

A second piece of work that I just finished is a shelf/wardrobe made from a pallet. This is a very easy project which I recommend to anybody who’d love to add a little rustic flair to their home.

So, we still had this one white empty wall, and, at the same time, we needed some more storage space for everyday items like keys, purses or headphones – you know, the stuff you usually just throw in the first available corner as soon as you enter home.

Looking at our wood and pallet stock, I saw this one pallet and came up with an easy idea. All I had to do is lighten up the whole piece by removing some of the slats. I then sanded it well, before applying a coat of impregnation. I added two little shelves, also made from pallet wood, a few hooks and little wooden pegs. And that’s it. Easy, fast, cheap, and still beautiful – as long as you like the wood flair.

Bathtub shelf

As I told above, I removed some of the slats from the pallet that I made our wall piece from. With all our tools already lying around, I spontaneously decided to use those spare slats to build a bathtub shelf. This again is a very easy and fast project.


After cutting the slats down to the width of our bathtub and sanding them, I used a mahogany coloured impregnation to both protect and embellish the wood, so it would match the rest of our bathroom. Lastly, I fixed the slats upon to shorter cross pieces, after figuring out how they would fit together best. Slats from pallets usually are quite uneven and not perfect at all. In the end it is up to you, how and how much you like it that way. Of course, one could also straighten the sides and give the whole a more even look, but personally I prefer a more rustic version.


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