Rustic American Weekend & A Wooden Pallet Shelf Tutorial

I love long weekends! Especially when they are spent in good company doing all things….American. This past weekend we did just that! Two of our great friends, Joel and Ann Marie, flew in from Denver to celebrate not just America, but Joel’s 30th birthday!! We had cake…image

…Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownie Cheesecake to be exact and served it on a special plate…#thanksmom!imageAnd then we climbed Half Dome! Wait, what??? Yes, we climbed Half Dome in Yosemite National Park! It has always been on Joel’s bucket list to climb this “precipice”  so his sweet and beautiful wife, Ann Marie, set up a surprise trip to “visit us”, but really to climb Half Dome! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Half Dome you can read all about it here. Basically it is a 14-16 mile round-trip hike that can take anywhere from 10-12 hours. On the way up you see a few waterfalls like this one…imageYou walk through a beautiful mountain glade with deer standing in the trees on both sides of you…image

All while trying to reach the top of this…aka Mordor (many Lord of the Rings references were made along the way). imageWhen the 8 mile climb up is just about finished you realize you still have 400 ft to go and it’s up the infamous Half Dome cables. imageThis is what it looks like standing at the bottom looking straight up.  It’s actually not as scary as it looks! See how happy we are?  imageWe were even happier once all 4 of us made it up safely and finally got to eat our “victory” PB&J sandwiches! Also very American might I add!imageWhat an awesome hike! The downhill was pretty painful as well, but we pushed our way through it because we knew In-N-Out burgers and Superior Dairy ice cream were our reward! We definitely earned it!

I don’t know if Paul and I were just inspired by all of the outdoors or what, but it sure did get us motivated to make some wooden pallet shelves for our very empty wall in our family room!imageDefinitely needs something! Pallet shelves here we come!

Wooden Pallet Shelf Tutorial


  • Wooden Pallet
  • Crow Bar
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Rotary Saw
  • Sand paper or electric sander
  • Wood stain (color of your choice)
  • Paint Brush


  1. Locate a wooden pallet at your local dumpster, parking lot, recycling center, Craig’s list add, etc. (there’s no wrong place to find a pallet)image
  2. Remove any unwanted pieces of wood by utilizing a crow bar and a hammer to pull the pieces off.image
  3. Remove the leftover nails with a crowbar.image
  4. Reevaluate your pallet and visualize how tall you want your shelf to be. We are going to use this pallet to make two shelves (one out of the top and one out of the bottom). image
  5. Once you’ve decide how tall you want your shelf to be, utilize your saw to cut it down to the desired height. image
  6. After Paul cut across all 3 pieces of wood, our shelf was starting to take shape!image
  7. Now, it just needs a bottom so that we can put stuff inside without it falling through. This is the perfect time to use any pieces you pulled off during step #2.image
  8. Then, secure it in place with your hammer and nails. (Paul was hammering so quickly I couldn’t take a non-blurry shot!)image
  9. Now it’s time to sand it down.  You can use sandpaper or an electric sander (this is what we used, but only because we have one).imageAgain…so fast Pauldy!
  10. Now, the pallet shelf is completely constructed and sanded down!image
  11. Next, it’s time to stain it! I started staining this guy while Paul worked on building a second shelf.image
  12. Stain the top and insides first, then once it’s dry you can flip it over and stain the back. Viola!imageIsn’t it amazing what a coat of stain can do? It looks so rustic now! Kind of like the redwood trees we kept seeing on our hike! Definitely the inspiration behind these shelves.
  13. Then there were 2!imageWe already had a third one from a pallet shelving project we embarked on in Virginia Beach.
  14. Next, Paul and I hung them on our wall by finding the studs, using a level and drilling two screws into each one (one on each side). Now the wall isn’t so bare!image
  15. Decorate them at will! I like to put family pictures and nick knacks like some old books Paul and I have accumulated over our 5 years of marriage.imageimageThank you J and A Box for an amazing weekend! Can’t wait for the next adventure! ‘Merica!image

Comment (1)

  1. Barb McCullough

    Please tell me that you didn’t climb that enormous mountain and still have the energy to go home and build and stain 3 shelves!!
    You two are amazing!!! Do you ever just rest? God bless you both!


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