Pallet Treehouse

At Zupplychain , we live, breathe and dream warehouses and pallets. We recently blogged a series on warehousing; today it’s the turn of the humble pallet.

Whether they be euro pallets, standard pallets, Chep pallets or square pallets, these unassuming wooden (sometimes plastic) constructions are critical to most businesses with stock. Pallets quite literally and stoically carry the very weight of our economy upon them and – for Zupplychain - they play a very 21st Century role in our online proposition.

A quick Google search shows that there are at least 2 billion pallets in use in the US alone [Google can’t help when we tried to discover the worldwide numbers so we’re assuming a) it’s too many to be counted or b) the finite number has not yet been invented].

Of course, we are all very aware of our eco responsibilities and the need to reduce the amount of waste that we produce in the warehouse and logistics industry. We will look at the arguments for and against using wooden and plastic pallets in another article but what really caught our eye is a link sent by one of our warehouse providers for 1001 ideas of what to do with surplus pallets . He was planning to build an outdoor playhouse from a load of old pallets during his summer holiday and got more than he bargained for when searching for guidance!

Innovation is very much Zupplychain’s mission so when testing our new Stock Database got a little bit too much for us all, we clicked on the website link. And we weren’t the first - there are 338,000 followers on their Facebook page alone; the French in particular are very enthusiastic about upcycling pallets. The website has lots of facts and figures about pallets and even a page dedicated to the history of the humble pallet. However, it was the pallet creations that we were interested in and we weren’t disappointed!

All the creations are photographed and have instructions, such as how to assemble a pallet coffee table, bar or bench. There is a ratings system for how easy the assembly is, how many pallets are needed and what tools to use. There is even a Chat Room on the website, this is clearly a very serious past-time! Could Pallet Furniture eventually take over from buying starter furniture from Ikea? Or become an Olympic sport?

We have listed our Top 3 favourites from the website. Being the serious professionals that we are, top of the list was the…

Pallet Bar Section

The LED-Lit Pallet Bar needs 12 pallets and is rated as a medium in terms of difficulty to build. Worryingly it doesn’t tell you how long it takes to assemble but undoubtedly you would be pouring yourself a drink from your LED-Lit Pallet Bar the moment that you had hammered the last nail in. In terms of aesthetics, think stripped back Manhattan Chic. With about 1200 clean pallets, the right colour wood stain, and an alcohol license you could in theory open up your own small wine bar. You could even fashion your tables and bar stools from pallets.

Like our warehouse provider, our next favourite was the…

Outdoor Playhouses/Cabins

Some of the creations wouldn’t have looked out of place at Centre Parcs. These creations didn’t say how many pallets were needed to build the cabin or how long it would take it would take to build said cabins. It may be cheaper and less time consuming – though less satisfying - to just go for weekend at Centre Parcs in an already assembled cabin. (Other woodland holiday parks are available).

The final place on our Top Three of things to make with pallets is the…

Removable Pallet Floor

The creator of this got the idea when a friend’s kitchen floor had a leak and the existing laminate and tiles would eventually ‘lift’ due to the water. This ‘genius’ invention means that the pallet floor can easily be moved when the leak needs fixing. It took 16 pallets and 72 hours to complete a floor space of approximately 12-14 square metres. Though we don’t see ‘Floors 2 go’ selling pallet flooring soon!

We would love to hear what your favourite pallet creations are on the website or indeed if you have made something from pallets and it takes pride of place in your home, garden or warehouse.

Now can anybody source 20 pallets for us? We need a meeting table and four chairs in the Zupplychain office . Come back, you can help…