Here it is! I finished my pallet wood entertainment center a couple weeks ago and it’s taken me this long to try and get good daytime photos of it. This project was a little more difficult than most just because of the amount of power tools that it required. I spent about 6 or 7 hours total on the project, but I kept having to stop and start because I had to work around my work schedule. You could try and do it with hand tools, but it would take a whole lot longer and your results may not be as clean. I’m also not going to post any instructions on how to operate the saws, because I’m not a professional and not qualified to teach people to operate power tools. Only use them if you already know how or have someone there to teach you in person! Don’t go chop your finger off and say “well Megan told me to!”, ok?
Here’s a breakdown of the overall materials and tools I used:
- 2 pallets – FREE
- 2 IKEA Vittsjo TV units in black-brown – $49.00 ea (I pushed two together to create one long one)
- 1/2 pint Varathane Polyurethane in Matte soft-touch finish – $6.48
- 1 1/2″ Finishing nails* – $7.99
Total – $112.47
- Reciprocating Saw with deconstruction blade
- Jig Saw
- Miter Saw
- Orbital Sander
- Finishing Nailer (with Air Compressor)
*I used 1 1/4″ and they punched through the bottom. I got lazy and I had already gotten the wrong type of nails for my nail gun once and returned them, so I just hammered the ends flat. This made the bottom look super ghetto and it also loosened the screws holding the base wood shelves in place (from all the hammering). Not recommended.
My dad came over to help me tear down the pallets and cut the wood to fit. We used a reciprocating saw (AKA sawzall) with a blade specifically designed for cutting through wood and nails. You just want to cut down one side of nails, then the other, then go down the middle and pop them off one by one. Even with a saw like mine that’s designed to absorb vibration, it was a bit of a beating on my hands, so I’m glad we only had to break down two (and that my dad did most of it haha).
We got pretty lucky with our pallets, because one of the pallets had a few 1 x 3 pieces thrown in with the standard 1 x 4 pieces, so we actually didn’t have to make any of the pieces more narrow to fit the depth. If you have all 1 x 4’s, you’ll need a table saw to take an inch off the length of a few pieces. We used three 1 x 4 pieces and one 1 x 3 piece on each shelf, which makes 12 1 x 4’s and 4 1 x 3’s if you’re trying to pick out your own pallets. All we had to do for the top pieces was cut a few inches off where the two stands would butt up against each other to make it flush. In the above picture we hadn’t trimmed the ends off yet. We used a compound miter saw to trim the ends because we had one, but a table saw or circular saw could also work.
On the bottom shelves, I wanted the wood pieces to be flush with the edges of the metal, like on the top shelves. In order to get the pieces flush, we had to use a jig saw to cut out notches out where the metal support pieces came down. We had to cut 6 notches for each TV stand, but as you can see above, the end pieces can fit snugly in there now. You can also see a bit of the cheap laminated wood that the TV stands came with for the shelves, which is what I used to nail my pallet wood into.
Here you can see one of the semi-finished TV stands after we lay out the cut wood for a rough fit. If you have a small space or tight-budget, you could also do this project with just one TV stand and cut the price almost in half. I went with two because I wanted drama 😉
After all the wood was cut to fit, I whipped out my orbital sander and gave each piece a good once over with a rough grit sand paper to get rid of any loose splinters. I wanted the finished product to still look really rustic and industrial, so I didn’t do any finishing sanding with a fine grit. I don’t have any pictures of the process of nailing the pallet pieces in the wood shelves that the stand came with (maybe because I’m embarrassed of the janky undersides), but it’s pretty simple stuff when you have the right length nails.
I put about 5 nails into each piece of wood to make sure that it was secured well, then I taped off the metal and put two coats of matte polyurethane on all the wood. This sealed the wood from damage, made it look nice and rich, and also made it a little softer to the touch. You can see above how nice it looks after a couple coats. You can also probably see that the wood is slightly warped, but that’s part of the package with pallet wood and I like that it’s not perfect. Here’s a few pictures of the finished project once I got it all set up in my living room:
I also want to talk about that green glass vase for a second. I’ve been wanting one of those giant European style wine jugs that you find in antique stores for ages, but they usually cost around $100 or so. When I saw this glass jug at Hobby Lobby for $17.99 that was the same shape but smaller size of the ones I’ve been pining after, I knew I had to get it. I used the daily 40% off coupon that you can get off their website EVERY DAY, it only cost me about $10. The branch is from the yard of our old apartment, so FREE. Hobby Lobby isn’t paying me to plug them, I’m just in love with this little jug now and wanted to share the joy haha.
For my next big project, I want to dye this little yellow velvet chair that I’ve had for a couple years. I’ve seen a few Pinterest tutorials floating around on how to “paint” upholstered chairs with paint, fabric medium, and water, and I’ve also seen a ton of super cute blue velvet pieces lately, so I’ll be trying my hand at it probably next week. Stay tuned!