Thursday, May 15, 2014

Making Raised Beds Out of Pallets

This spring I really really wanted more raised beds (rows aren't for me), but it simply wasn't in our budget. Luckily I found some beautiful pallets for FREE. It was super easy to make these raised beds! 

I made these (6 beds that were 4' x 6' and 5 beds that were 4' x 4') with the help of my toddler (except when sawing) in about 3 days. Sans toddler, it would have been an afternoon project. 

  1. It took 1 pallet to make 1 bed (approximately 4' x 4') or I could squeeze 2 beds out by buying fence boards for the sides (making the bed approximately 4' x 6' or 4' x 8' depending on the boards.) Each pallet was free and the fence boards run about $1.50 - $2.50 each, averaging $8 per bed or FREE. 
  2. My next step was to do a bit of deconstruction. First, I removed the boards on the back and saved them for spare parts. 
  3. Then I clumped the front boards into twos, by removing three of them and then placing them right next to another board (I left the end and middle boards nailed on, this gave me ample space for sawing later on.)
  4. Next I used the Saws-all to remove the pieces into neat sections of two. 
  5. Last (for the 4' x 4's), all I had to do next was to screw 2 strong sections from the front with 4 of my "bonus boards" from the back. That gave me a built-in corner piece. Done. 
  6. For the longer beds, I put a 1" x 1" piece in the center of the 2 fence boards. I just used scrap wood that we had in the garage. 
  7. Last (for the long beds), I screwed the long sides to the sides of the strong pallet chunks. Bam. Raised beds. 
  8. Another option for a FREE 4' x 8' bed would be to use 2 of the stronger front sections, screwed together (so they are end-to-end), and then to use the loose back pieces for the 4' end pieces. This wouldn't even require scrap wood, but it does use more pallets.