DIY Pallet-style Tool Shelf
As you may already be aware, I’ve been working on revamping the workshop, adding some enhancements while working at gaining every available square inch!
You can start with the full workshop series HERE
Or take the finished dream workshop tour (to date!) HERE
But the key to any workshop additions continues to be all about utilizing up-cycling finds turning them into super productive (and free) organizing and storage solutions. I love the look, and of course the price is certainly right!
And just yesterday, I landed two wood doors from the curb that will act as other work stations, which I’ll share with you soon!
I’ve also been busy painting the work tables to freshen them up, cleaned up the walls with fresh white paint, and will eventually be covering the white melamine cabinets with something quirky too! And on it goes.
However today I’m happy to share the newest addition… a DIY pallet-style tool shelf built from scratch that made a massive impact!
And for free too! A free shelf is always good, yes?
Oh how I LOVED this easy pallet shelf! Open shelving is easy to use so you can spot all your tools. And being that the pallet was already made makes this the perfect cheat build!
However I kept finding more clutter landing on the table rather than on the shelves. Which really meant it was time to clean up well AND build something a little larger.
And I’m really glad I did, because wow… the difference a few more boards made for added workshop storage is pretty impressive!
Since pallets don’t come in the precise size you may desire, I decided to use pallet-building principals to come up with a DIY Pallet style tool shelf to my exact size requirements this round.
And the result? Let’s just say… there’s not a thing extra on the table. In fact, I didn’t even fill all the shelves up!
What took me so long?
This new DIY pallet-style tool shelf now goes right to the ceiling while taking up barely any work table space!
Need a helpful shelf too for something?
Here’s how I built it!
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DIY Pallet-style tool shelf
Supplies I used
Finished shelf size shown: 38″ wide x 59″ tall.
- Sides – 4 reclaimed wood cedar planks – 5.5″ w x 59″ long
- Shelves – reclaimed wood cedar fence planks – 5.75″ x 38″ long
A small wood crate that fits the bins (or build one to suit)
Building the frame
1. Decide how large you desire your shelf to be by measuring out your space.
2. Cut 4 long planks to desired height you wish your shelf to be.
3. Measure then cut various shelves to the desired width you wish your shelf to be.
Note: All the shelving pieces should ultimately be the exact same sized boards, however you can use slightly shallower shelf boards by using longer screws to bridge the spaces IF you use your largest depth boards for the top and bottom of your shelf.
4. Place a shelf board on its side, then lay two side planks flat against each shelf edge, attach with screws. (shown above)
I started with one screw on each board so I could ‘rock the shelf’ straight against a construction square to square-it-up later.
Tip: I suggest to pre-drill holes before inserting screws, since you’ll be screwing into the boards very close to their edges which can lead to wood-splitting.
5. Attach another shelf board to the bottom, shown above.
6. Use a construction square to adjust all four corners as needed, then add more screws to the corners for more stability.
Adding the shelves
7. Slip the shelving boards under the frame, then standing them on their sides, measure and adjust their positioning.
This is the time to determine what will ultimately go on each shelf. Laying down your drills, tools, spray paint, etc will help guide the size desired.
8. Attach the shelves to the side boards with screws, measuring and squaring-up as you build.
I used one screw per side on each board, thinking I’d add more screws later, but I didn’t end up needing to!
This shelving is for light duty, but I suggest using more screws if you desire to add some real weight to the shelves.
9. Flip the shelving over to the other side so it lays face down.
10. Attach the last two sides.
How easy is that?!
11. Add accessories to the shelf for added storage if desired.
I had this little pre-made crate that fit some storage cubbies perfectly, so the crate was attached to the underside of one shelf.
Now that the simple build was complete, it was time to play, stacking it with tools! I couldn’t wait to check out how this looked in place!
The finished DIY Pallet-style tool shelf!
And boy… what an epic fit it is!
I first repainted the wall white to start things off fresh, then mounted the shelf to the wall with screws through the back side panels.
This shelf is basically used for the cordless drills and accessories. So screws, drill bits and some other handy building supplies are all out in the open, easy to find and grab.
With room to spare!
A pallet-styled shelf was a perfect fit, since I had the garage door ceiling rails to contend with.
This shelf honestly takes up very little space, since it’s so tall and the depth is so shallow. It’s perfect for tight spaces!
A shelf for everything!
I love having all the drill bits in separate jars. They are easy to grab, dump and use as desired.
And the antique drain covers that house the sandpaper for the palm sander made a return too. They are too perfect and have a fun, junky gritty appeal to them!
My all-time fav part are the organizing cubbies borrowed from a plastic organizer. They tip, allowing for easy screw grabbing without removing the entire cubby unless you desire too. Then to keep the sawdust out, flip them right back up again when done.
A little stainless dish serves as a dumping ground for odds and ends that can be sorted later, or handy to use while you build.
A vintage muffin tin came in handy to house odds and ends where nails or other screws come into play.
And the lower shelf was positioned perfectly to allow just enough room for tape measures, a stud finder, exacto knife, sticky notes or whatever else is needed.
Stacked wood with hooks for hanging
To the far right of the shelf, I also slightly revamped this random hooks area.
Reclaimed wood planks were stacked then screwed to the wall, then various hooks or screws acting as hooks made hanging up a brush, and basket filled with gloves super accessible. I usually use the wire basket to throw rags in as well.
I’m personally thrilled with the progress the garage is taking on lately! It’s becoming emptier, cleaner and more functional by the minute!
And makes me want to build more stuff… which is always a plus.
Think you’ll try a DIY pallet-style tool shelf to organize something? What could you use it for?
Visit the entire workshop series HERE
Some other related posts you may enjoy:
Visit TONS of other cool and quirky reclaimed wood shelving ideas HERE
Check out my guide on must-have DIY tools
And many other tool-themed project posts HERE