Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pallet Garden Fail

There are some awesome ideas out there using wood pallets. I love that these are being recycled because it is hard wood. But, I've hesitated to bring one in the house because they are treated with formaldehyde to prevent rot. I don't want that in my house. If you are using them inside, please, please, please don't sand or at least wear protection if you do, and seal it well.

I did have a pallet on hand, sitting in my garage waiting for me to decide what to do and I saw this lovely idea on Pinterest:

from  Life of the Balcony
I decided to try it out. Lowe's had a great clearance on some annuals and even perennials and I already had dirt.

Lay the pallet front side down (doesn't matter, you decide) and staple landscaping fabric on the back and bottom edge. You get to go a little crazy with the staple gun.
Flip over (or have a strong person do this; pallets are heavy!) Fill with dirt. Really pack it in.

Then add your plants. (And note that I did not plant anything I intended to eat because of the chemical issues.) I only did the main part; once it was tipped up I was going to plant in the top as well.

Water it in and wait at least a week, two would be better to allow the roots to take hold.

Tip it up. *Warning: this is now incredibly heavy! And, woh-woh, FAIL!

Oh, sure, it looks pretty from the front, but a peek around the back shows the landscaping fabric sagging and that means the plants aren't actually in the dirt.

We did not try to repair it this season because it turns out, we need it out of that space to make way for another project and it is too heavy to move. 

Next year we are trying again, but we are going to nail a plywood board to the back to prevent the dirt from pulling away. It may have worked if the pallet was smaller.

Ah, well, it was pretty while it lasted.


This post may be linked at the following parties (for their Blog Buttons see my Link Love page): (M) Mad Skills , C.R.A.F.T., Amaze Me Monday, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, Singing Three BirdsMasterpiece Mondays, Making the World Cuter, Sarahndipities, A Little Birdie Told Me (T) Stories of A to Z, The Blackberry Vine, How To's Day , Type A, Amaze Me August, Ten Buck Tuesday, Handmade Tuesdays, Anything Related, Tuesday's Treasures, Strictly Homemade, Show Me What Ya Got, Time to Shine, Show Off Your Crafty Side (W) Wow Me Workshop Wednesday, Whassup Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Look What I Made, What I Whipped Up, The Trendy Treehouse, Wicked Awesome Wednesday , Good Life Wednesday, Inspiring Creativity, Sweet Peas & Bumblebees (TH) Beyond the Picket Fence  Creative Juice, Somewhat Simple, Thrifty 101 , Smilemonsters , Everything But the Kitchen Sink, Shabby Chic Cottage, Thrifty Thursdays, House of Hepworth's, Thrilling Thursday, (F) Fingerprints on the Fridge, Furniture Feature Friday, SevenThirtyThree , Lovely Crafty Weekend , Simply Designing, Creative Corner, Tickled Pink 504 Main, Inspiration Friday at The Picket Fence, Friday Flair, Remodelaholic, For the Kids Fridays, Frugal Friday, Craft Goodies, I'm Lovin' It, Flaunt It Fridays , Thirty Handmade Days (Sat) Tatertots and Jello , Anything Goes (Sun) Creative Blog & Hop, Sundae Scoop, Under the Table and Dreaming


  1. I like the idea....good try! :) This post is so timely for me, since I have an old pallet in my garage and I was trying to think of something to do with it. Or how to get rid of it.

  2. Great idea! It's ok that it didn't work on the first try, that's how it goes sometimes, how we learn what works and what doesn't. I'm going to have to try this out myself, thanks for the info!

  3. Cool idea! Hey, thank for sharing your failures, too. Glad I'm not the only one who has things not quite work out they way they are supposed to. :)

  4. Hi great idea. I think you should use chicken wire and then cover with the landscape fabric...wait fabric first and then wire on top and I think that would hold. Great idea. Come by and visit my blog sometime!


  5. I am a little weird about the pallets too - with all the chemicals and potential termites I never wanted to bring them inside.

    I saw that same picture on Pinterest and thought I might give it a try next year. I wonder if the original photo actually had the landscape fabric on the front too and then you just poke the plants through it (so most of the dirt stays put and doesn't fall out the front?). And I definitely think they had to have something on the back to keep it all together. Thanks for trying this first so we know what to do to keep it all together!

  6. That is a great idea...hope you can work the kinks out for next year!

  7. Ah I don't think anyone in the crafty/diy world doesn't have a fail. At least for now the front side looks good.

    Thanks for sharing. I'm sure it will help someone else from having a fail project on their hand.

  8. I do like sharing a fail; I hope it saves someone time! I'll make the mistakes for you. :)

    If anyone has made it work, feel free to share a link to yours here, we would love it see it! And figure out what to do right! ;)

  9. Thanks for posting your fail - I've been wanting to try this, so I'll make sure to nail down some plywood or something if I do!

  10. This is such a creative idea, never seen anything like it! Even though it didn't turn out the way you'd like, at least, you know how you can fix it for next time! Like I always say, it's best to learn from mistakes.I want to thank you for sharing it on "Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop".

    From this week's party co-host:

    Jacque @ Jacque's Soda Parlor Thanks for posting

  11. Visiting from Tatertots and Jello :) What a great idea.... sorry it didn't quite turn out but I think it looks amazing :)

  12. This is definitely somthing I will try to make.Thanks!

  13. This is such a labor of love! Thanks for linking up at Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :)

  14. wow what a cool idea. I am just loving pallets now. this i so cool nice decorative piece. that would make an excellent piece for my garden too. loving em all.

  15. We did not try to repair it this season because it turns out, we need it out of that space to make way for another project and it is too heavy to move. afghan pakol cap , antique choker set , black embroidered patch , Tribal Ladies Dress , Beaded & Coin Ear Ring , 1920s head pieces , kids jewelry box , winter scarf


Your turn! What's on your mind?