Chairs surround a bright outdoor table made from a pallet.

Repurposed Style

Old things become new when recycled with a fresh dose of imagination and a splash or more of paint, waking up an outdoor space with a bright contemporary look.

The texture of a knotty piece of wood is highlighted when it's used as a DIY serving tray.

Serving Tray

Rather than seeing knots as blemishes in boards, see them as marks of natural character. We found a board with a knotty crack that makes the case. Instead of discarding the 18x24-inch piece of wood, we built a frame around it with 2-inch trim boards and painted it a lively raspberry color. After adding handles, we had a lovely serving tray. Anyone care for a lemony quencher?

Old wood, handles, a hammer, nails, drill, screws, and paint are all that's necessary to DIY a serving tray.


  • Recycled wood board, about 14×20 inches
  • 2-inch×8-foot recycled trim board
  • 2 recycled drawer handles
  • 4 screws
  • Wood glue
  • Hammer and finishing nails
  • Drill
  • Paint, if desired
  • Paintbrush


Cut recycled board to desired size. Measure one side of recycled board. Using a miter saw, cut a piece of trim so each end is a 45° angle and the piece runs flush along one side edge of the board. Repeat with 3 other trim pieces. The four pieces should frame for the tray similar to our tray.

Apply wood glue to trim boards before nailing. Using finishing nails or a nail gun, nail each trim piece to the outside edge of the recycled board. Repeat for each side until you have a completely framed board. Paint, if desired. Using screws, attach handles on the tray's shorter sides for easy carrying.

A bright turquoise table built from pallets rolls wherever it's needed outside.

Rolling Table

Starting with a pair of weathered 3x4-foot pallets, you can make a turquoise (or any color) table that goes wherever needed. We opened up pallet ends by sawing off boards that ran widthwise on the underside of each. Next, we flipped the bottom pallet, and raised the top by 12 inches with two pieces of 2x4 lumber for each post. After all was nailed, we attached heavy-duty casters.

Pallets, 2x4 lumber, casters, a drill, screws and paint are all that's needed to build this rolling table.


  • 2 pallets
  • 5-foot recycled 4×4 lumber
  • 4 6-inch casters
  • Hammer and nails
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Paint, if desired
  • Paintbrush


Remove from pallet any old nails that may be sticking out. Remove outside cross boards on the bottom side of the top pallet and top side of the bottom pallet, similar to image, page 33. Use boards you removed to fill in gaps on the top side of pallets. Nail boards to secure in place.

Cut four posts into 12-inch lengths. Glue ends of posts and screw to the top and bottom pallets, sandwiching the post between the two pallets.

Screw casters onto bottom of pallet. Make a strong connection by sinking screws into the post ends. Paint, if desired. Blend old paints together to create a recycled bold hue.

Restore weathered lawn furniture by stripping and repainting it.

Metal Chairs

Restore weathered lawn furniture by stripping and repainting. For best results, hire a professional to strip and apply a powder-coat finish. Or strip it yourself with paint-stripper drill bits and a small rotary tool with sanding bit for tight spots. Use high-quality primer and finish paints for lasting results.

Old metal chairs, a drill with a paint-stripper bit, a rotary tool and paint are all that's necessary to bring new life to old outdoor chairs.


  • Drill
  • Wire-wheel brush bit
  • Dremel with grinding bit
  • Spray paint


Using a handheld drill equipped with wire-wheel brush bit, grind off existing paint and debris from metal chair. For getting into tight areas on chairs, use a Dremel tool with grinding bit attached. NOTE: Always wear a respirator when sanding old finishes.

For a lasting finish, spray on three coats of paint.

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