DIY Recycled Pallet Garden Table- Part 2

DIY Recycled Pallet Garden Table- Part 2

In Part 1 of this tutorial we showed you how to construct a garden table out of recycled shipping pallets. In this tutorial we’ll show how to assemble and plant the table.

Step #1- Stain the parts– I would recommend that you use an outdoor stain, preferably one that waterproofs.  It’s about $36 a gallon for this kind of stain making the staining the most expensive part of the whole project!  Luckily (or unluckily) I need to re-stain my pergola this spring so I’m able to make the table the same color and avoid the cost of buying new stain! Depending on the kind of stain you use, you may want to apply some sort of sealer or outdoor polyurethane coating- ask your local paint or hardware stores for recommendations.  Remember that pallet wood isn’t typical outdoor wood so your table WON’T have the same longevity that it would if it were made of Redwood or Cedar.  That means it’s MORE important to stain and seal it well to ensure maximum lifespan.

Attach legs with two lag screws on each corner of the leg.

Step #2- Attach the table legs– Pre-drill holes for the 1 1/2″ lag screws, place a washer on the lag screw then attach to the table. It’s totally okay that the hardware shows- it’s SUPPOSED to show as it complements the recycled/industrial feel of the table.  Make sure to use 2 lag screws on each corner (4 total for each leg) as that will keep the legs more stable.

Step #3- Line the planter box (optional)- This table is intended to have drought-tolerant succulents planted down the center.  Succulents do not require deep containers and are pretty ideal for this application.  If you chose to use more thirsty plants, you’ll want to line the planter box with weed barrier fabric to slow the loss of water from the box.  I would also recommend mixing in some coconut coir/fiber to help with water retention for standard annuals.  Or, ensure your success by simply going with succulents!

Gather your plants and introduce them to their new home!

Step #4- Plant! – Since this table was intended for display at the Salt Lake Tribune Spring Home & Garden Festival, I PACKED the plants in a tightly as I could to ensure instant gratification.  You will not need to do this.  In fact, once I get the table into my own backyard, I’ll remove about half the plants and use them elsewhere- better to give them a little room to grow.

Step #5- Top Dress- I would recommend that you ‘top dress’ the open soil in the container with flat black stones, colorful gravel or recycled glass mulch- no one wants soil kicked up by the wind getting into their grill-fresh steak!  I did not do that for the Home Show because the plants are so densely planted but I WILL do that after I thin the plants and the table is happily living on my back patio.

Plants include Lewisia (flowering), 4 varieties of sedum including Sedum 'Lemon Ball' (bright yellow) and the burgundy florets are Sempervivum 'Red Ace'


Here she is all settled in the backyard.  Whew!  You can see just a piece of the picnic table she’s replacing and I’m pretty sure it’s jealous.  Then again, I could probably do a little tweaking to the picnic table and come up with a similar result- AND have built in benches!


Pallet table with hardy succulents in a built-in planter happily living on my back patio and just waiting for the rest of the yard to figure out Spring is here!

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About cynthiab

Cynthia is a landscape designer who recently ditched her consulting biz for the opportunity to work for a local botanical garden where she gets to teach others about all the things she loves and connect with people of similar interests. She believes the joy of a garden is not in the product but in the process- and sometimes her process is messy!

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