Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Round of up Easy Pallet DIY Wine Themed Gifts

Don't let 2016 slip by without giving a pallet project a try! We have a quick round up of ideas for making wine themed pallet piece that you can keep or give away. Let us know if you tried one!
This video walks you through a basic wine rack. 
Making this style of wine rack was my first project and we gave it away at the WKFR Wine Not Event last February. For a first time pallet project it has a lot of wow factor and will give you confidence to make more pallet projects. 

PalletPalooza™ will be back for the 2017 Wine Not? Winter Wine Festival.
Click Here to Learn More...

The 3rd annual Wine Not? winter wine festival returns to downtown Kalamazoo, at the Radisson Plaza Hotel on January 28. All your favorite wineries from around Michigan and across the country, in one place, with over 40 wineries and more than 100 wines. Featuring wine tasting and sampling, meet and greet with the winemakers, vendor booths, and live music from the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Patti Fleming Entertainment. Sip, stroll, and relax in the warm indoors with friends and great wines! Click here for more information.

This is another wine rack that was simple to make:

We have it on display by the mailboxes at our Goodwill Headquarters in Kalamazoo, MI.  I used the wood from one broken pallet to add bottom shelves to a pallet in good shape. I did add a 8" pine board to the top since I wanted a little wider space to add my decor pieces. I finished it by staining it ebony to match the black metal mailboxes and cabinets that are in this area of the office. The lights are Christmas Tree lights strung and attached to the back of the shelf. (And the bottles are empties - just for decor purposes! 😉) 
Speaking of empty wine bottles - isn't this a beautiful rustic piece? I love it, and you could switch out the floral piece for each season. has the tutorial. Make two - one to keep and one to give.
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Here is another one from - with a How to Video and complete supply list. 
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A bit of wine art - String art is all over Pinterest (we saved several on our Art & Decor Pallet Board) and it matches so well with pallets. 
This Wine String art has a complete tutorial at

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PalletPalooza™ will be kicking of in January with a newly designed website. Entry for PalletPalooza™ 2017 starts May 22, 2017.

Keep up to date with everything by signing up for our email - Email Sign Up and join us on the NEW PalletPalooza™ Facebook page -

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Blessed & Grateful - Recycled Pallet Ideas for Thanksgiving

We started counting all of the ways we are blessed and thankful here at Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan. It has been a joy to share our thoughts and to give thanks all month long. In keeping with this sentiment, we are have gathered pallet tutorials that will help you express heartfelt thanks and count blessings.
 Grateful, Thankful, Blessed - one board with this simple message that should be in our hearts all year long. Find a the tutorial at They will also take you on a Thanksgiving Home Hop - taking you from one blog to another. What fun!
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Find inspiration for these reclaimed wood signs at
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Share your thanksgiving outside of your home with this whole pallet sign. Instructions at

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Find a free cut file for a simple pallet sign at
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_________________________________________ has my favorite sign - I think I will try this one this weekend! She uses old fence boards, but pallets will work I am sure.
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Okay - one Pallet Turkey DIY - Follow along on Cute!
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PalletPalooza Dates have been announced! 
Visit the #PalletPalooza event website and get 
ready for PalletPalooza 2017!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pallet Halloween Decor at Goodwill Headquarters

It's a fun part of my job.... making things out of pallets for inspiration. I find ideas on Pinterest and start pallet hunting. Any time I see a little pallet, little baby pallets I call them, I add them to my stash. So I am ready when the right idea comes along! These are the things I made to decorate for Halloween at the Goodwill main office on Alcott Street in Kalamazoo, MI.

Team Member Pumpkin Patch

This pumpkin patch was cheap and easy! I liked this project, because I didn't have to do much other than make a couple of cuts with a jig saw and paint away! No need to take apart the whole pallet. I also scored a gallon of orange paint at Lowes for $5 because it was a mistint. (Yes, now that I have a whole gallon, I need more orange pallet projects!)

The Boo sign was even easier. I simply grabbed one of my boards from my stash, I didn't do anything to it, no cutting or sanding, rugged was good. I am not an artist, so I cannot free hand letters. I picked a font that I liked, and printed out the word "BOO" and cut out the letters. I then traced them onto the pallet plank with a black sharpie marker and then filled in the letters with .50 cent black craft paint.

Across the hall from the pumpkin patch is the Mummy Family! 

More pallet boards from my stash! I wrapped boards with an old white bed sheet. I snipped the top of the bed sheet with scissors, and then tore the rest of the length because I wanted the threads and frazzle. I hot glued a sheet strip to the top of the pallet, wrapped it around, and glue the end to the bottom.

 The eyes, mustache and eyelashes are from a single sheet of black felt and hot glued in place. A little bow with small piece of red lace for the little sister, and a found window cling heart for the baby. A team member thought they still needed a little something "extra" when I had finished.  I had purchased a package of cheese cloth ($2) to wrap the mummies, but it was only going to be enough to wrap one board, that is why I switched to a bed sheet. So I wrapped a thin strip of the cheese cloth around each one, I had just enough, and glued down the edges.  And just that little bit gave them more dimension.

The Trick or Treat sign is again, just a longer board from my stash painted orange. I was running out of time and black paint to hand paint the letters, so I cheated a bit. The letters are simply printed and I cut them out and glued them on the painted pallet. In order to get the spacing and size correct, I measured the length and width of the board and created a document that size in Microsoft Publisher. I picked a font, typed out my words, printed my document, cut out the letters, and used Modge Podge to apply the letters and seal them. Even up close it is hard to tell that they are paper letters!

Pallet Divider Halloween Characters

These funny little guys were soooo simple to make, and they are pretty cute and not the least bit scary to look at or to make. They are made out of the dividers of large pallets. I save every thing that might be of value when I take apart a pallet - as  you know those things do not come apart easily, so it is worth keeping as much of the pallet as you can!

I didn't do anything to these guys, no sanding, cutting, nothing, just acrylic craft paint! As I said before, I am not an artist, so I took my artistic daughter's advice and she said "don't try to paint the picture, just paint the shapes that you see." And since the shapes are pretty basic shapes like triangles and ovals, I think I did ok :)

Little Black Cat Family
These little kitties are so cute! I used a bandsaw to cut out the ears from a pallet board. I saved the triangle pieces and hot glued them to the back of the cats. This is how they stand up. Painted them black, let them dry and sanded the edges to give them a primitive look. Tied on some raffia and glued on googly eyes and done! They are purrrrfectly sweet!

If you are new to making things out of pallets, try one of these! You will have instant results and that is very satisfying!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Try these fall pallet creation DIY ideas.

Southwestern Michigan in Fall - what a blessing it is to live here. The warm weather is still lingering for the rest of this week - I am fine with that (I even took a September swim in Lake Michigan in South Haven - refreshing!). But the glorious days of crisp air and turning leaves is right around the corner.

We are not ready to announce the dates for PalletPalooza 2017, but they are coming very soon! You will want to keep up your pallet creating skills in the meantime, so we have put together a little round up of pallet projects for fall decorating. Enjoy!
Simple and colorful pallet art  - Abi from said she was inspired by another pallet piece when she created this.
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Another beautiful piece for mantle found on
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Pallet Deer
Love deer? Here couple of different ideas. includes a tutorial and free Silhouette cut file to make this project.

Source - also has a tutorial. And they recommend making your stencils with one of my favorite websites for creating big art -
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What could be a simpler pallet piece? Just add your own fall swag to a plain-pieced-together pallet.
Source Link Wanted :)
Something for outside! See how she creates the beautiful ombre effect at

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Friday, September 16, 2016

PalletPalooza 2016 Wrap Up

PalletPalooza 2016 - It was a dream, then a plan, then all of the fun (with some work of course)!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

Thank you to our Sponsors who took a risk to get it all started - 
Sponsor Links
Thank you to all of our venues who said YES! to hosting all of the amazing pallet creations!

Thank you to everyone who shared pictures to help us promote PalletPalooza 2016!

Thank you to our Pallet Providers who offered FREE PALLETS to the community!

Thank you to all who took the time to come and see the creations and vote for their favorite!

Thank you to our vendors for creating a really fun marketplace on PalletPalooza Day! 

And most of all THANK YOU to our Makers! You took a chance to put your work out there to be showcased. We were really impressed with the creativity that is in our community. You made believers out of the many people who have never heard of turning an unwanted pallet into something cool, or useful or beautiful. Your creations are truly inspiring! 

Enjoy this video recap of PalletPalooza Day 2016. And then get ready! We will be announcing plans and dates for PalletPalooza 2017 soon! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

PalletPalooza Day - Live Music Vinyl Tap

PalletPalooza Day is this Saturday! We have a fun event and awards presentation afternoon planned! Rain or shine - it doesn't matter because we will be indoors!

While you look around at the amazing pallet creations entered into the competition, enjoy some food, craft booths and activities for young and old, you can listen some live music by Vinyl Tap.
Vinyl Tap
How about a little preview?
In early 1994, a group of individuals loosely referred to as “gentlemen” congregated in the basement of a home in the People’s Republic of Portage and began playing what was supposed to be Rock n Roll music. It seemed like every other song was from the Rolling Stones because the lead singer at the time couldn’t sing anything else. The founder, Al, called the group “Al’s Basement Band”. Al was the drummer. Al kept getting promoted at Kellogg’s, leaving the country and coming back and each time he came back, Al’s Basement Band was re-created with essentially the same cast of characters.

In 2000, another group of individuals never referred to as “gentlemen” congregated in a Richland garage and formed “Boy’s Night Out”. After stealing the singer from another band, they played regularly at Bayview Gardens in that first decade until the customer base who liked them went to sleep at 10 p.m.

In the meantime, members of both bands got together periodically and when Al relocated to North Carolina, formed Vinyl Tap. The players are the best from both bands and consist of:

Bob Bauman – lead singer

Jeff Brown – Drums and backup vocals

John Brown – Rhythm guitar/bass and backup vocals

John Dillworth – Keyboards and backup vocals

Brian Maturi – Lead guitar

Tim Morrison – Sound and whatever else he decides to do

Our focus is on 60’s and 70’s rock n roll songs and a number of songs that other cover bands just don’t play. You’ll recognize the song if you’re of a certain generation and even if you’re not, you’ve heard them and sang along with them!
Vote today for your favorite pallet creations! Go to VOTE NOW!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Say Hello to Kamps Pallets and Kamps Krafty Wood

We are so excited to have Kamps Pallets joining us for PalletPalooza™!
Kamps Pallets
They have a new product line called Kamps Krafty Wood - and here is a bit about it!


Introducing….Kamps Krafty Wood

Kamps Pallets has been contributing to recycling since 1973. Our founder and CEO, Bernie Kamps, started Kamps in 1973 by collecting and selling sawdust and wood shavings throughout west Michigan. He soon realized that pallets in good condition were being thrown into landfills. Bernie started collecting these pallets, repaired any broken pieces and resold them. In 1974, Kamps, Inc. opened its first pallet plant. Since then, Kamps has grown to be a leader in the pallet industry. Kamps is now known as a leader in recycling.

At Kamps, we believe that nothing should go to waste. If you walked through our plant, you would see re-manufactured pallets built from boards previously used on other pallets and damaged pallets repaired for reuse (reconditioned pallets). If a pallet is beyond repair, it is put into a pile to be ground into mulch.

Kamps has taken its innovation a step further. Pallet wood and pallets are becoming a decorating choice of many. Kamps recognized this, and Kamps Krafty Wood was born!
Kamps Krafty Wood
Kamps Krafty Wood is intended to be used by creative minds. Since there is no limit to imagination, there is no limit to what you can do with Kamps Krafty Wood. This bright and happy pallet art was made by a customer using Kamps Krafty Wood.
Pallet Art with Kamps Krafty Wood

Kamps Krafty Wood is currently sold at Allendale True Value and will soon be available on Amazon. 
 Allendale True Value
5425 Lake Michigan Dr, Allendale, MI 49401
Kamps Krafty Wood at Allendale True Value in Michigan
Come check out our booth at the PalletPalooza™ event to purchase Kamps Krafty Wood, ideas and information!

Thank you Kamps Pallets for sponsoring PalletPalooza™ 2016!

Pallet Creations will be on display next week! More information coming shortly.......

Friday, July 1, 2016

Pallet Boats & Rafts

Ahoy! It's going to be a perfect weekend in Southwestern Michigan. Sunny, warm, a light breeze.
And if you are going to have a chance to swim, or fish, or just relax at one of our 5 Great Lakes or one of the 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan, how about a little round up of pallet boats & rafts and such? 
______________________________________ says this is an easy and cheap raft!
Enjoy this 10 second video cruising down the river on a pallet boat. 

One of those fancy self-driving pallet boats I guess...

Couldn't this be made out of recycled pallets? 


So there are ducks in this doghouse/pallet raft!

Perfect for little ones to use their imagination.
And a few art & sign pallet creations (all DIY)....
Fish house numbers from
I was inspired to create my own piece following the tutorial and I will share it soon.
Pallet Fish- another great project from! This would be a great group activity. has easy step by step help to recreate this pallet anchor sign.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July Weekend! 
Save the Date! 

University Recreation
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5447

It will be fun for the whole family. Craft and vendor booths, food, kid’s activities, great music and more. See all the amazing Pallet creations entered into the contest. You may be able to purchase some too.

Grand Finale - See who wins PalletPalooza 2016 at our awards presentation.

Interested in having a booth at the event? Contact us at Limited space available.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

PalletPalooza Entry Period Ends Tonight!

This is it! It's time to put the finishing touches on your pallet creation and enter it into PalletPalooza! The deadline to enter is today - June 30th - at Midnight.
It is our hope that this new fundraiser for Goodwill inspires people to think about the humble pallet and make it something new. And also inspire people to continue to think about recycling and repurposing more things. Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan recycles over 10 million pounds of material per year from community donations. The opportunities to reuse and repurpose donations is endless! We want to say THANK YOU for taking the time to drop of donations to Goodwill, participating in PalletPalooza and supporting our mission - we help people find jobs.
Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan provides employment, education, training, and support services to individuals and families so  they can achieve self-sufficiency.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tips & Tricks for your Pallet Projects

There is still time to enter your pallet creation in PalletPalooza! 
Here is a quick round up of tips & tricks that will help you get your project finished!
Finding the Perfect Pallet A perfect pallet doesn't mean new wood, no splinters, or no bent nails. Perfect means a pallet that perfectly fits your vision for your pallet project.Read More....
Pallets at Goodwill
Where can you find pallets for free?
PalletPalooza Pallet Providers
Scroll down on the Enter Tab of the website and you will see a list of our sponsoring pallet providers. They often have have pallets available at their locations on a first come first serve basis. Just click on their link to see their location, hours, and check on availability.

Local Businesses
As you a driving through your town, you will be surprised how many pallets you see at your local grocery and hardware stores, landscape businesses, construction companies, and feed stores. Ask them if their pallets are available to take.
Sometimes free pallets are listed on Craigslist. Go to the Free section in the "For Sale" category.

Recycling Centers and Township Dump Days Pallets are large items and they might be just dumped. You may be able to rescue a couple of these and recycle them into an amazing project.

Ask Friends and Family (and Frenemies too!)
Ask them on Facebook, give them a call, let them know what you are up to and you might be surprise how often you hear "Oh yeah, I've got a couple of pallets laying around."

So many different types of pallets! Check out PalletPalooza Sponsor Ultimate Guide to Upcycling with Pallets.
You found your free pallets, picking the perfect ones, but how to get these things apart? Pallets are meant to be very durable, they are not meant to come apart easily. The nails are often heat set, so they swell in the wood. The wood is dry, beat up and has cracks already. Or your pallet was repaired for reuse several times so it has tons of nails holding it together. It can be very frustrating to have found your pallets, and then lose a lot of the wood to giant splits. Visit some of these links. I found that every pallet is different in how it wants to come apart, and knowing different techniques will be helpful.

Get a pallet breaker tool: This is the one I use here at Goodwill.

Crescent Tool DKB44X Bull Bar

If you are committed to DIY - here is a link to make your own pallet busting tool from

Very good short video of tips for pulling out nails.Re-claiming Pallets Made Easy!! - Pulling Nails!

I like how calls taking apart a pallet "harvesting wood". :)
She uses a  Dremel Multi-Max, which is new to me, but now I want one.
I had never used a reciprocating saw before I started creating things with pallets. Another very handy tool. Check out and look for her video - very helpful.

How about a round up inside our round up of painting techniques?
A slide show of tips to get you started is on
Great video links in Best Pallet Wood Painting Tips
Like the weathered wood look? Visit for her techniques.

This is it! Time to enter your pallet creation in PalletPalooza! June 30th is the last day to enter at