Italian designer Andrea Scandella has created an open source series of DIY furniture pieces made from disused pallets. With a passion for designing furniture that incorporates eco-sustainability and the use of recycled materials, Scandella is offering his deigns free to the public.

The collection is called “Pallet Room” and keen home DIY advocates can download the plans, then get their hands on an old shipping pallet and some simple tools before setting to task at constructing a set of chairs, a small book shelf or desk. Each item can be made at home by following the IKEA-like illustrated instructions and the simple steps for disassembly and reassembly of the pallets.

The idea is great for budget-conscious eco-enthusiasts who find themselves in need of some basic furniture with a close-to-zero budget. That being said, there are some safety issues that should be acknowledged when building from reclaimed pallets. It is quite common for manufacturers to treat pallet wood with dangerous chemicals such as formaldehyde, in order to prevent decay and pest infestation. This is because the pallets have been built to be disposed of after use and not intended to be brought into the family home.

Green Upgrader offers some hints on how to tell if your reclaimed pallet wood is safe for upcycling, or if in doubt head to your local building supplier and purchase some cheap local wood that’s similar to the wood used for pallets ... and then, happy building!

The video below demonstrates the Pallet Room DIY series and how simple each piece of furniture is to build.

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