Backyard Oasis: DIY Lights from Recycled Pallet

by Chris Lambton

You should be able to enjoy your yard day or night. Lighting can be easily overlooked when planning your backyard space, but it is essential in landscape design.

Light it Up

Materials needed:

  • Re-use wood pallet
  • Battery operated lights
  • Nails

Step-by-step DIY lights

Start with a used pallet. They can usually be obtained for free from a local store. The wood already has a reclaimed look to it, so it is great to use in rustic projects.

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Step 1

The first step is to pull the pallet apart.

A Fiskars® hammer will really assist you in this step. It has a rip claw that will allow you to pull out the nails quickly and easily while its soft grip handle has a sculpted profile to fit the shape of your hand. This means you will get a good grip on a nail and the hammer won't slip out of your hand.

Step 2

Cut the boards into the size you want your finished light box to be.

You will need four 2" x 4" pieces to construct the base, and the number of 1/2" x 4" pieces needed to form the face of the box will depend on the height you cut the 2" x 4" pieces to.

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Step 3

Build the light frame.

A Fiskars® hammer is great for nailing these boards together. It has a magnetic nail-starter groove that allows you to start a nail while keeping one hand free to hold the boards in place. This allows for more exact workmanship in building.

  • Start by attaching a 1/2" x 4" wood piece to two of the 2" x 4"s. Continue adding the thinner pieces to the 2" x 4"s until you have faced a whole side.
  • Repeat on the remaining 2" x 4" pieces to build a second side.
  • Once you have built two sides, attach them to each other by nailing the 1/2" x 4" boards to each side. Repeat on the remaining side to finish the base.
  • Once the sides are assembled, attach the remaining 1/2" x 4" pieces across the top.
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Pro Tip

Be sure to leave room between the wood slats to allow light through. Since we are going with a reclaimed look, I am not worried if some boards have knots or are different widths.

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Step 4

Add hooks for stringing lights.

Flip the box over and screw hooks into the inside of the top. Place one in each corner to hold the string lights in place.

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Step 5

Attach lights.

Finish by attaching your string lights to the hooks. Battery operated lights are recommended as they don't require access to an outlet.

Now you have created a pallet light piece to finish off your backyard oasis. With the light piece in place, you can use this area day or night. All that's left is to sit back and enjoy your new space.