How to Build A Simple Pallet Fence (And 3 Examples)

by Oliver Guess | LAST UPDATED July 12, 2021

pallet fence
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Making a pallet fence is quick, cheap, and a great way to spend the day. If you're anything like us, you're pumped for the weekend to brainstorm new pallet fence ideas for your DIY garden. 

While this might not seem too attractive, the sheer amount of DIY pallet fence ideas can bring out the arts and crafts spirit in just about anyone.

However, if you're trying to make a simple pallet fence, this particular material is economical and reliable. Additionally, most pallet fence projects usually take around two days tops. So you can create a functioning garden pallet fence in a single weekend.

We'll go over everything in more detail as we go through the article. But first, we should probably address the price of your average pallet fence. 

Cost of Standard Pallet Fencing

The low cost of pallet fencing is the main reason people use it. How many pallets you need primarily depends on the space you want to enclose. In most cases, you could get by with 6-12 pallets for a smaller cheap pallet fence. 

To determine how many wood pallets are needed, you need to consider the number of slats. Certain types have six slats, while others have seven. Although it seems like a small detail, you get one more fence post per pallet.

Pallets come in three sizes: 42” x 42”, 48” x 48”, and 48" x 40". The difference in the dimensions doesn't affect the price tag. You can find GMA-certified pallets for $11 or $13 apiece. 

In our earlier example, we stated that you could build a wooden fence using 6-12 pallets. That means you should be able to make a wooden pallet fence for between $70 and $160. This price tag is ridiculously low for any fencing option.

Be on the lookout for bulk pricing because we've seen stacks of 10 going for cheaper than buying just a couple. With that said, most GMA pallet distributors don't offer discounts. However, we came across solid deals using good haggling at specific warehouses.

Speaking of warehouses, a lot of them have broken or old pallets. While they can't support weight for transportation, damaged pallets are still helpful. You could use free pallets to build pallet furniture or a patio surround. Another idea is to piece them together with chicken wire for a chicken coop. Of course, you could use it for other critters like baby quail

Pallet Fences Are Great for Woodworking

The other reason people like to use pallets as building materials is they're perfect for DIY projects. What we mean by this is that the wood itself is cheap and accessible. And you can use it for projects of all different sizes.

Once you have the pallets, you need to build a basic wood pallet fence: a crowbar, a hammer, and some nails or screws. Otherwise, we'll let you know when you need additional materials and tools. First, you'll need to remove the boards from the pallets. Essentially, pallets are nothing more than a few boards nailed onto three deck boards at the bottom. Therefore, using them as materials for a new fence is straightforward. 

[Are you enjoying this read? If so, check out this piece on tiny house shower ideas.]

Pallets are made from various types of wood like hickory, mahogany, maple, oak, teak, walnut, or pine. Some of these are hardwoods, while others are a lot softer. Regardless of the wood type, pallets make excellent fences because they're sturdy and affordable. 

Of course, the wood itself isn't indestructible. The boards can shatter if enough force is applied. The excellent news is pallets can transport heavy materials, so they withstand a lot of pressure.

Our 3 Favorite DIY Pallet Fence Designs

The sky is the limit when it comes to DIY pallet fence designs. So, we can't possibly go through all of the different fence ideas. What we can do, however, is take you through three of our favorites. 

We'll also go over the necessary preparation followed by step-by-step instructions. If you like this kind of content, you should also check out our article about starting a homestead garden. This way, you can have more opportunities to show off your new DIY pallet fence skills!

1. Picket Fence

Wooden fence

First, get a crowbar and pull out all pallet boards from the deck boards (at the bottom). After that, separate the boards by length.

As previously mentioned, there are pallets of different dimensions. So if your boards are various sizes, use the longer ones as ground stakes. Then, you can use the shorter pieces as the horizontal connector boards between the stakes.

We should mention that you'll need a lot more stakes than connectors. You can make the fence shorter if you have more short boards than long ones. Then, you can have more stakes on a single connector.

After deciding which boards to use for the stakes, follow these steps (in order). 

  • Sharpen the stakes to a triangular point on one end;
  • You can leave the other side as is, or you can make more of a rounded triangular shape (to get the classic picket fence look);
  • Dig a narrow hole for the initial stake;
  • Measure out the distance for the stakes;
  • Dig evenly spaced out holes for each stake;
  • Insert the stakes point-first into the holes and use a soft mallet to hammer them down;
  • Fill the holes and tamper down the soil around the stakes;
  • Add a line of connectors near the bottom and the top of the fence;
  • If you only have enough board for one line of connectors, then either place them near the top or close to the middle;
  • Nail the connectors to the stakes, or use some rope to tie them on.

As for the fence gate, grab around five or six boards and fasten them together with a connector. Attach them on one side to a fence board using door hinges for the pallet gate. You can fit the other side with a latch or handle.

2. Pallet Privacy Fence

Privacy wooden fence

A privacy fence is a fence without any gaps, meaning you can't see through it. As the name might suggest, the point is to shield your property from onlookers. As a result, most pallet privacy fences need to be stacked relatively high.

It's common practice to stack two pallets horizontally on top of one another. You could also do it vertically if your particular pallets are longer than wide. It's ideal in any situation where you benefit from a few more inches of fence height.

You'll want to keep half of the pallets intact and remove the boards from the other half. Then, nailed the removed boards onto the intact pallets. This way, you can cover up the gaps between the existing boards. 

The next step is to get a few sturdy stakes to connect the fence panels. Once that is complete, follow these instructions: 

  • Dig a hole for the stake;
  • Place the first stake in the ground;
  • Nail the first pallet to the stake by the middle deck board;
  • Place the second pallet on top of the first - nail it to the stake and the bottom pallet;
  • Place a pallet next to the grounded fence panel (to measure out where you need to place the next stake);
  • Repeat.

Remember to leave a gap for your door as with the picket fence. To make the door, nail two pallets on top of the other. After that, attach two hinges to each. 

3. Potted Plant Box

Pallet fence potted plant

We should clarify that you won't be able to make a raised garden out of your pallet fence. The potted plant box won't help you grow veggies in a limited space. This item aims to add a nice feature to your fence that you can enjoy.

There are two ways that you can tackle setting up this sort of garden fence:

  1. You can dig a shallow ditch where you want to put the fence. It should be the same width as the deck board. Next, place your pallet in the trench, cover the bottom-most deck board with soil, and line the pallets up.
  2. You can use stakes and nail all three deck boards to it. This method will keep the fence stable while you repeat the same process for every pallet down the line.

Keeping the deck boards horizontal is very important because we'll use them as our planters. To accomplish this, get a few panels, cover the bottoms of the deck boards, fill them with soil, and plant your seed of choice.

You can use all deck boards as planters or just the topmost one (since it's visible outside the garden).

Final Thoughts About The Pallet Fence

As you might have noticed, we mostly stuck to using the original shape of the pallets themselves or the boards. We did this because we wanted to provide quick and easy examples everybody could understand, so if you were expecting instructions on trellis fences, sorry to disappoint!

Suppose that's the sort of tutorial you want. In that case, you might want to go to Instructables or Hometalk and learn how to make anything from a coffee table to Halloween decorations (from a pallet).

However, if you were looking for a simple and affordable way to fence off your property, we think these solutions are worth serious consideration. 

Oliver Guess
Oliver is an off-grid living enthusiast currently residing in the mountains of New Mexico. His interests in sustainability originally lead him down the path of an off the grid lifestyle. When he's not tinkering with his broken solar panels, Oliver enjoys searching out hot springs, whittling and cooking.

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