Pallet Entertainment Center/Fish Love

Today I’m showing you the entertainment center Brad I built out of pallets last March. (Woohoo, more wood pallet projects!)

Our Previous Projects: 1. DIY Pallet Spice Rack 2. DIY Pallet Desks

Materials Needed:

  • Pallets
  • Hand saw
  • Pliers
  • Power Saw
  • Drill
  • Screws
  • L brackets
  • Sandpaper

Before you start building your entertainment center, figure out what’s going to go in it. Measure everything and write it down. Come up with a plan of how wide and tall you want it to be, and how many shelves you will need to fit your treasures. Go through a couple of organization ideas to see what works best.

Besides our two fish tanks, we also had to account for the television and other gadgets, so we knew it would be pretty big. It ended up at 43″ tall x 73″ wide x 18″ deep.

Okay, before we start building, check your pallets for a logo stamped HT. This stands for heat treated, and this is the safer pallet option. If you don’t see a stamp, don’t use it. If it says MB (methyl bromide) do not use it.

Strip down your pallets and wash them down. The method we prefer is using a reciprocating saw or a hack-saw to cut through the nails that hold the pieces together.

Now that you’ve got a pile of weird looking wood, sand it all down. The better you sand, the easier it will come together.

Let’s start with the base. It measures 18″ x  73″ wide. We made sure the bottom had 2x4s supporting all the pieces, and connecting the middle. Looks pretty bad, but no one but you guys will ever see this, so shhhh.

Add a piece cut to the depth of the base to the outside of the base on both sides.

Next we’re adding 8 2x4s cut to our desired height. These are the supports for the shelves. Just drill through the bottom of the base. Attach L brackets securing each 2×4 to the base on each side. There should be a total of 12 brackets used on this step. That’s probably more than necessary, but I like the way they look.

Now we’re going to add  bars to stabilize the back.

Let’s go ahead and add stabilizing boards to the inside of the left and right sides and the inside of the middle 2x4s. These also give the top something to rest against as they’re about 1 inch down from the top (depending on the thickness of your boards)

Hooray. It’s time to build some shelves. We needed 6 shelves. The size depends on how wide and deep you need them to be. Cut your boards to equal width, and turning them upside down, screw a board measuring the depth to each side, going through each of the boards on the bottom.

Because the top left and right shelves belong to our fishy-babies, we wanted to make it easier to lift the fish tanks out or change the water. We decided to put the top left and right on hinges, so it swings up when we need it to. To do this we created 2 shelves similar to the ones above but the stabilizing piece on the end was set in by .75 inches so it wouldn’t hit the other support bars.

Then we attached the hinges, 2 per top shelf.

Next, attach the shelves in the middle. At first we were trying to use the little shelf nubbins that they sit on, then we just screwed them directly to the 2x4s, but then we decided to use L brackets. I recommend the brackets.

Whew. Now throw all your stuff on it!

While it’s not the most sophisticated piece of furniture, it is inexpensive and holds a lot of stuff.

Pallet Entertainment Center