How to Make a Garden Fence From Upcycled Pallets

Keep critters out of your garden with this inexpensive fencing alternative that can also serve as a planter.

April 28, 2022

Who doesn’t love a repurposed pallet or four? If you don’t, you’re about to. This pallet fence and gate is better looking than wire fencing and cheaper than a picket fence. See how we turned a bunch of old pallets into a combination fence and planter.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Tools and Materials

  • pallets (three for every 10-foot section)
  • (1) standard exterior gate latch
  • (3) 3” standard exterior gate hinges
  • deck screws
  • 1x4 x 12' lumber (2 for every 3 pallets)
  • 4x4 posts for the vertical supports
  • felt, landscape fabric or burlap
  • hammer
  • crowbar
  • staple gun
  • hand shovel
  • potting soil
  • plants
  • garden gloves and safety goggles

Prep the Pallets

Look the pallets over good and remove any errant nails and sand off any rough spots.

Remove Some Planks

Determine where on your pallets you’ll be adding plants. On our gate, we removed a couple of inner planks so we could have more room for plants. Use a hammer and crowbar to remove or pry off the planks.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Make the Plant Pockets

Determine where you’ll be adding plant pockets. Lay the landscape fabric (we used felt) so that it drapes into the middle of the pallet. Use a staple gun to attach the fabric lining to the interior of the pallet boards.

Determine the Fence Layout

Standard shipping pallets are 40” x 48”. We laid ours with the 40” as the horizontal and the 48” as the vertical. Thus, three shipping pallets standing side-by-side was 10 feet long and 48 inches tall. So, we spaced our 4x4 vertical support posts 10 feet apart in order to fit three pallets in between each post.

Install Vertical Fence Posts

Start by installing the 4x4 posts at the corners of your garden; these will serve as your vertical fence supports. Our corner 4x4 posts extend far above the ground to frame our garden and provide a place to hang string lights. If you don’t want your posts that tall and would prefer them flush with the top of the pallets, cut the 4x4s down to 64 inches and bury the bottom 2 feet in the ground so your posts stand 40 inches above the ground.

Install Horizontal Fence Supports

To help support the pallets upright, we fastened two 12-foot long 1x4 boards between each post. Use 2" deck screws to fasten the first 1x4 a few inches off ground between the 4x4 posts. Then attach the second 1x4 about 36” off the ground.

Fasten Pallets to Supports

Place the pallets upright against the 1x4s, then use deck screws to fasten the pallets to the 1x4s.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Add a Gate

If you want to add a gate to your garden fence, you'll need to install two vertical posts about 42 inches apart to hold the gate. The opening of the gate needs to be slightly bigger than the pallet so it will swing open easily. Center three hinges to the top, center and bottom of the pallet on either the right or left side, then attach to the support post. On the opposite side of the pallet, attach a latch to the top and then attach the latch's catch to the support post.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

Fill Plant Pockets

With the pallets in place, fill the plant pockets with soil and plants. Annual flowers, lettuces and herbs are all great choices for your pallet garden.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

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