Making a cheap windowbox (Part 1: Find yourself a pallet)

So how do I make one? Find yourself a pallet (1) – If you live in a large town or city, the chances are you can easily find one, either dumped in a side street or surplus to requirements to a builders’ merchant or suchlike. Apparently the blue ones are for return only, so steer clear of those.

So, you’ve got yourself a free pallet and are now feeling pleased with yourself for not having spent a penny, what next? You can carry on feeling smug, because you’re now going to recycle it....Keep that feeling, because the next part is the toughest part of the whole procedure:

Separate the planks*: Separating the planks from each other and the big chunks of wood between them can be a right sod and inevitably ends up with one or two of them getting split (not necessarily the end of the world in itself).
I’ve found using an old, large screwdriver or chisel is the best way of creating a wedge between the boards, if inserted in between the nails, and gradually prising them apart (2) – using a claw hammer, or if you have one, a crowbar to do the last bit.

Once the top boards are off, place a piece of 2" x 2" underneath the cross-members and hit the reverse planks (as close to the cross-member as possible) off one by one with a hammer (3)

Lastly, remove all the nails, by hammering them out from behind, then prising out with the claw hammer or pliers (4)

Top tip : Try to keep the nails as straight as possible when you remove them so that you can use them again!