One thing people who love DIY projects have in common (besides the fun and thrill of making something yourself) is the money savings involved in taking on the task yourself. In a DIY project, the most expensive part is usually the materials! Unless of course you use a material that's free and in easy supply...
A much debated material, the shipping pallet is certainly something that is inexpensive and easy to find. To some, it's the perfect material for crafting furniture out of! Take for example this chair Abby posted a few months ago on AT. While only you can judge whether or not this is the right building material for you (though, we can attest to just how many of them exist--they're all over the place in Austin!), we've found a pretty amazing use for shipping pallets that just might give you inspiration for your own home!
Created by the architecture firm I-Beam, these shipping pallet houses were designed as temporary homes for refugees and can be assembled and taken down easily. While a bit drafty in this incarnation, the houses can be made into more permanent dwellings using local materials like mud and adobe. The houses feature a creative array of built-in furniture (made of shipping pallets, of course) like a dining area, benches and flower boxes.
While not many people will have the need for temporary housing in their backyard, this concept could be applied to any number of neat ideas, like kid's playhouses, storage sheds, miniature guest houses and of course furniture! And remember, the cost of this sort of DIY project's materials would be minimal! What do you think about building with shipping pallets, inspiring or gross? Let us know! And tell us if you have any favorite projects you've ever seen made out of shipping pallets! [Photo credits: Main photo: Flickr user splorp; Wooden pallets: Utah State University website; Shipping pallet house photos from I-Beam website ]