Build a rustic wine cabinet using free pallet wood. Great upcycling project.


In case I ever become a grape farmer and bottle my own wine, my son Wyatt designed this hipster bottle label that will work out perfectly. (“It’s so exclusive, you’ve probably never heard of it.”)

Over the years I have had a number of people ask me to build a wine rack or cabinet. Oddly enough, I live near the heart of California’s Wine Country, but am not a wine drinker myself which probably accounts for why it has taken me this long to make one.
I decided to make a display cabinet for those of us who like to keep a few bottles on hand for special occasions or guests. I designed it to resemble a wooden crate, possibly one that has been taken apart and hobbled together for a new purpose. I also wanted the bottle labels to show, making the entire unit a decorative piece: I like the juxtaposition of the rustic assembly with fine wine. The shelves tilt to the side to keep the corks from drying out.
Monetize your woodworking
Rustic projects using recycled wood are very trendy at the ┬ámoment. This project would sell well at craft fairs. (Probably starting at around $80 – $100.) It is simple to make and if you use free pallet wood the profit margin is huge. Buyers like to feel they are part of an effort to reduce waste, and expensive wine displayed in a unique cabinet is a great conversation starter.
Free plans:



    • Wine should always be stored at an angle so that the cork is completely covered by the wine on the inside. If the wine is not in contact with the cork, the cork can become brittle. Opening the bottle becomes trickier because the cork is more likely to break and/or sprinkle cork bits down into the wine.

  1. I’m with you keren. I work at John deeres computer center and I see pallets by the truck load get scrapped.. I’m always diggin through them looking for oak, but pine pine pine..

    • the pallet wood I get is usually poplar….I live just east of Augusta GA and there are always places trying to get rid of pallets

  2. Steve, Thanks for pointing out to me that pallet projects should not be perfect. And thanks for urging me to paint wood. You inspired me to finish my patio cooler from pallet wood. I’ll send a photo as soon as its assembled and painted.

  3. On the 5 degree angle thing…..if your wine bottle needs tilting to 5 degrees to ensure the cork is fully in contact with the wine, then someone had a sneaky drink out of the bottle. I think the angle is redundant and works against the aesthetic….but what do I know? Your pallet wood is much better quality timber than any we get here in the UK and you are dead right about monetising projects. It seems that cash from trash is global.

  4. Gareth, Wine is stored the same way in some Napa Wineries. Some really high end wine coolers are built with slightly angled racks as well.

    If you don’t have to tilt the bottle, then you have some really cheap wine.


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