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He Built A Tiny Cabin Using Recycled Pallets

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This is a 1o’ by 12′ tiny cabin built entirely out of recycled pallets.

Dan Gieski built the house on Potato Lake in Wisconsin.

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Tiny Cabin Built Using Recycled Pallets


Images © Dan Gieski

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Images © Dan Gieski


  • 10′ by 12′
  • 1/2 loft
  • Queen bed
  • Sleeps 6
  • Cabin made from 42 wooden shipping pallets
  • Outhouse made from pallet skids
  • Located on Potato Lake in Chetek, Wisconsin
  • Filled the pallets with spray foam insulation
  • 100 amps of power
  • Steel siding.
  • Added a small deck
  • Bunkbeds
  • Tongue groove oak floor
  • Slate tile

Our big thanks to Dan for sharing!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.

Latest posts by Natalie C. McKee (see all)

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • Sally Schrock
    October 12, 2016, 3:43 pm

    Oh, how ingenious! I’ve always liked repurposing materials and this is a GREAT way to put cast-off pallets to good use for just about anything–including building homes. One just has to be careful about choosing the right pallets, however, as some have been chemically treated and aren’t safe for interior use. Great and inexpensive way to build–unlike some of the THs that are getting out of hand pricewise. BRAVO!

    • Natalie
      October 13, 2016, 6:21 am

      I am obsessed with pallets (built a bed out of them, once) so this is just about the coolest thing 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Eric
    October 12, 2016, 4:32 pm

    First sentence: “This is a 1o’ by 12′ tiny cabin built entirely out of recycled pallets.”

    Uhm, NO! This cabin is framed out by recycled pallets Natalie. Not quite the same thing.

    Pictures tell a very different story. OSB used for sheathing the wall frames. Covered in paper stuff (forget the term at the mo). Extra cladding and different roof cladding.

    Don’t think you’ll win a Pulitzer prize for this article… lqtm

    • Michael L
      October 12, 2016, 10:40 pm

      Oh good heavens, a mistake was made. Please do give us the link to your Pulitzer prize winning article so we can all see how it’s done!

      • Natalie
        October 13, 2016, 6:25 am

        Hi Eric 🙂 Good to hear from you! Since I did upload all those pictures and had email correspondence with the builder, I do realize he used other materials to finish the house. Perhaps “framed” would have been a better term to have used, but he did use recycled pallets for the majority of the build 🙂 And plus, the pallets are the coolest part of this cabin. I want to build my own! Yours, Natalie

  • Claude
    October 12, 2016, 5:03 pm

    Very creative on using recyclable material. Bravo!

    • Natalie
      October 13, 2016, 6:26 am

      Agreed 🙂 How clever! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Suzie Q
    October 12, 2016, 11:24 pm

    I absolutely love this!!! We can get pallets for $1 not far from where I live……..I’m wanting to do something similar for a chicken coop and even the size would be perfect!!!

    • Natalie
      October 13, 2016, 6:27 am

      If you ask your local supermarket or hardware store, they might give you theirs for free! I’ve done it 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

      • Suzie Q
        October 13, 2016, 1:02 pm

        Even for $42 a person can’t go wrong and this place must collect them for free when people advertise them to just come pick them up. Then they sort them and repair as needed so I can get all the same size at one time or maybe two trips for that many rather than string it out. I live in a very small community. The nearest two towns have populations of 428 and appr. 1200. But it would definitely be worth asking for other projects. Thanks for the tip!

    October 13, 2016, 7:48 pm

    Love it when people come up with ideas to reproduce lumber. Great job!

    • Natalie
      October 14, 2016, 7:01 am

      Yes! It’s awesome. — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Barnie
    November 2, 2016, 6:56 pm

    Cool! In my early teens, myself and two friends built a place almost identical in a forested space near a factory in the town we lived. We “recycled” all the materials from said factory’s skids and such. We had loads of fun at that place for about a year, until one Friday after school we returned to find the whole forest razed, and our clubhouse along with it. These days, that town is left with nary a tree for the most part.

    • Natalie
      November 3, 2016, 9:46 am

      Wow that sounds so cool…until the “no more trees” part! Sorry about that! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Heather MacDonald
    November 4, 2016, 2:09 pm

    My dad built me a horse barn out of pallets in the ’70’s. I thought it was awesome. So cool to see pallets being used now for tiny houses. Good stuff! : )

    • Natalie
      November 7, 2016, 9:37 am

      That’s so cool! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Jonathan
    December 19, 2016, 12:44 am

    It is really a shame that guys like him get all the attention. Clearly, he has a frame made of pallets. There are some nice sheds/mini cabins in Wisconsin that are made completely out of recycled material. My 10 x 14 cabins is one of them. I used odds sized pallets to build it. It got bolted together with bolts that were salvaged from wood wire spools. To prevent it from rotting, I wrapped the wall in with the plastic off snow mobile crates. The roof is cut up and flattened 55 gallon barrels.

  • jm
    December 19, 2016, 4:45 pm

    Without the osb giving it strength it wouldn’t be possible. If one uses that much osb I would just build it with sips.

  • Jonathan
    December 19, 2016, 8:03 pm

    most of the pallet building I seen up here, are build with out using osb. Up here we go to power sports sales places, and get the unwanted snowmobile and atv crates. Basically, the sides of the crate are bolted to the pallet frame. As for roofing, we nail flatted 55 gallon metal barrels right to the trusses. My building is a little different then that, but equally as strong.

  • Susanne
    December 20, 2016, 1:48 pm

    If he’s getting the pallets for free or almost free he’s saving a lot of money, I assume, compared to using SIPs.

    • Natalie
      December 21, 2016, 9:47 am

      Absolutely! – Tiny House Talk Team

  • Dan Gieski
    March 10, 2017, 2:08 pm

    I taught special education in Minneapolis public schools to 18-21 year olds. We had no budget but wanted to teach my students you can build sheds out of pallets for $50 or less. I made a comment to my students that I could build a house out of pallets… they challenged me.. I realize the structure is covered in OSB. The real genius … if you want to call it genius is how I made full trusses out of pallets. It took our class several weeks to figure how to make connecting pallets strong enough without sagging to be made into a normal looking roof structure. There is 2 heaters and an air conditioner. Recycled hardwood floors and an outhouse made from 4×4 from pallets. I think I could have used all pallets? I got them from a school district that was throwing them away. No matter how true you stay to recycling and staying true, someone will always knock what you are doing. I’m ok with that. I enjoy this with my 4 young kids and get the summer off to go fishing. To me.. that’s priceless.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 13, 2017, 10:26 am

      That’s amazing Dan! Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Alex
    May 23, 2020, 3:13 pm

    Great idea!

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