HomePallet Home Décor IdeasDiy: Build a Tulsi Manch Out of Pallet Wood

Diy: Build a Tulsi Manch Out of Pallet Wood

  • 2 pallets

  • easy

  • 12h

  • $10

Tulsi or Tulasi (Ocimum Tenuiflorum) or the Holy Basil is the "queen of herbs" and is a sacred plant in the Hindu faith. The leaves of the Tulsi plant are important for worship. Hindus love it morning and night. The presence of the Tulsi plant symbolizes the religious inclination of a Hindu family. A Hindu household is considered incomplete if it does not have a Tulsi plant in the yard.

Many families have the Tulsi planted in a specially built structure called "Tulsi Manch," which has images of deities installed on all four sides, and an alcove for a small oil lamp in the ground. Today, I will, therefore, spend a few hours making this "TTulsi Manch" from free upcycled pallet wood.

Materials needed

  • One wooden pallet
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Knife
  • Nails
  • Measuring Tape
  • Protective equipment: gloves, glasses, and face mask
  • Pencil
  • Hand Saw
  • and Paint of your choice

Dismantle the pallet

Let's start by dismantling the wood pallet.

To dismantle the pallet, you can use two hammers and collect all the wood needed for this project. You can also keep all the nails to reuse them later. So, save them and keep them aside.

Tip: Learn different ways of dismantling a wooden pallet.

Plan of the Tulsi Manch

This project can be completed in 5 steps.

  1. Cut and assemble the 3 identical sides that will be used for the two sides and the back of the unit.
  2. Assemble the front bit, which will have the alcove in it for the earthen oil lamp.
  3. Cut and assemble the top and the bottom section of the Tulsi Manch.
  4. Cut and attach the top wings to the top of the unit.
  5. Finally, finish the Tulsi Manch by polishing and painting the unit.

Cut the wood

Using a hand saw (or the power saw if you prefer) and with proper measurements in mind, cut all the wood that is required for building the Tulsi Manch.

Assemble the sides and front

After dismantling the pallet, you should have all the wood pieces ready. So, lets first start by assembling the 3 identical sides. Once the sides are ready, you will put together the front bit which will have the alcove for the earthen oil lamp. Alright, so now we have all the 4 sides ready in-front of you and it's time to join them all together.

Assemble the top and bottom

So, this is how it looks like after joining all the 4 sides.

Now, measure and cut the pallet planks required for creating the top and bottom sections of the Tulsi Manch. Cut the edges at a 45-degree to give a nicer look to the Tulsi Manch.

Sand the Tulsi Manch

After joining the top and the bottom section, sand the unit to give it a smoother look. The painting will become easier when the wooden surface is properly sanded.

Assemble the top wings

Measure the top section properly to find out how many wings are required for the top bit. Once you have the proper measurement, you just need to cut them out of the pallets planks and attach them to the Tulsi Manch.

You can also install a few blocks of wood around the alcove to give it a nicer look.

Paint the Tulsi Manch

The project is almost complete, now the final step. It's time to apply the wood-primer and leave it overnight to dry properly.

This project took me two days to realize and a lot of my free time, but I hope you will enjoy this Tulsi Manch. Do let me know how you think of it by dropping a comment.


Resources for this project:

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Ruffino Cruz III


Anne Elizabeth Jones

that is NOT the nazi sign. It’s in a different direction meaning divinity and Spirituality in India.

Michael Harris

Before people go psycho

Timothy Halpin



That isn’t an actual “Nazi” swastika, it’s a symbol used a lot in the Hindu and the Buddhist faith. In the Hindu faith, it usually is a sign of the sun, prosperity, and faith, with the arms, reversed it is a sign of either night or aspects of Khali. In Buddhism, it is the symbol for the footprints of Bhuda. There is a third faith it is common in but I’m not going even attempt to spell it ( it refers to the seventh of 24 great teachers) cause I’ll just end up butchering it. The Nazi use of the… Read more »


Thanks Jay for this helpful explanation!


Thank you for clarifying


It is difficult to un-see a Nazi Swastika on the side of your obviously otherwise well-crafted piece. Please tell me more about the cultural origins of this symbol so that I can view this project from a different perspective. I want to understand your artwork in another context, but, I’m not familiar with a history other than my first impression. Can you help me understand your frame of reference?


Hi Smith,
Jay gave a nice answer to your question about Swastika symbol. You can also find more information on Wikipedia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swastika

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