Repurposed Pallet Desk

Karianne from Thistlewood Farms amazes me with her think-outside-the-box projects.  She repurposed an old shipping pallet into a flipping desk!!!  What in the world.  Reason number 535 why I love that she is a contributor on my blog.  Be amazed friends…be amazed.


I knew when I saw this pallet……it was destined for greatness.

Before it became a fold-up desk.

Before it hung on the wall and provided storage for even the tiniest of spaces.

Before it ever dreamed a dream outside the walls of the barn.

shipping pallets

Back when it looked like this.

Can’t you see it?

Right there.

Just remove a few boards and add a simple cable and some plywood…..and you totally have a space saving fold-up pallet desk.

It’s hanging on my wall….smiling and ready for its star on the Hollywood walk of fame.  :)

Pallet Desk Project

Fold-up Pallet Desk

front of the desk

 Step 1:  Cut a piece of plywood for the desk

Most pallets have two sides.  One with a lot of boards.  One with usually about three boards.

For this project, the side with a lot of boards will be considered the back.

The one with three boards will be considered the front.

You don’t even have to remove any of the boards for this project.

Start by cutting a piece of plywood to fit between the bottom two boards.

piano hinge on desk

Step 2:  Attach a piano hinge

You want to use a piano hinge instead of regular hinges to provide maximum stability.

Attach one side of the hinge to the plywood desk top and one side to the bottom board of the pallet.


Step 3:  Attach a window sash

I think a window sash is a fun option to keep the desk closed when not in use.

Simply attach one side of the window sash to the plywood desk top and one side to the middle board of the pallet.


Step 4:  Assemble cables

The cables are used to support the door when it is in the down position.

You want to purchase a cable that will support at least 100 pounds to make sure your desk top is sturdy.

You will need cable hooks, crimps and an eye hook.


Step 5:  Thread the eye hook

Thread the eye hook through the cable as shown.

Wrap the cable around the cable hooks and crimp in place as shown.

You will be attaching one end of the cable to the pallet and one end to the desk top.

Cut your cable to fit snugly between the pallet and the desk top when the desk top is down.

Thread the eye hook and wrap and crimp the cable hook for the other end of the cable.

Repeat step 5 for the other side of the desk.


Step 6:  Sand and stain assembled pallet

I used dark walnut stain and applied one coat following directions on can.

Let dry.

Apply a coat of polyurethane following directions on can.

Let dry.


Step 7:  Attach eye hook to desk top

After pallet is thoroughly dry, attach eye hook to one side of the desk top.

Repeat step 7 for the other side of the desk top.


Step 8:  Attach other eye hook to a small block of wood

Attach the eye hook to a block of wood.

Attach the block of wood to the inside of the back of the pallet as shown.

Repeat step 8 for the other side.


Step 9:  Attach securely to the wall

Screw it directly into the wall studs and if needed…..use wall anchors to secure.

That’s it!


A fold-up pallet desk.

It’s a project that is perfect for a small space.

Great storage and it’s only the depth of a pallet when closed.

I told you it was destined for greatness.  :)

Liked this project?  Here’s a few more from Thistlewood Farms.


How to:  Barn Wood Letter


How to:  Pallet Top Desk

Yardstick Stool

How-to:  Yard Stick Stool

  • Jessica @ Dear Emmeline

    awesome Karianne! I mean awesome! :)

  • Jeanette @ Creating a Life

    Crazy awesome! I’ve yet to do a pallet project, but this looks like a contender!

  • funky Junk Interiors

    Goodness… you KNOW I’m saying “Why didn’t I think of that?!” right about now, right? KariAnne… way coo!

  • Angela

    This is totally fabulous!!! I aboslutely LOVE it!!~~Angela

  • Bearhair

    “Attach the eye hook to a block of wood.”


    “Attach the block of wood to the inside of the back of the pallet as shown.”

    How? Is it glued?


  • Gwen

    Crazy-pants awesome! Kari always amazes me, too!

  • Amanda

    Freakin’ amazing!! I have featured it on Craft Gossip this morning. I want one of these!

    • Beckie

      Thank you Amanda!

  • Bliss

    Seriously, when I see the stuff Ms. Thistle comes up with my head wobbles from side to side and while trying to wrap my brain around how her’s works, I mutter to myself looking at her creations.


  • Deborah Bolton

    Very cool!

  • Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

    This is amazing and I want it to come live at my house!

  • Cre8ive Charly

    Amazing! Free and über fantastic pallet desk! How do you anchor that to the wall though?

  • Stella Cordova

    LOVE THIS! Such a neat and cool way to versatile and up-cycle! So clever.

  • katie

    Ummm this desk is pretty damn awesome! great job!

  • Upcycled101

    this is really cool, and thank you so much for the instruction, there will be people visiting from my FB page….;-)

  • Pingback: Craft Rooms & Studio Ideas

  • cityatnight

    This is unbelievably gorgeous!! I love the stain you used as well. May I ask what color/brand you used?

  • Pingback: Repurposed Fold-Up Pallet Desk

  • charmingdate

    Creative design , I will use it in my house!

  • Pingback: DIY: 25+ Amazing Pallet Projects complete with Tutorials! |

  • Pingback: DIY: 25+ Amazing Pallet Projects complete with Tutorials!

  • Raquel

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I can’t wait to make one! Thanks so much for the tutorial =)

  • Pingback: Homework Station Ideas - Clean and Scentsible

  • Pingback: Repurposed Folding Pallet Desk Indoors or Out | Happy House and Garden