Introduction: Pallet Desk

Picture of Pallet Desk

A simple way to create a desk using a pallet and some ikea table legs.
The pallet allows to double the desk surface and to get a lot of storage.
See more images on flickr

Step 1: Material List

Picture of Material List

You need :
- 1 pallet (or 2 if you plan to make the top surface with pallet wood)
- 5 mm plywood to make the bottom surface
- wood floor board with interlock (to make the top surface)
- 4 ikea vika legs
- some nails (10mm) and screws (at least 40mm)

Usually, pallet dimensions are 120 x 80cm, so you should select plywood and floor board according to your pallet size.
I have used :
- 2 plywood boards of 60 x 80cm (perfect fit!)
- 5 wood floor board of 16cm width (another perfect fit!)

Advantages of wood floor are : cheap, robust and clean

about tools, you may need a wood saw and metal saw, a hammer with a nail puller and a screw gun 

Step 2: Dismantle the Pallet

Picture of Dismantle the Pallet

there are 2 ways :
- using a nail puller, this is quite long
- using a metal saw and sawing between the 2 parts to dismantle them, faster 

Step 3: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

Cut the floor boards (5) to fit the pallet board (2) length
Adjust the plywood boards (1)  to get an overall surface equal to pallet board (2) x cross-board (4) 

Now you have every parts at the right size, let's build up the desk!

- nail the plywood (1) into the 3 bottom boards (2)
- screw the pallet blocks (3) through the bottom boards (2)
- screw the pallet block (3) through the cross-boards(4)
- screw the floor board (5) into the cross-boards (4)
- screw the leg (6) into the bottom boards (2)

Step 4: Option : the Secret Access to Hidden Treasure :)

Picture of Option : the Secret Access to Hidden Treasure :)

if you have chosen the floor board with interlock, you can create a secret access by sliding boards.


pierrevedel (author)2012-10-14

I have designed a new version of the desk : more ergonomic, more robust and nicer

Yonatan24 (author)2016-01-09

Nice, Did you sand it to remove splinters?

pierrevedel (author)Yonatan242016-01-10

hey, no I did not because I have used some nicer/smoother wooden board for the top.

For the 2nd version, I have spread a varnish to prevent splinter and have a nicer finishing

cosmicslop (author)2015-07-09

Love pallet furniture, especially because of how simple it is. Looks awesome too

Good job on your instructions, even someone like me understood them

joverbeek1 (author)2015-04-21

thanks for the idea!! i'm going to make this. but i remove the legs and i use a half pallet for the legs. and i put a glass plate on the top. and i put my pc in the desk, under the glass. i make a picture when my desk is completed.

Echo420 (author)2014-11-27

Hi, I'm going to make one soon and I'm recovering the material.

I wondered if this ikea legs of 4cm diameter were sufficient to support the pallet, which leg you've used?

pierrevedel (author)Echo4202014-12-22


this desk has been built with previous version of these legs which were actually thicker

I have built a new one with the 4cm diameter one and it is alright. see photos :

But you may see some deflection at the center of desk. I advise to fix a stiffening beam to prevent deflection

Echo420 (author)pierrevedel2014-12-22


Echo420 (author)pierrevedel2014-12-22


Vincent619 (author)2013-09-08

this is my version of it :D

uah (author)Vincent6192014-09-14

Hi nice looking desk what is the black top made of

starwarsgeek1 (author)2014-06-26

need to make one soon

Tuna_Hacker_101 (author)2013-09-20

What to a nice looking desk you have there. I was thinking about making one as well, but cut in half to save room.

Garrigus (author)2013-08-07

I am going to build this as a birthday present to my daughter. The top will be plywood though. I'm going to paint it with chalkboard paint.

pierrevedel (author)Garrigus2013-08-08

I suggest to keep the original top boards and just fix a thin plywood board on these ones : that may maintain the assembly strenght
Actually, like the new version I have designed

and maybe some shorter legs for your kid :)

meddler (author)2012-02-10

Now that's a great idea.

pheenix42 (author)2012-01-30

What a great idea--where I work at, we get paper shipped to us on half-sized pallets like this, many times with smooth hardboard tops! I'm going to have to keep my eye out now for one I can use! =D

nerocon (author)2012-01-22

Great idea and I love how much extra room you get using the idea. A word of caution though, pallets are typically treated with chemicals to preserve them, not to mention can be contaminated with all sorts of crazy stuff. Just make sure you use a nice new one that's clean and fresh looking. Just treat the wood like you would pressure treated, or insect resistant woods.

pierrevedel (author)nerocon2012-01-23

This is a quite recurring comment, so I have done some research :)

There are 2 types of pallets, the single use ones and the returnable ones.
- The returnable ones are the property of the transporter and they definitively treated to have a long life.
- The single use ones are picked up by the trash collector, so they have no owner (once they are left in the street!). So they have a short time life and do not need to be treated for preservation.

nerocon (author)pierrevedel2012-01-24

Awesome of you to do the research, I should of before posting honestly since I have not played with pallets since I was young and spoke in ignorance. In my defense when I had access to plenty of pallets they were horrid monsters with uncountable containment's. Especially the ones my dad brought home from Sears, seemed they would use their pallets until they turned to dust and floated away in a poison cloud lol.

hehe, but in all seriousness, good work.. I will probably build myself a fold away shop bench using this idea.

Exocetid (author)2012-01-22

Kudos, kudos, kudos!! Clever idea--there are so many ways to make a desk from a pallet, but bravo for doing it first and getting peoples juices flowing. Now we need a contest: Pallet Furniture. Takes me back to the good old days when my age was measured in a couple of decades and my bank account was less than four figures. We did cinder blocks then ;-)

pierrevedel (author)Exocetid2012-01-23

if you enjoy pallets, I also have designed an armchair with a pallet

pierrevedel (author)2012-01-23

I am glad you all like it, thank you for your comments

May I suggest you (if you really do like it) to vote for the -pallet desk- in the furniture challenge :)

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-01-20

Awesome! I love the secret panel!

I really do love it too :)

ynneb (author)2012-01-20

I guess you dont actually need a pallet since you are pulling it apart and only using the spacers. ?
I also thought, that two pallets standing vertically could be used as legs. This would also provide extra storage.
Nice idea!!!

pierrevedel (author)ynneb2012-01-23

You are right, any wooden blocks would do the job but as the final shape looks like a pallet, why not using a pallet ? :)

And actually if you are using pallet boards for the top, you only have to take apart the 3 bottom ones in order to insert plywood boards.

galadriei (author)2012-01-22

this is genius!!! love this!!

az5625 (author)2012-01-22

AWESOME IDEA! i am going to make something just like this, with a bit of tweaking though! bigger wooden legs would be sick!

Edgar (author)2012-01-22

Great idea, very good Sketchup illustration, and can serve in the workshop and garage, too!

l8nite (author)2012-01-19

Really cool ! You could add drawers accessible from either side as well

mormonchick (author)2012-01-19

This desk is awesome especially because it can be painted to fit with any decor. =)

I love it! What a cool idea!

Carleyy (author)2012-01-19

I love pallet furniture. This desk looks awesome!

About This Instructable




More by pierrevedel:Pallet desk
Add instructable to: