Old Style Pallet Desk




Some times ago, i decided that it was time for me to have my own "hand made" desk. I just moved into a bigger apartment so the place was big enough for a futur "grandpa desk". Ok i'm only 28 but ... my grand son will one day say "It was my grand father desk" ;).

Anyway here the story of the old sewing machine pallet desk ;)

You will need :

- A saw

- An electric saw

- A least 4 pallets

- An old sewing machine (you can find some in flee-market or on ebay - careful..could be expensive !)

- A cabinet with some drawer (a cheap one in metal will be fine)

- A sander (for the pallet wood and also for the metallic cabinet)

- Some glue (to fix the pallet wood)

- Some screws and a screwdriver

- A large board of plywood

- Some table legs (short ones)

- Some black spray paint

Step 1: Step 1 : the Pallets

Well... as it is said.. the first step was to find some pallets. My oncle had 4 pallets... they were all blue ! Was a lil afraid of that color was not sure it was going to give me the old style i wanted. But anyway..pallet is pallet...and its free so here we go the hard work start here !

I had to disassemble them. Not the easiest part..

At first I used a regular saw... but then i though it will be faster with an electric saw. So I cut them. At the end only the basics of the pallet was left. See the photo. I did not used those part for the rest of the project... maybe some will say that i could have used them but disassemble those pallet without breaking them was really the hard part.

I was pretty happy with the result. I had many pieces of pallet wood that i can use to make the desk top.

Step 2: Step 2 : the Sewing Machine

I had an old sewing machine at my parents house that was my grand grand mother. She passed away 2 years ago and this sewing machine was in the garage since then. I decided that it was time to give it a second life.

I did not like the gold part so I : gave it a "coup" or in english... I sanded it and the metal part came back. The silver color look better with the metal desk !

That is not the hard part but you can expert it to take some times if you want to do it right.

Step 3: Step 3 : the Cabinet

As you can see i used the sander to bring back the metal color and to give it a more industrial look.

Here again... not hard... but long ! I had to used many different sandpapers before to find the right one and to finish all.

The I painted the drawers in black (was blue originally). Only a question of taste... and colors. But black fit with everything so... You can see it in the last step ;)

Step 4: Step 4 : the Pallet Wood

After I disassembled all of the pallets... it was time to transform them in an usable wood !

4 steps :

- As you can imagine.... the key word in this first step is : SANDING ;) you sand, you sand and you sand ! and then you can go to the next step ;)

- Then I chose the right parts of woods i wanted and where i wanted ! And i glue them on a plywood board. And then i screw the pallet wood underneath. So it wont move too much.

- Then.... I sanded it again to have a falt surface.

- Finally I gave it 2 a varnish layers to give this old wood hue.

And now we are ready for the last step !

Step 5: Step 5 : Assembly

Here we are... the finish lane ;)

I used some old table leg I had. I had to cut them a little to match the height of the sewing machine ! Careful... not an easy part ! If its too short.... you'll have to find some new ones ! So make the right measurement before to cut. I know....we all do before... but anyway... be careful ;) there is not second chance ;) !

After that i screw everything to the plywood board and .. here we are ! we have an old sewing machine pallet desk ;-) lets see in the last step the result !

And "Voilà" it's done ;)

Step 6: Step 6 : Let's Work ;)

Nothing more to say except that it was a fun project to do and that i love this desk !

Hope you will like it too !!

It was my first "how to" and I hope I did not kill you with my poor english but if you do the same please !! Share it here so i can see your work ! I'd love to see many desk like that ! Maybe with something different of the sewing machine ;).

Share, love, peace and take care ;)


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    24 Discussions


    3 years ago

    i should give my old desk "second life" soon. thanks for the inspiration brother.


    4 years ago

    Go to school ,take a woodworking course,buy yourself a plane(not the flying kind) and redo the entire project,make your own legs and ensure the unit is desk height,put entire unit together with dowels or biskits and then you will have something that your wife will let you keep in the house.....WCH

    4 replies

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Sorry if i did not meet your expectations. I thought it could give some ideas to other people. I never said i was a professional of woodworking.

    You definetly should make some instructables about woodworking since you realy seem to know a lot about it !


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Thx ;) i'm not a pro ehehe just tried to do my best with what i've got. I'm happy you enjoy it. Take care


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Right Tootiegirl58! I think he did an awesome job! He's using this desk himself, not selling, although I think he could if he wanted to!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful, unique and practical, plus you gave "new life" to your grandma's sewing machine! Most importantly, you love it! Awesome job!

    1 reply

    4 years ago

    ok you did a fine job,but read and do checkout some woodworkers edu so next time you will do better,please check out fine woodworking mag,I started out years ago ,worked in cabinet shops read every book I could get my hands on concerning woodworking thats the way to go....Keep at it ....WCH


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Great job! Du coup je vais m'en inspirer pour faire le mien.Mélange bois/métal c'est le top.

    Tater Zoid

    4 years ago

    Great job on your first 'ible.


    4 years ago on Step 6

    Very nice, I've been looking for inspiration, and as my wife is a sewer and a maker, our house is already full of sewing machines, so this will fie nicely, I might try it with reclaimed Scaffold boards rather than pallets, I'll let you know how I get on.


    4 years ago

    I like it, the blue even gives it something extra I think.

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    thx ;-) i was a lil afraid before to do it but at the end i'm satisfied with the result ehehe ;-)