About: I recently immigrated to Germany. I am living in my first flat with my boyfriend and our cat Napoléon. My hands are always covered in paint and dye.

This is a desk I built from left over wood from pallets I used in my Bed Frame. In total it coast me about 22euros to make. I only spent money on industrial shelf holders & wood glue. The rest is stuff I had at home, found or got for free.

This is a great desk because you can make it fit to any space you want. I wanted a big desk so its about 200cm long by 75cm wide. The used and discolored pallet wood gives it a nice look too.

You will need:

- Wood planks

- Wood Glue

- String

- Saw

- Hammer & Nail

- Industrial Shelf Holders

- Sanding Paper

- Nails

- Drill

- Glue Gun


Before you start dismantling your pallets, make sure they are safe to use. Pallets can be treated with very harmful chemicals and therefore aren't always good for DYI project. Find out what the codes are for the pallets in your country first. Look for HEAT TREATED (HT) pallets. Here is a link with some useful info: Pallet Safety

So when you know your wood is safe, proceed to dismantling the pallets. This is the most demanding step. Taking pallets apart is a real pain. There are much better ways of doing it, but this is what was available to me.

Using a hammer & a massive nail take off the feet of the pallets to get planks of wood.

Using metal pliers cut the nails as short as possible (or remove them completely, depending on the look your going for).

Pick and chose the nicest pieces of wood. Look for pieces that are fairly straight and look good. It doesn't matter if the bottom of the wood isn't nice, you won't see it.

Step 2: LOOK & SAW

Place the wood down to figure out which piece of wood will go where.

Take the color of the wood and shape in consideration.

Saw the pieces when necessary.

When you are happy with the look, mark each piece of wood to remember where they go. This will be handy for the next step.


Only use wood glue. Anything els might work at first, but could fail on the long term.

I recommend gluing only on plank at a time. It's longer but you will get a better result.

On a flat surface put two planks side by side with the top side of the wood towards the floor (this will mean you desk is much flatter).

Put wood glue on the edge of one plank and stick next to the other. Using string tie the two planks together tightly. Put something very heavy on the planks and let dry for a few hours.

Repeat until all the planks are glued together.

Before flipping it over to marvel at your work, cover the nails that are sticking out with a Glue Gun or silicon. This will avoid the ripping of cloths when sitting at the desk.


I found these industrial strength shelf holders in my local hardware store. They're very sturdy and perfect for this project. They were about 9euros each, this is what was most expensive in the project.

Before hanging them up find out how high you need the desk to be so you can work on it comfortable.

To do this, simply sit on your chair where the desk will go and mark the wall at the right hight for you.

Hang up the Shelf Holders using long nails. There will be a lot of wait on them so make sure it is securely fixed to the wall.


Before setting it up, sand down the surface of the wood and the edges to give it a nicer look and avoid splinters.

Then like you would a shelf, put the desk on the shelf holders and screw it in place.

Admire your amazing work.


This is where you personalize the desk to suit your particular needs.

I had these to bathroom cupboards the old tenant had left, so I took off the glass doors and all unnecessary screws, places one at the back facing inwards and the second looking out mounted on a wine crate (See first picture)

On the second picture you can see a little gap I left in the row of wood that is against the wall. I left that there to pass cables for the computers, printer, etc. That way I can hide them to keep the desk looking nice and clean.


Just so you can see what it looks like from the front.

You might have noticed that the wall is a weird shape in the right corner. I could of made the desk fit around it, but I intend on putting a bookshelf there as soon as I have collected enough wine crates.

Hope you enjoyed my work !



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17 Discussions

I see too many instructables involving palet wood that forget to warn people about dangers of this material : most of the times pallets are heavily treated with chemicals against fungus and moisture. These chemicals are really nasty and pallet wood should not be used to created tables or furniture that are touched bare hand unless the wood is cleaned, sanded, painted, varnished, ...

Very nice result though !

6 replies

Oh damn! Thanks for the warning, I washed and sanded it but I'll get wash it again with something else. Any particular products are particularly useful? I'll add a note about it to my instructable In the morning too. Q

So I just had a look online as to how to know if your pallets are safe and how to read it's codes. I still have all the feet with the markings on them and I checked and luckily mine were all heat treated, so safe to use. But I will add this info to the instructable! Thanks friend

Sorry for commenting on your particular intractable, but i have seen a lot of these lately and felt it was worth warning !

Thank you for looking into it, i did not knew about codes on pallets about treatments, looks interesting and I hope it will help everyone get aware of the risks!

Pas besoin de t'excuser, maintenent je sais quoi chercher quand je travail avec des palettes. Et ce siteweb a pour but le partage du savoir non? :)

don't sell yourself short...pallets aren't so tough taking apart, just use a cutoff saw to dismantle the pallets...cut the nails.

Yeah I know but I saddly don't own one, and its not in my budget to get one at the moment. I plan to get one as soon as I can though. It would be so handy as I really like working with pallets!

Use a skil saw with a "masonery" cut off blade on it.. You can cut almost anything with this...

"Give me a stick long enough and a pivot and I shall move the world" -Archimedes

I wonder if the wood won't bend throughout time, have you put some sort of lack on it to prevent that to happen, or have you connected them in a way that when one tries to bend to one side, the other bends to the other side? I don't think I made myself crystal, clear, but I think you can understand what I'm saying :P

There was an ible recently posted about using a reciprocating saw to break down pallets, credits to that author for making this ible even easier to do!

Beautiful desk top and wood! Seeing your project makes me want to jump in and do one now. It looks like so much fun to do.