Fold-Up Pallet Desk

Fold-Up Pallet Desk



I can’t help it.

I know you’re here to learn about how to to build a fold-up pallet desk.

After all….that’s what the title says….

….and it is an amazing project that you can build in an afternoon (and you don’t even have to take the pallet apart).

But I need to interrupt this regularly scheduled post…..

…..for this.


Two tiny newborn kittens.

The newest members of the Thistlewood family.


Nothing….and I mean nothing….makes your heart smile like a tiny face with its eyes still closed and its miniature whiskers…..stretching and reaching tiny paws into a new world…..and then snuggling up for a long nap.

It makes you truly believe that all is right with the world.

Life is amazing.

And so are fold-up pallet desks.

(Seriously….were you totally wondering how I was going to bring the whole thing back around to the desk)  🙂


This is where the desk started.

A standard pallet.

I saw a stack of these at the feed store and I knew it would make the perfect desk.

And the best part….I didn’t even have to take the pallet apart.

Pallet Desk Project

Fold-up Pallet 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 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 (can you tell that’s my favorite thing about the project….I might have mentioned that part a few times).

Cut a piece of plywood to fit between the bottom two boards.


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 such 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 5:  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 6:  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 pallet to desk top when your desk top is down.

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

Repeat step 6 for the other side of the desk.


Step 7:  Sand and stain assembled pallet

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

Apply a coat of polyurethane following directions on can.


Step 8:  Attach eye hook to desk top

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

Repeat for the other side of the desk top.


Step 9:  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 for the other side.


That’s it!

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

Great storage  and only the width of a pallet hanging on the wall when closed.

All this….and kittens too.

Life is great.  🙂

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  1. Amazing as usual !! I hope you’re Mother’s Day was fantastic

  2. Your

  3. Love! Do you know how many of those pallets I’ve moved working at Walmart and…. how much more money they could have saved making their office desks out of pallets? Genius Kari! I gotta share with my co-workers.

  4. You outdid yourself with this one, Karianne! Really great re-use project…looks fabulous and functional, too! Thanks for sharing!

  5. lets craft together………….

  6. Quite possibly my favorite use of a pallet I’ve ever seen. Love it!

  7. Awww, the new additions are adorable! I am such a kitty girl! I also love the pallet desk! It’s such a cute idea and the tutorial is great! It’s one of my favorite pallet ideas! Your rock!

  8. Look at you – writing a full-on DIY tutorial!!! 😉 Can’t wait to chat with you on Hometalk this afternoon!

  9. Do you ever stop? I get tired just reading your posts:) The desk is fabulous….and so are the KITTENS!!!!!!!! XO, Pinky

  10. My husband said I can have a fold up pallet desk but no kittens. He said they are cute when they are little but then they grow up, just like kids. Not sure what that means other than I’m probably not getting any more cats or kids around here.


  11. What a great project, Karianne! This would be such a great idea for a small home or apartment, not to mention a teen boy’s room. Very creative!

  12. Such a cute project! But the kittens? Be still my kitty-loving heart. 🙂 We rescued my daughter’s kitten, and my favorite part was when she would snuggle up on my neck and go to sleep. Sigh . . . she can’t do THAT anymore! LOL She lives a few counties away, now, but comes for visits!

  13. AWE!
    Joyous Wishes, Linda

  14. While the pallet desk is great…the kittens stole my heart! 😉

  15. What did you name them? Great desk project too!

  16. I love this project Karianne!! And newborn kittens are so sweet 🙂

    xo, Tanya

  17. This would be so awesome for my son’s room. The desk, not the kittens! He really needs a desk but his room is just too small for one. One question though, you got your pallet at the feed store – did you buy it or did they give it to you? I have always wondered where everyone gets pallets. I see them by dumpsters all the time but I am never sure if they are “fair game” or not. Those kittens…. good thing my daughter doesn’t read your blog, she would be at your doorstep right now begging to see them! SO cute!

  18. Wow love this!!!! would love it if you came by One More Time and Shared this….

  19. GREAT project!

    And I really needed the cute kitty picture this morning 🙂 Thanks!

  20. Sqeeee……..kittens and a fantastic pallet desk that will over take the student/small condo world. Life is indeed good. Great desk and those sweeties will have a loving home for life I’m sure. Patty/BC

  21. This is a great project and is perfect for a small room or an apartment where there is no space. Thanks for sharing those precious additions to the family. I love there soft little faces with the newborn pink and their little soft paws. It made me very happy!!


  22. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh, and the pallet desk is awesome too, hee hee.

    Give those tiny little fur balls my love and tell them Romeo kitty says “mew mew welcome, mew!”

    Your pallet desk is AWESOME, truly wonderful idea. You never stop with the great ideas, do you, KA??

  23. Oh! Kitties! I am so softening to the idea of another pet. Might need to happen this summer. LOVE the desk, wouldn’t that be an awesome bar outside?

  24. Is there no end to how these pallets can be used?! We have a new neighborhood being built right across the street from me. I am constantly dragging them home (or kindly asking my hubby to go fetch a few for me!) And, when my sweet hubby asks me why I need another one, I will show him this amazing desk, and he will gladly go fetch another 🙂 LOVE this idea! Life to the full! Melissa

  25. Donna Earley :

    Hi Karianne,
    I love this project! I think it would work great in my bathroom for a makeup vanity! I have the wall space for it, now I need to find some pallets!
    How precious are those kittens?! I have two grown cats of my own. I am a sucker for cats, really any animals! I think I have had them all at one point or another!
    Enjoy the softness and loveliness of them!

  26. so clever you are!

  27. HI Karianne!!
    This would be such a great idea for my grandson (12 going on 23) for his computer and lots of stuff:) I was thinking it might need a “heavier” hinge but lapstops aren’t that heavy:( Let us know your kittie names please, I foster for our local humane shelter and wee ones are my favorite!

    Sun is shining and it’s 82 degrees in Indiana!!!

  28. I always love the look of pallets, but am always leary of the chemicals used to treat the wood. I know there are codes stamped on pallets, so make sure to ask a pallet company which are safe to use indoors/outdoors for furniture and such. But aside from that, how much I love what you have done with this pallet. So good for a small space!

    Beautiful babies too, btw. So precious.

  29. Karianne,
    This is a genius idea! I am so pinning this since I might just do a copy of your project one day. Love It!!

  30. I love so many things about this post, but mostly: “Life is amazing. And so are fold-up pallet desks.” Best segue ever!! I used to have a fold up desk like this, but hello – it wasn’t made out of a pallet – that is so clever!! I love it and want to make one! Thanks for the tutorial, Karianne!

  31. Ridiculously awesome, Kari! Sorry to miss out on the Walkways get-together today — I am in full blown, hair on fire, graduation/end of school mode. Got an extinguisher handy?? 😉
    xo Heidi

  32. That is just amazing Kari!!….I am surely not surprised at the creative things you come up with!!…Fantastic!!

  33. Another feather in your cap! Good job!~~Angela

  34. Aw, such sweet baby kitties! You did a great job with that desk. I’d have never have figured that out.

  35. You only have two kittahs! My son’s kittah had FIVE! Can I give you two more? It looks like you need a few more for your farm. 🙂

    Love the pallet project. Is this your son’s room. So cute! xxoo

  36. Damn that looks bloody awesome

  37. Nice use of an old pallet. I thought about doing that with the one I have, but believe mine is a packing crate and not at pallet. Bet I can find a small one though. Great tutorial and easy to follow. Thanks.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  38. Love the pallet desk. Love the kitties! Please give us more details, names, story of how they came to you, etc., etc.

  39. And now for the 10 million dollar question. Where is this sweet desk residing? Maybe in that new space you mentioned? Inquiring minds want to know…..
    p.s. Kittens are so sweet….and as they grow old…they still look sweet when they sleep. I love my balls of fur. 🙂

  40. Amen! Life is great.

    Especially when you sprinkle in some kittens and pallets.

    Thanks for sharing another great DIY project.

  41. What sweet kittens! And I do like the pallet desk too…but I’m just so darned distracted by those precious kittens! 🙂

  42. Pallets are just the best “recycled” bunch of wood out there! Great project, XOXO

  43. The eye hooks won’t support 100 pounds. They will pull out of the wood. A carriage bolt drilled all the way thru the wood with a nut to secure your cable would be a better choice. Great space saving project thou.

  44. Oh my Karianne, only you could make a pallet not only look great but great and fashionable too! What a talent you have, this looks totally awesome! ~Diane

  45. Those kittens are GORGEOUS!! Your pallet desk project was awesome as well. Thanks for another rockin’ post.

  46. Such an awesome idea! The stain you used is just gorgeous! Just wanted to let you know that we’ll be featuring this over at Someday Crafts tomorrow. Stop by if you have some time! 🙂

  47. I keep seeing this all over blogland!! I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I LOVE it!! So clever…like always!!

  48. I like it, esp. with the finish you did on it. The kittens are adorable too!

  49. That is awesome! The kittens are pretty cute too. Pinning!

  50. Love this desk!!!!!

  51. I really love this! so very clever!

  52. Oh my goodness!! Those kittens are soooooooooo adorable!! Have fun with them! And that desk is just the most clever creation!! WOW!! You have vision! ~Hugs, Jennifer

  53. Beautiful! Love the rich stain you gave it too!

  54. Great project idea! I’m about to build one myself! How did you hook it up to the wall though?

  55. very clever – the finish really brings it to higher level too

  56. What kind of polyurethrane did you use? Newbie here and the options are a little overwhelming. Thanks!

  57. How do you attach it to the wall?

  58. I agree with Erin. ^^

    How did you attach it to the wall?

  59. I also want to know how it is attached to the wall. Please let us know. Kittens must be a lot of fun by now!