This fold up pallet desk is a space saver and adds a rustic design element to any room.

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.

Nothing is cuter than two newborn kittens cuddling.

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) ¬†ūüôā

Start building your DIY fold up desk with a standard pallet.

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.

Stain the pallet a darker color and assemble your DIY fold up pallet desk against the wall.

Fold-up Pallet Desk

Cut a piece of plywood to fit into the 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.

Attach a piano hinge to the fold up pallet desk for stability.

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.

Attach a window sash to the pallet desk so it can fold up nicely when not in use.

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.

Assemble cables to support the door of the desk.

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.

Thread an eye hook through the cables for the fold up pallet desk.

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.

Sand the wood on your assembled pallet desk before staining.

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.

Attach the eye hook to the desk's top.

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.

Attach the other eye hook to a smaller box of wood within the pallet desk.

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.

In no time your DIY pallet desk will be assembled against the wall and ready to use!

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. ¬†ūüôā

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  1. Image for shirl' anderson shirl' anderson

    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.

  2. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    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!

  3. Image for Bliss Bliss

    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. Bliss

  4. Image for Regina Regina

    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!

  5. Image for Kim L. Kim L.

    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!

  6. Image for Tammy Tammy

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

  7. Image for Patty/BC Patty/BC

    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

  8. Image for Cynthia Cynthia

    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!! Cynthia

  9. Image for Michele Michele

    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??

  10. Image for melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle melissa @ DaisyMaeBelle

    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

  11. Image for Donna Earley 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! Donna

  12. Image for Polly Polly

    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!!!

  13. Image for Debbie Debbie

    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.

  14. Image for Lisa Lisa

    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!

  15. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

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

  16. Image for Audrey Zumwalt Audrey Zumwalt

    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

  17. Image for Diane | An Extraordinary Day Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    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. :)

  18. Image for Mike Mike

    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.

  19. Image for Diane Diane

    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

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