I think there are days when my husband wishes we lived on a remote island in the south Pacific.

Without internet.

Without Pinterest.

Without pallets or table legs or projects or wives that batted their eyelashes.


Just sunshine and coconuts and a grass skirt or two.


But we don’t live in the south Pacific.  We live in Kentucky.

Land of the free pallets and table legs.

And when we aren’t picking corn or milking cows or checking to see if the chickens have laid fresh eggs or driving the John Deere tractor…..everyone here likes a Pinterest inspired desk pallet project as much as the rest of the country.

Everyone that is…..except my husband.


Me:  (excitedly) Remember those pallets that I had you save?  I have the perfect idea for them. (gesturing grandly towards the Pinterest pallet desk)

Husband:  (squinting)  Ummmm… that a desk?

Me:  Yes.  Isn’t it such a cute idea?

Husband:  (silent)

Me:  Do you think you could make it?

Husband: (unconvinced) It looks a little “freshy” to me.

Me:  Freshy?

Husband:  You know.  A desk that has freshy stuff all over it.  Like pencils with decorations on them.  And little containers of freshy erasers and freshy tape.

And flower petals.




So in the interest of harmony and compromise… are the cliff notes on the non-freshiest pallet desk on the planet.



Dimensions of the pallet desk:

48 ” wide

18 1/2″ deep

33″ tall.

Remove the legs and braces from an old table.

Find a free pallet.

Send a quick prayer of thanks that you live in Kentucky where free pallets are a dime a dozen.

Pry the pallet boards off your free pallet leaving the frame of the pallet intact.


Construct a frame by attaching the pallet boards to the sides of the legs

The pallet boards on the long side of the desk measure 48″ wide and the pallet boards on the short side measure 11″ wide.

Add a slanted brace cut on a diagonal for support.

Fasten the brace to the legs of the desk.

Paint the base of the desk white.

On the original pallet frame….cut frame to 18 1/2″ deep.

Re-nail the boards back onto the pallet without any gaps.

Attach top to base.


The entire project only took about two and a half hours.

And it was free.

I love it.

So to show my appreciation I’m spreading the word.

I’m letting the pens, pencils, tape, scissors, tacks and rulers know that their freshy days are a thing of the past…..


….right after I break the bad news to the scrabble tiles 🙂

For more furniture projects….click here to check out out my furniture projects page.


Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Barb @ Grits and Glamour Barb @ Grits and Glamour

    Freshy or not, its pretty. What a dear hubbs you have. It must be awfully nice to have a handy carpenter kinda man. If you ever need when the Mongolians invaded some country that isn't even a country any more, I got your man. :) Gotta love him. xxoo

  2. Image for Tricia Tricia

    Love it! Beautiful.....I have some table legs (porch rails) and a pallet in the garage....."hey honey??".....

  3. Image for Jo @ To a Pretty Life Jo @ To a Pretty Life

    That desk has the loveliest legs. It can't be freshy if it's raw wood, right? I'm glad your husband cooperates even when he's not thrilled about it! Although when I saw the picture I couldn't help but think, "I'd so get splinters from that desk!"

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

    What a sweet and talented husband! I love the idea of using pallets for the top! Who knew? Great project and idea! Happy Labor Day!

  5. Image for missy george missy george

    Love it Kari..great post..My husband always said that when he went away on business, he never knew what he would be coming home to..Always a different house..I guess men aren't big on change ..Love the pallet desk..

  6. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    This is really cute! Maybe I'll suggest this for the desk I want made in a small area of our bedroom that I'm using for my desk! Right now I have a small end table as my desk. My computer and mouse barely fit. I want a desk. A free one would be wonderful! Wonder where I can find a free table to use the legs off of?!

    1. Image for admin admin

      Thanks, Anita! The surface is really not that rough right now.....but I think I'm going to seal it with a coat of polyurethene to prevent any splintering in the future!

  7. Image for Susan Susan

    I love it and it just so happens that I have some table legs and a couple of pallets too! I laughed because I think my husband would enjoy some island time too. Have a happy day! Susan

  8. Image for GinaE GinaE

    Really love, love this desk! Would be a cute vanity too. And thanks for starting my day with a good laugh from Mr. Freshy! I really never get tired of hearing about it. To this day, I use your "freshy" term.

  9. Image for Janis@All Things Beautiful Janis@All Things Beautiful

    so very cute!!! I wish pallets were free here...I think companies re-use them, so just when you think you've scored, nope...they're gone! Thanks for the details and tutorial. It turned out great!!!! 3 cheers for the hubby!

  10. Image for Kelly Kelly

    That's just pure genius! I LOVE it! It has a farmhouse yet industrial feel to it too. One of my favorite combo's! That looks so good and love how you styled the shelves above it too. Now........if I could just find a pallet and old legs like you did. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Image for laurie laurie

    "Freshy..."????? Oh my gosh....I was laughing so hard, Karianne! Guys are guys are guys, aren't they?? lolol! I so adore coming here and visiting with you and your fresh husband. No.....I didn't mean it THAT way!!! But he IS adorable in the way he describes things! Love the way your table turned out! So cute!!! Hope you're both having a fabulously freshy day, girlie! :) xoxo laurie

  12. Image for Stephanie Durdan Stephanie Durdan

    This. Is. Too. Weird. This must be "desk day" or something! We have a desk that was a hand-me-down from a family member. It had a shelf unit attached the top. That bugged me. I convinced my wonderful husband to take it off today. It was a bigger project than either of us expected. When the desk started to come apart, I got my hopes up that it would completely be un-fixable. "That's ok, honey, if you can't fix it, you can make me one from old wood and sawhorses or small step ladders." haha Well, he fixed it. Drats! Maybe next time! Then I finally log onto the internet for the first time today, after finding a home for everything that had been on that desk shelf, and there's your blog post...about a DIY desk and your husband. Funny! :-)

  13. Image for Shannon Fox Shannon Fox

    STILL love the "freshy" decorating. Never forget that post. Love your hubby, he so makes me laugh. Looks great Karianne, way to get that hubby to help you. They sure are handy :)))

  14. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    That pallet table is truly something that please all senses of my pallet!!!....Great job...many kudos to hubby...again!...You two make a great team! Love the table Kari!!...

  15. Image for tara tara

    oh how we love KY. we lived in Wilmore, outside of Lexington, for almost 4 years while my hubster got his MDIV degree at Asbury Seminary. rolling hills...barns nicer than most homes....beautiful horses....rock walls...... it's been too long since we visited your beautiful state. :) oh, and great project. LOVE it.

  16. Image for Sally Sally

    LOVE IT KariAnne! Your hubby cracks me up. AND... just so you know... I mean that in a GOOD way - LOL. He'd probably get along great with my man. I know I drive him crazy w/ all my household "fussing." =D

  17. Image for Jen K Jen K

    Hilarious - Husband dialogue (or lack there of) - and their eye rolling, in one ear - out the other aversion to Pintrest... sigh... when will they realize it's kinda like fantasy football... but with really cute/awesome project outcomes!?? Adorable desk!!

  18. Image for Ellisann Edwards Ellisann Edwards

    This desk is soo cute!! Your husband sounds like mine. Whenever I come up with something new to build, I get that are you crazy look! You and your husband did an censational job!! Peace and Blessings, Ellisann

  19. Image for Gee Gee

    Luv... luv!!! Such a wonderful use of patted wood. I am such a fan of reusing pallet wood. So, adding that to my Hubby's to do list!! Big thumbs up to you and the Hubs!! As usual.. adorable! Cheers, Gee

  20. Image for judi judi

    i guess i wasn't the only one dreaming of pallet desks, pallet tables or pallets turned into a gazillion other useful objects! love the desk, freshy and all with that GORGEOUS hutch overtop. ps...we sure could use your help this week as our parade of homes debut takes place ...with all your beautiful staging of decor. you definitely have a knack for it.

  21. Image for Traci Traci

    Hi, I have just discovered your blog and I'm in love! I have been going through your blog for the last hour and I can't pry myself away! You have so many great tips and projects. Loved you easiest photo tip ever! Okay I will stop gushing. Traci

  22. Image for Karen Karen

    You have a wonderful writing style.... I think you should write a book, and it doesn't even have to be about decorating!

  23. Image for sharon sharon

    All of your projects are just so yummy! I love this desk and will be pinning this to my pallet board on Pinterest. Thanks for the inspiration, Kari!

  24. Image for Elaine Mcd Elaine Mcd

    I love, love, love the idea of up-cycling pallets. Your desk is a great idea. I don't know why you didn't hit the top of the desk with some sandpaper. Is the desk functional without smoothing the top a bit? Pallet wood is a bit rough...I wouldn't want to write anything on rough wood...but it does look pretty ...or should I say, Freshy, in the pics...

  25. Image for phyllis phyllis

    Freshy??? That's a new one! As for KY and our pallets, yes...we have 'em comin' out our ears!!! I've been telling my husband that the ladies really love a man with pallets... he can't see it.

  26. Image for Bliss Bliss

    OK, I love this. And now I'm wondering what you could get him to do if you wore a grass skirt and coconuts when you bat your eyelashes. ~Bliss~

  27. Image for

    Hi Kari, Paul here. I can guarantee that I will be building a desk like this. Gabe, our 15 year old son said that he really liked it. He also asked for a hat rack made of Deer antlers. I think the poor kid is having a bit of a reaction to all of the painted furniture that he has had to schlep all over Gods creation. Thanks for the idea.

  28. Image for Jill Jill

    How hard was it pry off the boards of the pallet? The last time I tried to do that, although it was many years ago, the boards were so brittle and the nails so long that all the boards broke instead of pullng off. I'm hoping things have changed in pallet world.....?

  29. Image for kelli kelli

    I just LOVE this!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nevermind our husbands! If it was up to mine we'd still be using his old black "bachelor" futon and nothing else but the hugest tv out there. This is soooo beautiful! I've got to try this!!

  30. Image for Peggy Peggy

    This is such a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing it. I will have my handy brother making this for me...maybe...on the other hand it might be me. LOL

  31. Image for Leslie Stewart Leslie Stewart

    Karianne, Love it!…and I'm in Ky too! I just snatched a free pallet from a music store on Wednesday. LOL! They are abundant here! Stop by and see me some time at House on the Way! Leslie

  32. Image for Liz Liz

    Genius! That's what I love about pallets, they have that great area for stashing things. You have really done this up beautifully. Plus I just love your writing style. Despite the reuse of everything, all your outcomes end up looking fresh, fun and beautiful. Great inspiration too! Thanks! Liz

  33. Image for Brenda Brenda

    I love it! And what a genius idea! I've been dreaming of a new desk/craft table with a used door as the top, but this sounds like a great idea too. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome pallet top desk! :)

  34. Image for Natalie Natalie

    This is such a fantastic idea ( and the story behind it is hilarious). I'm featuring you today as my DIY Pick of the Week (found via Pinterest). Nice creative work you have here!

  35. Image for Sherry Sherry

    Haha, Kari the desk is wonderful. "Freshy" or not...your man did good! My Honey calls it "Foofy" btw. He doesn't want everything all "foofy" and flowery around our house. Ah, well. ;) I sneak a little bit of Foof in now and then.

  36. Image for Roeshel Roeshel

    It's gorgeous, Karianne! I just got done commenting over at the Golden Sycamore that I dream about 'shopping' from the party links. I'd need a semi to haul home my wish list. This included! Beautiful work as always! xoxo (This was linked to my party via Fine Craft Guild.)

  37. Image for Michelle Michelle

    Did you make the unit above the desk? If so, do you have info about it on here? It looks like a headboard remade. Please email me as I might forget to check this comment. Thank you!!!

  38. Image for Little Bit Little Bit

    This is super cute! I know what you mean, my husband doesn't really appreciate it quite the same as I do either ;) I'm pinning too. Little Bit from

  39. Image for Alese Alese

    I can't tell you how many times I have had that same conversation with my husband. Silent blank stares and all! LOL I LOVE this project SO MUCH! I have been using LOTS of pallets lately! I blog over at Every Friday I feature a fellow crafter. I would love to feature you and this project in an upcoming Friday. If you are interested please let me know

  40. Image for paulette paulette

    How clever you are Kari, and having a handy husband is always a bonus! I love it. And freshy is a new word for me... Thank you for sharing the fun, well done!

  41. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    I love the comment about living on a small island in the South Pacific!! That is exactly what my husband and I are going to do! We are moving to Fiji, on Koro island! We will be going this summer to clear the property and get ready to build our house! BULA!

  42. Image for chubbymummy chubbymummy

    I am impressed with the way you attached the legs to the side skirts. I have only recently attempted a table and am still waiting to see if it will fall down one Sunday lunch ;-)

  43. Image for Talent Talent

    My brother suggested I might like this web site. He waas entirely right. This post actually made my day. Youu cann't consider simply how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

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