How to make a desk from pallets

Do you have a pallet to hand? A couple of spare hours? how to make a desk from pallets

All of a sudden we are all working from home, with life rapidly changing my husband kindly decided to make an additional desk for our home.

Do you have a pallet to hand? A couple of spare hours? how to make a desk from pallets

I have to admit I was somewhat relieved at his idea. We are currently homeschooling the children, my son is sharing the sewing room with me, which is tripling as sewing room, work from home and home ed desk, my daughter has a desk in her room and my husband is working from the dining room table. But two days ago school holidays started, ideally my husband needed to relocate from the dining room table to somewhere quieter so the children can bake and craft together. It’s time for the snug to become multifunctional and have a desk to work as an office. 

Do you have a pallet to hand? A couple of spare hours? how to make a desk from pallets

This DIY pallet desk took merely a couple of hours to make with materials to hand.


How to make a desk from pallets

This post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to see my disclosure policy.


        • Pallet
        • Saw 
        • Scraps of wood to fill gaps in pallet top
        • Nails
        • Long screws
        • Plainer
        • County Sinker
        • Wood 2 3/4 by 2 3/4 “to form 26” long table legs
        • Wood to provide support to legs (we have used 1 3/4″ by 1 3/4″)
        • Sanding paper


To make the pallet desk firstly saw the pallet down the side of the middle support. Creating one stable piece. This is going to form the top of the desk.

Cut wood to fill the gaps between the boards. Having measured the gaps of our particular pallet he used a table saw to cut wood to size.


Ideally nail these additional boards into position, as we had no nails the correct size he used screws (with a counter dink drill piece so the screw heads were even with the height of the desk top).


To create a smoother desk top firstly bang the pre-existing staples firmly into the wood using a counter punch.


Secondly plain the top and any other rough edges.


Now you are ready to sand, it is worth taking your time over this to reduce the chance of splinters when working from your finished desk.


Having built the desktop it is time to build the desk legs.

The leg lengths are based on our dining room table leg height. As the pallet itself is thicker than the tabletop it makes the overall desk height taller than our dining room table.

Cut two pieces of supporting wood the length of your pallet, using what we have to hand this is made from 1 3/4 square and 39″ long. Screw two legs to one of these pieces and two legs to the second piece.  The legs need to be set in from the edge by the width of supporting wood pieces. This enables you to build a rectangular support shape with legs set in the corners.


Add your shorter supporting panels, for us, this is made from 1 3/4 by 1 3/4″ and is 22  3/4″ long.  It helps to predrill the holes before adding your screws.


So now you have the start of your supporting base to your table top.

If yours is like ours and needs a little strengthening add further supporting cross-pieces along three sides (not the side you are going to be sitting at!). Again we used what we had to hand, adding supporting pieces at floor height on the sides and a foot up along the back.

Turn the pallet tabletop upside down, turn your table legs upside down and screw together.

Turn back up the right side. The overall table is relatively high, perfect for me but not my husband.

If you would like to add a front lower panel for your tablet/keyboard you will need two pieces of supporting battening – ours measure 1 3/4 by 1 3/4″ and 36″ long and two planks of wood, ours are each 6 wide.

Place the battening from the front edge of the desk into the pallet. Our battening protrudes out 11“ to form the lower desk part for my husband’s laptop. Screw into each side, at the front and the back

Screw into place. Add two planks of wood across, screwing into place.  

Thoroughly sand to remove any potential splinters. 

Do you have a pallet to hand? A couple of spare hours? how to make a desk from pallets

If like me you become confused about drill pieces sign up to my newsletter for a free PDF to print and help you select the right drill piece every time.

Newsletter signup

Sign up for the newsletter to receive updates and offers. Newsletter readers have access to a resource library with PDFs' of popular bag patterns and fabulous tip cheets

Please wait...

Thank you for sign up!


If like us you are facing a big change of routine please take care,

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.