DIY Craft Desk Using Upcycled Pallets

What do you get when you combine a couple of old pallets, a little bit of yellow paint, and a very talented husband? A practically perfect custom desk big enough to handle any crafting project you can think of! I am excited to share with you everything that went into the making of my amazing craft desk. From the planning to the painting, this project was a fun challenge, and has been one of the most rewarding projects I have ever done because I use it ALL. THE. TIME.

As a disclaimer, I should mention my darling husband did most of the work with this project. And by most of the work, I mean all but some sanding, and painting. He’s pretty great! He had been wanting to try his hand at woodworking, and figured this would be a good first project. I was thrilled he offered, since I had been searching for the perfect desk for months, but nothing we could afford came close to what I had in mind. Also I was 7 months pregnant and exhausted from chasing a 14 month old around all day!  I made the decision (mistake?) of looking up craft rooms on Pinterest, and found myself visualizing the perfect work space. It ended up being a good thing though because I found two different blog posts that gave me the inspiration for the desk!


This blog has a picture tutorial for building a bookshelf out of pallet wood. I saw it and knew I wanted to incorporate something similar with the desk.



This one had a more detailed tutorial for building an actual craft desk. We used both of these blogs as a guide and a starting point. After spending a lot of time planning it out, and figuring out measurements, we went to our local hardware/lumber store and picked up our supplies.


All our supplies!

Here is the part where I apologize for the terrible pictures in this post. Most of them were taken at night, with only a faint idea of ever being used for a blog. But the important thing is, we did think to take some pictures during this process which makes this blog post a whole lot more interesting. Yay!

Here are the major supplies we used for the desk (not including things like wood glue, nails, and the like).

  • 2 Pallets- for bookshelves to support the ends of the desk
  • 2 3/4″ thick MDF boards- for the desk top
  • 4 4″x4″ posts- for the legs of the non-bookshelf ends
  • Several 1″x4″ boards- for the frame of the desk, and supports for under the MDF
  • Simple molding- for a decorative edge
  • Paint!

The first step was to disassemble the pallets and sand them down. Then we (and by we I mean my husband) had to cut the boards to the sizes we needed. All of the pallet wood was used to make two bookshelves to use as the base on the two outside ends of the desk.

Cut and sanded!

The next step was to begin assembling the bookshelves!

One side of the bookshelf
Here is the first shelf all nailed, and clamped, waiting for the glue to dry.
Both shelves complete!

Once the shelves were done we were able to start assembling the actual desk! I will admit, our shelves are not as nice-looking as the ones in our inspiration blog. I attribute that mostly to the fact that our pallets had much more variation in the width of the boards. I like how they turned out though, and they are fully functional, which is what matters most to me. The following pictures pretty much explain how we built the actual desk. We essentially built two identical desks, then set them up in the corner and attached them to make one massive beast of a desk.


The skeleton of half of the desk.



One of my requests was to have holes in the desktop for my sewing machine and serger chords to fit through. Drilling holes in the MDF was an interesting adventure!


Proof that I did do some of the work.
Letting the liquid nails dry



Both sides put together and functional! Ready to be primed and painted!


10941464_10155183249810486_3384087244546908503_nOne of my favorite parts of the desk is the sunburst that my husband painted. He wanted to do some sort of design, and figured giving me different angles for measuring would also be functional. I love how it turned out!


Another idea of my husband’s was to paint blocks where my machines would go. I love the pop of yellow!

The completed desk!

This project definitely had it’s challenges, but it was a lot of fun! Now, a year and a half and two moves later, the desk is still holding up great! I hope you were able to get some inspiration for your own DIY project after reading this! I would love to hear about what projects you are working on!






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