Organize Your Home Office With A DIY Wood Pallet Storage Shelf And Desk

Maintaining a neat and orderly home office space you'll actually want to work in can be one of the most important ways to remain productive, engaged, and creative. While desks come in all varieties of dimensions, price points, and styles, you may be looking to create a perfectly customized,compact DIY desk with just the right amount of space to set up your home office for maximum focus. Lumber can be pricey, and ordinary wooden shipping pallets are a wonderfully inexpensive (sometimes free) source of wood for all your DIYs, including a amazing fold-up desk with lots of storage shelves.This version of a DIY desk is not only is collapsible, but offers stylish storage and display. Even better, you can use the whole existing pallet without breaking it apart.

Shipping palettes, which can often be found in industrial spaces and retail depots, are sturdily constructed platforms that are usually designed to hold huge loads in their original role. This makes them an ideal foundation for a desk or other DIY furniture pieces. You can often find pallets for free near dumpsters or on the street, or can source them via platforms like Facebook Marketplace on Craigslist where people may be looking to unload them for free or cheap. There's only one pallet needed for this project, but there are endless ways to decorate with wooden pallets, so if you're a serial DIYer — grab a couple extra for future upcycle projects. 

How to create a fold-away pallet desk

You can create a convenient fold-away desk by hanging a single pallet on the wall fastened into the studs, with the underside facing away from the wall. Using a sheet of plywood cut to the width of the pallet, add a fold-out platform with a piano hinge to fasten the two parts together. Chain or cable attached with simple eye hooks can be used to suspend the leaf when in use. Fold it back up and secure with a toggle fastener or window sash when you're done working. 

The ribs of the pallet on the wall form shallow shelves that are perfect for holding books, supplies and decorative items that are visible even when the desk is closed. While you can leave your pallet with its original finish for a rustic look, you can also sand the surface and use wood stain to match the desk to the rest of your wood tones, or add your favorite color of paint. The slender profile of this desk is perfect for dual use spaces or adding a desk to a small area like a hallway or entryway. 

Other ideas for pallet desks

There are a number of different ways to create a desk from pallet wood, some involve more construction or woodworking knowledge than others. For a simple desk, use the top portion of the pallets (with the gaps filled in with extra planks) or individual planks fastened to a rectangular frame with two wooden sawhorses to form a work surface. Or use a partially deconstructed pallet cut to the desired height and fasten it to the wall at the studs with screws. Using a jigsaw, cut grooves in the underside of a second pallet that allow it to rest perpendicularly on top of the other, where it can be screwed in to form a desk or countertop.

Pallets are also great for constructing more elaborate custom desks with lots of storage available. For a desk with ample storage underneath, use three pallets that have been modified to form a base, shelves, and a desk surface by cutting down, ripping apart, and reassembling the wood planks. The top pallets have existing spaces underneath that allow you to add shelves or drawers to store paper and office supplies.