DIY Pallet Computer Desk
For Christmas this year I asked santa for a desktop computer, in hopes of taking my blog more seriously and having a place to really spend time on it. Well, you know a desk top kinda requires, ya know, a desk. Welllll…that was something I didn’t have yet. I looked at different ones online but they were all so pricey and nothing really stood out to me.
We had a bunch of pallets lying around outside so my wheels started turning.
I looked at a bunch of different beautiful “pallet desk” designs and began to realize a few things. One- these patterns all required carpentry skills that I just did not have. Two- they created a lot more work than I was trying to put into a rustic looking desk. The purpose of the pallets, for me, was to not spend any money and to create something that still looked like it was made from pallets. I didn’t want some sanded, stained and perfect piece of furniture.
For our design, we started with an odd pallet we had that was actually a rectangle already. This is what we decided to use as the top. It is a little deeper than what I would have designed if I had really picked. But, hey, the point was to make it easy right. It ended up working perfect and I have plenty of room for a keyboard and to have my notebook out writing as well. Anyways, we moved the boards around a little bit and used some boards from another pallet to fill in the gaps. The legs were simply the side pieces from the other pallets, cut to the height we wanted the desk. We did use a couple of slabs between the legs for reinforcements. The whole building project took about an hour/hour and a half and we built it while our son was napping.
I love the way it turned out! Using two different pallets gave us two different colors of wood, which is a look I love!
Although this post does not give you a pattern for the desk we created, I do want to give you a little sumthin’ sunthin’.
What I learned while working with pallets.
- First off, you are never going to get a perfect piece of furniture from imperfect materials. You may end up with 3 different kinds of wood from one pallet. The main issue we came across with the pallets was that the thickness was different. This made the top of our desk very uneven. To fix this we cut layers of cardboard to go underneath the slimmer pieces so that it would raise them to the correct thickness. Now, our desk is nowhere near perfectly level across the top but it is very close. Sometimes you have to be a little creative!
- Secondly, getting the pallets apart is majority of the work. Pallets split pretty easily most of the time. Actually, you’re lucky if you get a pallet that isn’t really beat up to begin with. We ended up working on this in the garage on a rainy day. The pallets were outside and wet. In my opinion, the wood stayed in tact much better wet that it does dry. We hammered a crow bar in between the pieces and carefully pried them apart. You can use a hand saw with a metal blade as well but our blade was very dull and the crowbar was easier this time around.
- Next, unless you plan of spending hours sanding the pallets, done expect a smooth finish. Pallets are not a perfect cut like the lumber you can get at your home improvement store. Some of you may be thinking “duh” but for those of you that haven’t worked with the wood before like me it may not have crossed your mind. We sanded our desk just enough that I won’t get a splinter using it, but to run my hand over it it’s still very rough.
The work was totally worth it!
You may have changed your mind about pallet furniture after this post(I hope not) but I hopefully I at least let you guys in on what I learned in the process. Of course my hubby helped and did the few cuts we had to make(I haven’t got brave enough for the saw yet, eek). I absolutely love what we got in the end. The desk is rustic and worn looking and gives me “diy” inspiration just sitting at it! (hehe) Share some of your projects with me in the comments below!