15 Easy Designs for a DIY Desk

Long gone are the days when desks were reserved for the classroom or the office. Even if you don't work from home, chances are you have a computer there—and need a place to conduct business (or check in on various Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram accounts). So as we welcome desks inside our homes, why not make them an extension of our personal style?

There's no better way to meet your personal home office requirements than to build a custom piece. DIY desk plans are abundant, and there’s surely one that suits your style. You don’t need to start from scratch, if you don’t want to. Use elements that you already have, like file cabinets and cubbie systems. Reuse, recycle, or upcycle nearly anything from a pallet to plywood. Even a couple stools and a simple plank can come together for a DIY desk that’s easy on the eyes.

In general, a 28 - 30-inch high work surface is most comfortable for writing, with a somewhat lower height (24 - 28 inches) being best for typing. And you should allow about a two-foot width to accommodate knees. A conventional office desk is about 30 inches deep, but you really can tailor a DIY desk to your specific needs and space -- anything that works for you, goes. From free and easy to a time-intensive labor of love, here are 15 DIY desk projects that will get you excited to get to work.

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  1. Pull Up A Stool


    If your space calls for a simple desk with a narrow profile, this clever idea from Liz Marie Blog fits the bill. Repurpose unused bar stools for the support legs, cut a wooden board to size, and use screws to affix each end into the top of a stool. Finish off with a couple of coats of paint or stain—and you're done.

    Related:  10 New Uses for Old Doors


  2. Modern Double Duty


    This modern DIY desk will be your new all-purpose piece—just as happy housing a computer by day as it will be displaying a make-your-own taco bar at night. Watch the video tutorial to see how sheets of plywood, trendy hairpin legs, and some basic tools can yield one for your very own in just a few hours.

    Related:  Be It Ever So Humble—12 Amazing Things Made with Plywood

    homemade- modern.com

  3. Flip the Table


    At first glance, this looks like a basic drop-down desk—but there's a surprise underneath. When you're not using the top as a space-efficient work surface, flip it up to reveal a chalkboard. Learn how to create your own at Instructables.

    Related:  Tight Quarters? 10 Smart Space-Saving Door Solutions


  4. Upcycled Charm


    Built from nothing more than an old wooden pallet and a few extra planks, this rustic desk from Peculiarmee is as charming as it is creative. In addition to being a quick and low-cost (if not free) project, the end result gives you four bonus nooks for stray books.

    Related:  Build Up Your Home Library—10 Inspiring Reads with a DIY Point of View


  5. In the Home Stretch


    Spread your wings and your paperwork with a desk that places a premium on workspace. The legs are sturdy yet architecturally interesting—the top is ample and user-friendly. Instructables has a quick how-to video, plus a handy PDF version of the plans.

    Related:  10 Ingenious Alternatives to a Traditional Home Office


  6. Right on Track


    Maximize a basic track shelving system by adding a deep shelf that functions as an informal desk. One of the best features of this design is its versatility—you can adjust a shelf up or down on a whim. Just remember to find the studs in your wall so everything remains secure. Check out Old Brand New for more details.

    Related:  10 Insanely Creative Shelves You Can DIY


  7. Go Old School


    Here's another classic desk design from Instructables that can be scaled up or down, depending on the size of your student. Once you've put it together, you may decide to keep it natural with a couple of coats of clear acrylic, or give it more character with an antique wax finish.

    Related:  Too Cool for School—9 Ways to Bring Home Classroom Style


  8. Keep it On File


    This workspace-meets-storage solution is both easy to customize according to how much filing space you need and easy to break back down into parts for transport if you need to relocate it down the road. If you're feeling ambitious, you can build the cabinets from scratch, but pre-fab cabinets will work just fine as your base. Visit Instructables for the step-by-step.

    Related:  10 Zero Dollar Storage Hacks


  9. At Long Last


    At 12' long and 3' deep, this farm table–style desk has plenty of room on top—and down below. But big in size doesn't mean expensive: this entire table was built from found materials like cedar planks, pallet posts and thick chunks of reclaimed wood. The total cost this Funky Junk Interiors blogger paid? $3.00 for new screws.

    Related:  16 Ways to Use Salvaged Wood in Your Home


  10. Put It on a Pedestal


    A couple of reclaimed pedestal legs finished with a DIY board top makes an excellent multi-purpose piece. It’s a desk, it’s a buffet, it’s a snack bar, and more! Chapel Cottage Chicks has the full how-to guide.

    Related: 13 Seriously Doable Ways to DIY a Kitchen Table


  11. Sneaky Storage


    The design of this desk allows for customization. Pick a base design to suit your needs, and crown it with a smart desktop incorporating storage cubbies. The top requires off-the-shelf pre-cut plywood panels, so it will come together more quickly than you expect. Plans available from Ana White.

    Related: 15 Sneaky Tricks to Double Your Storage Space


  12. Convenient Cubbies


    This DIY desk is budget friendly, using two shelving units from Target and a desktop counter from IKEA. Coming in just under $60 and requiring very little in the way of actual carpentry skills, this is a project even a DIY newbie can handle. Check out Pretty Providence for full the tutorial.

    Related: 20 Insanely Easy Ways to Build Your Own Furniture


  13. Crafty Counter


    A saw horse desk is easy to make, even if you don’t already have saw horses. Buy the hinges in the tool section of your closest hardware store, then attach 2x4 lumber to them. Top the desk with a piece of plywood. Get the tutorial from It All Started with Paint.

    Related: Modern Furniture You Can Make with Most Unexpected Materials


  14. Taking a Stand


    For an attractive standing desk, check out this wrap-around DIY version from A Beautiful Mess. The design gives you plenty of workspace without taking up much room. Materials needed include pine boards, shelf brackets, and a method to find wall studs

    Related: 6 DIY Standing Desk Projects to Keep You Healthy While You Work


  15. A Tiny Table


    Copper pipe and stock lumber are the two main materials in this chic-yet-completely-functional kid’s desk, featured on A Beautiful Mess. Once the pipes are cut to length, it’s just a matter of gluing them together and mounting the top and seat. The desk is so adorable, it may earn a permanent spot in your living room instead of the playroom!

    Related: DIY Copper Pipe Desk


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