How To: Make an Inexpensive Desk for Your Kids

Unable to find a good-looking, modestly priced, easy-to-assemble kid's desk? Here's one you can make in a weekend—no cutting or power tools required.

By Jennifer Noonan | Updated Nov 9, 2013 10:04 PM

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DIY Desk for Kids - Complete

Photo: Flickr / jencelene

It was a challenge to find a desk for my five-year-old daughter. I needed something size-appropriate that would provide plenty of storage for toys, books, and craft supplies. And I didn’t want to spend too much, knowing that within a few years, she would outgrow the desk and develop different storage needs.

After some thought, I decided to knock together something with ClosetMaid Cubeicals and medium-density fiberboard (MDF). It was a super easy project, one that required no cutting and no power tools. It was relatively inexpensive, too, with the project budget totaling about $150.

If you’ve got a free weekend, you’ll have no trouble with this DIY desk for kids. Here’s how to do it:

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
4 ClosetMaid Stack & Hang Cube Organizers
2 ClosetMaid Mini Offset Organizers
4 Cubeicals Fabric Drawers (optional)
4 Cubeicals Mini Fabric Drawers (optional)
1 2′ x 4′ MDF project board
White paint for the back of the Cubeicals
Paint for MDF board


ClosetMaid Cubeicles Hack Kid's Desk Materials

Photo: Flickr / jencelene

Other than a screwdriver and a hammer, everything you need to assemble the ClosetMaid cubes are right in the box, and the manufacturer’s instructions are uncommonly clear and comprehensible.

I skipped only one step in the directions: Since the hanging braces weren’t strictly necessary, I left them off in order to achieve a cleaner look. Note that while the directions stipulate a screw gun, I’d recommend using a screwdriver instead. With the torque on a screw gun, you’re liable to strip the screw heads.

DIY Desk for Kids - Painting MDF

Photo: Flickr / jencelene

The MDF project board comes ready to paint. Get out a can of your favorite color and brush or spray on at least two coasts for the best possible results. Remember to let the paint dry between coats.

It’s up to you whether or not to paint the back of the cubes. Because the rear portion of two cubes would be visible in the end, I chose to paint all sides in the same white color. You might take a different approach, opting either to conserve paint (and effort) or to use complementary colors instead of a single tone.

DIY Desk for Kids - Assembled

Photo: Flickr / jencelene

Assemble the desk by facing two Stack & Hang Cubes out to the side, then place two additional (forward-facing) Stack & Hang Cubes in front of the initial pair. Make sure the face of the back cubes is flush against the sides of the front cubes.

Now place your painted MDF board on top, with its outer edges slightly overhanging the cubes. Your two Mini Offset Organizers go on top of the MDF board, creating, in effect, a mini-hutch. Boom! You have a storage-packed DIY desk for kids that is just the right size.

Once the desk becomes too small for your growing child, you can easily repurpose the cubes for a million things in a million places around the home—like organizing handbags in the closet. (Oh, did I say that out loud?)