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How to Make a DIY Desk in 3 Steps

Jun 19, 2020 by Liz Brumer
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A new office desk can run you a pretty penny and may not accomplish the desired decor you're trying to accomplish. If you're looking to save some money or would just rather add more personality to the space, learn how to make a DIY desk that's the perfect fit for your home. With three simple steps, you will have a custom creation everyone who visits comments on.

1. Determine your space

Needless to say, the first step in making a DIY desk is figuring out the location and dimensions of the space. Don't discount a space because you think it's too small. The great thing about a DIY desk is that you're not obligated to a giant wood behemoth; it can be as big or small as you'd like it to be.

You can place it next to a window overlooking your garden, convert a closet or pantry so you can shut the door if guests come over, create an efficient workspace behind or next to the couch in a living room, or put it in an underutilized hallway.

Once you've figured out where you want to place the desk, take some measurements and decide how big you want it to be. Since you're making the desk yourself, you can make it fit the space, so play with different lengths and widths. Also make sure to consider what your desk will hold, like a computer, printer, speakers, Wi-Fi modem, desk organizer, file cabinet, and even the pretty items, like pictures, plants, or mementos.

2. Pick your materials

The next step is to pick your materials. You can reuse and refurbish an old table, desk, or sewing machine tabletop, or buy new materials for the job. Make sure to choose the material that fits your budget and decor goals. There are three main pieces to a DIY desk:

  1. The surface, which is the desktop, shelves, or drawers.
  2. The support is the base that holds the desk up.
  3. The seating that accompanies the desk.

There are dozens of different options you can choose from when it comes to designing a DIY desk. You can add floating shelves, open shelves, drawers, metal accents, concrete tops, and more. Look at pictures of desks online or in magazines to gain inspiration, and source materials from local hardware stores or online before you begin assembling.

Support Surface Seating
Wall-mounted/Floating Wood/Plywood/MDF Standing
Metal/Pipes Laminate Barstools
File cabinets/Drawers Stone Bench
Sawhorses/Trestles Concrete Rolling chair
Stacked books Glass Dining table chair
Salvaged materials Metal Exercise Ball

3. Assemble your desk

Once your selected materials are gathered, it's time to put your desk together. When putting things into position, make sure you leave yourself enough room between the desk and the wall to run any necessary wires or cables. Also double check that you have an outlet nearby for plugging things in. This is a fairly straightforward process; the only potential tools needed are a screw gun or level, but you can get away without those if you opt for glue and eyeballing it.

  1. Place your supports, the desk legs, in position. Make sure they're stable and level.
  2. Place the desk surface on top of the supports. Make sure it's centered and stable.
  3. Secure the surface to the supports using screws or glue. Although it may not be necessary, it's highly advisable to secure them together with screws or proper finishes so you don't risk the desk tipping over or constantly having to readjust it if it gets bumped.

Depending on the materials you've selected, it might be helpful to have someone around to assist you in the assembly. That way they can hold the supports in place while you place the surface on, or if the material is heavy, you can lift it together.

Making your own DIY desk allows you to create a useful desk area in an otherwise awkward space or create an attractive desk area at an affordable cost. It also allows you to create something that suits your style perfectly. This easy weekend project takes minimal if any skills to assemble, depending on materials chosen, making it the perfect DIY project.

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