diy desk ideas

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How to build a desk quickly, easily, and cheap? We will show you 90 (well organized) easy ways to do it. Read on.

If I think about it, I’ve never lived in a home that didn’t have a desk. And it was always used for many purposes. Indeed, everyone always used our desks whenever they needed to do homework, craft something, or play with something. It was always the most multi-functional piece of furniture at home.

How to Build a Desk?

Here’s a quick rundown:

  1. Choose the material. The best material for a DIY desk is beech or birch. These woods are light and durable enough to make furniture. You can also try oak, maple, and pine. And most often than not, you will use anything you have available if you’re trying to stay within the budget.
  2. Measure the wood boards. 2x6s are very easy to work with for this project.
  3. Drill the holes at an angle for screws.
  4. Attach the boards with glue and screws to make a tabletop.
  5. Stain and paint the tabletop.
  6. Measure and cut boards for the legs. 2x4s or 2x2s are ideal for this.
  7. Stain and paint the legs.
  8. Attach the legs to the tabletop using screws and glue. You may use metal brackets for support.

These steps are enough to get you going, and you can follow any plans to build a desk.

And because there are so many types and designs of desks, you may choose any of the following ideas with plans.

Corner Desks

DIY corner desk

A corner desk is ideal to fill the empty space and use it funcionally. It takes little room so it’s ideal in small layouts. And it’s an easy woodworking project too! So check out how to build a DIY corner desk here. (8 more ideas)

Computer Desks

DIY computer desk ideas

We usually build desks to be used in a home office or to create a workspace. And in this day and age, work usually means a computer. So it’s a good guess that you need a DIY computer desk if you are going to build one. (24 more ideas)

Standing Desks

DIY standing desk ideas

Ergonomics is often brought up whe we’re talking about workspace setup. And as it becomes popular and mainstream, a concept of standing desks emerges. We like staying on top of trends, so here are our DIY standing desk ideas. (16 more ideas)

Under $20

DIY Desk for under $20

A desk doesn’t have to be expensive at all. You’ll be surprised what kind of great desks you can build for under $20. Check out these ideas. (10 more ideas)

Concrete Desktop and Wood Legs

This minimalist, cool desk comes with a DIY concrete desktop plus a simplified wooden frame that supports the legs. Being a pretty simple desk, you can opt to add shelves for some more storage space. The wood brings a bit of warmth to your area and keeps things looking natural. For more DIY tips on this desk, visit the tutorial.

Wooden Computer Desk

When all the kids have gone to school, you need some space where you can spend time, improving your craft skills. What about using file cabinets for the base of your DIY desk? First, you will need to get rid of most of the cabinet hardware, and then follow the instructions in this link to create a unique DIY project.

Home Office Desk with Drawers

Inspired by Pottery Barn, this DIY desk is an easy build as it comes with a simple design. Other than looking amazing, this is a very functional desk. Even when you have to alter some of the measurements to meet your particular needs, the plan and instructions are easy to follow and very detailed. The instructions can be found here.

Workbench Inspired

With a vast giant workspace that measures 7-feet long and nearly 2-feet deep, you will have plenty of work surface area. You can opt to design shelves below to hold a printer or storage baskets. You will love the feel and industrial look of the hardware. This is ideal for your basement or garage work area. Follow the link for step-by-step instructions.

Industrial Wooden Desk

When everything at the shops is either in the wrong piece or wrong price, the best option is to build something on your own. Once you have assembled all the Custom Industrial Wooden Desk pieces, a single coat of poly is sufficient to give your project that perfect finish. This will give your space grace and class.

Pipe & Wood

Pipe & Wood Office Desk


This is a unique DIY project that entails using stained support pipes and wood panels finished with polyurethane. The desk consists of four 2 x 8 are joined using glue and pocket holes. You can use 2.5″ screws to join the pieces. You can use a spray gun to stain your desk.

DIY Pallet Project

When sitting on your sofa doesn’t work for you anymore, you need DIY inspiration. The DIY Pallet Desk may be the solution. First, decide how large you want your desktop to be as disassembling pallets can be tough. You can even use one of the pallets to make an extra shelf. Once done, try sanding it for that smooth finish.

Using File Cabinets

The idea was conceived from a Home Depot Gift Challenge, and the creator is super happy with the outcome. You will be amazed at what you can do using that unused file cabinet in your office or home. Follow the detailed tips on how to put together your DIY File Cabinet desk on this link.

Trestle Design from Scrap Lumber

Even from the standpoint of needed materials, this is an inexpensive desk, mainly if you got some lumber scrap pieces lying around. The beauty of this vintage build is that even when it gets a scratch or ding, it only goes to give it a little more character. Follow this link for step-by-step pictures and instructions on how to build a Trestle Desk from lumber.

Repurposed Door

Ever thought of putting that good door lying in your attic to good use? Why not transform it from a door to desk? Apart from the door, all you will need is a frame to hold it, and you are on your way to having your first from Door to Desk project.

Using Plywood

If you’re ready to spend some time covered in sawdust and paint, this is a great way to make your furniture — so much cheaper! You need to measure the available space and plan how big you want your desk. It can be made to sit up to 6 people.

Parsons Desk

This is a tutorial, more of a guideline on how to create a DIY Parsons Desk. This desk, when designed without the drawers might be a more straightforward project, so if you want a simpler version, you may want to consider it. If you’re going to design your own, the diagrams and photos in this tutorial will help a little.

Vintage Yardsticks

Looking for a unique homework desk solution for your little boy? This Vintage Yardstick Desk will fit in the space you got available. You may want to seal the desk using polyurethane to ensure long service, especially if a little boy will be using it for his homework.

Butcher Block

If you want a large desktop space, this is precisely what the DIY Butcher Block Desk offers. This desk is a beast as it measures a substantial 72″ x 36″ x 1.5″ (length/width/depth). Assembling this desk is quite easy because you can do it in just five steps that are found by following the link.

Vintage Appeal

If you’re looking for an old piece of furniture with lots of character, consider building this simple desk. The plans are straightforward, and you can achieve all the charm with the paint job.

Reclaimed and Upcycled

You need some reclaimed wood planks and hairpin legs (that you can pick up in a hardware store) to create this beautiful desk that looks rustic as much as it does mid-century. This combination of styles adds tons of home decor interest. Check out the tutorial on how to make it.


For this unique DIY desk, a nightstand becomes one of the sides supports for the desktop with the drawers adding storage. Two pieces of MDF glued and clamped together make the perfect top. A little bit of white paint and sealant on the table top, some IKEA legs to add for the other side support, and voila, a custom-made masterpiece!


This desk was made unique by blow-torching a wood piece to add that look of depth and layering, then staining/sealing it. Adding some IKEA legs and a custom-glass top completes the look, making it look like a far more expensive piece of furniture that it cost to create.

Hairpin Legs

Often in life, simplicity is best, and this desk is no exception. Some black hairpin legs added that sleek, minimalist look, while a cut piece of pine from the hardware store forms the desktop. Stained and sealed to perfection, this small desk makes the ideal surface for crafting.

Industrial Sawhorse

This desk packs a big ‘wow’ factor for its functionality, as well as its chic industrial vibe. Saw horses make the ideal desk side supports, with wood planks added as lower shelving. Some complementary metal attached to a wood desktop marries the top and legs.

Cube Bookcase

Two white cube bookcases make the perfect support for this desk as it adds massive storage and decor styling potential for displaying items. An attached sheet of painted plywood makes up the desktop and can be painted any color to suit any decor.

Birch and Aluminum

This desk is simplistic in design, but the patterning on the desktop features an impressive-looking finish. Douglas fir legs with a birch top decorated with steel panels and finished with an acrylic overlay for a professional look.

Pallet Top

A pallet with that plank-board look attached to a side table unit is practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. The slatted insides provide the perfect dividers for items inside the desk. The painted knobby legs cool white contrast perfectly with the rustic wood pallet top, nails and all. This desk is the ultimate in repurposing rustic charm.

Hairpin and Plywood

Few things are more sleek and minimalist than hairpin legs. When paired with a simple two-ply light wood desktop with a single drawer, you have the ultimate ode to that Scandinavian simplicity so many crave.

Farmhouse Modern

farmhouse modern style

Tutorial and plans:

Wood posts cut to the perfect angles to create picnic table style legs, painted white, and paired with a wood-stained and sealed desktop is beautiful for its simplistic and rustic farmhouse charm.


This desk is the ultimate in minimalist style as there are no legs, and the desktop is a rectangular oak box made from wood pieces cut and screwed together, then attached to wall-mounted L brackets. The box-shaped top has plenty of storage inside, with lots of space beneath for any manner of the chair with no table legs to get in the way.


This desk is attached to the wall via colorful sprayed brackets. The open shelving above gives the whole desk a built-in feel, and the desktop is stained to perfection and connected to the wall via L brackets.


This workbench-inspired desk is unique and industrial looking with its metal plates and brackets holding it together. Modeled after a workbench you would find in a garage or carpenter’s workshop, the union of metal and wood is rustic and functional. The large desktop and shelf-style side support offer loads of work space and storage.


This flip-top desk is the ultimate regarding practicality and storage as the desktop features compartments for storage that flip up via hinge-attached doors. The hairpin legs add the modern touch, while the plywood surface gives the desk its warmth.

Pottery Barn Inspired

This wrap-around desk features repurposed painted filing cabinets as the supports, paired with a solid wood panel painted to match the filing cabinets below. Hello to storage! Hello to lovely!

Piping Legs

This desk is one of a kind as the crossover support and legs are made from plumbers, cast-iron pipes, and fittings. A simple wood top attached grommet style, and you have a chic industrial desk just ready to inspire.

Piping and Butcher-Block

butcher block


The piping material is used for the legs, with casters added to the bottom for the ultimate convenient mobility. The butcher block desktop paired with the industrial legs makes this desk both warm and modern.