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What Are the Best Tips for Making a DIY Desk?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett

Making a DIY desk is relatively easy because any large, flat surface can be used as a desk. The simplest type of DIY desk involves stacking a sturdy flat panel on top of two even objects that are high enough to allow a person to sit comfortably. More complicated desks might include drawers, lights, and other additional features. It is also possible to make a desk that is more tailored to a specific purpose, such as using a laptop or drawing. The best tip to keep in mind when undertaking a desk-making project is that this type of desk is as simple or as complicated as the designer makes it, but it also has the potential to fit a person's needs perfectly.

One of the most important tips for making a DIY desk is to make sure that the desk is functional. It is certainly possible to suspend a desk from a ceiling, for example, but if the desk sways it may not be functional. In some homes, a desk serves more of a decorative than practical purpose, and in this case it may be acceptable to have a desk that is not particularly sturdy. For most people, the best tip to remember is that function comes before looks when making a DIY desk.


When making a basic DIY desk, it is sometimes possible to use inexpensive materials without losing function. One common type of desk involves placing an old door across two filing cabinets or cinder blocks of the same height creating a long rectangular desk. It is usually a good idea to use a desk that is plain or flat, but one way to use a door that has decorative indentations is to cover the entire door with a glass top. It is important to remember to secure the glass for safety.

Any combination of even legs and flat surfaces can make a desk of this type. One might use sawhorses, crates, or even fencing pieces to hold up the top of the desk. The desktop can be made of anything flat and large enough for a desk, or may even be made of a number of planks held together. It is also possible to attach the desk directly to the wall if it is small enough, although this may not be very sturdy.

If a DIY desk is intended for a specific purpose, it may be possible to tailor the design to that purpose. For example, a laptop desk does not need to be very large and might move so that it can be used as a lap desk while sitting in an armchair. An architect or artist's desk might include a lighted panel for easy tracing work. Once the do-it-yourselfer determines the type of desk that will suit his needs, he can take on the task of creating that specific desk.

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