September 19, 2013

diy kid's desk / the how to

Well, hi there Thursday!  That means the weekend is right around the corner!  Yay! 

On Monday, I shared pictures of Preston's new desk we made for him and today I'm back to share how we did it!  Just to refresh, here are a couple of pictures of the finished product.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we already had the top shelf unit hanging in his room, so we just moved it next to his bed to create the top part of his desk space. 

On to the how to part.  Because of limited space our main goal was to make his desk small, yet functional and without spending a lot of $.  We already had the stain, sanding sealer and polyurethane, so all we had to buy was one board for $8 and two brackets for $8/each.  And then here's what we did.

1.  Using one board (1 x 8 x 1) we created the writing surface.  Grant cut the board into three 28 inches pieces, routed over the edges and used a biscuit joiner to connect the boards together.  He placed the biscuits, glued and clamped overnight.

2.  To ensure the boards would stay together, he reinforced the underside with a smaller strip of board attaching it to all three boards.  Then we sanded, vacuumed and wiped clean.

3.  Next we stained the boards.  Let dry overnight.  Applied sanding sealer.  Let dry overnight.  Did a light sand, vacuum, and  clean.  Applied a coat of polyurethane.  Let dry overnight. And then repeated the poly coat again.  (we have learned from past experiences to make sure the coats with these products are completely dry, so we let them dry overnight to be sure.  it's worth the wait)

4.  To ensure the desk would be sturdy, we cut and painted (same color as the wall) an anchor board and attached it to the wall ensuring it was attached to the wall studs.  Then using brackets we attached the desk surface to the anchor board.

And then that was it!  New, custom, kid approved desk!

Once the major construction part of the desk was complete, then began the fun part of this project for me...accessorizing it.  Once again, looking to spend as little as possible, I created several small diy's to complete the look of this space.

The first one, was dressing up this plain cork board with duct tape.  Keeping with the orange and adding this bright blue, I created a large center stripe across the middle of both cork tile boards. 
Next up was giving this $0.50 clipboard a little style.  I used a piece of gray and white chevron patterned scrapbook paper.  I simply traced the board, cut and then used a self laminating sheet over the top and wrapped it around the back of the board.
And finally, I wanted a small tray to place on his desk.  I actually looked at several places for something that would work and came up with nada!  So, I made one out of a shoe box lid.  Applied the blue duct tape, then used a piece of laminated scrapbook paper in the inside.
My only bigish purchase was the orange industrial stool from World Market.  It was on sale for $44, and then I had a coupon, so I ended up paying about $35 for it.
And that's a wrap!  We have one happy 7 year old boy (and a happy mama too :)



  1. Such a great project! I love the shoe box tray, thank you so much for sharing the details!

    1. thanks lizzie! the tray is my favorite of the little projects!

  2. This is such a great idea! Love how it turned out!!

  3. I love this! Perfect for a small space. Your son's room is so adorable.


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