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8 Easy And Cheap DIY Desk Ideas That’ll Instantly Upgrade Your Work Space

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DIY Desk Ideas: Easy Ways To Build A Desk

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As someone who works from home, I know the importance of having a dedicated work space. Nothing special, just a place that lends itself to a little bit of privacy so you can get your work done.

But let’s get real.

Store-bought desks are expensive and we don’t all have room in our homes for a true office.  We often have to sacrifice a spot in the living room, set things up at the kitchen counter, or carve out space in the corner of the spare bedroom and call it an ‘office’.

In fact, up until a few weeks ago I worked while sitting on my bed watching TV with my laptop propped on my legs. Not conducive to getting a good days work done, that’s for sure.


What Can You Use If You Don’t Have A Desk ?

If you don’t have a desk, you don’t have to run out and buy one. There are plenty of things you can use…besides your lap or the counter…that you probably have laying around.

One of the easiest desk hacks is using a couple end tables or night stands and a board.  Space the end tables a few feet apart and place the board across them.  If it’s too low, shim the board with bricks.

Here are more ways to build a cheap and simple desk:

Easy And Cheap DIY Desk Ideas

#1  Windowsill Desk

If you have a windowsill that’s just the right height, add a shelf to it to make it wide enough to slide a chair underneath, like this idea from Style Mutt Home. All they did was secure a ready-made shelf to the sill and brace it with shelf brackets.

Easy DIY desk idea: Windowsill desk
Window sill desk image courtesy of

Ready to build this space-saving desk? Here’s a ready-made wall shelf and heavy-duty shelf brackets

#2  Murphy Desk

This DIY Murphy Desk is the perfect solution for small spaces. As an added bonus, it folds up and becomes a chalk board. Pretty cool. You can find the step-by-step DIY instructions at Shanty 2 Chic.

Easy to Build Murphy Desk
DIY murphy desk image courtesy of

And here’s another DIY murphy desk option.  She sure makes it look easy to do !

Now, I have to admit, I would ask my husband to build either of these for me. It would get done so much quicker.

Don’t want to make your own ? This chalk board murphy desk costs $150.00

#3  File Cabinet Desk

Have two file cabinets and a wooden board ?  This super easy DIY desk from offers plenty of surface and storage. Don’t have file cabinets ?  These storage drawers from Ikea, work great.  Don’t have a board?  Use an old door, or any flat linear surface instead.

Easy and Cheap DIY Desk idea
File cabinet desk image courtesy of

A place to get file cabinets that only cost a few bucks is your local Habitat For Humanity Restore.  They have a lot of doors, too.

#4  Cinder Block Desk

A few cinder blocks and a board are the only ingredients in this simple DIY desk recipe.  This rustic, yet tidy, idea is compliments of

How to build a simple desk with a board and cinder blocks
Cinderblock desk image courtesy of

#5 Sawhorse Desk

My resourceful husband came up with this idea; not for a desk but for working on his “garage” projects. So I thought: “heck, that makes a great desk!” Sawhorses and an old hollow-core door make a cool and trendy desk that are easy to put together. Just set the door on top of the saw horses and voila! A new desk!

I’ve seen this style of desk go for over $200.00 on Etsy. No need to spend that much, just see if you have some old sawhorses laying around. You can clean it up to look like the one shows us (which is the DIY version of the one from Restoration Hardware)

Simple way to build a desk with sawhorses.
Sawhorse desk image courtesy of

#6 Floating Desk

I love the idea of a floating desk because it can be any width and length to fit any area in your work space.  It’s so easy to build, too.

This stylish wall-mount desk is pretty sharp looking, and fits nicely in a tight work space. It only costs $85.00.

#7  Open Shelf Desk

If you want a work space that has more of an open feel, this desk with open shelves is a great option. Look how stylish it is ! shows us how to DIY this desk but in a nutshell, it’s made with two small bookshelves from Amazon and a butcherblock top from Ikea.

DIY open shelf desk

Open shelf desk image courtesy of

If I was to DIY this desk, I would buy these bookshelves and a remnant laminate counter at Lowes or Home Depot.

#8  Barstool Desk

This cute desk is an awesome choice if you’re looking for a slim profile. Made out of bar stools and boards shows you exactly how to do it.

DIY barstool desk

Spruce Up Your Work Space With DIY Desk Projects

With a few items you have sitting around in your garage, it’s really easy to add style to your work space. And who knows, you may even get more work done!

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these ideas or if you have others you’d like to share.


Simple DIY Desk Ideas

Thank you for sharing !

Author: Kat Lewis

Kat Lewis is the person behind The Wary Worker, the blog that shows you how to work from home and live life in the meantime. Kat is a former Accounting Specialist turned Human Resource Generalist who found her niche in the work-at-home world. With an analytical background, Kat looks at every opportunity with a skeptical eye so she can bring the truth to anyone wanting to work from home.

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