Easy DIY Built In Desk Tutorial

This post is sponsored by The Home Depot, however all opinions are my own.


Cue the horns and strike up the band.

Our built in desk is finally done!

And although it looks complicated, this project is really made up of building a few basic boxes and stock cabinets all being joined together with plywood tops.

We made it fit to our wall space, but the same concept could be recreated to any size space.

And as with any project, with the right tools for the job – anything can happen!


We started this project (I am almost embarrassed to say this) back in May.  So, when The Home Depot contacted me and asked me to be part of their Let’s Do This Campaign – I knew this was the perfect project.

And I knew it was just the kick in the pants that we needed.


This wall is in our home office.  I have had lofty goals for this room.  I wanted it to be a hang-out space, a craft space, a homework space and a work space.  The hangout area is done, the work desks are done and the craft space is being finalized.

And now, finally, the homework space is done.

With the weird slanted wall, I wanted to use the space as best as possible.  I knew a built in desk was going to be the best option, but I didn’t want it to get too complicated.

So, after many ideas being thrown in the trash, this is what I came up with.

original plans

I knew I wanted to use a full sheet of the beautiful 3/4” birch plywood – but I didn’t want any seams.   But, our space was longer than 96”.  So the plan was to use unfinished cabinets for the sides.  We built a basic box for the center support and then some decorative boxes for the tops.

Once we had our plan in place, we headed to The Home Depot.

And they did all the work.

We had created a cut list from this drawing and they worked with us to figure out how to best maximize our purchased materials for the cuts.

We shopped in Matamoras, PA – and they could not have been any kinder or more helpful.


We then rolled on home with all of our wood ready to go!


Here is how it all breaks down.


A – 18 x 34.5 x 24 base cabinet (unfinished)

B – 30” h x 13” w x 24” d

C – 10.5” h x 22” w x 12” d

D – 10” h x 41” w x 10.5” d

E – 12” h x 13” w x 12” d

F- 30” h x 1/2” w x 27.5” d

G – 96” x 2” x 4”

H – 3/4” h x 22.5” w x 32.25” d

I – 3/4” h x 96” w x 32” d

The extra overhang on the sides is intentional.  It is the perfect place to store large flat items like foam core boards, etc.

All the base items were painted out with a paint sprayer with white paint.  The tops were all finished with this product.  Before adding stain, we treated it with a wood conditioner.  Even though the stain did contain poly, we added two coats of clear poly as well for an extra strong finish.


Each of the boxes are made with 1/2” plywood and backed with 1/4” plywood and then finished with a simple front trim.

Each of the boxes were constructed using the two greatest tools that ever were.

This corner brace to hold everything the corners together and the Kreg Jig.

Once all of the pieces were built and finished, it is basically like pulling together a puzzle to assemble it.

We started with measuring out and marking the space on the floor.


Our starting point was the center base box.


We marked the level height on the wall, and then found and marked the studs in the wall.


Then we measured the location for  the main 2 x 4 to the wall using a level.  Having a full 4’ level was really helpful.


We drilled pilot holes and then drilled into the studs.


Then we began assembling.  The side cabinets were brought it and the main top put in place.


We added 1/2 plywood sides for extra support.  They are fronted with simple trim and we drilled from the inside of the cabinet to hook them together.


We pre-drilled kreg holes along the tops of the side supports and the back 2 x 4.  Once everything was in place, a quick attachment of the Kreg screws pulled everything into place.


All of the top boxes are simply set in place and not attached.

We used these pulls for the drawers.

And then it was just a matter of putting everything in place.

DIY-Home-Office  Home-Office-Built-In-Desk

I used a mixture of vintage and new accessories for storage and some just to be pretty.


It all looked nice, but when I added the rug – it all came together as I had been picturing it in my mind (since May).


And of course, no project with The Home Depot would be complete without a Homer Bucket.

Sisal-Twine-Wrapped-Homer-Bucket copy

I have been trying to figure out a recycling bin that could easily be rolled to wherever I was working – and this was the perfect solution.

I used three rolls of sisal twine.  The first loop I hot glued along the bottom every few inches and then I kept looping around and gluing in one spot.

When I got the top I ran individual lengths in between the ridges and then topped it off with one final piece.  I simply hot glued the casters to the bottom.


I am so happy to finally be done with this project and how beautiful it came out.  I am hoping it really will be a perfect spot for our daughters to do their homework and I know it is going to be great storage.

I will be sharing some more details soon about the paint and stain finishes – stay tuned!

Thanks so  much for reading and wishing you a great day!

postsignature.pngI acknowledge that The Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in this built in desk project. As a part of the built in desk project, I am receiving compensation in the form of cash and gift cards, for the purpose of promoting the built in desk project and The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.


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25 thoughts on “Easy DIY Built In Desk Tutorial”


  1. Wow your space looks great. If I were a kid I would love doing homework at that desk. Thanks for sharing. Love all the vintage accessories. Have a great day!

  2. I think I would like to sit in your office and enjoy a cup of coffee and smile at what a beautiful space it is! It is as lovely as the rest of your home! I have a question about the metal lockers in your office. I just bought a similar set of lockers off Craig’s List for a steal, but they need a little TLC. Did you acquire your lockers in the condition we now see them, or did you have to put some work into them? If so, could you share with me the process because I’m a little overwhelmed with 15 cubbies to sand and spray! Thanks!

  3. Such an amazing job! I love how you made the slanted wall work for you- that seems to be under utilized space in so many homes! Home Depot is my absolute favorite too and they are always so nice. Incorporating the bucket is a great touch as well! Basically I love it all : )

  4. OMG………This is amazing and just at the perfect time. We are moving in two weeks and I will need to create my sewing/craft room. I am sooooooooo copying this. Love Love it!!!!

  5. Just added this to my Pinterest board, which already has your staircase, kitchen, and I think, living room. (Better go back and double-check that, and if it’s not there, I’ll add it, too!)

  6. Wow. I’m in awe and so impressed at your skills! I could never build anything like that…I love how “custom” it looks. Great job, friend!

  7. We just (in August) did a built-in counter for our office/hobby/craft space and those boxes above the counter are exactly what I was looking for to complete the top in my area! Thanks for sharing! (Found you via I Heart Organizing.)

  8. Love this too!!! Want to add something like this in my sewing room.
    From the pictures, it looks like the desktop is painted, and yet you said they’re stained. I assume you wanted the wood grain to show thru. Does it in real life? And do the two coats of poly help keep it from dents? i.e., pen/pencil pushing on the finish?

  9. Laura, great set up there..Thanks for all the pictures, measurements, etc. What is the desk top made from? It almost looks like a black or smoke color plexiglass……Is your computer set up a desk top or laptop? I didn’t see any cable cords so I assume you have laptop…..I’m toying with buying a laptop so I don’t have to deal with the tower but so used to desktop type, don’t know if I could handle a laptop as well. I’d like to do away with all the cords/cables but need a printer that could sit on the table/desk.. I don’t know much about computers, but hear there is one out where the hardrive is built in monitor..wonder It looks like your DH is a perfectionist..

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  11. This is amazing! Although they love nothing alike, It reminds me of the built in desk we had in my room growing up – do you remember that? We could crawl into it and hide behind the drawers!! Love it!!

  12. I just wanted to say Thank You for posting your ideas for this awesome desk. I just completed the desk this weekend using your ideas and it turned out great! My wife is ecstatic about it and it saved us at least $1k from the quotes we received to have a custom desk built. Wish I could attach a picture to this reply, but thank you again for sharing your ideas!!