Is your home office set up to maximize creativity and productivity? Mine definitely wasn’t! In this article I’ll show you how I made a 9-foot long DIY home office desk with basic tools and for less than $50! Yes it’s a cheap office desk, yet it is super functional and looks pretty good too.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Before Photo
- 2 After Photo of my DIY Home Office Desk
- 3 The Process of How to Make this DIY Home Office Desk
- 4 Other Easy DIY Home Office Makeover Things I did
- 5 I hope this has inspired you to create your own DIY home office desk.
- 6 To recap the basic steps to build a DIY Home Office Desk
- 7 Tools I used
- 8 Costs
Look at this mess.
No wonder I didn’t do as much work on my “stay at home” career as I should have.
This place was cluttered and repulsive.
After Photo of my DIY Home Office Desk
I will never claim this is perfect.
I mean just look at the floor right!
But it has made a huge difference for me, and my work output.
“Why haven’t you changed your floor?” you’re probably asking. It’s definitely on my list of “to do” but I haven’t got there yet.
Plus, I didn’t want my before and after pictures to look too much like dieting before and after pics.
(You know the ones where they never smile and have shaggy hair in the before picture, and then in the after pic they’ve got a fresh hair cut, million-dollar smile and a tan.)
The Process of How to Make this DIY Home Office Desk
First off, I wanted a desk that spanned my entire room. From the wall on the left to the wall on the right.
It is a 9 foot span.
It would have cost me a lot of money to buy a 9 foot long desk (if I could find one in my town). I didn’t want to pay that much. I wanted a cheap office desk. So I knew I had to build it myself.
I measured the height of my old desk and I wanted a similar height on my DIY desk.
(I was aiming for about 30.5″ from the floor to the top of the desk.)
So I measured 22.5 inches off the floor and that is where I marked, then mounted my 2×4 boards in the photo below.
This was how high the bottom of the bracing piece was off the floor (not the top of it).
Use a level to ensure a flat desktop.
Screw your bracing pieces into studs (the actual supporting boards behind the drywall or paneling).
(This particular wall was a bit tricky because there are no studs on this side. There is rigid foam insulation glued to the concrete foundation then 1’x4″ strapping glued to the insulation then drywall on top of strapping. So I screwed my supporting wood brace into the 1″x4″ boards. And added a supporting bracket in a later step.)
I repeated this process along the right wall. Same height off the floor.
Then I bought 3 pieces of 2″x 4″x 10 feet long.
I cut them to 9 feet so they would go right from wall to wall.
I set them on top the short pieces from the above pictures. It may be a little hard to see in the pictures, but I used small, metal angle brackets to screw the long pieces to the short pieces.
(You can see them underneath the front and middle long pieces.
You probably won’t need it, but for extra support I put a wooden angle bracket under my long 2×4’s and I decided to put it closer to the left wall because there are no studs along that left wall.
When I screwed in the wooden angle bracket I made sure to drill it into a stud.
No sense in having a supporting structure if it can’t support anything.
Then the real question was what do I use as a desktop?
I considered buying a sheet of plywood that is finished on one side, but they were almost $50 I didn’t know if the surface would work well for writing.
I decided to use interior doors on my DIY home office desk!
I went to my local used hardware store (awesome place), and I found 2 matching interior doors.
The length I required (9 feet) was longer than one door so I bought two. They were only $15 each.
They turned out to work amazingly well for my cheap office desk.
The door knob hole works perfectly for computer cords and wires.
I had to cut the second door with a circular saw so that it would fit.
The front edge of the doors lined up with my supporting 2×4’s to create a nice look, but it took a bit of work to get there.
As you can see in the picture below I had to fill in the holes where the hinges had been.
I used some drywall mud to fill in the holes.
This took about 3 application. (Lay it on, sand it off, lay more on, sand it off, etc….)
Then I painted the front supporting 2×4 board, the wooden angle bracket, the short supporting brace 2×4’s and the mud covering the hinge holes.
The picture below is quick visual rundown of the some of the above steps.
The seams between the two doors was by no means perfect.
But to help trick the eye I used some painter’s caulk to fill in the gap, and the gaps between the doors and the front supporting 2″x 4″.
It actually could have used some more caulk to completely fill in the small gap, but I was so excited to use my new desk that I just got working.
Other Easy DIY Home Office Makeover Things I did
A couple other touch-ups I did to my home office included: taking down the 1970’s sheer curtains and replacing with wide-slat blinds, painting the window trim white, and putting another coat of white paint over the 70’s wood paneling.
You may also notice that the cupboards in the before picture (bottom corner of picture) were still the original 1970’s wood paneling.
That is because my home office used to be the wet bar: complete with a little sink.
I painted the wood paneling white and it really helps brighten up the space.
For a link to my page on how to paint wood paneling click here.
I hope this has inspired you to create your own DIY home office desk.
I was going for a simple look and I think I achieved it with this “old door” desk.
To recap the basic steps to build a DIY Home Office Desk
- Measure the distance between the walls (mine was 9-feet)
- How deep do you want your desk to be? (Front edge to back…I wanted 2 feet…which corresponds to the door’s width)
- I cut two 2×4’s 2 feet long (corresponding to how deep you want your desk)
- Screw the 2×4’s from the above step into the walls (hit the studs). For the height off the floor remember you’ll be placing 2×4’s standing on edge on top of these bracing pieces, plus the width of your desktop (doors in my case) so keep this in mind when measuring and screwing.
- Measure and cut 2×4’s that’ll go the entire distance from the left wall to the right wall
- Place these long 2×4’s on top of the short bracing pieces. I secured in place using metal angle brackets under these long pieces.
- If you need to, place a large angle bracket under the long 2×4’s and screw it to the back wall. This will help provide extra support. You may want to consider doing this if you are spanning a large distance or if you have heavy items on your desk.
- Place your doors on top of the long pieces of 2×4. Cut the second door to size if you need to. (Mine fit so snugly in place that I didn’t need to screw the door down into the underlying long pieces of 2×4.) Try to line up the door knob hole with wherever your electrical outlet is below the desk so you can run your computer cords through here.
- Use drywall putty to fill in the hinge holes. Remember to let it fully dry before sanding off and repeating.
- Paint. This sounds pretty basic and I’ve left it that way because it’s basically paint what you need to. I didn’t need to paint the actual doors themselves because they were already white and in good shape. But I did paint the long 2×4 that is visible from the front. And paint over your drywall putty.
Tools I used
I have a cordless drill made by Ryobi.
It is getting older and I’ve already had to buy a replacement battery. It still works though so I’m not in the market to buy a new one.
But when I buy another one, I want one like shown below.
My parents have a similar Dewalt and it is surprisingly powerful for a compact cordless drill.
Plus, this one has a brushless motor which they say will translate to about 50% longer run time on the battery.
I also used a circular saw to cut the second door to fit.
I have an older corded electric circular saw (meaning I have to plug it in).
I really don’t use it very often so it fits my needs.
If you’re interested they do make battery-powered circular saws.
Dewalt makes some well reviewed ones.
Other tools used included a drywall putty knife, a torpedo level and a paintbrush.
I think that pretty much covered all the tools I used.
I bought the long 2×4’s for about $12. I already had a short length of 2×4 so it didn’t cost me anything for the short bracing pieces.
The doors cost me $15 each.
I already had the wooden angle bracket and the small metal brackets.
Plus, I already had the paint, drywall mud, and painter’s caulk.
So all in, it cost me less than $50 to make this awesome new desk.
The brackets shown below aren’t the exact ones I used, but having some similar to these around the house has come in handy many times.
You can find brackets at your local hardware store.
I have provided a link to Amazon if you can’t find them at your local store.
If you have any pictures or ideas for your own DIY Home Office desk please leave comments below. I’d love to hear them.
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