Our DIY floating L-shaped desk was the perfect addition to our craft room
This DIY wood project is a continuation of all the fun things we have been making to turn a room in our basement into a homeschool and craft room for our kids. I know all the parents out there completely understand why we decided we needed to have this extra space set aside for our family. Only one of our children is in “zoom university” right now and the others love creating. We felt creating a DIY floating L-shaped desk with 3 spaces was really going to help us out.
This school and craft room idea started with simply wanted to redo the basement closet in this room to store all of the art and craft supplies we had. Adding farmhouse-type shelving to the basement cinderblock walled closet is really going to be a lifesaver and give us space to finally store craft supplies.
There are so many amazing playroom ideas (like in this House Beautiful slideshow) out there but we are loving our unique DIY kid’s room. I am sure that our project is maybe a little more budget-friendly as well!
To say things are coming out better than we expected in this room is an understatement. We cannot wait to share the finished room…
Whenever that happens!
Why did we decide to build a floating L-shape corner desk?
At first, our homeschool room design was to have the floating desk along the back wall. But once we looked at where the door was and closet in this small space, we felt that a floating corner desk was going to better. If all three children wanted to be in there at once, it may be a little tight, but I bet that rarely will happen.
The best part about this design is that we are able to customize each child’s workspace. If they were all sharing the same spot, I am sure one would make the other upset by moving things around.
Each side of the desk will also have a DIY pegboard organizer above the work spot. (See how we made our easy pegboard organizers).
At first, we thought we could have three pegboards. However, after seeing the finished desk with chairs we decided to display the pegboard horizontally and use the extra on a different wall as an easy way to display projects and artworks.
With this L-shaped desk, we able to utilize this small room to fully accommodate our children. A small easel, reading station and extra storage will all fit in this craft room for our children.
How to determine the size and design of your custom floating desk?
For reference our desk (ours is appx. 4’ on one (1) side and 5’ on the other side x 18” off the wall. We knew we wanted an l-shaped desk to best utilize the space of the small room.
You will also need to decide the height of your desk. We made ours 2” shorter than our kitchen table, but made sure regular sized chairs would fit. You may need to work a little backwards on your design and make sure whatever stools or chairs you are using will work.
I debated about getting new stools but knew we had repurposed chairs in our attic that would work perfectly. So we went with my chalk painted and reupholstered chairs. I know the fabric may take a beating with young children in an art room, but…
Using things you already have is part of our DIY mentality.
If I was going to purchase new stools, I was going to get metal ones like we have in our kitchen. But I really like our shabby-chic desk chairs and I already had these refinished chairs in storage!
Other factors to consider when constructing your floating desk
Determine the desk materials you want to use. Ours is made out of birch plywood and oak molding.
If you want to paint the plywood or need a cheaper option you could construct this completely out CDX. It would not have as nice of a finish, but it would be cheaper.
Wood studs behind your drywall are typically spaced 16” apart. We bought one (1) bracket for each stud for the length of the desk.
Using brackets still gives the illusion of a floating desk, but the sturdiness of using heavy-duty brackets. You honestly can barely see our brackets once the whole desk area and the room was completed!
How to create a finished desk edge on a plywood floating desk?
Using a piece of oak trim will help conceal the edge of the plywood. This will create a more finished looking desk. Again, this will cost you a little more money, but we totally think it is worth it. We have seen simple plywood desks that just leave the unfinished edge, so that is up to you.
Supplies needed to make a DIY floating wood desk
(1) ¾” x 4’ x 8’ Birch Plywood (nicer plywood)
(1) 4’ x 8’ CDX graded plywood (used underneath for rigidity)
Wood Glue (Here is the brand my husband recommends)
Circular Saw or Table Saw
Miter Saw (Optional: This project finally made my husband get his own miter saw and he was so excited he scored one for ½ off on Black Friday)!
Floating Corner L-Shape Desk Tutorial
1. Using a stud finder, a 4’ level, a tape measure, and 3” + long screws attach the brackets to the studs at the desired height.
Find the studs. Start on one end and screw in one bracket. Measure the same height up on the next stud spot. Hold the bracket with the 4’ level on top of both. You may need to slightly adjust the height of that bracket before securing it to the wall using 3” long drywall screws.
Continue until all of your brackets are in place.
2. Use a circular saw or table saw to cut down plywood to the desired width (ours is cut at 17” wide).
The top of our desk is made out of two (2) layers of plywood. The nice birch is on top and the more construction-grade plywood is on the bottom.
Tip Alert: How to use a circular saw to make a straight edge?
If using a circular saw, use a straight edge to make the cuts as straight as possible (see photo). You clamp a straight edge to act as a guide on your plywood. This will assist you in making the straightest edge you can without a table saw.
3. Once the four (4) pieces have been cut to the same width clamp and glue them together. We have 4 pieces due to the l-shaped desk design. If you are only making a regular desk, you would only have two (2) pieces of plywood.
4. The next day using a straight edge cut the boards to length. You will be cutting through two pieces of plywood that are glued together.
5. Trace a 45-degree angle on one of the two glued-together boards (birch plywood and CBX plywood) using a speed square off the corner of the board.
6. Once you have drawn a 45-degree angle, cut the first board at a 45-degree angle.
7. Take the first cut board with the 45-degree angle and lay it on top of the previously installed desk brackets.
So now here is where tricky, most likely your corner isn’t exactly 90-degrees. If you have a perfectly square room, let us know, but normally it is close but not perfect. Therefore, you cannot just assume that you can cut another 45-degree angle on the remaining board and have it fit perfectly.
Tips to corner board installation
Take two scrap pieces of plywood, that are the same width as your newly cut 45-degree angle board and place them on the other side of the brackets.
This will allow the uncut board to rest on top of the first cut piece. Go on the bottom side and trace with a pencil the correct angle.
This will guarantee you are cutting the angle on the new board to equal your actual wall corner.
8. Cut the glued-plywood board at the angle drawn.
9. Place painter’s tape above and below the desk at the brackets This will help if you are staining or painting the desk once it is in place. Due to the nature of our basement and the size of the room, we wanted to construct our desk first, before staining.
10. Attach the desk board to the brackets by using 1” screws from the bottom up. Pre-drilling the screw holes, will help this process to go easier.
12. Use an air compressor, brad nailer, and wood glue to install the trim pieces. Start at one end and work your way around the desk.
13. Apply stain. We used our favorite stain color on this desk and are happy we did!
14. My husband was able to apply the stain to the whole desk and then go back and wipe off. The color was the exact richness we were going for.
15. Poly, sand, poly, sand, poly. Our desk had 3 coats and sanding the polyurethane in between layers creates more finished and smoother look.
You can see how we really love this stain color with these 9 Amazing DIY Projects Using Our Favorite Stain Color.
Make sure to check back in the future to get a tour of the complete craft room for our children. They have already spent hours creating in there!
We also can’t wait to hang our large DIY string art above the pegboards. It was made out of the leftover plywood we had and it turned out amazing!!!
We just love our DIY wooden floating desk and so do our little artists!
For more DIY inspiration follow us on Pinterest!