Our own corner desk was such a great idea for small spaces
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 working space set aside for our children.
Only one of our children is in “zoom university” right now and the others love creating. We felt creating a DIY floating wooden desk with 3 seats was the perfect solution for the corner of the room.
Kid craft room and desk plans
The first thing we did in this room was work on adding more storage. This school and craft room idea started with simply wanting to redo the basement closet in this room to store all of the art and craft supplies we had.
Adding farmhouse open shelves our basement cinderblock walled closet was a lifesaver for extra storage. Afer we realized a DIY desk build using shelf brackets was finally going to give us enough space for each kid.
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!
Read more>>>>>Check out how UGLY the basement closet was before we waterproofed it!!!
Why did we decide to build a floating L-shape corner desk?
At first, our kid’s craft room design was to have the floating desk along the back wall. However, the corner of the room was the perfect space to create a home office for our children.
The layout of the small room made it so that a floating corner desk was going to be better. If all three children wanted to be in there at once, it may be a little tight, but they would each have enough desk space to work.
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, they would not have much space and 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).
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 DIY L-shaped desk, we are able to utilize this small room to fully accommodate our children. A small easel, reading station and extra storage in our craft room for our children.
How to determine the size and design of your custom floating desk?
For reference, our desk is approximately 55″ on one side and 83″ 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.
Here is a diagram to hopefully help you visualize the dimensions of our desk. Remember that our desk is meant as a kid crafting area and workspace. If I were making this for myself, I most likely would have made the desk a little wider than 18″.
You can modify these measurements to create a small corner desk for your home office that might need to only fit one person. However, we would recommend that you make your desk for an adult wider than 18″ deep.
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 backward 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 as 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 for the front piece
- Butcher block top could also be a great option but would be more expensive
- 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 one bracket for each stud for the length of the desk.
- Using shelf 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 (unless you are looking up at the bottom of the desk).
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 was the perfect solution to using plywood for our desk. This created a more finished-looking & custom 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.
Floating Corner Desk Tutorial
(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)!
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 18” 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 CDX 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 on the surface of this desk. Here are 9 Amazing DIY Projects Using Red Mahogony Stain.
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!
Other ways to decorate above your simple corner desk
- Hang a large DIY string art made from leftover plywood
- Add fun pegboards as an easy DIY project
- Involve your children to help create artworks that could be displayed in DIY shadow boxes
- Add corner shelves (check out this awesome industrial DIY corner shelf build)
Read More: 16 Modern Custom DIY Desks To Give You Ample Space We love #4!!!!!!!!!!