Finding room for a dinner table in a crowded apartment or small kitchen can be a challenge, but we have the perfect solution. We'll show you how to make this DIY wall desk that folds up into a cabinet when not in use.

By Becky Mollenkamp and Katie Leporte
Updated December 29, 2020
Ann Wilde

If your small kitchen lacks dining space, get creative and turn a wall display into functional furniture. This DIY foldable wall desk is a smart, space-saving solution. When open, the table provides comfortable seating for two, as well as display space for linens, cookbooks, dishes, or collectibles. When folded, the table transforms into a wall-mounted cabinet to leave the floor clear for foot traffic. Clever use of chalkboard paint allows the underside of the desk to serve as an area for grocery or other to-do lists when folded up.

To make this foldable desk, you'll need a few basic carpentry skills as well as materials like plywood, paint, and hinges that you can pick up at your local hardware store. We'll walk you through the entire process, plus offer tips to customize the DIY collapsible table.

  • Working time 2 hrs
  • Start to finish 8 hrs
  • Difficulty Kind of Easy
  • Involves Painting, Drilling, Finding Wall Studs
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What you need

Tools
Materials
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How to do it

Step 1

Prime and Paint Wood

This DIY foldable desk project requires 3/4-inch plywood for the tabletop and 1×2 boards for the frame, legs, and support boards (we used oak). Don’t have the tools needed to cut the wood for your table? Draw a plan with exact dimensions and ask the lumber store to make the cuts. For bonus storage space, start with a wall-mounted shelving unit.

Before assembling the table, prime and paint the cabinet and wood pieces. We used white and light blue, but you can use any colors to match your decor. Let paint dry before proceeding with assembly.

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Step 2

Attach Boards and Cut Framing

Attach a board to the bottom front of the cabinet. Cut a tabletop the same size as the front of the cabinet, and attach a large piano hinge along the back edge. Attach the other side of the hinge to the board installed on the bottom of the cabinet. Close the tabletop over the cabinet. Cut framing pieces; attach pieces around the bottom edges of the tabletop. Be sure your drill bit is set so you don't accidentally drill through the tabletop. 

Step 3

Cut and Attach Legs

Cut legs and crossbars; attach the four pieces to each other using flat braces at the corners on the front and back of the boards. Use a carpenter's square to make sure the legs are square. Attach the leg assembly to the tabletop with a long piano hinge.

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Step 4

Add Supports

To ensure the legs stay in place when open, add locking drop-leaf supports on each side of the DIY wall desk. When closed, the leg assembly becomes the chalkboard frame. If desired, fill in the area with chalkboard paint; let dry. 

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Step 5

Mount Wall Desk

Attach a hook and latch to the top of the cabinet and the tabletop. Use a stud finder to locate wall studs. Attach the cabinet at the appropriate height on the wall, making sure to hit studs. The table should be level when open. Attach a support board flush under the cabinet and into wall studs.

Step 6

Add Personality

With a little extra effort, a bland background can become a piece of wall art thanks to these fold-down table ideas. If you chose to fill in the table bottom with chalkboard paint, write out a to-do list, an inspirational quote, or a short message. Add other embellishments, such as trim or decorative hardware, as desired. 

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