Save Space with This Adorable Fold-Down Table That Doubles as a Desk

This DIY wall desk is perfect for snug apartments and folds up into a cabinet when not in use.

White hightop table and chairs
Photo: Ann Wilde
Project Overview
  • Working Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Skill Level: Beginner

If your small kitchen lacks dining space, get creative and turn a wall display into functional furniture. This DIY fold-down table that doubles as a 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. In addition, the 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 fold-down table, you'll need a few basic carpentry skills and 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.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 Paintbrushes
  • 1 Drill and drill bit
  • 1 Carpenter's square
  • 1 Stud finder


  • 1 Wall-mounted shelving unit, such as an old CD cabinet
  • 1 3/4-inch plywood
  • 1 1x2 boards
  • 1 Primer
  • 1 Paint, in desired colors
  • 1 Large piano hinge
  • 1 Screws
  • 1 Flat braces
  • 1 Locking drop-leaf supports
  • 1 Chalkboard paint
  • 1 Hook
  • 1 Latch
  • 1 Support board flush


  1. Prime and Paint Wood

    This DIY fold-down table 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.

  2. Attach Boards and Cut Framing

    Open blue cabinets with dishes
    Ann Wilde
    1. Attach a board to the bottom front of the cabinet. Note: Be sure your drill bit is set for the following steps, so you don't accidentally drill through the tabletop.
    2. Cut a tabletop the same size as the front of the cabinet, and attach a large piano hinge along the back edge.
    3. Attach the other side of the hinge to the board installed on the bottom of the cabinet.
    4. Close the tabletop over the cabinet.
    5. Cut framing pieces; attach pieces around the bottom edges of the tabletop.
  3. Cut and Attach Legs

    Gold hinges
    Ann Wilde
    1. Cut legs and crossbars.
    2. Attach the four pieces to each other using flat braces at the corners on the front and back of the boards.
    3. Use a carpenter's square to make sure the legs are square.
    4. Attach the leg assembly to the tabletop with a long piano hinge.
  4. Add Supports

    White table with gold hardware
    Ann Wilde

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

  5. Mount Wall Desk

    Gold hardware on table with kettle
    Ann Wilde
    1. Attach a hook and latch to the top of the cabinet and the tabletop.
    2. Use a stud finder to locate wall studs.
    3. Attach the cabinet at the appropriate height on the wall, making sure to hit studs. The table should be level when open.
    4. Attach a support board flush under the cabinet and into wall studs.
  6. Add Personality

    bulletin board with pictures
    Ann Wilde

    With a little extra effort, a bland background can become a piece of wall art, thanks to these DIY fold-down table ideas. If you choose, fill in the table bottom with chalkboard paint, to 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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