How to Make a Compact Desk
When you're running low on space, this compact floating shelf desk can provide much-needed storage. Learn how to make one with our easy instructions!
Not every room has space for a full-size desk, but as computers and tablets shrink in size, there's no need for big and clunky furniture. Give yourself a bit of workspace without taking up too much room with our compact floating shelf desk. This DIY project is sleek and functional with a smooth top and a compartment for your laptop. Make one this weekend, and then use it to plan out how you will tackle future DIY projects!
Note: Our desk measures 44 inches long, 12 inches deep, and 5 inches tall. The design features a center divider that adds stability and forms two compartments. Shelf brackets (Style Selections, 11.69×8 inches, $7; lowes.com) support the unit.
Hang your desk at a comfortable hight—27 to 46 inches from the floor is best, depending on the height of your stool.
What You Need:
- 3/4-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF) cut into the following pieces in your desired dimensions (our finished desk is 44x12x5 inches). Rabbeted edges, as shown, are optional.
- 2 sides, each with its short back edge cut with a rabbeted profile
- 2 long boards for the top and bottom, each with rabbeted profiles along their long back edges and sides
- 1 long, slim board for the desk's back wall, cut to the dimension of the rabbeted opening
- 1 center divider
- Wood glue
- 3 shelf brackets
- Sandpaper or sanding block
- Primer and paint
Step 1: Cut Boards
Cut MDF to desired sizes. For a snug fit, make recessed rabbet cuts along the edges of the pieces as noted. Cut a channel for the divider in the center of top and bottom pieces.
Step 2: Assemble Desk
Join sides and center divider to base using glue and nails. Install back wall, followed by the top.
Optional: Cut a small hole in the desk bottom for cords and electronic wires to fit through.
Step 3: Finish and Install
Sand, prime, and paint. Install brackets into wall studs. Place desktop on brackets, and screw into place.