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Working from home is a dream come true for many of us – whether it’s the chance to earn additional money while raising children, the possibility to bring your dream come true and turn a vision into reality by starting your own company, or simply the sheer luxury of not having to dress, commute and deal with actual real-life people face to face first thing in the morning, there are many reasons to enthusiastically embrace this kind of work-life.

Home offices, by their very nature, are places of intense productivity, flowing inspiration, hard work, and unleashed creativity. 

Or at least, they should be.

Ideally, your home office is tailored perfectly to your individual needs and helps you to work as effectively and productively as possible. And since a lot of this relies on the kind of appliances and electronic devices at your disposal, typically most of your available funds will invariably be funnelled to purchasing exactly these things. 

This (very logical) approach, however, oftentimes leads to a situation where you have top-of-the-notch equipment, but very little, if any, place to put it. 

Or you’re already all set up and suddenly realise that you need more work-surface. (Particularly if you’re self-employed and have the good fortune to find yourself in a situation where you want to, need, and actually are able to hire additional help.)

Fortunately, getting the perfect desk that looks stylish, has everything you want and need, and perfectly fits your home office or the last available space in there is super easy. And cheap.

All you need is some time, a bit of manual skills, and a good deal of elbow grease. And inspiration.

To help you with your quest to build your perfect desk, we have scoured the best DIY manuals for ideas and collected the best DIY home office desk bases you can use as a stepping stone to come up with your ideal work-space. 

Trestles

Trestle Desk
Photo: Decoist

The most obvious choice when DIYing a desk is the combination of trestles with some sort of desktop.

Depending on your needs and preferences you can use anything from a simple wooden board to a sheet of (sturdy) glass to combine with your trestles to fashion a useful, sturdy, basic desk.

Storage Cabinets

Storage Cabinet Desk
Photo: Pinterest

You most likely have the main ingredient for this easy DIY desk already in your home office – a pair of roughly hip-height storage cabinets (filing cabinets work just as well).

Place them in your favoured location with enough space between them, and simply plop the desktop of your choice atop and you’re done. This kind of DIY desk has the advantage of instant storage space or quick and easy access to your files, notes, or books while working. And, as our example shows, this method can also be used to create corner desks for extra workspace.

Books

Bookstack as Table Leg
Photo: IKEA

You have a ton of books you have already read but can’t bring yourself to give away, no matter that you’re unlikely to ever open them again? Why not re-use them as table legs?

Whether you want to combine one DIY table leg with a cabinet to incorporate storage space, a trestle, or feel like going all-in, this kind of table works best with a (plexi)glass tabletop for maximum visual pleasure.  

Industrial Pipes

Industrial Pipes Desk
Photo: Pinterest

Desks, even DIY desks, are not the first thing that come to mind when you think about industrial pipes. But they work surprisingly well as impromptu table legs – and look incredibly stylish at that!

Installing this kind of table frame and/or legs needs a bit of workmanship talent, but its doable, and the end-result is well worth it. 

Book Shelves/Open Cabinets

Open Shelves Desk
Photo: Freepatents

You need a lot of storage space AND a new desk? Why not combine the two?

Simply create a new work-space by fashioning a desk out of two (or more) open shelves or cabinets and a desktop of your choice. It’s incredibly easy, can be as small or big as you need, and barely costs more than purchasing the bookshelves or cabinets on their own. 

Doors

Door Desktop
Photo: Hometalk

Old doors, whether they are scratched wood or used metal, make up for great, cheap desktops for your DIY office desk. Depending on the type and quality of the door you might need a sheet of glass on top to create an even surface.

This kind of working surface makes for a very individual, cool touch to any office. And if you manage to snatch up a door that has some personal meaning to you (e.g. that old barn-door from where you spent your childhood), all the better! 

Small Coffee/Side Table

DIY Standing Desk
Photo: Apartment Therapy

Whenever you need just a small-ish workspace, for example enough to put just a laptop and maybe a notepad, and want to do something for your health as well, we’d recommend fashioning a quick DIY standing desk.

All you need is a (probably already existing) shelf or cabinet, and a coffee or side-table in the dimensions you can fit on top. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it helps to reduce the time you spend sitting down staring at a screen. 

Hinges and Rope

Hanging Desk with Ropes
Photo: Platto

Everybody can do a hanging desk, so why not add a stylish twist?

Depending on your talents and the amount of work you want to invest, you can either fix a plank of wood solely by hanging it from to (sturdy) hooks in the wall, or you can combine a table top mounted on hinges with (decorative) ropes or a clever pulley system and make the desk a foldable one that only gets folded down when needed.

Old Dresser and Table Legs

Old Dresser and Table Legs Desk
Photo: Livinator

Upcycling (and recycling) are not only current trends, but have a positive impact on the environment as well. If that’s not enough to convince you, just think about the money you save and the storage space you open up in your basement or attic by using things you already have lying around!

Match an old dresser with legs taken from an old table, fashion a desktop from some spare wooden planks or an old door, and you have a stylish, roomy desk with lots of storage space. 

Old Sewing Machine Table

Sewing Machine Table Legs Desk
Photo: Emmas Designblogg

Old sewing machine tables are a beauty to behold, and if you only need a small desk, just reusing them as they are is a great way to add a very unique desk to you office.

If you need more surface space to work on, however, you can fulfil your needs without losing out on style. Simply detach the original sewing machine table top and mount the legs to a desktop of your choice to have the best of two worlds, or, rather, eras! 

Wood Studs and Plywood

Workbench-Style DIY Desk
Photo: AnaWhite

Those of you feeling up to it can fashion stunning desks out of nothing more than a few wood studs and plywood boards (and a lot of screws and nails, probably).

One of the best-looking completely self-made office desks, in our humble opinion, is the workbench-inspired desk that looks simple great in its simplicity.  

Palletts

Pallet Desk
Photo: 101pallets

As is so often the case with pallets, the possibilities of fashioning DIY desks out of them are nearly endless.

We have seen small standing desks that barely hold more than a laptop, a coffee cup, and a lamp, and sprawling multi-workspace tables fashioned out of the handy, easy-to-lay-your-hands-on pallets. In other words: no matter what you need or how much available space you have, pallets are a great base for fashioning the perfect DIY desk for your home-office.