Friday, October 18, 2013

DIY Folding Desk

Today begins the first build of a new series, Handmade Holiday.
I teamed up with Ana White to create all new gift plans for you to build, one new plan every Friday.

We're starting now so you have time to build all those gifts for this holiday season!

Handmade Holiday: build a folding desk

Use Ana's plans to build this portable folding desk for anyone on your gift list this year.

Of course it's perfect for kids who always want a hard surface to work on:

Ana designed the plans so the legs fold flat into the back of the tray, making the desk easy to carry and store:

I added personalization onto these trays using acrylic paint:

And the mitered legs allow the desk to sit level to the ground and also make a perfect spot to pull the legs up and out:

How to build a folding desk:

1. Using Ana's plans and cut the lumber:

2. Assemble legs:

3. Drill hole at top of each leg:

4. Attach legs to frame:

5. The top point of each leg should attach slightly below the top edge of the frame to allow for movement:

6. Cut 1/4" plywood top to fit, glue and nail in place.

7. Print out desired name, I used American Typewriter font at 225 point for this long name:

8. Center print out on desk surface:

9. Using a ballpoint pen trace around letters with lots of pressure:

The pressure of the pen creates an indent in the wood giving you an outline for painting:

10. Paint inside the indent with acrylic craft paint:

11. For the border detail simply tape off the edge:

12. Paint in between the tape:

13. Seal top surface with clear satin poly:

Don't forget to check back next Friday for another Handmade Holiday gift build plan.


  1. What a great idea for a series! I am looking forward to all your projects.

  2. I love these little desks! They would also work nicely for breakfast in bed.

  3. Love the folding tray! I think I need to make one asap for myself!

  4. Love the folding tray! I think I need to make one asap for myself!

  5. Ciao Jaime..... mi chiamo Gio vivo in Italia...sono giunta a te grazie a Pinterest....complimenti per il tuo ottimo blog ,mi piacciono molto i tuoi lavori...da oggi ti seguo
    buon fine settimana

  6. How do you do the lettering? Why kind of program do you use?

  7. Super cute idea! I'm hosting a fall wreath giveaway that you should enter!