20 DIY Computer Desk Ideas and Plans: Simple, Cheap, and Homemade Workspaces

DIY desk wood workstation

20 DIY Computer Desk Ideas and Plans: Simple, Cheap, and Homemade Workspaces

Key Points

  • Iron pipes can be used to mount a computer desk to the wall, offering a sturdy and industrial workspace.
  • Shelving brackets make a cheap option for a fold-down workspace if you are limited on space.
  • File cabinets can easily be repurposed into the base for a full-size DIY computer desk.
  • A floating desk can add a sleek modern element to any office space by mounting 2x4s to the wall.
  • A corner desk can provide an efficient work area by using a small rectangular piece of wood and triangular brackets.

You gaze upon the myriad of boring displays at yet another big box store that just doesn’t understand your unique needs when it comes to your workspace. You’re not a cookie-cutter person, so why pay those cookie-cutter prices? Building out your own DIY computer desk can provide the solution to having a dedicated workspace that suits you and also appeases your wallet. If you’re not sure where to start, keep reading for 20 ideas that are sure to get those wheels turning.

#1: Wall Mounted with Iron Pipe

Iron Pipes give the space a sturdy and industrial feel.

Iron pipes are a great solution to mount a computer desk directly to the wall and they offer a sturdy area for you to work with an added industrial flare. There are several ways to use this method — you might choose to use a straight pipe at a 45-degree angle, a 90-degree bend, or multiple pipes extending from the wall supporting the underside of the tabletop. Every arrangement involves a few simple and affordable products, including the pipe, fittings, and surface of your choosing. 

#2: Fold-Down Shelf Style 

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If you are limited in terms of space and looking to add a DIY Computer Desk to your area, shelving brackets make a cheap option for a fold-down workspace. The mounts can not support as much weight as a traditional table with legs, so this simple idea is best for those who intend to only work from a laptop or small monitor. 

The brackets cost on average $30 and come in various sizes and colors, so you’re likely to find the ones that best suit your needs.

#3: File Cabinet Repurpose 

Start off with an office vibe by using filing cabinets as part of your desk.

File cabinets are an abundant and unassuming piece of office equipment that you can easily repurpose into the base for a full-size workspace. If you don’t have a couple readily available, you can easily find them at thrift stores at a budget-friendly price. 

If you don’t have a desktop, you can grab a piece of plywood at your local hardware store and get it cut to size. Use one cabinet on either end of your desk space, maybe a third in the middle for support depending on the length of your desktop, and you’re done!

#4: Floating Desk

Stop wasting that previously unused recess by turning it into your new desk.

A floating desk is a good way to use a recessed area in your house or add a sleek modern element to any office space. This will require 2x4s that get mounted to the studs in your wall with the desktop being placed on top. You can also secure or build around the 2×4 mounts if you wish to hide them completely. 

#5: Corner Desk 

If you don’t need a full-time desk, use a corner table instead.

A corner desk is an efficient way to provide a dedicated work area if you don’t require the use of it full time, since the space can be limited. You can DIY this desk by purchasing or thrifting a small rectangular piece of wood and using a square and circular saw to cut the piece to a snug fit. Add triangular brackets, 2×4 support, or even legs underneath to complete your project. 

#6: L-Shape Computer Desk

Don’t let yourself get limited by rectangular desks. Use the whole corner.

A large L-shaped DIY computer desk doesn’t need to be intimidating if you have a few 2x4s, wood screws, and a tabletop ready to go. It’s all about getting the measurements required for your space and creating a frame that will allow the desk to be attached to the legs. This design allows for an expansive space and will support a good deal of weight. 

#7: Upcycle Thrifted Desk

Just because someone else has moved on doesn’t mean you should do the same. Reuse to save a tree.

A simple and earth-friendly way to create a beautiful workspace that matches your aesthetic perfectly is upcycling a previously manufactured computer desk. Oftentimes, you can find an older-style desk at a thrift store or yard sale for pennies on the dollar. Pick up some sandpaper, paint, and new hardware to give a cheap find a complete makeover!

#8: Repurposed Door with Hairpin Legs

Old doors are an abundant material at second-hand shops and material centers. They also make a cheap alternative to a desktop when operating on a budget. Simply find some table legs that come to the correct height (hairpin legs are great for this) and screw them onto the door! Flip over, and voilà, a five-minute DIY computer desk!

#9: Pallet Wood Desk

Pallet wood might be one of the easier things to find. If you ask, many companies will either give you pieces of pallet wood for free or at a very cheap price. In addition to the pallets, grab some wood screws and a drill to assemble a straightforward workspace that costs little to nothing. Pallets can have breakage or splinters, so be sure to sand down any rough areas and seal it if you’d like a nice finished product. 

#10: IKEA Drawers into Desk

Add more storage to your DIY computer desk by using low-cost drawer units from IKEA to aid you in organization. Two of these units paired with a butcher block countertop or even one of their cheaper Formica countertops will allow you to have a homemade workspace while still spending less than you would on a full desk. 

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Creating a cool, functional DIY desk doesn’t have to be a daunting task!


#11: Triangle Bracket Mounted 

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Triangular brackets make mounting a table to the wall simple, allowing you to achieve a minimal look for your desk that you can set at any height. You can find them for little cost, setting you back about $50 for a pack of eight, although you may not even need that many. You can couple them with a recycled tabletop or plywood for a budget solution. Live-edge wood could be a beautiful addition to this DIY project. 

#12: Old Hutch-Turned Desk

Think outside the box and turn an old hutch into a workspace with built-in storage and perhaps a fold or slide-out table. This project might require some searching if you don’t have a hutch lying around. Once you find one, easily give it a new life by recycling it into your new desk. You can even get creative with paint or wallpaper to renew the outdated piece of furniture. 

#13: Full Wall Shelving Brackets

Use your wall space to its full potential with adjustable metal brackets. With this method, you can choose to customize where you want any shelves and your workstation to go and you also have the freedom to change it whenever you want. This DIY space allows for flexibility while also being functional. 

#14: Simple Fold Up Desk 

An alternative to the space-saving folding bracket desk is a sleek surface that folds down, utilizing other materials such as chain, rope, or wire. This style of desk has anchor points higher on the wall for the support material. Then it connects to holes or D-rings on the surface, allowing it to fold up and anchor to the wall. You may choose to add a hinge to your desk to reinforce the folding motion. 

#15: Barstool Recycle

If you’re looking for table legs, consider recycling another piece of furniture you already have. Barstools can make for great DIY computer desk legs when positioned on either end of the table and secured with wood screws. Similar to a sawhorse, the barstools provide plenty of support for bearing down on the surface. 

#16: Cinder Block Desk

Have some spare cinderblocks from your last garden project? Don’t throw them out. Use them here, instead.

Creating a homemade workspace can prove straightforward; cheap building materials like cinder blocks provide a unique area for work. Stack the cider blocks and simply set your surface on top for an easy way to create a desk in little time. Use construction adhesive on the underside of your desk, where it meets the cinder blocks, for a more secure bond. 

#17: Sawhorse Style Desk

Sawhorses can be surprisingly useful.

A computer desk made with old upcycled sawhorses can introduce a farmhouse feel into your decor. For a uniform look, sand down, and paint the saw horses to your liking, then place them at a distance large enough for your office chair and place the tabletop directly onto them. Join the two with wood screws and glue to secure them as one piece of furniture. 

#18: Nightstand Kids Desk 

A work area for kids is a great way to make a designated spot for focus and creativity alike. Repurpose one of their nightstands into one end of the desk space. Then, use a wood or composite surface of your choice and a 2×4 to support the other end. Add some chalk paint for added fun!

#19: Steel Pipe Standing Desk

This easily assembled, free-standing desk will give your workspace a busy, utilitarian feel.

Iron pipe is a versatile material, especially if you have a way of cutting it down to custom lengths. Easily create a personalized workspace with the pipe and fittings. Just screw them together and then mount a wooden or composite desktop. The heavy metal base can support a substantial load, making it highly versatile. 

Pro Tip: Consider a soft felt for the bottom of the feet to protect the flooring. 

#20: Milk Crate Desk

Milk crates tend to sit around and collect dust or find themselves stacked and tucked away in an attic. Reuse those crates to make a computer desk with an eclectic feel. Stack them to your preferred height, lay your surface across, and you’re done!

Idea: Double the crates as additional storage space.

Get Inspired

With a bit of ingenuity, anyone can have a DIY computer desk. Using found or thrifted materials is a great way to curate a beautiful custom workspace for cheap. Homemade is the way to go when you keep in mind your specific needs and wants for your area. Which creative desk solution would you give a try?

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to build a DIY computer desk?

The cost of building a DIY computer desk can vary widely based on the materials used, design complexity, and location. On average, it might range from $50 to $300, with expenses potentially increasing if high-quality materials or specialized features are desired.

What is the best material for building a DIY computer desk?

Plywood is often considered a cost-effective and versatile choice for building a DIY computer desk, offering stability and ease of customization. However, if durability and a more refined look are priorities, hardwood such as oak or maple could be a better option, though it may be pricier.

Are Ikea desks good?

Ikea desks are generally considered decent options for affordable and functional furniture. While they might not offer the highest level of durability or customization compared to more expensive alternatives, they can be suitable for many people’s needs, especially for basic setups.

What is the best size for a DIY computer desk?

The best size for a DIY computer desk depends on your available space and intended use. However, a common recommendation is a width of at least 48 inches (122 cm) to accommodate a monitor, keyboard, and workspace comfortably, while the depth should be around 24 to 30 inches (61 to 76 cm) to allow for ample work area without becoming too bulky.

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