Introduction: £50 Craft Table / Computer Desk + Cheap Shelves

Picture of £50 Craft Table / Computer Desk + Cheap Shelves

So here goes, my first instructable! (Go easy on me)

Over Xmas I decided to make use of a room at home that previously just stored junk.

As the title states, the materials for the table/desk came in at less than £50! I used 9x lengths of 2.4m cls stud work timber @£3 a length and one large sheet (cut in 4 in store) of mdf @£18 from b&q (shop around! I have since learned that Wickes do 10 lengths of the cls timber for £20 so it could have been a total of £38!)

This is not going to be a massively in depth instructable, I am just writing it to show what can be achieved without breaking the bank but am happy to answer any questions at the end.

Also, when I bought the mdf, I thought I'd need more than what I did and the second sheet made the shelves I've added pictures of (the cost of them is another sheet of mdf @ £18.

Step 1: Tools

You don't actually need many tools. Here's a list -

Necessary are -

A wood saw
A workbench or trestle (for cutting wood on)
A set square
A pencil/pen
A screwdriver (electric if possible)
A drill
A spirit level
A tape measure

Optional are -

A jigsaw
Hole saws for drilling large holes for cabling
A masonry drill and bits for fixing things to the wall
Wood glue (for making the whole thing stronger)
A circular saw (would have saved me a lot of time!)

Step 2: Build a Sturdy, Level Frame

Picture of Build a Sturdy, Level Frame

For this table, cost and practicality were all I really thought about.

It isn't made of nice wood, it isn't going to be painted or varnished or stained, it's going to get used! It has to function as a table to mount a computer on and use a workspace for my whole family (so nice and sturdy with no sharp edges).

My first design was based around me buying 3 small sheets of mdf and arranging them in an L shape. This was before I realised I could get 8 sheets cheaper by buying two larger sheets and getting them cut in 4! Result! What I'm getting at is that a little time spent thinking about what sort of design you want to go for to fit your room/accommodate your needs before you buy/cut anything is well worth it!

I wanted a good size table combined with a practical computer desk. I also wanted to incorporate some storage but make sure that I left an opening at the table and the desk for my legs whilst sitting in a chair. It had to fit in the room but also had to be made from material sizes that were readily available.

Anyway, you get my point.

Think what you want.
Have a look at materials on a website / in store.
Design / build a sturdy frame.

This whole thing is just screwed together. Most of the cuts are just straight 90 degree cuts. I'm no carpenter but I took a little time with a spirit level and a tape measure and the result is pretty good.

The only real advice I could give is - take your time and pilot drill for your screws through the first piece of timber with a bit around the same diameter as body of the screws.

Step 3: Top It Off

Picture of Top It Off

Next step is to top it off with some lovely mdf (maybe cut into a nice shape)

Step 4: Use Your Leftovers to Make More Furniture

Picture of Use Your Leftovers to Make More Furniture

After using less mdf than I thought, I decide to knock up some shelving to go under the window.

This whole thing cost £18 plus a few screws and fits in perfectly!


petegarratt1 made it! (author)2016-01-29

Thanks for the idea and plans Gadgetman87. Here are a couple of pics of mine that I have made using similar plans to yours. I actually painted mine using a primer first then a black paint. Looks really good thanks.

jdhitc (author)petegarratt12017-07-05

how did you do that curve?

Gadgeman87 (author)jdhitc2017-07-06

If I remember correctly I used a piece of string and a pencil to draw the curve then cut it with a jigsaw and finished it off with a sand

Gadgeman87 (author)petegarratt12017-07-06

Yeah, looks ace painted ?

Gadgeman87 (author)petegarratt12016-01-30

No worries Pete! Looks great!

Leathaldose (author)2016-01-08

I really like this design, this would be perfect for my craft area, i have a small room and i need a separate desk for computer and crafting.

Gadgeman87 (author)Leathaldose2016-01-09

Thanks, we've used it loads already! The height of our worktop is 740mm and that seems to work ok

Leathaldose (author)2016-01-08

Nice instructable, whats the height on the legs?

Gadgeman87 (author)2016-01-07

Got some posters in the frames now too

cheflin3 (author)2016-01-06

Great job, great space, you did a great job on the room as well as this instructable.

Gadgeman87 (author)cheflin32016-01-07

Thanks! I can't take all the credit for the rest of the room unfortunately. The family handprints were the wife's idea. We're really happy with it though ?

Just4Fun Media (author)2016-01-06

Great design, you definitely utilize every inch of available space! How long did it take to build?

Have a great day! :-)

Thanks very much! I'd say it maybe took around 3 days all together but I'm not the fastest worker and the process could have definitely been sped up with the use of a circular saw. I made all the cuts except for the radius on the corner of the mdf with a hand saw. The shelves weren't too bad, I designed and built them in an evening. Worked out really well as all I had left over at the end was a piece of mdf about half a metre square.

Gadgeman87 (author)2016-01-06

Thanks guys!

imcp1024 (author)2016-01-06

Thank you, I love what you've done with the place.

Tqid (author)2016-01-06

Great room! Looking to do something like this myself. You have inspired me to get designing. Thanks

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