Picture of Desk Shelf
After months of propping up my monitor with books on a desk covered with clutter, I decided it was time for a solution.  Finally, I have storage for all that stuff on my desk, can actually access those books, and it's stylin' to boot!  My desk shelf measures roughly 32"x5", and has a 14" space underneath to accommodate the height of most books and magazines.

This is one of my first wood projects, so the construction is pretty basic.  I just used screws to create the frame, as I knew I they would be covered by the paper.  if you have any construction tips to add, please feel free to post in the comments.
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Step 1: What you Need

Picture of What you Need
I used mostly scrap to construct this (as pictured here), but if you are purchasing lumber you will need the following:

• 8 feet 1x10 (this is pretty exact, you might want to get more just in case)
• 3 feet thin board (1/8"-1/4" thick) 10" wide (for drawer bottoms and backs)
• screws and brads
• black high gloss paint
• decorative paper/poster for accent color
• 2 drawer pulls

For equipment, I used a table saw, circular saw, and drill.  Also the belt sander for when I had to fudge things to fit, which happened more than I'd like to admit.  I built it at the San Francisco TechShop, which is an open-access workshop, so it has pretty much every kind of tool on hand.

Step 2: Cut Wood for Main Body

Picture of Cut Wood for Main Body
Cut pieces for the main body of the desk shelf. 

From your 1x10, cut:
32" wide for main shelf piece
x2  7.5" wide pieces for bottom of drawer containers
x4  4.5" wide pieces for sides of drawer containers

And from your thin board, cut:
x2  9"x4.5" pieces of thin board for backing of drawer containers

For the drawer container pieces from the 1x10, you will then want to shave off the width of your thin board from their 10" measurement, to accommodate the width of the backing. 

te1017 months ago

This is brilliant im going to build this most definetely

tdaly21 year ago
so simple but it looks so legit, you would never know!!!
azharz2 years ago
Very Nice and Very good.
les_smith3 years ago
Thanks. I adjusted the dimensions so my laptop would fit underneath. Also, I made the supporting boxes big enough to hold sheets of paper, and did not build the drawers.
Is there any way to get the dimensions you used ? I am wanting to exactly what you did.
geoper23 years ago
Thanks thats actually pretty cool
Wonderful! Even tho i used half inch plywood ,a wobbly jigsaw, and some drawrs from an old desk.... It came out pretty good :D , Tho i'd have been better off with a table saw :C. I'll post pics when the paint drys tomorrow.
Great Idea! love it. Already Made plans for one to fit my needs. I'm gonna turn the book area to fit my keyboard and turn the drawers into speaker cabinets. I'll be building tomorrow. I'll post some pictures when I'm done. thanks!
Natalina (author)  andydrumer123 years ago
Awesome, can't wait to see it!
Finished! Started today at about 10am and Just got it all hooked up and done around 8pm. thanks So much for the idea! The speakers turned out so much better then I thought they would and they sound even better then before in the wood cabinet. Looks great with my set up too I must say. Love it.
Natalina (author)  andydrumer123 years ago
That looks great! Cool idea to integrate the speakers. Thanks for sharing!
ramhardikar3 years ago
Looks neat. Nicely done.
tpobrienjr3 years ago
Note that Home Depot (and other such places) has a "cutoff bin", where smaller pieces of leftover lumber are for sale very cheap. At HD, the bits are painted with a color code that indicates pricing. For example, a piece with one end painted yellow might be 50 cents, and a red one might be 75 cents. The cutoff bin is a good place to look first, but always carry your tape measure.
Thank you kindly.
Thanks for the protip!
Natalina (author)  tpobrienjr3 years ago
Thanks, that's a great tip.
chibimaddy3 years ago
This is wonderful. I love that you did it yourself and shared the instructions. I would like to make one too....probably never will though because I'm terrible with working with wood. But I'm envious of yours ;)
andrej3 years ago
Quite nice design. What do you hide in those drawers (it would be nice if the drawers are capable to carry CD)?

one design question: keyboard looks wider than space between the drawers. doesn't the drawers always hit the keyboard?
Natalina (author)  andrej3 years ago
Yeah the drawers are large enough to fit a dvd/cd case. You're right that the space between the drawers isn't big enough for my keyboard, I prefer having my keyboard in front so it wasn't an issue for me, but you could easily add a few more inches in the middle if you want to use that space for it.
andrej Natalina3 years ago
In fact I have notebook and external display at the work and I was wondering how to setup displays to look at them both. The display is vertically adjustable but not far enough to move the screen above my notebooks screen. Now it seems that the desk shelf could possibly solve my problem.
I think it could be nice to add pack panl and have some power outlets mounted on that desk shelf's back panel, Or maybe an big power distribution panel with 8 outlets.
sciencenut3 years ago
Great idea ! I am already starting a somewhat modified version to fit my needs, but you were the inspiration!
Natalina (author)  sciencenut3 years ago
tn.3 years ago
this is *stunning* - i love it! but a project like this is beyond my scope - i own a drill and a little cut-off pull-saw. it has, however, inspired me to create an instructable of my own ... um... after i check to make sure it's not already been done, of course, so i thank you very much!
trinity2243 years ago
Instant fave! This is *exactly* what I need -- using two old phone books presently. AND I just acquired some scrap lumber, & I have practically zero carpentry skills, lol!

This suits what I need perfectly, thanks much for posting!
ElvenChild3 years ago
Amazing!!! Gorgeous!!! Mac!!! What model number is that monitor and how big is it?
angelabchua3 years ago
splazem3 years ago
I need that.
tinker2343 years ago
wow no more books for my montior i will bulid one