Instructables
Picture of Wall Desk and Bookshelves
IMG_2580.JPG
IMG_2583.JPG
IMG_2607.JPG
IMG_2584.JPG
IMG_2587.JPG
IMG_2588.JPG
IMG_2589.JPG
IMG_2590.JPG
IMG_2593.JPG
IMG_2594.JPG
IMG_2597.JPG
This is my first instructable on how I made a wall desk with bookshelves for my young son's room. It was inexpensive, fairly easy and does not involve bulky furniture. It is adjustable so as he gets bigger, the desk top can move up. The project cost was approximately $90 and I did on a Saturday. I put finish on the wood after installing it on a Sunday. Total time about 4 hours. The only power tool needed is a power miter saw. Borrow one if you don't have. Many have these now. You don't need a table saw. Just get it cut down at Home Depot or Lowes. The cut panels are easier to bring home in a small car too.

Why make an instructable on this?
I got the idea after seeing Wall units by Elfa at The Container Store, but Elfa is very expensive and out of my budget.
Also, Ron Hazelton has a similar wall unit DIY project, but requires lots of work and custom jig making.
Hopefully this will help others in looking for desk alternatives to furniture.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Get your materials

Picture of Get your materials
IMG_2593.JPG
While Home Depot or Lowes sells premade shelving, they do not have shelves that are 20" wide, which you will need for the desk. Also, I wanted to have a thicker edge to give the appearance of of thicker desktop and shelf. The 3/4" thick shelves look a bit flimsy and cheap.

But a 4x8 sheet of melamine plywood and have it cut down as follows:
(1) 20" x 5' piece
(2) 12" x 5" pieces
1st 2 cuts free + 2 cuts x .50 = $1
Total Cost = $28.76

- Buy the double slot closet maid wall mounts 48" (part #107716). Closet maid makes 3 kinds: 1 for garage (dark gray), 1 for closets (white) and 1 economy style. I chose the economy style. It is just as solid as the others.
- Buy (3) 18.5" brackets (part #239969) for the desk and (6) 11" brackets (part #107941) for the shelves.
- Buy (5) pieces of 1x2x6 select pine
Total cost = $61.42

You may need to buy (4) wall toggle bolts for the middle wall mount.

This is the wall where the shelf will be installed.
napoleana2 years ago
I took inspiration from this when I replaced by cheap, flimsy desk with a space saving one that was made sturdier by being attached to the wall. My Dad looked at my ideas, went shopping with me, and built it for me in the course of a couple weeks. He'd have probably been able to do it in 2-3 days if he'd hadn't other projects and a long work schedule, and most of that was waiting for paint and sealant to dry. Heavy-duty drywall anchors were used to secure it. I just thought I'd share mine for some additional ideas. :)

(Before this desk was built, we also put a very long bookshelf over my door and closet, with pine board and the same shelf brackets, but with the brackets installed on top of the board instead of below, so that spacing them with the doorways wouldn't be an issue.)

And yes, I'm in my 20s. And that's a rabbit pen next to the desk. I *think* the desk was around $30 in materials.
230392_948159593795_38410211_42825801_6955390_n.jpeg
DaveNJ (author)  napoleana2 years ago
Nice job! Thanks for posting a picture.
- Dave
 Great idea and plan. I bet it would work with fir strips on the edges butted on the corners as well;  I think I'll use some plywood for mine.
jgmaciasf5 years ago
well done!!! i like this idea, im planning on combining this with another instructable i saw called table for electronic dreams... i'm planning on doin dis on my room, d desk will have d electronic dreams thing... im also planning on covering the space between shelves with some whiteboard or bulletin board or something, wood... etc... so the metal things wont be viewable and for giving it a nicer view... i can also decorate it :P nice done! good idea! i will deffinitely do this in my bedroom :P
lodeke105 years ago
finally! I have been searching for this type of desk for ages! i would like something like this to put my piano and books on. in the beginning of your instructions you mentioned something about that you could buy something similar at Elfa. do you still know the link for that exact desk? do you know anything similar that i could buy? thanks, lode
DaveNJ (author)  lodeke105 years ago
Lode - thanks for the comment. Check this link for Elfa products. Don't know about anything else. I try to make what I need rather than buying.

http://www.containerstore.com/elfa/index.jhtml;jsessionid=NQ2AMB0UZL5LDQFIAIMCM44AVABBSJVC
Mr. Rig It6 years ago
Would love to see you add this to my new group.
Hope to see you there.
Home Repair, Refurbishment, and New Projects
oibrownskin6 years ago
excellent idea. I will be using this when I move into my first house. I have a desk now that I use and I hate it. the adjustability is fantastic. excellent instructables, only thing I need is a router, or maybe substitute some moulding like quarter round or wainscotting cap moulding for the sides of the melamine, what do you think? Caesar
DaveNJ (author)  oibrownskin6 years ago
Great. Sure, molding would work fine. I would recommend using something at least 1" to give the appearance of a thicker board. Also, make sure you get the double pronged brackets and wall mounts. Mine is solid as a rock. I can sit on my desktop and I am 165 lbs! The single prong brackets are not strong enough.
monument6 years ago
Wonderfully simple design. Though, I can't help but imagine myself falling asleep from hours of homework, slumped over the desk when all of a sudden the whole desk snaps off from my bodyweight leaning on it.
DaveNJ (author)  monument6 years ago
It is much stronger than you would think. Remember, the double pronged supports are being used. The single pronged version would be a bit too flimsy.
I agree it looks nice but I think it may not be strong enough for many people to utilize.
Really awesome job.
I just recently put a desk in my room because I needed it to work and stuff, if I do just the desk in this Instructable, off with my desk!
Awesome job.