About: Easy and affordable DIY projects and ideas.

This kiddies desk or storage table and chairs is actually quite simple to make and looks stunning once painted with Rust-Oleum in shades of blue. The desk lid lifts up and offers a nice storage space for toys or craft and painting supplies. - See more at:

Step 1:

1 X 16mm mdf  250 x 500mm - chair back  
1 x 16mm mdf  218 x 250mm - chair front  
2 x 16mm mdf  250 x 250mm - chair top/bottom  
2 x 16mm mdf    50 x 250mm - chair supports  
1 x 16mm mdf  400 x 600mm - table top  
1 x 16mm mdf  300 x 600mm - table base  
2 x 16mm mdf  284 x 600mm - table front/back  
2 x 16mm mdf  284 x 268mm - table sides  

3,5 x 30mm wood screws
16mm wood screws
Wood glue
Wood filler
4 legs
120-, 240-grit sanding pads
400-grit sandpaper
Rust-Oleum 2X in two colours
Piano hinge
Drill/Driver plus assorted bits
Countersink bit
Orbital sander
Tape measure and pencil
Optional: Corner clamps

Step 2:

Assemble chair

At the front of the top and bottom sections pre-drill two 2mm pilot holes and countersink.

Drill the holes 30mm from each edge.

On the top and bottom of the front sections measure in 30mm from the edges and drill pilot holes.

Step 3:

If you are working on your own corner clamps come in handy for holding the sections together.

Place the front panel between the top and bottom and drive screws through the pre-drilled holes.

Make sure the screw head is below the surface, as you will fill this with wood filler later on to conceal.

Step 4:

On the back section measure and make a line at 16mm, 235mm and 250mm. Use these guides to pre-drill 2mm pilot holes and countersink.

Place the back section on top of the assembled seat section and drive screws through the back. Again, make sure that the screw heads are below the surface for filling in later on.

Step 5:

Pre-drill 2mm pilots holes and countersink to attach the supports to the base of the chair.

Note: Don't apply too much pressure to prevent going through the board on the other side.

Step 6:

Assemble the desk

Pre-drill and countersink the front, back and sides in exactly the same way that you did for the chair.

Place the base accurately on top of the sides to pre-drill 2mm countersunk pilot holes before screwing the base to the sides.

Step 7:

Position each leg 20mm away from the edge and attach to the base with 16mm screws.

Attach all four legs in exactly the same way.

Step 8:

Fill screw holes with wood filler and let dry. Sand any uneven edges with 120-grit sandpaper and then go over this with 240-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.

Note: Pay particular attention to the cut edges, as these quickly absorb any paint if not sanded smooth.

Apply an undercoat of slightly watered down acrylic paint to all surfaces. Let dry and then sand with 400-grit sandpaper. Wipe clean.

I used some old cans of Rust-Oleum American Accents spray paint that I still had, but Rust-Oleum now have their 2X range and an amazing selection of colour combinations.

If you prefer, you could also paint with acrylic paint, but I love the silky smooth and brush-stroke free finish that spray paint gives.

Step 9:

Once the paint is dry you can use 16mm screws to attach the paino hinge to the back of the desk lid and cabinet.

If the piano hinge doesn't have holes that go right to the edge, use a 3mm HSS bit to drill holes for secure fastening down of the piano hinge.

Step 10:

To prevent the lid of the desk from tipping back, it's safer to add a hinge or strap to secure the lid. I screwed a piece of nylon rope (tied with a knot a both ends) to the underside of the desk and inside of the desk.

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    18 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Just to let you know, the table and chairs were donated to a pre-school much in need of furniture for their toddlers. It has been in use now for over a year and the only change I would make would be to round-off the corners a bit more. I used 16mm MDF and it has stood up very well to the everyday demands of young children. But I do agree with a slow-closing hinge mounted on this lid.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    First of all, the design is simple yet interesting.

    MDF is fine for furniture, I have plenty of MDF cabinets here in my office. They are flat, easy to install and much cheaper than hard wood plus sustainable.

    However, being constructive, I think the table is fine but a slow closer like 2blonde suggested is a good idea.

    But the chairs, with "the greatest destruction force on earth", our kids, these chairs are not good enough. The force, if coming from top down, the chairs could last some time but it they lean on the chair's back, the force comes from the front, the chair would collapse. The screws will not be able to hold the pieces together as they will pull out. MDF is too soft for screw, lock kits are a bit better. Then, it is a real threat to put into consideration.

    One more thing is MDF is not water resistant, so don't let water anywhere near them or they will just swell like a piece of bread soaking in water.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great instructable. My only addition would be to use child safe slow closing safety hinges on the inside rather than a strip of material or rope. That way it would close slowly and little hands wouldn't get smashed when you close the lid.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    It looks that MDF has been used in this project. It is not a recommended material to build furniture.

    5 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    There's absolutely no reason why you cannot use MDF. Today's policy for manufacturing formaldehyde-free product means it is safe. And since MDF is manufactured from pulp fibers, it's also fairly sustainable.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    The reason MDF is not recommended for building furniture is that it does not take screws very well. I never brought up the safety issue, that was someone else.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    If you drill pilot holes MDF is stronger than most other materials.

    I really like the idea of this storage table. In school, we used to have it for the art and craft room where art students are able to store all of their art tools and papers inside without disturbing the surface of the table which also acts as their workspace. An additional feature of this DIY table and chair is the fact that it is customizable which makes it even more practical.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    +1 Maybe the edges should be rounded with a router. I would also add some padding on the chairs.


    5 years ago

    Actually MDF is safe once it is built,. The only time is it is toxic is when it is being machined. It gives off formaldehyde and carcinogens in high concentrations. But once it has been finished it is completely safe. Pretty much the only caution is when building a project; When cutting and sanding a mask should be worn and all cut edges should be sealed. With minor safety precautions medium density fibreboard will make amazing furniture and will outlast particle board.