Every time you go to Barnes and Nobles, or a similar bookseller with your kids, they typically keep looking at the lap desks. At least, every kid I've known does. A lap desk is, well, a lap desk, but what makes it so unique is the fact that it enables you to do homework anywhere; on your bed, at the movies, during a car ride, wherever, whenever. As kids get older and get more homework, this may become a better investment. However, it can be hard to break the bank of 20.00$ for a piece of plastic. Well, folks! Today, you'll learn how to make one that is equally as functional, and, not to mention, customizable, for under 5$!
WARNING! CAUTION! This project requires scissors or a knife/boxcutter, which can be sharp. Please use with caution and care. Children under 12 should be supervised while making this project! Thanks and be safe!
Step 1: Gather What You'll Need!!:)
The first thing you need to do is get the all so simple materials. You probably have most of them lying around somewhere in your house! You'll need:
~A large cardboard box or two
~A magnetic drawing board, or something in a nice shape to trace
~Scissors, box cutter, or a knife
~Two of the empty rolls of duct tape
Step 2: Opening the Box
The very first thing you'll need to do is break open your box. It should already be empty. If not, remove any items from inside the box, then flip it upside down. Peel off the tape, if it is a cheaper box. If it is a more expensive box and glued together, then just separate the flaps. You should be left with a ton of different pieces of cardboard, a couple of different sizes. They may or may not be attached. It doesn't matter now, but you will probably only use the big squares.
Step 3: Tracing Your Stencil
Now that we've opened the box up, choose one of the large pieces. It should be in the shape of a square. Place your stencil up on top of it and trace around the stencil with a pen. For my stencil, I chose one of those toddler magnetic drawing boards, and that made a nice shape.
Step 4: Cutting Out Your Piece
After you are happy with what you traced, go ahead and cut it out. I used scissors, but I would strongly recommend using some sort of box cutter or EXACTO knife. The scissors are hard to use to cut through cardboard, but it's possible, so just keep going!
Step 5: Duplicating...and Duplicating
After your piece is cut out, you'll need to make about 4-7 more of these, depending on how thick and strong you want your board to be. I used 5 pieces altogether, and that works quite well for me. But I would recommend using at least six boards total. Continue tracing and cutting until when you stack your pieces on top of each other, they reach the desired height. After the first board is done, you can now use that one to trace the others, so you aren't using that magnetic board or whatever the whole time!
Step 6: Securing
We need a way to secure all four boards together. At first, I was going to hot glue them all together, but then it occurred to me: when you write on cardboard, the cardboard lines make your handwriting funky, and that isn't so great for school assignments. So I decided, another great thing to use to bond or fix things is duct tape! To begin, take a long strip of duct tape and secure it around the top edge. Make sure the layers are bonded together. It doesn't matter whether it's messy or not--we'll go over it later. Continue around the edge until the whole edge is covered. Now the whole thing should stick together and not fall apart.
Step 7: Decorating/Personalizing
Now that your board is secure, go ahead and cover the rest up with duct tape. Try to be as neat as possible here--it will affect the smoothness of the surface for writing. Fix any bumps in the duct tape now. Once that is done, use ribbon, beads, anything to customize the lap desk. I decided not to do this because it looks better plain to me, but go ahead! Be creative!!
Step 8: Creating the Pencil Holder
Now our board is complete....but it's missing something! A pen and pencil holder! That'll finish it off! This is the trickiest part, so bare with me here. For this you'll need the 2-3 socks and the 2 duct tape rolls. Follow the steps below closely and follow the pictures for more guidance.
- Stuff the EMPTY duct tape roll into the bottom (toe) of the sock.
- Stuff another one in over it, and make sure they line up.
- Put the tube of the sock in the hole of the two rolls, so there is a hole.
- Add another sock or two for support.
Step 9: Attaching the Pencil Holder
All that's left to do is to attach the pencil holder to the desk. To do this, we will be using glue dots. Simply stick a bunch on the bottom of the holder, and stick it on the corner of the desk! MAGIC!!
Step 10: Final Thoughts...
I overall enjoyed making this project. I would just make sure I had enough duct tape in the future....I ended up running out, as in the beginning I had a different idea for the pencil holder. All in all, I think the desk works great and functions as it should...no flaws or anything! I have provided finished product pictures! I hope you enjoy this and try making it! IF you do make it, make sure to post a comment as an "I Made It!" I really want to see yours!! Have fun!