Homemade desk

In our bedroom we have a bit of a space issue. The issue is that there's too much space. When you've only got 750 square feet of apartment it kind of sucks to have so much dedicated to a bedroom. But with Liz starting grad school I thought it would be good for her to have some space away from the living room to study.

Homemade desk

We had recently bought two Ikea Billy bookshelves and put them up on either side of the main window in our bedroom. I got the idea that I could build a desk that mounted into the window frame and was bookended by the bookshelves.

Liz picked out a set of drawers from Ikea, the Vika Alex. I would use two of those, plus the window frame, which was roughly the same height, as a three side base for the desk. Then we went to Home Depot and bought a giant piece of press board to be the desk top.

desk top materials

I cut the wood shallower at two ends to make it fit the window sill interior width of 68". Then I sanded it with some course sand paper. Using mini wax black stain I applied two coats, one before and one after the Giants game. Once that was dry, I mounted it onto the drawer units using two inch screws. I sort of guessed where to drill, hoping I wouldn't hit any of the screws in the drawer units.

Once the board was screwed in at the corners I put a couple one inch nails in to the interior sides of the drawer units for good measure. Then I slid the whole thing into the window sill, which is when I saw I had the half inch gap.

To finish it out I needed to do three last things. Firstly, I needed easy access to electricty for a lamp and Liz's Macbook power cord. I mounted a power strip on the underside of the board. It was really easy, and almost all power strips have a mounting brackets on the back.

created at: 10/03/2010

Second, I needed to sand it one last time with a nice smooth sandpaper. I used 800 grain, which is almost like regular paper. It really gave the desk top a nice smooth finish.

created at: 10/03/2010

The last part was making two drawers into one filing drawer. We have a file cabinet that we inherited, and it's too big and clunky. I took out the rods that came with it to use for our new file drawer. Next I took the fronts off the drawers and bracketed them together, so that they would function as one. Then I took out the bottom of the top drawer in the setso it would open into the one below. Then I drilled four places to fit the filing rods in on the sides of the top drawer, and sort of forced the rods in until they caught in the holes. I put the fronts of the drawers back on and put the files in. Done.

created at: 10/03/2010

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Cat on Nov 08, 2015:

This is a brilliant hack! I have been looking for a way to get some hanging files with storage on the top and it's been very didficult to find. One question I have is this: how easily do the drawers slide once they are attached together?

Jenni on Dec 11, 2014:

Oh my God, nevermind, I'm an idiot. LOL


Jenni on Dec 11, 2014:

I have the same drawers and love this idea.  How did you get the drawer faces off?  I have been trying to figure out how to take the whole drawer out to do it but I can't get it out.  Help! =)


Anonymous on Dec 08, 2013:

Hi there, Love the work you did - so nice!  I was wondering what is the depth of the top from back to front? Thank you! 

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