Greetings, lovely friends! It’s already Monday again?! Nothing like a little DIY project to get through the Monday blues! My project this week is simple but has already become a huge necessity to me. Do you ever find yourself eating, reading, or using your laptop in bed, without a sturdy place to set anything on? As an online-student, I do. A lot. That’s where this folding lap desk comes in – it’s the perfect solution!
With just $30, a few power tools and 2-3 hours, you can make one for yourself. Follow my step-by-step instructions below to find out how!
From the Hardware Store:
- (2) 6′ 1 x 2″ select pine boards
- 21 x 13 1/2″ sheet of 3/4″ plywood
- (4) 2 1/2″ bolts with nuts and washers
- Handle if desired
- Wood Glue
- Your choice of paint or stain
Tools You’ll Need:
- Compound Miter Saw
- Power Drill
- Kreg Jig Mini
- Tape Measure
- Eye Protection
Step One – Make Your Cuts
This project doesn’t take much in terms of saw-use. Above, you’ll see all the necessary cuts from your 1×2’s. All four legs will have a 15 degree angle on one end. The other end will be tapered by two 45 degree cuts to the center of the piece. I used 1/4″ bolts for my desk so I drilled 1/4″ holes at the tapered end of the legs.
Step 2 – Drill Pocket Holes
Something that I love about this project is that it takes minimal pocket holes. While they’re so easy, they can be tedious! I used my Kreg Jig Mini and followed the guide that came with it to drill pocket holes into each end of both 10 1/2″ and both 12″ 1×2’s.
Step 3 – Assemble Frame and Attach Top
I used a little bit of wood glue and 1 1/2″ pocket screws to attach the 12″ boards to the 21″ boards. This creates a frame for the plywood to attach to. Once the frame is assembled, drill holes the size of your bolts 1 3/4″ from the ends of the 21″ side of the frame – there will be two on each side.
To attach the plywood, I put a thin strip of wood glue on the entire perimeter of the frame. I then screwed 1 1/2″ wood screws directly into the top to secure it. If you’re planning to stain yours and want a less-visible option, you could use a combination of wood glue and finishing nails to attach the top. Since I painted mine, I was able to fill the screw holes with a little wood filler.
Step 4 – Assemble and Attach the Legs
You’ll use the remainder of your wood to assemble the legs. Attach the 10 1/2″ support pieces (with pocket holes facing the 15-degree-angled end) with a little wood glue and a 1 1/2″ pocket screw 3 inches from the end of the leg pieces. You can then place the legs into the frame and attach them with your bolts.
Step 5 – Finishing
Since I used screws to attach my plywood, I filled all the holes with paint-grade wood filler. Once it dried, I sanded the entire table with a 220 grit sand paper to smooth every surface. After sanding, be sure to wipe your project down with a damp cloth to remove any dust. I painted my table with 2 coats of a light blueish gray paint that we had leftover from when we bought our house.
For such a simple and inexpensive project, this thing is really something special. If you’re just getting started with DIY, this is a great beginner woodworking project to tackle! If you have any questions about how I made it, have a cool DIY idea or just want to say hey, feel free to leave a comment or head over to me “Contact Me” page!
Thank you for stopping by, friends! I hope to see you again soon 🙂