Build An Easy Space Saving Student Desk

small simple desk in white room
  • 3-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-100
What You'll Need
MDF board (1/2 or ¾" thick and 2' by 4').
1" x 2" piece of lumber - 2' to 3' long (for a ledger board)
2- 28" legs
Screws and screwdriver to attach the ledger board and legs
Power drill and drill bits to attach ledger board and drill holes for computer cables
What You'll Need
MDF board (1/2 or ¾" thick and 2' by 4').
1" x 2" piece of lumber - 2' to 3' long (for a ledger board)
2- 28" legs
Screws and screwdriver to attach the ledger board and legs
Power drill and drill bits to attach ledger board and drill holes for computer cables

Kids at college are often in shared accommodations with limited living space, so traditional furniture may not be the best option for their lifestyle. However, all students need a desk or at least a work surface, if for nothing more than to pile their books and clothes on. Here's an idea for an easy-to-make, space-saving desk that you can modify to suit virtually any sized living space. It provides a good-sized workspace, doesn't require any special tools or advanced woodworking skills, and when it's time to move, it's easy to take apart. Plus, as a bonus, one person can carry the desk.

Building Your Space-Saving Desk

Cut (or have cut) a piece of MDF to 2x4. In reality, you can cut the board to any size, but 2x4 is a good-sized working surface, and it is easily accommodated using standard dimension building materials. It's also manageable for one person to carry, and your local lumberyard or home store can probably cut it to size for you if you don't have the necessary equipment.

small wood desk with study materials

Since standard desks are 28" - 29" high, get two 28-inch attachable legs at your home store.

Using the legs themselves as a template, mark the underside of the MDF board for the legs, then predrill the holes to attach them and install the legs into the predrilled holes on the underside of the board.

Go to the wall and measure up to 28". This height is where the top of the ledger board will sit.

Try to find at least one stud in the wall behind the ledger board (you can use wall anchors or Molly bolts if you can't find studs). Then, install the ledger board with its top at the 28" height.

After attaching the legs, turn the board right side up and rest the back edge against the wall sitting on top of the ledger board. You can put a screw down through the back edge of the MDF into the ledger board to hold it firmly in place.

Finally, drill a hole through the board's top to allow computer cables and lamp cords to be passed through the desktop. You could also drill some other small holes to allow air circulation from under the desk.

That's it. Your knock-down desk is complete. You can paint it to match the 'décor' and protect the surface or leave it as is.

When it's time to move on, all you need to do is reverse the process, patch the holes in the wall and pick up the pieces of your student's desk.

Note: If space is really at a premium, you can modify this desk plan so the desktop attaches to the ledger board with hinges and hinged legs so they can fold down. With these modifications, the desk can be folded up against the wall and stored out of the way until it's needed. When it's needed, all you have to do is bring down the desktop and open the legs.