How to Build a Space-Saving Wall-Mounted Desk

The perfect petite workspace for a small home or apartment, this chic DIY desk drops down when you need it and folds away when you don’t.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

By: Cassidy Garcia

Watch How It's Made

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DIY Drop-Down Desk 02:04

A decorative cabinet doubles as a desk for a smart small-space solution.

Materials Needed

  • (2) 36” x 8” x 3/4" piece of wood
  • (3) 22.5” x 8” x 3/4" piece of wood
  • (1) 16” x 8” x 3/4" piece of wood
  • (1) 36” x 24” x 3/4” piece of wood
  • (6) decorative panels
  • (2) cabinet hinges and screws
  • (2) drop down hinges and screws
  • (8) wood screws
  • (2) magnetic latches and screws
  • measuring tape
  • framing square
  • wood glue
  • wood filler
  • sandpaper
  • paint in preferred color
  • paintbrush
  • drop cloth
  • drill/drill bit
  • pencil

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Build the Frame

Lay out both pieces of 36” x 8” x 3/4" wood parallel to one another on a sturdy surface.                                          

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Line up the two 22.5” x 8” x 3/4" pieces of wood at the ends to form a box.                             

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Use the framing square to align the corners, then measure and mark at 2” and 6” on the ends of the two longer boards.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Pre-drill holes at the marks, and then connect all four sides with wood screws.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

After building the outside frame, add the final 22.5” x 8” x 3/4" piece of wood in the center to create interior shelves. Then, attach the 16” x 8” x 3/4" piece of wood perpendicular to the center board with wood screws.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Attach Decorative Panels

Lay the decorative panels out on your 36” x 24” x 3/4" piece of wood (which will be the desk’s door) to create your preferred design before gluing them down.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Paint the decorative panels in your chosen color and set them aside to dry.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Paint the door and desk frame and allow to dry thoroughly.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Glue Decorative Panels to Door

Use wood glue to adhere the decorative panels to the door. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before moving the door.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Attach Hardware to Frame and Desk Door

Flip the door over so the decorative panels are facing down, then line up the frame on top of it. 

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Connect the bottom side of the door to the inside of the frame using the two cabinet hinges. Attach the hinges with eight wood screws each, pre-drilling holes first.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Next, connect the door to the frame using drop down hinges.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Line up the hinge with the bottom right side of the door and frame. Mark with a pencil where you’ll need to pre-drill holes for your wood screws. 

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Pre-drill at each mark and then use two wood screws to attach. Repeat all for the left side.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Place magnet hardware on the right top corner of the inside of the door. Repeat this step on the left side.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Attach the magnet latch to the inside of the desk frame to align with the magnet hardware on the door.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Close the door to the desk and mount it to the wall with sufficient hardware for the weight of the project.

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

This wall-mounted desk looks like a stylish piece of art when closed, and serves as an ideal small-space work station when open. 

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

Photo by: Cassidy Garcia Photography

Cassidy Garcia Photography

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