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How to Make a Folding Desk Shelf

This folding desk will allow you to have a small office anywhere in your home. A shelf desk is affordable and easy to make yourself!

DIY Folding Desk Cloffice

I do not have the extra space in my home for an office, so I started thinking of where I could add a small shelf desk.

My master bedroom has a decent size walk-in closet, so I added this folding desk in my closet.

Since I mounted this folding desk is in my closet, you would call this office a, “cloffice”.

folding desk

Working in my cloffice isn’t so bad because it is really quiet and it is the only place that I can work uninterrupted.

I have 2 toddler boys running around, so my cloffice is a nice little escape if I need to get a couple of things done.

Getting Started With the Floating Desk

To get started with your floating desk, you should figure out where you want to hang the desk shelf.

If you can find a spot near a window or a place where there is plenty of lighting that would be best.

Since I am only using my desk for a couple of hours at a time, turning my closet into a cloffice was the best option.

So, if you are only planning to sit at this desk for a couple of hours then a cloffice could work for you too.

Now that you figured where to hang your shelf desk, you can mount the folding shelf brackets.

The folding desk is best suited for a laptop, as the folding shelf bracket only support a max of 130lbs.

A max weight of 130lbs is plenty of support for holding laptop and resting your wrists on the the desk.

floating desk

Designing Your Folding Shelf Desk

I recommend using a good quality 1-2 inch piece of wood as the top of this folding shelf desk.

Depending on the area or size of your desk, it can appear as a floating desk or a shelf desk.

If you don’t intend on folding the desk back down very often, you can stage the desk to look like a decorative shelf.

Instead of buying new wood for this project, I used a large sized cutting board that I had on hand.

My cutting board was in decent shape, but I didn’t have a need for it as I had 9 other cutting boards.

I have no idea how I ended up with so many cutting boards.

So, I figured turning it into a folding desk would be a good way to repurpose one of them.

cloffice

The cutting board that I was using measured 20 inches long and 13.5 inches wide.

Before using this cutting board, I rested my laptop on the top surface to make sure it fit.

Folding Desk Brackets

The folding desk brackets that I used support a max of 130lbs, so they are very durable.

I recommend mounting the folding shelf brackets on 2 studs if possible because this will give you even more support.

These brackets easily fold up and down with the touch of a button, so you can easily pop-up your office anywhere.

The instructions included in this bracket kit were easy to understand and the brackets were good quality.

White Wash Stain

To turn my cutting board into a shelf desk, I lightly sanded the entire thing then wiped it clean.

Then I gave the cutting board a white wash, so the wood will still show through.

You could buy white wash stain or easily make your own white wash from scrap paint.

To make white wash you will need any type of paint, water, a plastic cup, and spoon.

Slowly mix water into the paint until you have a milk consistency.

After brushing on the white wash, I immediately wiped the paint off then let it dry for several hours.

I applied one coat of white wash then I let the desk dry before adhering contact paper to the top.

shelf desk

How to Adhere Contact Paper

After the paint or stain has completely dried on your desk shelf, you can start adhering contact paper.

Working with contact paper is actually easier than you might think because the paper is very forgiving.

Contact paper does not bubble as much as I expected and you can lift the paper to reposition it.

The best way to work with contact paper is to cut it to size with good quality scissors or a paper cutter.

Once you have it cut to size, peel up one corner of the contact paper.

Then press a small section of the paper down on the corner of your desk.

Slowly peeling more of the backing from the contact paper, while smoothing the paper down.

Continue to do this until you have completely cover you shelf desk with the contact paper

desk shelf

If you have bubbles, gently lift the contact paper to try to smooth it out or use a credit card.

Using a credit card and gently pressure, rub the bubbled area to even out the paper.

Where to Buy Contact Paper

You can find good quality contact paper on Etsy with custom patterns. The contact paper on Etsy is handmade and very easy to work with.

Here is the Etsy shop where I purchased the contact paper for this shelf desk project.

I was recently shopping in Target and found a good selection of peel and stick wallpaper.

Peel and stick wallpaper can also be used in the same way as contact paper.

Target has really cute and trendy contact paper designs at an affordable price.

peel and stick wallpaper target

Other Projects That Might Interest You:

Scrap Wood Desk

If you have 2×4’s and plywood on hand then you can easily make this DIY desk. Even if you do not have the scrap wood on hand, this desk can be made for around $40.

Framed Mirror

This mirror is made from stained pieces of wood then adhered directly over the existing mirror.

You can easily frame a mirror using scrap wood or for around $20 total.

wood frame mirror

Picture Shelving

This picture shelving is made from a few pieces of wood then cut to length to fit any space.

It is worth it to DIY this shelves because similar shelves for $100 or more!

picture shelving

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