Whether you planned for it or not, a lot of kids are staying virtual for the rest of the school year. That means you need a desk for your little students to bring some normalcy for the school year. The unfortunate thing is that desk are as difficult to find as toilet paper right now. So that’s why I designed this very easy to build Virtual Learning Desk that you can honestly make for under $60. I added some bells and whistles that you can personalize with, but the core desk is just four pieces of materials and an easy build!
I built 5 of these desks in a weekend for our little school pod we pulled together, with some basic tools, this is a quick build you should be able to knockout no matter what your skill level.
Watch The Desk Build
Materials & Supplies
- (2) 3/4″ x 24″ x 48″ sheet of sanded plywood (if you can buy a 4×8 sheet go for it!)
- (2) 2″x 2″ x 96″ premium select board (these have square edges instead of rounded)
- Kreg 2-1/2″ self tapping screws
- Kreg 1-1/4″ self tapping screws
- Wood Glue
For the side panels I used Wall Control Metal Pegboards and accessories. You can use code “LAZYGUYDIY15” for a discount at checkout!
- (2) Wall Control “fun sized” 12″x 16″ panels (lots of color options)
- Slotted Can Holder (for cups with pencils and markers)
- 14″ Universal Accessory Bracket (holds bins)
- Plastic Bins (3-pack)
For the top I had the kids personalize their desk with epoxy in multiple colors. You can use code “LAZYGUYDIY” on the MAS Epoxy website for a 20% off discount at checkout!
You can complete this build with only a circular saw, drill and pocket hole jig, but here is what I used:
- Table Saw
- Miter Saw
- Drill & Driver
- Router with round-over bit
- Kreg Jig – R3 Master is a great kit for beginners
- 1″ forstner bit
On To The Desk Build!
Measurements for the desk – 30″ Tall x 31-7/8″ Wide x 19-1/8″ Deep – The measurements aren’t whole numbers only to maximize the materials available and only use 4 pieces of lumber.
Step 1 – Assemble Desk Legs
For each set of legs, cut two (2) pieces of 2×2 to a length of 29-1/4″. Then to attach the legs together, cut a piece of plywood to 12″ x 16-1/8″. If you’re using a 24″ x 48″ of plywood to cut your panels out of, the 12″ is going to but a little short only because you’ll lose 1/8″ due to the thickness of the saw blade, but that’s okay. The 16-1/8″ allows plenty of room for the Wall Control panel to fit in between the legs.
Add 3/4″ pocket holes to the sides and top of the 3/4″ 12″ x 16-1/8″ panels. Use 1-1/4″ self tapping screws and wood glue to attach the panel to the legs and then leave the up facing holes to attach the top later. You’ll notice the screw holes are facing outward and flush with the back of the legs. If you’re adding Wall Control panels they’ll fit exactly in the gap and hide the pocket holes.
Step 2 – Lateral Supports
To connect the leg panels together, cut two (2) pieces of 2″ x 2″ to 28-7/8″. Pre-drill a 1-1/2″ pocket hole on either side to attach to the frame. For the lower support, attach the piece 12″ from the top with a 2-1/2″ self tapping screw and wood glue. It should be flush with the bottom of the leg panel. For the upper support, attach with a 2-1/2″ self tapping screw 4″ from the top.
Step 3 – Lower Shelf
For the lower shelf, cut a piece of 3/4″ plywood to 19″ x 28-7/8″. Add a few 3/4″ pocket holes to the outside edges to attach to the desk frame. Attach the lower shelf with 1-1/4″ self tapping screws and wood glue. Add a little wood glue and attach it to the bottom of the upper support as well. The front of the shelf will not be flush with the front of the legs allowing for a little overhang from the top shelf.
Step 4 – Desktop Assembly
For the desktop, cut a piece of 3/4″ plywood to 18-3/8″ x 37-7/8″. Don’t freak out about 3/8″ it’s easy to read when you know which tick marks are which. After you make the cut, use a piece of the scrap 37-7/8″ plywood and rip that down to 4″ x 37-7/8″. Completely optional, but I used a 1″ forstner bit and drill to add a hole for cable management. On the bottom of the 18-3/8″ sheet, I add a few 3/4″ pocket holes and then attached the 4″ x 37-7/8″ backer with wood glue and 1-1/4″ self tapping screws. Once the desktop is assembled, I attached the top to the desk using the upward facing 3/4″ pocket holes from step 1 with 1-1/4″ screws.
For the epoxy tops, it’s important to tape off your edges and then pour on a level surface. MAS has a ton of great tips on their website and YouTube channel for using epoxy if you’re a beginner. Just remember that outside temperature and humidity are big factors for cure time.
The Wall Control panels will attach directly to the sides through the mounting brackets in the panels. There are at least a dozen different color options that can really add a fun pop of color!
A special thanks to Kreg Tool, Wall Control and MAS Epoxies for being apart of this simple build that has a big impact on the kids missing their schools and friends.
~ Lazy Guy