IKEA HACK: DIY Desk Under $60

IKEA HACK - easy DIY desk for under $60

I am loving my new house, but I’ve got a few completely empty rooms. I’m sure I’ll fill them with the furniture they deserve with time, but I decided one of the highest priorities was a desk for my office. I needed it cheap and as soon as possible. It’s kind of hard to keep yourself on task when you work from home, I am easily distracted and move slower than I should. I thought maybe if I wasn’t working from the couch that would be better (even if it’s just that I don’t feel like such a couch potato!) I think a designated, functional workspace will not only help me stay on task and organized, but also inspire me! I went back and forth about what I wanted for a while, but as time was ticking by and I still had no desk I began to feel desperate. The thoughts in my head went something like this “I should just get an ugly desk from craigslist. Who cares what it looks like? I just need to get organized.” Then “why are all the ugly desks on craigslist still $50 and up? I could make something for that.” So then when I decided to DIY I just wanted it to be easy and be as functional as possible.

What I ended up deciding was to get two small bookshelves from Target ($18 each) and then a big butcher block desk top or counter top from IKEA. But those were going to be a little more of an investment than I felt I should make at this point (lots of other things we’re saving for right now.) So while I was at IKEA staring at the pretty butcher block that I wasn’t feeling the price of, the plain gray desk top spoke to me. It said “I’m going to be cute, just put some pretty things on me. Really. I’m on sale for $19 and you can even fit me in the car.” So, he convinced me. I took the gray desk top home and moved forward, feeling really good about the price tag and okay about how it would look.

IKEA HACK - easy DIY desk for under $60

My husband helped me with all of this but I could’ve done it myself too, it was that easy. All we had to do was put the desk top face down on the floor, measure where we wanted the bookshelves to be and make sure they were even, place the tops of those on the bottom of the desk top, and screw them in place.

IKEA HACK - easy DIY desk for under $60

I looked at it and almost had second thoughts but then I remembered my fun, white and silver cart (also from IKEA, only $25!) that I had gotten for Christmas and I thought, actually these look really nice together. I think this is going to work!

IKEA HACK - easy DIY desk for under $60

A few accessories and organizers later, I think we’re in business! I still have big plans for an art wall above the desk to keep the inspiration really flowing, but for now I decided to hang up a little banner. I love the phrase “like a boss” and I feel like it’s perfect for the office because it’s a little bit funny and a little bit encouraging.

IKEA HACK - easy DIY desk for under $60

Here are a few sources for what’s in here in case you’re interested: chair, bookshelves, desk top, cart, gray bins, lamp shade, curtains.

I should add that I could have just gotten IKEA desk legs too, they are even cheaper than the shelves were, but I really wanted something with storage since I have no other furniture at the moment. There is another bonus too – that I didn’t think of until it was set up – the shelves hide my cords! I can plug everything in and it’s all just tucked behind the shelf.

IKEA HACK - easy DIY desk for under $60

Have you ever compromised and gotten something you liked way less to save a few bucks? Sometimes it’s worth it in the end… If you like the heart print above, you can print it for free right here!  You’ll probably like my new accent wall too, and maybe even my little house tour (the place we lived before the big move to Texas!)

Pretty Providence

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  • http://www.prettyprovidence.com/ Jessica

    Oh my gosh Sarah I seriously LOVE this! I think it turned out great and you could make it work in basically any room in those colors. By the way, I totally burst out laughing when I first saw the “like a boss” banner. I am totally adding that to my future office somehow. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Thanks girl. I am glad you appreciate the banner. I always have to add some weird pop culture thing to my rooms and some people are probably like “wth!?”

  • http://www.laurenm10.blogspot.com/ Lauren

    I would never think to do that. I would be all “Ikea top, where is the Ikea bottom?” This looks so good and modern. And it was cheap. Only my husband and I are incapable of measuring so if I wanted to do this, can I borrow you guys? I will pay you in fist bumps and BBQ.

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Yes you can definitely borrow us. My husband loves BBQ and I love fist bumps!

  • Hanna Caldwell

    Love the desk! I’ve been really into the color gray lately so I’m glad you decided to go with that even if it was just for the price ;) The final result is so cute.

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Thanks Hanna!! I know now I feel silly for doubting myself because I just love it and it really allows me more freedom than even the natural wood might have!

  • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

    Thank you Pam! :) I’m so excited to party at SNAP!

  • http://littlemissblackbean.wordpress.com/ Rachel Kathryn

    Looks great! That banner is adorable too

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Thanks Rachel!

  • Lynnette Beste

    Sarah, that turned out so nice! I love what you did! Good job girl!!

  • Adrienne Smart

    Does it wobble? I have that table top and the legs are small so it wobbles. I have basically just dismissed the desk for a while and started piling stuff on top instead of using it… but this looks like a good solution.

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Actually no it is as sturdy as an oak. Something I should have mentioned in the post is that these particular shelves make the desk a few inches taller than average, but I hardly notice, it’s still comfortable to work at.

  • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

    It’s a good printer, the quality is good for how inexpensive it was. The only thing I don’t love is how small the ink cartridges are. I feel like they run out way faster than they should, and they aren’t cheap! (I haven’t gotten them refilled yet, just replaced them, but I hear that helps cut costs a lot.)

  • Morgan

    Love your banner! it will definitely be added to my office that is slowly coming together. What would you recommend for someone that doesn’t have an Ikea near them as the top? i’m in the same predicament of not being able to find a desk that I want!

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Yes actually! Before we decided on the IKEA desk top, we were looking at Home Depot and they have doors there, big unpainted slabs of wood basically. They were totally flat too. We were about to get one of those and just paint it! I think they were $20 or $30.

  • Lex

    What kind of plant is that?

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      That is a fake plant from Ikea! haha I have no idea what kind it’s supposed to look like :)

  • Meghan Nicole Menke

    Do you know the dimensions of the top? I really want to make this!! Also, are the bookshelves centered in the middle of the top?

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      The dimensions and other info is all right here: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00240241/
      and I didn’t center the bookshelves because I wanted them to be closer to the front – but the weight is almost even. It just depends on how you want to do it! :)

  • Leticia Villarreal

    Loved this! I just bought all the pieces. I went with the high gloss red top for the pop of color in my boring apartment.

  • priscilla

    can’t find the book shelves at target…any clue where else I can get them at?

  • Lilian

    Sara where did u get the “like a boss” sign?

  • Emily

    I really love the “Like A Boss” banner and am wondering how you made it or where you bought it. What material is it made of?

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Thanks Emily! I just printed the letters out on regular paper from my computer & cut them out, then taped them onto some baker’s twine. The simplest! :)

      • Emily

        Excellent! so simple :) thanks for the details!

  • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

    Yes! This is almost the same as the shelf I used: http://bit.ly/UG75Yp -it looks like the exact one is not in stock anymore, but this is similar and they are even cheaper!

  • Vbear

    I. Love. This! I’ve been looking for an idea for a new desk and this is perfect! I’ll be adding this to my apartment this weekend. I also stopped by Home Depot and they have sheets of clear acrylic that they will cut to size for me (as a topper) to protect the desktop and I can put something decorative under the acrylic.

  • DIYer

    Would like to duplicate, what was the exact name of this “butcher block”, the IKEA site comes up with a dozen pages when I search that. Thank-you!

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      I don’t know the actual name of the butcher block since that’s not what I ended up using. The desk top I used is called the LINNMON!

  • Shalene

    Sarah — I love this idea and am planning to copy you! Can you tell me exactly how you secured the Ikea top to the Target shelves? Before I go out and buy the product, my hubby wants to know how he secures it all together. Thanks. Shalene.

    • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

      Hey Shalene! Yay – I’m excited that you are going to do it. We put the desk top face down on the floor, measured where we wanted the bookshelves to be and made sure they were even, placed the tops of those on the bottom of the desk top (so the desk is essentially put together but upside down) and screwed them in place with a drill. My husband said he used 1/2 inch wood screws!

  • Sarah @ Pretty Providence

    I don’t have any pictures (sorry!) but we didn’t use any hardware, just 1/2 inch wood screws and used a drill to put them in place!

  • Maria

    This is a great idea!! All of the desks that I find online are much too expensive! I was thinking I would make this desk as well, but I was just wondering what kind of shelves you used? The dimensions or the link would work great! Thanks! :)

  • Lauren Grace

    What are the dimensions of the desk top??

  • http://ashleylikescouture.blogspot.com/ Ashley H

    Your desk looks really great. I’m so happy I came across your post. I was thinking of making a similar desk with 2 6 cube storage shelves for my crafts. I was wondering what to use as the desk surface. The Ikea desk top would work perfectly, and Its a great price.

  • Ashley

    i love your desk! I see you got the bookshelves at target. How tall should the bookshelves be to make the desk work well?