This IKEA hack desk is easy to make with a cheap IKEA desk top and two cube storage shelves. It’s perfect for a home office, virtual learning, or crafting. The storage makes this desk perfect for a small workspace!
After we moved into our house, we needed a cheap desk as soon as possible, and this beautiful IKEA desk hack for under $60* was born. I shared this DIY desk tutorial on the blog almost seven years ago, and it has remained very popular. Recently, with the entire world all of a sudden working or learning from home, even more people have been making the desk!
We love DIY projects and making old things new again. This particular desktop has had three lives; a craft desk, a headboard for our guest room, and now it’s my desk again but with a shiny, new look!
*This post contains affiliate links.
Above is what the desk looked like after I made it in 2013.
IKEA DESK HACK
Back story: after looking at all of the small IKEA desk options I had some ideas but didn’t feel that they were all worth the money, at the time. It’s funny because they weren’t expensive, but I felt I could do something cheaper with the same amount of elbow grease.
*The Desk UNDER $60
What I ended up deciding was to get two cube storage shelves (these, which at the time were about $18 each) and an IKEA desktop. I never truly loved the gray LINNMON desktop, it just happened to be the one they had in stock and it cost less than $20 so I went with it.
*UPDATE ON THE LINNMON DESKTOP: The desktop I used is 59″ x 29.5″ x 2″. IKEA may not currently sell the Linnmon in the size shown here.
This desk can cost under $100, $60, or even under $50- if you find the right deals on the storage cubes and the desktop! However, prices tend to go up and down.
I re-created the desk in 2020. I found storage cube shelves that I thought looked better (which at the time were $30 each) from Target. Then I decided to use marble contact paper on the desktop which cost $11. The total cost of the new desk: about $90.
I could have done this myself, it was that easy, but in full disclosure, my husband did help me. We like to do projects together.
HOW TO MAKE THIS IKEA HACK DESK
1. Put the desktop face down on the floor
2. Measure where you want the bookshelves to be and make sure they are even.
Place the tops of the bookshelves on the bottom of the desktop.
- Measure and mark four spots on the inside of the shelf where you will drill.
- Center your shelves in the middle of the desktop; measure the sides of your desktop and your shelf to find the centers of each, and mark them. Then line the two centers up.
- Drill pilot holes into the shelves.
- Use a screwdriver to screw the shelves into the desktop.
Carefully flip the desk over.
If you want to, add marble contact paper to the desktop – follow directions on the package.
Style! Add a lamp, bins, books, and office storage items. You now have a great DIY desk with storage to work with!
- Choose heavy screws that will be long enough to go through the top of shelves but NOT all the way through the desktop. If you use the exact items we have used, then 2″ wood screws or similar will work.
- This desk is great and sturdy to work on. If you plan to move it, we recommend disassembling it. The desktop and shelves are not solid wood and screws can come loose from them.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions since sharing this tutorial. Here are some of the most common questions and answers.
How tall is this desk?
It depends on the height of the shelf you use. This desk is about 32″ tall after it is assembled. The bookshelves I used are 3o” tall and the IKEA desktop is 1 3/8″.
Cube Storage Shelves:
I have used both white shelves (#1 and #2) to do this desk. I also gathered up a few other colors that are available in this type of shelf. *These are affiliate links.
- White 2 Shelf Cube Storage
- White 3 Shelf Cube Organizer
- Weathered Gray 2 Shelf Cube Storage
- Pink 2 Shelf Cube Storage
- Espresso 2 Shelf Cube Storage
- Cherry 3 Shelf Cube Storage
- White 3 Shelf Organizer (Not Pictured)
Linnmon Desk Top, Accessories & Storage:
- IKEA Linnmon*
- Marble Look Contact Paper
- 13″ Fabric Storage Bin
- Brass Lamp (Similar)
**UPDATE ON THE LINNMON DESKTOP: The desktop I used is 59″ x 29.5″ x 2″. IKEA may not currently sell the Linnmon in the size shown here.
If you make this desk PLEASE share it with us! Leave a comment and positive review, and tag us on instagram @prettyprovidenceblog so we can see your work!!
DIY IKEA Desk with Storage
- Drill Bit
- Measuring Tape
- 8 2" Heavy Wood Screws *read notes about size below
- 1 IKEA Linnmon Desk Top
- 2 Storage Cubes / Shelves shelves between 30"-32" tall are ideal
- 1 roll Marble Contact Paper optional
- Assemble the two storage cubes according to instructions.
- Place desk top face down on the floor.
- Measure the width (short side) of the desk and mark the center.
- Measure the width of one side of cube shelf and mark the center.
- Place cube shelf upside down on top of the desk top (which is also upside down) and line up the center markings.
- Measure and mark four spots where you will screw the desk together on each cube shelf. Markings should be evenly spaced around the inside top of each cube shelf.
- Drill pilot holes into each spot, being careful to only drill through the shelf and not the desk top.
- Next, drill wood screws where the pilot holes are. The screw should be flush with the surface of the cube shelf.
- Carefully flip the desk over.
- Apply marble contact paper according to package directions if you have opted to do that.
For a desk under 100 dollars at maximum price, it’s a great deal. I love it and maybe make it in this holiday for my son wants to play with his legos.
I find out this article that help me get more insight about a DIY desk.
I loved the idea of this DIY it looks so amazing. However, I was very discouraged when I started to put it together. I used the target cube storage shelves that are 30 inches high and I bought the Ikea 47 inch table top. There is not enough space to slide a chair under the desk . In your picture there’s ample room I don’t understand what’s going wrong for me :-/
Hi Corrynne. I’m not the OP, but I was curious if you measured the distance from the floor to the underside of the table top once you had it together? You definitely should have a bit over 30”. If not, is it possible that you put the cubes down horizontally? That would explain only having a small bit of room. That was just my first thought as I read your comment. Hoped maybe it would help. Good luck! 😊
I love that chair! Could you please tell me where you bought it? ( I looked in the comments but didn’t see any information.) thank you.
Great idea – very cost effective! We did this for my daughter and she loves it!
This looks so good! I love the way this turned out! I want to do something similar with my daughters room! So excited!
I LOVE a good IKEA hack And this is perfect since we’re ALL working and schooling at home. Thank for this quick and fashionable fix!
Sarah, this looks very nice.. thanks for sharing
qq.. can you move this desk? if they are held together with screws, would it damage the desk when you move?
could you also share a closup snapshot that shows the screws and how you have done it?
Hi Mandan, yes, you can move the desk. It stays together just fine. I am working on updating the tutorial with new pictures, close-up shots of the steps and a video! It should be done soon!
My daughter loves the look of your desk! We bought everything, and I have someone who is proficient with building things to put it together. He says the desk top is hollow and that drilling in the cubby tops will not be very secure. I thought the desktop was made of particle board but apparently it’s mostly hollow which is why it’s pretty lightweight. How did you guys get around this issue? I really want to get it assembled, but I don’t want it to end up shaky or properly secured. Can you advise how to best secure it? Thank you so much! The desk is so cute!
Hey Jeanette! The desk has been secure and sturdy to work on, we’ve used it for years with no issues! If you plan to move it, we recommend dis-assembling it. Because the materials are inexpensive and not solid, it doesn’t hold up getting dragged around too much. That’s just kind of what you get when you spend less money, haha! I hope y’all love it!
Hey Mandan, today I have updated the post and created a video for this desk tutorial. I hope you find it helpful!
What length screws did you use?
2 inch heavy wood screws!
I live the desk idea for my son. We wanted an inexpensive desk option for homeschool this year. We noticed the post said the bookshelves were from target, but the kink takes me to Amazon and we cannot find bookshelves for that price. It seems the price on Amazon is double what the post mentioned which makes this a way more expensive option. We would love to know if the bookshelves are still $18 each to assemble this desk.
Hey Leah! Yeah, the shelves seem to fluctuate in price. I believe you can still find those shelves for around $20 but can’t guarantee it. Search for ClosetMaid Stackable 31-inch organizer. I have seen them before at Lowes, Home Depot, Target and Amazon. Hope you can find them at the right price! :)
Hi! I’m trying to build this for my daughter for e-learning. How long is your table? there are several lengths for the Linnmon tabletop.
Hey Cristine! It is about 5 feet long. I bought the Linmonn size that costs around $20.
Hi! Thanks so much for this hack. I’m going to build two (with smaller tops) for my daughter and a friend to use on their remote days this fall! May I please ask how deep your bookshelves are positioned with respect to the edge against which you sit? Closer to the edge would make it easy to access what’s on the shelves, but too close means instability. Are yours centered across the width of the table top? Thanks so much!
They are centered!! I am so glad you are going to be able to make some of these. I’m working on updating the tutorial right now because it’s been so popular!! :)
Do you think you could find the article number for the table top because I am also having a hard time finding it. Thank you!
Hi! I saw you mentioned the height of the desk top but can you tell me how long it is?
Can you tell us the length of the screws you used?
Do you think this would still work if you got a board or something from Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.? All the butcher blocks I’ve found are $99-$250. Yikes!
Yeah it might work but you would want a thick one! The price of butcher block is the main reason I went with the IKEA linnmon desk top instead!
Wish there was a tutorial! One shelve stayed in after flipping it and the other came right out.
Sorry that happened! We have an updated tutorial for this desk, with video, in the works!
Do you have to screw it together?
I’m just needing a temporary solution
You could probably get away with not screwing it together if it’s just temporary. I would definitely secure it though if you have kids or pets. Safety first! :)
What length screws did you use?
I made this desk but now need a very comfy chair that is the right height. Any thoughts please.
I wish I had a good recommendation! I still just use a fake Eames chair. It looks cute but not super comfy. I think an adjustable height office chair would be good.
Is the chair a good height for you? I’m worried it will be too low for me! :(
I already put together my desk and am so excited!!
The chair was fine, but I do wish I had a nicer office chair, haha. So glad you got your desk made!! Hooray!
I’ve viewed very impressive tutorials about building my own office desk and began to realize that I wasn’t comfortable using a cirular saw and the table top saw which was recommended first, I did not possess. As I continued enjoying more videos I kept thinking, “but I can..I should be able to make a desk without the saw.
Thank You for Sharing Your journey, Jessica, today, because of You, I feel so much better about my desire to build my own desk! (Smile!)
Oh my gosh that is the nicest comment ever! You just totally made my day– thank you so much for coming back to let us know! And good luck with your new desk– you’ll love it!
Love this idea. Exactly what I was looking for, cheap! Youngest son just moved out and want to make his room into a craft room/ office. This is going to be perfect! simple but you can snaz it up with colorful accessories. Thanks for the idea
Yay! So glad you like it, good luck Linda!!
Love the desk. It’s very creative. I couldn’t find the exact bookshelf but I found one that I find to be quite similar. http://www.target.com/p/room-essentials-adjustable-3-shelf-stackable-organizer-white/-/A-15138375
Jessica @ Pretty Providence
Yay! Thanks so much for sharing! We’re glad you liked it!
Jessica @ Pretty Providence
Yay! Thanks so much for sharing! We’re glad you liked it!