How to build a DIY desk for your studio

Becky’s new sewing desk.

My daughter Rebecca is a costume designer and seamstress.  She is also an art teacher and does a lot of her lesson plans in her home before she takes them into the classroom.  Being a recent college graduate and having little or no money. She, her Daddy & I put our heads together to build a DIY desk or sewing table for her.  Here are her requirements. It needed to be no bigger than 32″ wide by 6′ long and she needed to be able to comfortable sit under it and it had to not compete with her fabric colors when she was creating costumes.  Here is our solution.


Now that we met Becky’s needs, my husband and I decided there were a few other things that needed to be addressed.  First, Becky lives in an apartment and is not 100% sure she will be staying in that apartment for the next few years, so the table had to be portable.  Second, the table had to be cheap, she is just starting her career and had little money and I have not worked except part time or temporary for several years.  So we did a little research.  From Handyman magazine, I found a collapsible sawhorse and it had a shelf, which would be great to hold baskets or boxes of craft or sewing items.

Handyman’s magazine’s collapsible sawhorse. I found it on Pinterest and the best part, it had a shelf.

Now there was a couple of problems with the sawhorse plan.  It was 36″ wide but everything else was the right size and we were not sure if we were able to build it.  So we adjusted the sizes on paper and decided to give it a try.

Our first stop was the local Lowe’s, and we were able to purchase everything we needed. We didn’t want to buy a full sheet of 3/4″ of plywood so we were creative and bought a 6 foot piece of laminated wood block counter top, which worked great. The up side it was less than $8.00 as opposed to $20.00. We already had three sets of hinges from another project we bought for but never used.  The cost of all of the hinges would be around $24.00.  So with the wood and the hinges we spent less than $50.00.  One good thing about the shorter sawhorse is that we only needed 3 2″X4″  for the legs & braces.  Here are the cut pieces and the finished sawhorse.

Wood for a sawhorse.
The cut pieces of wood to build the sawhorse
The finished sawhorse after painting. The paint was a gallon we had from the remodel of our home.
painted shelves
The painted shelves. The counter top material made for a smooth paint job and a great shelves for the sawhorse.

Now with the sawhorses finished, we needed a table top and you guessed it we had several interior doors that were 28″ wide.  We modified them by cutting them to 6 feet long and inserting a piece of 2″X4″ along the bottom so that the opening was closed.  The  next step was painting and priming the door and saw horses to create a collapsible, large table that meets everyone’s needs, especially our pocketbooks.

Slab door from remodel
When we remodeled, we had 3 28″ slab doors we did not need.
New table top.
The new bottom of the slab door for the table top.

The great part about this project is that now I can build one for myself.  And I do have 2 more doors. And I can always use a DIY desk that can double as a table at a show.