DIY Floating Desk for Kids

Learn how to build a space-saving DIY Floating Desk for small spaces with enough storage to use in just a few easy steps with this tutorial.

When space is a big inconvenience, anything floating is a blessing, right? In my case, the lack of space is an understatement.

DIY Floating Desk for Kids cover image with text overlay

We are currently living in a small town in Spain called Elche. You could say is a traditional Spanish town, with narrow streets, and short buildings one next to the other and believe me when I say most apartments are SMALL. 

DIY Floating Desk for Kids

In many ways, I love it because there’s not much to clean LOL. I do the whole cleaning in a morning or so and the tidying it up takes me about 20 mins every day.

What I don’t love about it is that rooms are so small that it’s hard to have everything you need. For example, a simple dresser won’t fit in my bedroom, a normal bed, a dresser, and a desk can’t fit in my girl’s bedroom so I’ve had to be very creative when it comes to decorating and making each room livable.

I wanted my girl to have her own desk in her bedroom so she has peace and quiet to study, read and even play.

The girl putting stuff on her DIY Floating Desk

The space is quite small and no pre-made desk would fit in any available space in her room so I decided to make it myself.

The first thing I realized is that in order to not sacrifice more space than it needed, I had to remove the desk’s legs. It had to be floating.

That’s when a diy floating desk seemed the perfect option. I started from there and planned the desk first.

She would need shelves to store her supplies and stuff and I didn’t want to make lots of holes in the wall so I decided to create the shelves on the desk.

Below you can see the plan I created for my girl’s floating desk. It’s simple but functional.

DIY Floating Desk Plans
DIY Floating Desk for Kids

With all the measures decided I went to the closest hardware store and got my wood pieces cut. I used pinewood.

Confession time, it took me 3 years to publish this post LOL. I built this desk 3 years ago and my girl has been using it ever since so I can definitely say it works perfectly and it’s safe for kids (not that she’s allowed to stand on it!).

DIY Floating Desk for Kids organized with baskets, toys and books

HOW TO BUILD A DIY FLOATING DESK

As with any plan, measures are relative to your needs and your metrics. Where I live we work with cm and mm so that’s what I’m giving here. You would need to adjust to your particular needs.

Also, I wanted to be clear that I’m not a carpenter whatsoever. I just figure out ways to make things by myself and only share when it works for me and I think it might work for others. So, in my opinion, if I can make this, I’m sure anyone can no matter the skill level or available space.

Supplies:

Pinewood

  • 1X – 250mm X 780mm X 18mm
  • 3X – 250mm X 650mm X 18mm
  • 3X – 250mm X 200mm X 18mm
  • 1X – 250mm X 526mm X 18mm
  • 1X – 250mm X 650mm X 18mm
  • 1X – 800mm X 600mm X 18mm or 25mm

Plywood

  • 1X – 552mm X 226mm X 5mm
  • 1X – 770mm X 226mm X 5mm

Pegboard

  • 1X – 552mm X 450mm
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • White latex paint or white varnish.
  • Transparent sealant varnish.
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Shelf Brackets (I got ones that hold 70kg – 140pounds)

Tools:

  • Drill/screwdriver
  • Kreg Jig for pocket holes
  • Sanding tool
  • Protective plastic and masking tape.

Step by Step:

Step 1: Prepping the pieces

Firstly, sand your pieces to smooth them and avoid splinters. I especially sand edges. Then clean your pieces well.

sanding the edges of wood with sander

I decided to have vertical pieces painted in white and horizontal pieces painted in transparent varnish. This is totally optional. You can case it all in your favorite color or paint it in different colors.

Since the dest was created for a little girl, I used a very heavy duty varnish. It’s actually a varnish for wood-flooring around pools. So, I guess liquid wouldn’t be a problem. The white varnish was also water resistant.

Step 2: Painting the wood pieces

Protect the surface you are going to work on. I was working on my loving room’s floor (marble and carpet) so I protected it with plastic and masking tape.

Start painting your pieces as instructed in the packages. I applied 3 coats on each piece leaving them to dry at least 2 hours in between.

image of a piece of wood and on it, the process of painting with a broad brush

The owner of the desk did her part on the job very well. The best helper ever!!!

My girl painting the Floating Desk

QUICK TIP: You don’t need to wash your brushes between coats so they don’t dry or hardened. Just put them into a zip-lock bag and close it very well. The brushes stay wet even overnight if it’s well sealed.

broad brush inside plastic bag

Once all your pieces are ready, it’s time to start building.

Step 3: Assembling the shelves

I like to drill guides for the screws and also made all pocket holes in batch.

Pocket holes are optional but if you are like me and don’t want the screws to be visible, then pocket holes are your best friends. 

Vertical pieces would have pocket holes and internal shelves as well. Only the top would have normal screws on both ends.

Measure and mark the place where you want the screws to be. I used 30mm from edges.

marking the measurements on the piece of wood

Made all pocket holes.

making the holes with the drill diagonally
showing the holes in the piece of wood already made

Started with the top of the shelves and the left side. Drilled the pieces together with a bit of glue too.

placing the top next to the left side

Then put the shelves in place. Pocket holes facing down and making sure they were evenly separated.

puttingg the shelves in place 
and screwing with the drill
showing the left side with the shelves already installed

Once both shelves were secured, I put the second vertical piece in place. 

I like to present the screw’s tip so it’s easier to see where it’s going to touch the other piece.

placing the screws on the free sides of the shelves

Drill away and secure.

placing the internal divider to close

For the shelf separator, I presented the piece to make sure the shelf would be in the right place.

marking the guides in the internal divider

Mark it and drill the guides.

close view of drilling

Put the separator and the right vertical piece and crew them in place.

placing a shorter divider

Finally, screw the shelf in place with pocket hole screws.

The shelving structure is ready

The shelving structure is ready. Now we need to prepare the backings.

Step 4: Installing the Backing and pegboard

The next step is getting the pegboard in place.

measuring the pegboard next to the shelving structure

Measure it making sure it meets the plywood in the middle of the separators on the back.

closer view the pegboard next to the shelving structure

Cut it and paint it. I painted it white.

Put the plywood pieces in place and secure them with small screws.

placing the plywood on the back of the shelving structure
screws on hand

Step 5: Assembling the desk

Ok, now it’s the final step. Build the desk itself.

Place the table on top of the shelving structure exactly how it would be when counted on the wall. Mark and drill your screw guides. 

pencil marks on the wood table where they will be screwed to the structure
drilling the table together with the structure

Step 6: Mounting the desk on the wall

Now it’s time to go to the wall.

As I mentioned in the supply list, I got the brackets that would hold the most wight. I found these that would hold 70kg each (140 pounds.). 

close view of the label with the specifications of the brackets

I decided the height where the desk should be and installed the brackets the same as it would have been any shelf.

Once it was installed I placed the table on top and secured it with screws. 

view of brackets installed

Lastly, I secured in place the shelving structure screwing from the bottom up. The internal vertical piece was screwed through pocket holes.

DIY Floating Desk for Kids built

Because I’m a bit obsessive, I also secured the shelving structure to the wall. My husband said it was not necessary but I can never be careful enough when it comes to my kid.

That’s it! My girl’s diy floating desk was ready o rock! Used a few hook screws to hang her medals and other decorations.

DIY Floating Desk for Kids Decorated

Then with her help, we put her stuff in place. As you can see we haven’t put the photo in the frame but it’s coming soon. 

DIY Floating Desk for Kids. Pretty and Decorative
DIY Floating Desk for Kids. Pretty and Funcional

We hung her pencil holders on the pegboard. It used to have scissors and other supplies but she decided she wanted to keep it simple so… it’s hers right?

I also hung her whiteboard from the bed frame so she could have it handy.

DIY Floating Desk for Kids. Rocking the space.

Thankfully she loved it, she finally had her own place to do homework, study and play.

Additional Notes: I decided that as soon as I can, I’ll change the table for one that has laminate. I love the natural pine but this wood is soft and suffers when Emma draws, paint of do most things on it. So I realized that at least as the base of the desk laminate would be the best. I’ll share photos when I finish.

Well, that’s it! I love how the desk turned out, Em loves how it turned out and uses it a lot so we are all happy. 

DIY Floating Desk for Kids with enough storage space
How to DIY Floating Desk for Kids

What do you think? Like it? let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Floating desks worth it?

In comparison with regular work or computer desks, floating desks are relatively less expensive. Plus, you can mount them in smaller spaces without cluttering or overdoing your space, making them the ideal choice for those looking for a compact home office desk.

What screws to use for a floating desk?

That’s a question hard to answer because it will depend on the wall characteristics. It’s never the same installing something on a concrete wall as on a wooden wall. My suggestion is to always ask your local hardware store the type of screws to use for your specific type of wall and buy accordingly.

How much weight can a floating table hold?

The amount of weight your floating shelf can hold depends on the hanging method, where you hang it, and how big your floating shelf is. Shelves with the lowest weight capacity can’t hold more than 25 pounds, but the sturdiest shelves can hold up to 100 pounds or more.

Are Floating desks safe?

Yes, Float desks are safe as long as you install them properly. They can be secured to the wall with a variety of mounting options including screws, shelf brackets, and anchors. It is recommended, however, that if you are unsure about how your desk is attached to the wall or if it is falling down on its own, you consult an office furniture professional.

More Woodworking Projects to Try

Also if you enjoyed this cute floating desk tutorial, you might also love these other woodworking project ideas too!

✂️ Tutorial

How to Make a Fun Floating Desk Cover Image

DIY Floating Desk for Kids

Camila Rojas
Learn how to build a space-saving DIY Floating Desk for small spaces with enough storage to use and in just a few easy steps with this tutorial.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Drying time 4 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs 55 mins
Course DIY & Craft
Cuisine For Kids, furniture, woodworking
Servings 1 Floating Desk

Equipment

  • Drill/screwdriver
  • Kreg Jig for pocket holes
  • Sanding tool
  • Protective plastic and masking tape.

Ingredients
  

Pinewood

  • 1 X – 250mm X 780mm X 18mm
  • 3 X – 250mm X 650mm X 18mm
  • 3 X – 250mm X 200mm X 18mm
  • 1 X – 250mm X 526mm X 18mm
  • 1 X – 250mm X 650mm X 18mm
  • 1 X – 800mm X 600mm X 18mm or 25mm

Plywood

  • 1 X – 552mm X 226mm X 5mm
  • 1 X – 770mm X 226mm X 5mm

Pegboard

  • 1 X – 552mm X 450mm
  • Wood screws
  • Wood glue
  • White latex paint or white varnish.
  • Transparent sealant varnish.
  • Sandpaper
  • Paintbrushes
  • Shelf Brackets I got ones that hold 70kg – 140pounds

Instructions
 

STEP 1: PREPPING THE PIECES

  • Firstly, sand your pieces to smooth them and avoid splinters. I especially sand edges. Then clean your pieces well.
  • I decided to have vertical pieces painted in white and horizontal pieces painted in transparent varnish. This is totally optional. You can case it all in your favorite color or paint it in different colors.
  • Since the dest was created for a little girl, I used a very heavy duty varnish. It’s actually a varnish for wood-flooring around pools. So, I guess liquid wouldn’t be a problem. The white varnish was also water resistant.

STEP 2: PAINTING THE WOOD PIECES

  • Protect the surface you are going to work on. I was working on my loving room’s floor (marble and carpet) so I protected it with plastic and masking tape.
  • Start painting your pieces as instructed in the packages. I applied 3 coats on each piece leaving them to dry at least 2 hours in between.
  • Once all your pieces are ready, it’s time to start building.

STEP 3: ASSEMBLING THE SHELVES

  • I like to drill guides for the screws and also made all pocket holes in batch.
  • Pocket holes are optional but if you are like me and don’t want the screws to be visible, then pocket holes are your best friends.
  • Vertical pieces would have pocket holes and internal shelves as well. Only the top would have normal screws on both ends.
  • Measure and mark the place where you want the screws to be. I used 30mm from edges.
  • Made all pocket holes.
  • Started with the top of the shelves and the left side. Drilled the pieces together with a bit of glue too.
  • Then put the shelves in place. Pocket holes facing down and making sure they were evenly separated.
  • Once both shelves were secured, I put the second vertical piece in place.
  • I like to present the screw’s tip so it’s easier to see where it’s going to touch the other piece.
  • Drill away and secure.
  • For the shelf separator, I presented the piece to make sure the shelf would be in the right place.
  • Mark it and drill the guides.
  • Put the separator and the right vertical piece and crew them in place.
  • Finally, screw the shelf in place with pocket hole screws.
  • The shelving structure is ready. Now we need to prepare the backings.

STEP 4: INSTALLING THE BACKING AND PEGBOARD

  • The next step is getting the pegboard in place.
  • Measure it making sure it meets the plywood in the middle of the separators on the back.
  • Cut it and paint it. I painted it white.
  • Put the plywood pieces in place and secure them with small screws.

STEP 5: ASSEMBLING THE DESK

  • Ok, now it’s the final step. Build the desk itself.
  • Place the table on top of the shelving structure exactly how it would be when counted on the wall. Mark and drill your screw guides.

STEP 6: MOUNTING THE DESK ON THE WALL

  • Now it’s time to go to the wall.
  • As I mentioned in the supply list, I got the brackets that would hold the most wight. I found these that would hold 70kg each (140 pounds.).
  • I decided the height where the desk should be and installed the brackets the same as it would have been any shelf.
  • Once it was installed I placed the table on top and secured it with screws.
  • Lastly, I secured in place the shelving structure screwing from the bottom up. The internal vertical piece was screwed through pocket holes.
  • Because I’m a bit obsessive, I also secured the shelving structure to the wall. My husband said it was not necessary but I can never be careful enough when it comes to my kid.
  • That’s it! My girl’s diy floating desk was ready o rock! Used a few hook screws to hang her medals and other decorations.

Notes

QUICK TIP: You don’t need to wash your brushes between coats so they don’t dry or hardened. Just put them into a zip-lock bag and close it very well. The brushes stay wet even overnight if it’s well sealed.
Keyword diy floating desk, homemade floating desk, how to make a floating desk

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Til' next time...

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is such a cute idea! My daughter has a small room, too and there’s not a lot of room for a desk. Since she’s a teen now she wants a desk in her room. Something like this would be perfect!

    1. Hi Michelle, I’m so glad you like this idea. I had to get creative and stick with the only available space we had in her bedroom. You can make it a little bit larger since she’s a teen already and she might definitely need more space to work on the desk.
      Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by!!!
      Hugs and Love,
      Cami