In this post: How we maximized the space in our girls’ shared room with a built-in desk and shelves. 


So yesterday we showed you our Girls’ Bedroom Makeover Reveal.

girl's room makeover before and after

Today we’re going to show you how we made the built in desk and shelves.

DIY BUILT IN DESK AND SHELVES

DIY Built In Desk and Shelves

DIY built in desk and shelves

Supplies

  • 4 – 3/4 in. x 11-3/4 in. x 8 ft Melamine White Shelf Drilled Board
  • 3 – 3/4 in. x 11-3/4 in. x 8 ft Shelving White Melamine Board
  • 1 – 3/4 in. x 16 in. x 5 ft White Melamine Table Top OR  3/4 in. 30 in. x 5 ft White Melamine Table Top Handy Panel 
  • 2 – 1 in. x 3 in. x 8 ft Primed MDF
  • 1 – 12 in. x 14 in. White Shelf Bracket
  • 1 – Wire Grommet
  • 24 – Locking White Plastic Shelf Supports
  • 52 – #10 1 1/2 in. Flat Head Wood Screws
  • 8 – #10 2 1/2 in. Flat Head Wood Screws

Optional

  • Crown Moulding (to fit your space)
  • Baseboards (to fit your space)
  • Trim Screws
  • DAP Drydex Spackling
  • White Paintable Caulking
  • 5 ft x 2 ft Cork (optional for bulletin board)
  • Double Sided Sticky Tape (optional for bulletin board)

Tools Needed

  • Circular Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Drill and Drill Bits
  • Palm Sander
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Level

Optional

  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Caulking Gun

Cut List

  • 4 – 3/4 in. x 11-3/4 in. x 96 in. Melamine White Shelf Drilled Board (shelf uprights/side panels) *
  • 12 – 3/4 in. x 11-3/4 in. x 18 in. Shelving White Melamine Board (shelves)
  • 1 – 3/4 in. x 11-3/4 in. x 60 in. Shelving White Melamine Board (long shelf over desk)
  • 4 –  1 in. x 3 in. x 18 in. Primed MDF (for affixing shelves to wall)
  • 2 – 1 in. x 3 in. x 18 in. Primed MDF (desk-side supports)
  • 1 – 1 in. x 3 in. x 58 1/2 in. Primed MDF (desk-wall support)
  • (IF  3/4 in. x 16 in. x 5 ft White Melamine Table Top is not available, cut 3/4 in. 30 in. x 5 ft White Melamine Table Top Handy Panel down to size for desk top)

*Please adjust the size of built in desk and shelves to suit your space. Especially keep in mind ceiling height!

Instructions

1. Measure and mark on the wall where you want your shelves and desk to be.

Steps 2 and 3 should be done while shelves are laying on the floor. 

2. To give the shelves stability, three shelves on each side are fixed – top, middle and bottom. Exactly where you attach the top and bottom shelves will depend on the height of the crown moulding and baseboard you choose to use. If you choose to use neither, then affix your shelves right at the very top and the very bottom, as well as in the middle, of uprights. To do this, simply drill existing shelf holes all the way through side panels and screw in place using #10 1 1/2 in. Flat Head Wood Screws.

built in desk and shelves AFFIX THREE SHELVES

built in desk and shelves SHELVES AT TOP AND BOTTOM

3. Each shelf will need to be affixed to the wall for safety. To do this attach one 1 in. x 3 in. x 18 in. Primed MDF piece using two #10 1 1/2 in. Flat Head Wood Screws at the top and bottom of each shelving unit.

built in desk and shelves SHELF CONSTRUCTION

4. Raise one shelf into place. Using #10 2 1/2 in. Flat Head Wood Screws screwed through Primed MDF pieces at top and bottom, affix shelves to wall. Repeat for other side.

built in desk and shelves SHELVES ONLY

built in desk and shelves TOP

built in desk and shelves BOTTOM

5. Prepare desk top (White Melamine Table Top) for cords by cutting a hole in the top to drop cords through. Drill a small hole and then use jigsaw to complete the cut. To make the hole smooth use a wire grommet after cutting.

White-Desk-Grommet

6. Measure 36 in. from the floor and mark on shelf upright/side panel (and wall if not already done). Add one 1 in. x 3 in. x 18 in. Primed MDF desk-side support to each side panel and one 1 in. x 3 in. x 58 1/2 in. Primed MDF to wall using #10 1 1/2 in. Flat Head Wood Screws.

built in desk and shelves NO DESKTOP

7. Place White Melamine Table Top on desk supports. Screw through side panels into desk top using  #10 1 1/2 in. Flat Head Wood Screws. This keeps the desk top in place but doesn’t require any holes in desk surface!

built in desk and shelves NO LONG SHELF OR BRACKET

8. Measure 24 in. from desk top if not already done. Measure to center of desk top and mark. Using screws suitable to your wall materials, attach White Shelf Bracket to wall.

built in desk and shelves no long shelf

9. Place 3/4 in. x 11-3/4 in. x 60 in. Shelving White Melamine Board on shelf support and screw in place. Additionally, shelf can be secure to side panels using #10 1 1/2 in. Flat Head Wood Screws.

built in desk and shelves NO EXTRA SHELVES

10. Place remaining 18″ shelves where desired using Locking White Plastic Shelf Supports.

built in desk and shelves WHOLE THING NO MEASUREMENTS

11. The part that really makes these BUILT-IN is adding both baseboards and crown molding. You choose what goes best with the rest of your home. After you add these, fill in and screw holes with spackling and caulk along the joints. Then paint for a nice smooth, seamless finish.

BUILT IN DESK AND SHELVES

And that’s how we added built-ins to our girls’ room!

Really these built-ins would be great in a kids’ room, guest room, or family room because they are so versatile.

Do you have built-ins in your house? If not, is there somewhere you could see yourself adding some?

This post sponsored by The Home Depot. 🙂
shannon sign off