How to Make a DIY Standing Desk Add-On

Hi, everybody! I'm Paige from Little Nostalgia (blog no longer active) and I'm back with a great solution for anybody who's on the computer a lot. (Which is pretty much all of us, am I right?) My blog and design business keep me chained to my desk most of the day, and I know it's not great for my general health to sit, sit, sit. I've been pondering the idea of a standing desk for a while, but I didn't want to toss the perfectly good piece of furniture I already had. Sometimes it's good to sit, like when I'm sewing, so I wanted something I could ADD to my desk when I needed to stand and ixnay the back pain. And then I thought about the cool snack tray my mom had when I was a kid and boom! Solution.


  • 16" x 24" piece lumber
  • 4 tapered legs (I used the 12" length)
  • 4 angled plates
  • drill
  • pen or pencil
  • tape measure
  • paint and/or stain


Step 1: 
The piece of lumber I had was 16x48, so the first thing I did was cut it in half on our table saw to get 16x24. (Your can always get your board cut at the hardware store if you don't have a saw.) The size was kind of arbitrary, I just wanted the "table" to be big enough for my Macbook AND some coffee, so your dimensions might be slightly different.

Once the wood was the right size, I fiddled with the leg placement. I decided on 2" from each edge and lined them all up. The great thing about these plates is that they come with the screws, so it saved me a few minutes at the store.

Step 2: 
I've used these plates for other projects and they tend to slide around, so I marked all of the screw holes with a pen.

Step 3: 
Does everybody know what time it is? TOOL TIME! Say hello to my drill, I don't think I've properly introduced it before. This one is electric, which is my preferred type because they never need to be charged.

As you might imagine, I used the screwdriver bit for Mr. Drill to attach the plates. It took... maybe 90 seconds? If you're new to power tools, this project is A+ for you because it will be over before you can get nervous.

Step 4: 
After the drilling, I screwed on the legs. Each one came with a pre-installed hanger bolt on the end, so this part was extra easy, too.

Step 5: 
Let's add some color! I wanted to stick with a mid-century palette, to coordinate with those gams, so I picked a light-to-medium stain. You might be wondering why I picked the one in the spray can instead of the "regular" kind, and it's because I was curious. This SEEMS like the best thing ever:

If you look closely at the picture above, you can see that I'd already sprayed the legs. It added just a bit of warmth to some awfully pale wood. Tragically, the wood I used for the top must have been a different species (I thought everything was pine) because instead of turning that pretty warm shade, it was yellow. Crayon yellow. So that's where the white paint came from, ha.

Let's do a quick budget breakdown. The legs and attachment plates were $18, the one-step stain was $8, the wood was leftover from another project, as was the white paint, making this $26. Could you do it for less if you didn't want to use the cool mid-century legs? Totally. But the legs make it for me, so they were worth the extra coin.

I've only been using this for a couple of days, but so far so good. I don't have to get up and stretch all the time because I'm already up. Peace out, back pain!

What do you like to make out of lumber? Anybody else have a standing desk?

About the Author: 
Paige Ronchetti is an interior decorator and blogger who writes about DIY projects, decor inspiration, and personal style over at Little Nostalgia (blog no longer active). When she's not blogging, she's working with local clients through The Room Kit, her budget-friendly interior design business. Her favorite books are Harry Potter. Follow along on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

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