We’ve lived in our tiny house for several months now, and we’ve come to realize that tiny house living is all about finding ways to make your living space work to your benefit.
Since we decided to move across the country from California to Tennessee, lots of things have changed. One of the big recent changes was that Mrs Epic accepted a job offer to work remotely from our tiny house, so we knew that it was going to be important for her to have a specific place she could comfortably work.
We began researching ideas for the best tiny office configurations and furniture given our limited space in our tiny house. Mrs Epic knew that she wanted something that could fold up and get out of the way in case we had people over.
She decided to buy two Folding L-Brackets and use a piece of 3/4 inch plywood we had left over from our DIY Storage Couch build. We stained the plywood and put some polyurethane on it to protect it. Once that was protected and ready to be mounted, we mounted the Folding L-Brackets to the walls so that they’d hit the studs and be fully supported. We had to use a level to make sure that we didn’t end up with an uneven desk in the tiny office. Once the two brackets were level, we attached the plywood to the brackets. Again, we made sure it was level, and sure enough, it was level!
Once the desk was up in the tiny office, Mrs Epic felt the need to have a second monitor up next to the desk, as she likes to do her work with two monitors. So we cut a triangle piece of 3/4 plywood, stained and sealed it, and then mounted that next to the fold down desk. This allows for the monitor to be affixed to the wall and the plywood.
Mrs Epic found a stadium style seat for $4 at Goodwill that she puts on one of the DIY ottomans and that acts as her desk chair. Simple enough, right?
Table of Contents
How we built a DIY fold down desk:
This is a super simple design, but extremely functional. With these brackets from Home Depot or Amazon, a pair can hold up to 880 pounds, and it opens a full 90 degrees and closes completely against a flat wall. It’s the perfect space saving design and on a great budget! Total cost is approximately $50 for this DIY fold down desk.
- Drill bits
- Table saw/Skill saw (or have your desk top cut at a hardware store)
- Stud Finder
- 3/4″ Plywood or other strong wood/bench/countertop. It should be at least 15″ wide for an effective desk.
- Screws for brackets into walls
- Screws for brackets into dest/table/bench top
- 2 Knape & Vogt 16 in. Heavy Duty Folding Shelf Bracket
- Stain or paint as desired
Step 1: Desk Top/Table Top/Bench Preparation
Locate the area your desk will be placed. Using a stud finder, locate at least two studs within the area you will be mounting your desk. Studs are typically 16″ or 24″ OC (On Center), meaning that from the center of one stud to the next are these measurements. These studs are where you will be mounting your desk brackets, so make sure that you place them so that your desk will be adequately supported. Based on these measurements, determine the width of your desk. Mark that measurement on your 3/4″ Plywood or other material.
Determine the length of your desk. The top of the brackets are 16″ long, so I would suggest making your desk at least 15″ wide. This allows for a flush mount to the front of the brackets plus a gap in the back for cords, if you so desire. Once you’ve determined the width of your desk, mark that measurement on your 3/4″ Plywood or other material. Cut your 3/4″ Plywood or other strong material to the desired length and width of your desk. Stain or paint it to fit your desired aesthetic!
Step 2: Mount the Brackets
Determine the height for your desk or table, and mark this on your wall. Take one of the brackets, and on one of the studs previously located, align with a level and pre-drill and screw the bracket into the stud. Take the second bracket and align over the second stud previously located. Place the level across both brackets, then pre-drill and screw the second bracket into the stud.
Step 3: Attach the Desk Top/Table Top/Bench
Place your desk top in the desired location across the top of the brackets. Screw up through the brackets into the underside of your desk top. Note: Ensure that the top of the bracket is aligned with the bottom of the bracket so that when you go to close it will fold down the full 90 degrees. Once the desk top is attached, test to ensure that the bracket will close the full 90 degrees. If it does not, adjust your positioning of the top of the brackets and reattach the top.
Step 4: Nice job! Now, get to work!
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The DIY Tiny House idea started in 2014. A complete DIY process, Will and Alicia did everything themselves from drawing up the plans, building the framework, electrical, plumbing, and finishing touches and appliance selections.
Over several years, they documented what it was like to live in a Tiny House, conducting very thorough research on how to solve the many issues and problems which come up. In 2019, they sold their Tiny House as their lives continued to evolve and change.
You can continue to follow the lives of Will and Alicia at @ironwillruns on Instagram.