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Murphy Desk

  • August 12, 2014

Shanty 2 Chic
Shanty 2 Chic
Shanty 2 Chic
Shanty 2 Chic

Hey guys! So excited to be sharing my latest project over here on Ryobi Nation!
With school just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to design a desk to fit a small space. With 5 kiddos to find space for, I am always trying to think of ways to maximize space and function at the same time.

**Exclusive Feature**:
Click here to download Shanty 2 Chic's blueprints for this How-To!

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  • More Information, Tools, & Materials

    • Project Information

      • Difficulty: Intermediate
        Categories:
    • Tools Used

    • Materials Used

      • WOOD GLUE
      • (1) 1X8X10' PINE OR WHITEWOOD BOARD
      • (2) 1X6X8' PINE OR WHITEWOOD BOARD
      • (1) 1X6X22-1/4" BOARD (OPTIONAL FOR 3RD SHELF - SHORTEST BOARD YOU CAN FIND)
      • (2) 1X2X8' PINE OR WHITEWOOD BOARD
      • (1) 1X3X8' PINE OR WHITEWOOD BOARD
      • 3" WOOD SCREWS
      • BRAD NAILS (HANDFUL)
      • (75) 1-1/4" POCKET HOLE SCREWS
      • (2) 1-1/2" PIANO HINGE
      • (2) FOLDING LEG BRACKETS (OPTIONAL)
      • (1) 19" X27-7/8" X1/4" PANEL CHALKBOARD, PYWOOD OR DRY ERASE BOARD
      • FINISH OF CHOICE
      • (1) SUITCASE OR SWIVEL LATCH
      • MAGNETS (1 PAIR - OPTIONAL)
  1. Project Steps

    1. Step: 1

      Large d9c75b85 8d78 48b1 9004 f712c54a25e6

      Check out my DIY Murphy Desk!

    2. Step: 2

      Large 340e60a3 47b1 4d46 9c27 66e979b61b14

      The best part?? It folds up to this super cute and fully functional chalkboard!

    3. Step: 3

      Large 365b4377 789f 4d50 bfca 5d50a455d810

      This is a really simple build! Start by building the box of the desk. I chose to use pocket holes for this part, but wood glue and the new 16-gauge finish nailer would also work perfectly!

    4. Step: 4

      Large 1323e128 7c9d 4b46 8dbf 62efda6355d6

      Once you have the box built, you will add the top and bottom brace pieces. These are used to attach the desk to the wall. Again, the finish nailer and glue would work perfectly on this part. After attaching those pieces, you add your shelves. You can add as few or as many as you want!

    5. Step: 5

      Large 15972880 7e09 4480 b0c9 44be307c11e4

      The desk top is planked wood. I used my Ryobi 18V drill to attach the planks using 1.25" pocket hole screws.

    6. Step: 6

      Large e3637e66 0e72 47ec 9512 589215168970

      Before painting everything, build the leg frames.

    7. Step: 7

      Large ca4bf401 df3c 40b9 b00b cb1f4a5dbaf5

      I found it easiest to paint each piece separately on this part. Once it dries, add some wood glue and attach the chalkboard panel to the planked top!

    8. Step: 8

      Large 50c453aa 1a06 4bb4 944f 2f080d8df87b

      Everything is ready to attach now! I used these 1.5" hinges from Home Depot for my bottom hinges and 1" hinges for the top hinges. You have to use the narrower hinges on the top since you have less width. To attach my desk to the wall, I first found and marked the studs. Next, I used 3" wood screws through the top and bottom desk braces and into the wall. The desk sits 26" off the ground, so you may want a helper on this part. I put a stool under mine to hold it in place while I attached! This desk is so versatile too! My oldest wants one to use as a vanity. It gives her a place to pretty up while hiding her makeup from the babies at the same time ;-) Be sure to download and print the full set of FREE plans too!

Comments (40)


  • I love this idea! Can't wait to build one for my son!

    By Shell1275

  • Great idea! I saw a nail tech do this for her nail station in her hair salon. Brilliant!

    By foustwo_125980

  • I feel like this would be perfect for a crafting station in an apartment.

    By ambrosila

  • Great idea. I'll be doing this in my garage for a pull down table to do my wood projects and will store my paints/stains on the shelf inside

    By ashleeault

  • I love the chalkboard idea, you'd never guess it was a desk.

    By Kiarajeleen

  • Such a great idea! I can think of so many ways to use this! Thanks for sharing!

    By monee2000_115458

  • Love this, perfect for my small house as craft station!

    By Savagecm




  • This would be great for cutting patterns on!

    By noyesfamily

  • With three kiddos (twins in 2nd grade and a son in 3rd grade) having a homework area for each is becoming a necessity! This is a perfect project to solve the problem while allowing the space to be utilized for play when not in use! Love it! Gotta get to building them ;)

    By Lovedbyhisgrace

  • So awesome!!! Would love to win some tools!

    By amyw85

  • This is neat! I think we'll have to try it!

    By Sublimsos

  • Anything "Murphy Design" is the best for space design and use! Can't wait to try this!

    By CharlotteSears

  • I would have never thought of this idea. Thanks i love it and will do it this weekend

    By tyrone

  • this is amazing!! but i wish there was a video for it :(

    By vishar


  • maravilloso tutorial. me ha encantado

    By mgr852

  • This is so cool! Living in a tiny (445 sf) unit, this might be a great space saver!

    By Allie

  • wow it's a beautiful idea can you please give me the mesure in centimeters ? thanks !

    By bersali



  • This is perfect for creating a crafting area in a dual-use space! I'm definitely going to make one.

    By loveshercoffee

  • I love this idea as an ironing board when you are short on space!!

    By SonjaB

  • I want this. My apt is small so it would be perfect

    By cabbie_17

  • Is there any way to convert these measurements to metric please? I understand that you can convert each measurement, but perhaps there is a better way to do it so that the numbers are whole? Thanks so much

    By JanisSpear

  • Thank you, it was just the idea I needed for my new studio :-)

    By Oxboll

  • Tyvm for providing a Murphy desk "how to"! Almost every other "pin" sucked as it was merely a link to a store (ie, Amazon) where these types of desks are quite expensive! Ty for providing the Best tutorial out there!

    By LizsFL

  • Ps. Will let u know how it turns out! Awesome step by step instructions! And the best part? As a gal who's always wanted to but has never built a thing, I actually think I can do this! Rock on ladies!

    By LizsFL


  • simplicity is beautiful!

    By chrodoc


  • This is awesome. I have two drop down tables that I made already but didn't think to make a box with a frame. I'll play around with the measurements and make it a sewing/craft station that holds my sewing machine inside. I'm short on space since my craft room turned into my nursery. I will put a mirror in the framed area or use chalkboard paint and add a latch at the top to secure it closed. Now to convince my husband that since I made it, it's mine. I'm sure he will be having me make several as gifts once he sees my finished product.

    By Ms. Fixit

  • This project is stalled out because I did not realize that I would need a special jig/kit to make pocket hole screws. You didn't show that on your posted pics. I'm a low budget DIYer so I'd appreciate if you have any solutions for me to get around this.

    By RoseT

  • Wonderful, the grandkids need their on space for whatever they choose to do.

    By Acqua

  • excellent excellent work, and great channel for sharing, THANKS!

    By PXRebirth

  • Can all the material be found at home Depot?

    By Mikebeats5

  • The downloadable pdf is no longer available. Can someone help me out with the pdf or the measurements ?

    By Lewisyoung
    • @Lewisyoung the PDF link should be fixed now. Thanks for notifying us!

      By RYOBI NATION

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