• Coral Channel

DIY Standing Desk

Attention all creatives! If you're a crafty person like us, than you know the benefits of a standing desk! When Karlee, a prosthetic artist from Toronto asked Danie and Alexandra to find her a solution through Buy or DIY, Danie pulled out all the stops to bring Karlee a unique DIY piece that not only would be functional but would stand the test of time too! (PUN INTENDED!). And now you can build it for yourself!


(1) 4x4 ¾” OSB plywood

(2) ¾” 2x4 oak plywood

Wood Cut Pieces

A: (1) 20” x 26” OSB

B: (1) 20” x 26” Oak Plywood

C,D,E: (3) 19 ⅛” x 6” (sides)

F: (1) 26” x 6” (back)

G,H: (2) 5 ¾” x 6”

I: (1) 13.5” x6”

Galvanized Pipe Legs - ¾”

(8) flanges

(4) couplings

(4) t fittings

(4) 4” pipes  

(4) 3” pipes

(4) 18” pipes

(2) 12” inch pipes

Acrylic Top

10” x 14” ¾” acrylic top


Jig saw

Circular saw

Pocket hole kit

1 1/4” pocket hole screws

⅛” drill bit

1/16” drill bit

1 ½” wood screws

1 ¼" hole saw

Amber shellac

Black wood stain

Wood finish

(2) 1" hinges

(4) Heavy duty felt pads

(1) Tapered brush

Rubber gloves

Staining rags

Spray paint

Latex aluminum primer


#10 ¾” wood screws

Long robertson drill bit

#5 ½” wood screws

1) Cut all your pieces of wood to the following dimensions:

  • A: (1) 20” x 26” OSB

  • B: (1) 20” x 26” Oak Plywood;*remove 10”x14” - measure 6” from right + left edge

  • C,D,E: (3) 19 ⅛” x 6” (sides)

  • F: (1) 26” x 6” (back)

  • G,H: (2) 5 ¾” x 6”

  • I: (1) 13.5” x6”

2) Measure and mark 6” from the right and left edge of PIECE A. Measure and mark upward 10” (or equivalent dimension to your ¾” acrylic sheet). Secure board down with clamps and remove the 10” x 14” box created using a jigsaw.

3) Lay PIECE B flat on your work surface. This piece will be the bottom of your desk. Take PIECE F and line it up vertically to the back of your board, create 6 marks where your pocket holes will be drilled.

4) Set your pocket hole kit for ¾” board (read kit directions on how to set depth). Drill pocket holes at your marked points. Use wood glue and secure PIECE F vertically to the top of PIECE B.

5) Working left to right on your board, take PIECE C and line it up vertically to the left side of PIECE B. Mark your 4 pocket holes, drill and secure to PIECE B accordingly.

6) Measure and mark 6” from the left edge of PIECE B. Take PIECE D and vertically line the board up so that the 6” mark sits in the middle of PIECE D 3⁄4” edge. Mark your 4 pocket holes, drill and secure to PIECE B accordingly.

7) Take PIECE I, and line it up to the front side of PIECE B. The left edge of PIECE I should touch the front edge of PIECE D. Mark 3 pocket holes that will secure the bottom and two pocket hole marks on each side that will screw into PIECES D + E. Drill and secure the bottom and side pieces in PIECE D.

8) Line up PIECE E to the edge of PIECE I so that it sits parallel to PIECE D. Mark 4 pocket holes, drill and secure to PIECE B accordingly. Drill that last two pocket holes on the side of PIECE I into PIECE E.

9) Take the remaining PIECES G + H and add them to the side to create three cubby spaces on the right side of the desk. To secure, create two pocket holes on the bottom and two on the sides that connect to PIECE E. *NOTE: Add pocket holes on the side that will be concealed by the cubby. Voila! The desk bottom is complete.

10) *OPTIONAL: using cotton rags, add black wood stain to the completed desk bottom. Let dry.

11) Using a 220-Grit sandpaper, sand the top of PIECE A until smooth.

12) Add shellac to the top of PIECE A. You’ll notice the shellac leaves an amber tone when applied. This was a personal choice, if you don't wish to give the board a yellow tone, feel open to stain the wood first then apply a clear finish on top. Let dry and provide the top with a light sand using a 300 grit sandpaper. Apply a second coat of shellac and let dry.

13) To attach PIECE A to your desk base, place on top and pre-drill holes from the top into the desk shelves using a ⅛” drill bit. Use 1 ½” wood screws to secure. I place 4 along the back, 3 along the left side and two on the right side. Basically, anywhere there was a vertical wood piece to attach to for stability.

14) Lets make some legs! The legs you use on your desk is completely optional. You can always thrift table legs from another desk but I went completely custom DIY for this desk so I opted to use an industrial feel with galvanized pipes. To make these table legs, you’ll need to source ¾” galvanized pipes in the following sizes:

  • 4 flanges

  • 2 couplings

  • (4) t-fittings

  • (4) 4” pipes  

  • (4) 3” pipes

  • (4) 18” pipes

  • (2) 12” inch pipes

15) Follow the chart to assemble your leg sides:

16) Sand the surface of both legs using a 220-grit paper to rough up the edges. Brush the surface of the legs using a latex aluminum primer (this is available at automotive supply stores) to keep the paint from reacting with the top coat of spray paint. Let dry. Then apply at least two coats of spray paint. Let dry.

17) Attach legs to bottom of table base using #10 ¾” wood screws and a long drill bit.

18) ACRYLIC TIME! I sourced a custom ¾” acrylic piece at a specialty plastic store in Toronto. These kind of places are a lot more common than you think, so source one in your home town and have fun with sizes and color!

19) As hard as this might be, don't peel the brown paper layer off the plastic just yet! Use your 1 ¼” hole saw to drill a hole in the front of your acrylic piece. The plastic layer will help the plastic from blowing out, leaving you with a crisp and clean hole.

Ok, NOW you can peel the plastic off! It feels SO GOOD ;)

(**also be aware, these photos show one side peeled, this was for camera purposes. Keep both sides on if you can!)

20) Place the piece of acrylic into the open space of your desk. Make sure it fits! Use a water based marker to mark the spot where you want to place two 1” hinges. I like to use the hinge as my guide to trace the width onto the plastic top. Happy with placement? Remove the plastic piece and place the hinge onto the edge of the acrylic. Mark the drill holes using the marker and put the hinge aside.

21) Using a 1/16” drill bit, pre-drill a hole into the plastic at your marked points. The plastic is a much harder material than wood, so pre-drilling will be necessary before placing a screw inside the plastic. You DON'T want your screw to break! I recommend sourcing a tougher screw then the packaged ones give you. I sourced #5 ½” wood screws. Carefully screw the two hinges into the plastic.

22) Using the packaged screws this time, secure the other side of the hinges into the desktop.

VOILA! A DIY STANDING DESK ready to be used!