How to make a DIY standing desk

Office Furniture

A standing desk can add more movement and productivity to your day, but they’re pricey. Cut costs and enjoy a creative project by tackling a DIY standing desk.

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What do you need to make a standing desk? 

Standing desks offer many benefits to anyone who works on their computer regularly or wants a workspace at an advantageous height. Unfortunately, standing desks tend to be pretty pricey. Figuring out a way to make a DIY standing desk can save you money while offering a more personalized design. 

There are endless ways you can make a DIY standing desk. The scope of your project depends largely on your budget, space and skills. To make a successful DIY standing desk, you’ll need accurate measurements, your desired materials, necessary tools and plenty of determination.

What to consider before making a DIY standing desk

Before you set out on your DIY desk project, there are some details you want to consider first. Namely, the purpose of the desk, your budget, the ergonomics of your design and the desk height adjustability.


How do you intend to use your DIY standing desk? How long do you need it to last? What do you need to fit on your standing desk, just a laptop or a full desktop and other equipment? The purpose of your desk determines your project. If you only need a space to work for a couple of hours every week, you’ll want something smaller that’s easy to tuck away. However, if you plan on doing many hours of work at your standing desk, you want to make sure there is plenty of space and storage for all your work. 


The cost of building a DIY standing desk can vary widely. Many homemade standing desks are cheaper than what you can find for sale, but that isn’t always the case, especially if you opt for high-end materials or a large-sized desk. If you’re hoping to save money, carefully budget your project to ensure you don’t overspend. If you can’t stay within your budget due to your needs, consider purchasing a manufactured standing desk.

Ergonomic design

Professional desk manufacturers spend a lot of time researching and planning their desk designs. They focus on desk height, size and storage features to make their final products as ergonomically pleasing as possible. When you plot out your DIY standing desk design, make sure you take time to consider what will be most comfortable. The best standing desks are functional, efficient and enjoyable to work with. Make sure your final project is orderly and comfortable, or you won’t enjoy using it.

Height adjustability

Some standing desks are easy to transition from sitting to standing heights. While this isn’t a necessity in a standing desk, some users greatly prefer this feature. If you want your DIY standing desk to be adjustable in height, either to suit different users or for both standing and sitting work sessions, then be sure to consider your construction.

Benefits of a DIY standing desk

Standing desks have a lot of benefits, including reducing your risk of obesity and weight gain. But what are some specific benefits of a DIY standing desk? Here are a few to consider:

  • You can save money and build a design to suit your specific needs
  • You can incorporate more exercise into your daily routine, even while working
  • You can enjoy an exciting, creative DIY project
  • You can use the desk for multiple purposes, not just as a desk

Disadvantages of a DIY standing desk

While there are advantages to building a DIY standing desk, there are certainly some cons. Here are some disadvantages to consider before starting your project:

  • The final project may not be as durable or sturdy as a manufactured desk
  • The building process could be frustrating for inexperienced DIYers
  • Building reliable DIY standing desks requires time, skill and dedication
  • Long periods of standing can have some unfavorable health effects, especially for users with preexisting health conditions 

How to make a DIY standing desk in 7 different ways

1. Bookshelf DIY standing desk

Kimberline Standard Bookcase

Kimberline Standard Bookcase

This DIY standing desk is a flawless way to make practical use of bookshelf space. You can create a smart workstation without any tools or complicated assembly, or you can take this idea and build off of it with extra desk construction if desired. All you need to do is remove a few shelves at the desired standing desk height and set up your workspace. Then, design the remaining shelves of the bookcase in a desirable, functional way.

Sold by Wayfair

2. Reclaimed pallet DIY standing desks

Natural Pine Wood Quarter Pallet

Natural Pine Wood Quarter Pallet

Wooden pallets are a favored material among DIYers. It’s durable, flexible and cost-effective. To make a reclaimed wooden pallet DIY standing desk, you will need a drill set, screws, a saw and a way to sand your wood, so it’s smooth. You can purchase your pallets or pick up some old ones from your local home improvement store. Be sure to clean any old pallets with a sander, removing rough sections or rusty nails. Construct the tabletop portion of the desk by taking pieces from one pallet and attaching them at a 90-degree angle to the intact pallet. Hang on a wall at your desired height and enjoy the rustic standing desk look.

Sold by Home Depot

3. Sawhorse DIY standing desk

Adjustable Height and Width Steel Sawhorse

Adjustable Height and Width Steel Sawhorse

Sawhorses are used in many construction projects for their durability and stability. They can also be exemplary for standing desks. Use two tall sawhorses as a frame for your desk, then attach your desired tabletop.

Sold by Home Depot

4. Treadmill DIY desk attachment

HumanCentric Bamboo Treadmill Desk Attachment

HumanCentric Bamboo Treadmill Desk Attachment

This is a suitable standing desk option if you’re looking for ways to get more physical movement throughout your day. All you need is a functioning treadmill and a platform to hold your keyboard and computer. Make sure to secure your attachment so your entire workstation doesn’t topple over during your walk.

Sold by Amazon

5. Dresser DIY standing desk

Fusion 5 Drawer 31.13'' W Chest

Fusion 5 Drawer 31.13” W Chest

If you have a dresser in your home that just collects dust and junk on the top, consider transforming it into a standing desk. This project doesn’t require any tools or construction. Simply clear the top of your dresser and place your monitor on top. Transform the drawers into office storage, and you have a DIY standing desk.

Sold by Wayfair

6. DIY standing desk converter

VIVO Standing 32 inch Desk Converter

VIVO Standing 32 inch Desk Converter

If you already have a desk you love but want to increase the height, an easy way to do this is with a desk converter. Create instant active standing with a space efficient design. This design is strong, stable and requires minimal assembly.

Sold by Amazon

7. DIY standing desk with floating shelves

Shelves Natural Rustic Wood Floating Book Display

Shelves Natural Rustic Wood Floating Book Display

A great way to create a standing desk anywhere in your home that’s convenient is to use floating shelves. This keeps legs out of the way and allows you to style your floating desk however you want. With this seller, you can choose your desired width and depth for the desk of your dreams.

Sold by Etsy


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