DIY Lap Desks (No Sewing Required!)

DIY Lap Desk (via I mainly added that “No Sewing Required” to the title of this post in the hopes that you would not read this as “DIY Lap Dance.” Every time I say “lap desk” I think, “lap dance.” I guess a DIY lap dance post wouldn’t be the worst for this month, with Valentine’s and all. It’s just not something I have the right, uh, skills to teach. 

So sorry to disappoint anyone—this is about needing a comfy, flat surface so you can type in bed… not about a lap dance. 

His and Her Lap Desks DIYDIY Lap Desk tutorialI type or edit pictures in bed fairly often, so I’ve been wanting to get some kind of lap desk for a while. But, I kept seeing ones that were just not my style or just generally a little overpriced. So, I decided to make my own, and once I realized how inexpensive it was going to be, I thought I’d make a his and her version so Trey and I can be really cool and BOTH be on our computers in bed at night. Ha!

Cut the foam to fit the boardSupplies:
-wooden lap desk top (I bought ours here)
foam square (found in the fabric department of most craft or fabric stores)
-fabric (1/3 to 1/2 a yard, depending on your lap desk top size)
-fabric glue
-staple gun and staples (make sure they are shorter than your lap desk top)
-wood stain and brushes (optional)

In case you’re curious, each lap desk costs about $18 to make, depending on what fabric you choose. This does not include tools (scissors or staple gun).

Step One: I placed my lap desk top on the foam and traced a pattern. Be sure to cut the foam a little smaller than the top. You can use scissors to cut the foam, and don’t worry if your edges aren’t perfect. You won’t be able to tell once you’re done.

Stain the topsStep Two: I chose to stain the tops and sides of my lap desk tops. You can skip this if you like the look of unfinished wood. I decided to stain one black (Ebony) and one white (tinted stain base with white paint). Allow to fully dry.

Staple the cushion to the bottomStep Three: Place the foam over the bottom side of the lap desk top and staple in place. Try to make your edges look clean and pull the fabric taut as you go. If you find that a staple goes in at an angle, so it comes up out of the desk surface, remove it with a pair of pliers and try again. You don’t want any staples exposed or they may snag you once you put your lap desk to use.

Trim and add trimStep Four: Trim any excess fabric. As you can see, I had quite a bit to trim away. It’s good to have extra fabric while you are stapling because it gives you more to hold on to as you work. 

Step Five: For a cleaner edge, fabric glue trim to the trimmed edges of the fabric. Allow to dry.

Easy homemade gift ideas for menHow to make your own lap desk for less than $20I’m really glad I went ahead and made my own because I love how they turned out. Thanks for letting me share! xo. Emma

Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy and Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.