Built In Desk For the Craftroom

Built In Desk For the Craftroom



I know you are going to be surprised at this….but I have brilliant ideas every day.


I’m always thinking of them.

The challenge is…..97.25% of them don’t work out.

But every now and then….once in a blue moon….an idea comes along that actually works.

Like this idea for a built in desk.

And then….I totally amaze myself.

I amaze myself with an idea that is easier and simpler and looks better than I ever imagined.

This is the successful story of one of the 2.75% ideas that worked out.


Here’s the before of the craft room.

In its glory day it was a tanning bed room.

People from all over the county would come to the beauty shop for a cut and curl and a tan.

The room measures only 6 feet wide by 11.4 feet deep.

Perfect for a craft room.


We started by pulling up that black and white linoleum.

(total aside:  I love black and white linoleum….just not some linoleum that is pulling away from the wall and oddly smells like a tanning bed).

Next we pulled off the baseboards and primed the floor.

(total aside number 2:  the pronoun “we” is a little misleading….I was the supervisor).


Then we laid down peel and stick tile in a diagonal pattern.

(total aside number 3:  peel and stick is a great option on a budget leaving plenty of $$ left over for a brilliant idea)

(total aside number 4:  a “total aside” is so much better than just an “aside.”)


I wanted built-in cabinets….but to hire a carpenter is so expensive and this is a budget craft room.

And the room is so narrow that there is only a 15″ clearance on either side of the door and cabinets that you buy off the shelf typically have a 24″ depth.

Enter brilliant idea number 1,345,678.

We bought four upper cabinets off the shelf at the home improvement store.

These cabinets measure 30″ high x 18″ wide x 12″ deep.

Perfect fit.


Four cabinets fit perfectly along the wall with a 21″ space between each one.

Four cabinets created three desk areas with plenty of storage.

Just make sure when you install them the doors are going the right way.

(total aside number 5:  not that anyone would have forgotten to check that around here).


We made sure all the cabinets were level, shimmed them where needed and attached them to the wall.

Then we simply added a 1″ piece of MDF that was cut to 14″ wide for the desk top.

This allowed a little overhang and made it look like a custom built-in.

All we have left to do is add trim moldings to the bottom and add a piece of super thin plywood to the sides to cover the press board and then caulk and paint the built-ins.

Normally my brilliant ideas take days or weeks or months.

Or never at all.

But this one….we finished in an afternoon.

Good thing “we” are so handy. 🙂

PS  If the rest of my brilliant ideas work out I should be able to show you the finished craft room next week.

PPS  I wanted to announce the winners of the Blogging Extravaganza Giveaway!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered!

Deish Norton
Wendy Barron Byde
Vanessa Marquiss Barker
Lucy Farmer
Gretchen Brown Neal
Sheila (email begins with she123…)

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  1. That is TOTALLY brilliant! Even I might be able to squeeze in a little space for a craft desk with this idea! Can’t wait to see the finished product! 🙂

  2. Good morning Karianne, this is such a good idea. I can sort of picture how it might look, but I know your reveal will be more fab than what I’m imagining right now. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished room.

    What a super way to put small space to great use.

    Enjoy your day!

  3. For sure we are kindred spirits (despite, of course, red lipstick making me look like a hooker 🙂 because I totally think of myself as the Queen of Brilliant! Where I get in to trouble is the execution due to the fact that I’m the Supervisor and Jacqay-of-all-Trades combined into one and thus many of those Brilliant Ideas turn into a big UH OH – certainly not nearly as brilliant as in my mind’s eye!

    Oh, as a “total aside”, I’m loving this Brilliant Idea!

  4. The craft area is going to be fantastic…love how you placed the peel and stick tile on the diagonal!..and loved how you stated that “we” are very handy…as “we” are very handy around here too! 🙂 Have a wonderful week Kari!

  5. You are such a smartypants! Great idea, KariAnne, love how the space is coming together 🙂

  6. Totally need this in my craft room!!! I’ve got a 6 foot plastic folding table with fabric over it!!!
    You are indeed brilliant as was this idea…and I’m very happy that you use “we” in the same way I do!

  7. Great idea for this room. It sounds about the size of my craft/sewing room, which is just right for me. I can’t wait to see the finished reveal!

  8. OMG You have amazing timing…..I’ve been thinking about using those cabinets for a small desk in my kitchen, now I can flatter you by imitation…LOL

    Can’t wait to see the finish!

  9. Definitely Brilliant! Can’t wait to see the finished room!!

  10. Karianne,
    I can’t wait to see more of your decorating ideas!

  11. I thought I had seen a glow of brilliance in the sky coming from your direction. Either that or an extraterrestrial, but now I know it was brilliant you.

  12. I just know this room is going to be awesome!! You know, supervisor is the most important job!! Be sure to wear a hard hat and, of course, red lipstick! Can’t wait to see what your mind has spinning around in it! ~~Angela

  13. Just love! Can’t wait for the end result!

  14. Perfect idea for a narrow room. ( total aside #1, I’ve used peel and stick before…they do have their moment!). And, just so you know…when I say “we”, I’m the supervisor too! 😉

  15. Great story and I am sure your ideas work more then you said, you are so talented. I love what you are doing. Can’t wait to see it finished.


  16. Can’t wait to see the finished space. I went to Target and purchased the closet type cabinets with doors and put down 3 of them and then a MDF topper…it’s a little taller and I need to use a stool to sit at it, but it worked great and fills a 12 ft. wall in my craft area and for under $75.00 I have a very large craft area. After all… creativity is the secret to a tight budget!!! You always take everything to a higher place, so I can’t wait to see your creative space!!!

  17. Brilliant! Looking forward to seeing the final reveal!

  18. More creative brilliance…what a great idea Karianne..have a great week

  19. I am so with you on ideas not working out a good portion of the time. My obliging, sweet hubby has moved my greenhouse a few times because of my ‘bright’ ideas. It is an all day extremely taxing task and he does it,,,,all for me.
    I am so glad this one worked out for you….and I am glad for your worker too. 🙂

  20. Oh my goodness! You are hilarious AND brilliant!

  21. Sheryll & Critters. :

    I have been wanting to do this for my tiny home office, but never seem to have any extra money to even purchase the plywood for the top. I have a plan… but to do it is the thing.

  22. ohmygosh this cracked me up on so many levels!! i frequently tell my husband, “we should do _______, and by we I mean you.” HA! so awesome when a good idea WORKS!!!

  23. This is such a great idea! I thought I was the only one having “great ideas” that most of the time didn’t work out. I felt a little better hearing someone as clever and talented as you, feels the same. Can’t wait to see the desk finished. Hugs!

  24. I can’t wait to see the finished product! Stock cabinets are the great unsung heroes of brilliant ideas, aren’t they?


  25. I’m already jealous of your dedicated space for crafting 😉 Wish I had one. I know you’ll enjoy it and put it to good use!

  26. I love your idea so far! Can’t wait to see the rest of it!

  27. Total aside….you are a total rock star! 🙂 Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

  28. “We” have gutted our house to the studs and refinished almost every room all by “ourselves”. I think that coming up with the ideas, taking the kids to Grandma’s during the execution and problem solving over the phone counts for something! We need to carve out some space for homeschooling our 4 big kids while still having play space for the little kids-I think that this idea will fit us perfectly!

  29. Just did the same with lower cabinet for my craft room…and a leftover piece of wainscoting to the side that is exposed to give a more finished look. Love seeing your projects in development. I supervised too! I am very (insert sarcasm here) good as supervisor!

  30. You sure do have plenty of great ideas! ~Diane

  31. Those little cupboards are great aren’t they? I am looking forward to the “reveal”. 😀

  32. Love it! Nothing like a custom solution that is so simple and perfect for your space!

    Annie XO