Today I am sharing my My DIY Floating Desk with Storage, a project that’s been on my to-do list for quite a while! ! And I am so happy with how this turned out, but I did have a few hiccups that I will be telling you about and hopefully when you build this, things will go smoother!

DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with storage. Tutorial by sawdustsisters.com

Here is the finished desk. My favorite part are the corbels. You can buy corbels online but they are pricey. So, I decided to cut my own with a jigsaw.


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Floating Desk/Vanity Tutorial. Free template for the corbels too! Sawdustsisters.com

My teenage daughter loves this desk. She even gave me a shout out on her personal Instagram account. #coolmom 🙂

The objective was for her to use this desk as a vanity too, so I drilled a hole underneath (for cords) so that she could keep her blow drier and curling iron inside, and hopefully keep some of the clutter off the bathroom vanity! (A mom can only hope!)  So I had an old mirror cut to size and I glued it to the back of the lid.

Floating Desk/Vanity Tutorial. Free template for corbels. Sawdustsisters.com

I used liquid nails to adhere the mirror, but it was too heavy and it did NOT stay on. So, if you build this piece I would recommend using a lighter mirror. Maybe a locker mirror? The trick here is finding one that fits the space well. I’m still looking for the perfect mirror for this desk! So, for the time being this will be a desk, and not a vanity…..Just keeping it real my friends….. Not every project turns out like you intend it to 🙁

How to build a floating desk with storage

Be sure and read the entire tutorial before you get started!

I used the free plans available from this website here to build this desk. But, I will warn you, the plans had a few errors on the cut list when I built this. Not sure if it’s been fixed. I found out the hard way 🙁

Materials needed (Qty)

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      • (1) 1” x 12” x 6’
      • (1) 1” x 6” x 6’
      • (1) 1” x 4” x 6’
      • (1) 2” x 4” x 8’
      • (1) 3/4” x 24” x 48” plywood
      • (1) 2” x 12” x 4’
      • 1-1/4” Pocket Screws
      • 2” pocket screws
      • 3” wood screws
      • 2” brad nails and hammer or nail gun
      • Drill
      • Wood Glue
      • Decorative T Hinges
      • Soft Close Hinges
      • Level
      • Wood Stain in Drtftwood or your stain of choice
      • Miter Saw (or have pieces cut at the store)
      • jig saw
      • Kreg Jig

        Cut List

        (Listed In order of assembly)

        • A (2) Desk Sides 1”x 6” 13-1/4”
        • B (1) Desk Front 1”x 6” x 34-1/2”
        • C (1) Desk Bottom-cut ¾ “ plywood 13-1/4” x 33”
        • D (2) Corbels cut from a 2” x 12” Here is the corbel template you can use to cut these.
        • E (1) Desk Top 1” x 4” x 36”
        • F (1) Desk Lid 1” x 12” x 36”
        • G (1) Back Wall frame mount 2”x 4”x 33” (cut to the exact width of the inside of the desk)
        • H (3) Wall frame supports 2” x 4” x 11-3/4”

        Floating Desk Assembly 

        Step 1: 

        Attach the two sides to the front piece using pocket holes and pocket screws

        DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with Storage. Sawdustsisters.com

        Step 2:

        Attach the bottom piece in the same manner.

        Notice the placement of the pocket holes. You can drill a hole on the bottom at this point if you plan to use this as a vanity. I did it later on and found it to be more difficult.

        DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with Storage. Sawdustsisters.com

        DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with Storage. Sawdustsisters.com

        Step 3: 

        Cut and attach corbels

        I used a 2×10 for the corbels. Rather than buy corbels that are pricey, I used this corbel template I created, traced it on the 2×10 and cut around it with my jigsaw. Once the first corbel was made, I used IT to trace the second one to make sure they were exactly the same. Make sure you are patient and go really slow with the jigsaw. I sanded the rough edges a bit after cutting.

        DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with Storage. Sawdustsisters.com

        DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with Storage. Sawdustsisters.com

        I attached the corbels  to the bottom of the desk just a bit off the edge but flush with the back side. I used 3″ wood screws and glue.



        DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with Storage. Sawdustsisters.com

        Step 4:

        Stain and Attach the lid

        There are 2 pieces to the lid. The smaller piece is attached first and it is fixed. Attach using 2″ brad nails and glue. Nail from the top, flush with the back.

        DIY Floating Desk/Vanity Tutorial at Sawdustsisters.com

        At this point, I lightly sanded the piece and stained it. I used this stain which was leftover from my blanket ladder project.

        Then I used these awesome <a href=

Once the stain was dry, I gave the entire thing a coat of polyurethane.

DIY Floating Desk/Vanity Tutorial at sawdustsisters.com

Finally, I used these awesome T Hinges  to attach the flap lid.

DIY Floating Desk/Vanity Tutorial. Sawdustsisters.com

Step 5:

Build a frame out of 2x4s and attach the desk to the wall

You will attach this beauty to the wall by building a frame to slide it on to. The frame is made from 2x4s and put together with pocket holes and pocket screws. Make sure you measure the inside of the desk really well, so that it will fit snug. I had to do this twice (another hiccup) to have a good fit, the first frame I built was a wee bit small. The long 2×4 piece should measure exactly the width of the inside of your desk. Mine was 33″, but be sure and measure yours to get a precise cut.

DIY Floating Desk/Vanity Tutorial from Sawdustsisters.com

Attach the frame to the studs using wood screws

DIY Floating Desk/Vanity Tutorial from Sawdustsisters.com

Now your desk is ready to slide onto the frame. Once it’s in, push the desk  up from the bottom and drill 3″ wood screws into the 2×4 frame from the bottom to secure it. I had to get my hubby’s help here.

Once it’s all secure, you are ready to attach the Soft Close Hinges These are optional but I highly recommend them if you don’t want the lid to be a hazard to your fingers. It helps the lid stay open.

 DIY Floating Desk/Vanity Tutorial. Sawdustsisters.com

DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with storage. Tutorial by sawdustsisters.com

And you are done my friend!! Here are some pictures of the finished desk.

DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with storage. Tutorial by sawdustsisters.com

DIY Floating Desk/Vanity with storage. Tutorial by sawdustsisters.com

I hope you like it and get brave enough to build one. It’s really not that hard! This desk cost about $50 in lumber and hardware. Not bad, huh?

As always, if you have any questions, please ask! If you like this project be sure and check out our easy hairpin desk and our other wood projects

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This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. Sheila

    Oh my gosh, I so want to make one of these for my son’s new bedroom! Thank you! Given he needs a bit bigger desk, though, I’m thinking of making the corbels with “arms” that help support more depth and then on the back portion/box, making it with some sort of flip lid as well (not sure if this is doable, but I’m going to investigate) so I can place in the back a 6-way, then drill holes or slots in the lid for his computer/phone/iPad cables. Saving this!!! Awesome plan!

    1. Janice

      Thank you so much, Sheila! I love your idea of a charging station. I’d love to see it after you make it!!

  2. Kathy Gilland

    I love this and am going to have my husband make one. As far as the mirror, try screwing a strip of wood on either side of the desk. Then slide the mirror in. You can put little pieces of wood above and below (like on the back of a picture frame) to hold it in place. I will be using my desk to store mail and keys and the dogs halter and leash under a mantle my husband built for me. I hope my idea works for you. Thanks sawdust sisters!

    1. Janice

      What a great idea! Thank you!!!

    1. Janice

      Thank you so much!

  3. Sandra Garth

    I’d love to put one of these in our guest room and my granddaughters room. This is an fantastic project and thanks for sharing it at Celebrate Your Story. You are a #CoolMom!

    1. Janice

      Haha! My pleasure Sandra! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Susanne

    That is awesome!! Way to do double duty 🙂

  5. Oh my gosh, I love this! I need a desk, and this is perfect. Absolutely adore the floating and the storage. 🙂

    1. Janice

      Thank you so much Stefani! I’m so glad you like it!

  6. Melony

    I can see why your daughter would be thrilled with this. A desk, a makeup vanity and a place to store those ugly hair tools!! This is awesome!! Great job!

    1. Janice

      Thanks Melony!

  7. Pamela List

    This is so cute. I can’t imagine trying to put it together but you know patience is a learned behvior and I think I might like to try a few wood projects. This is just so prety and would be perfect in a tween farmgirl/city kind of room. Love it.

    pam

    1. Janice

      Thanks Pam! Yes this would be perfect in a tween’s room!

  8. thanks for the tutorial love how it turned out thanks for sharing have a great weekend

    1. Janice

      Thanks for stopping by, Lorraine!

  9. Kati

    Such a great desk! Thanks for sharing at the Wednesday Showcase link party.

    1. Janice

      Thank you, Kati!

  10. debbie

    Another amazing project and one I have never seen before! I love that you can use it as a vanity or a desk and the thoughtfulness of a hole for cords. Great pics and guidance too.

    1. Janice

      Thanks Debbie!

  11. LydiaF

    This is a wonderful project and I love that you intend it to be used as a vanity. Thanks for sharing with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg 🙂

  12. Denise/DIY Crush

    Oh wow! What an amazing desk! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing at the DIY Crush Craft Party on Thursday!! Hope to see your next projects this week!

    1. Janice

      Thank you!!

  13. Erika

    I love this, but do you think it would be possible to make it a bit longer and add an extra (stronger, reinforced metal) support in the middle on a stud? I need a bit more room, but I love the look and practicality of this SO MUCH.

    PS: Do you think we could just use heavy duty shelf supports instead of corbels for the entire project? Thanks!!! It’s beautiful!

    1. Janice

      Hi Erika! Thank you so much for stopping by! The 2×4 frame is pretty strong! If you make it longer you could hit at least two studs for extra suppory. All you mentioned is defitely possible but probably not necessary unless you’re putting really heavy things inside, or sitting on it 🙂

  14. Sarah

    This desk is beautiful. We are thinking of making a desk twice as long for two kiddos. Do you think the corbels are needed for structural strength or just for looks?

    1. Thank you Sarah! In this case the corbels are just for looks since they’re not screwed into the wall. Thanks for stopping by!

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