Stack and Store Lap Desks

Stacking lap desks
Starter Projects
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These stackable lap desks store everything neatly like a bookcase!  Just unstack, flip and use as lap desks.  Free easy plans from

kids with flip desk
stacking desks
stacking desks diy

Our children have been home from school for a month now.  The papers, the books - it's everywhere.  How to organize and make systems?

My friend has three school aged children in a very small A frame - so adding desks to the slanted walls would have been very difficult (or at the least, very space consuming).  There's also not enough room to add three more desk chairs to her living room. She's been brainstorming ideas on how to create desks for the kids despite these challenges.  Finally, we decided to try something creative.

Together we designed lap desks that stack up like a bookcase when not in use.  Each child has their own lap desk, that holds all their supplies.  When in use, simply flip over and it's a sturdy, perfect sized workspace.  The lap desks are big enough for a child under five feet tall to sit with crossed legs.  

We went simple with our lap desks - but though there could be so many creative ways that these little desks could be modified.  

Stack lap desks

This was a very quick and easy build with barely any scraps left over.  This is certainly a project that most any mom or dad could knock out in no time.

Here's the video of us building them:

I did change a few things up in the plans from the video, just to make it easier to build and easier to stack. The free plans follow.  Please do share if you build, we love seeing your completed projects!

stacking lap desk plans
Dimensions shown above


Shopping List
  • 1 - 1x12 @ 4 feet long
  • 1 - 1x4 @ 4 feet long
  • About 15 - 1-1/2" long self tapping screws, I used these
  • wood glue
Cut List
  • 2 - 1x12 @ 11-1/4"
  • 2 - 1x4 @ 22-1/2"
  • 1 - 1x12 @ 25”
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Miter Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Attach the 1x4s to the sides of the 1x12s as shown in the diagram, with two screws per joint and glue. 

Step 2

Apply glue to the top edges of the desk and place the top on, with even overhangs on ends.

Attach top with screws to the sides and 1x4 on back.

Step 3

Mark center location of handle holes and drill out with a drill bit.

Connect holes with a jigsaw cut.

Sand smooth.



Mon, 04/13/2020 - 09:13

I think your cut list may be incorrect. The shopping list has 1-1x12 @ 4 feet long, but then your cut list says to cut 2-1x12’s @ 11 1/4” and 1-1x12 @ 48”. Just wanted to double check on this.