From An End Table To A Desk?

2 Materials
$40
4 Days
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Desks can be fashioned from all sorts of things, from doors, too...well, end tables. I found this really unique piece in Goodwill and turned it into a charming secretary. Find out how!

from an end table to a desk

In my last post I showed you the cute desk chair I had just finished. When a friend saw it, she asked if there was a desk to go with it because she thought it might sell better as a set. I replied, “I’ll work on it.”

I headed straight to Goodwill to find something to flip. JACKPOT. I found this really unusual end table. I had never seen anything like it. It was solid wood and only $8.55, including tax! That’s what we call a ‘no brainer’.  The next stop was another Goodwill for something I could use for legs. No luck. Stop 3, Habitat for Humanity Restore. SCORE! A kitchen table top for $3! (I found the price tag later that said $2, but I am not going to quibble.) Unbelievable!


The design vision was to turn the end table into a secretary that would match the chair that started all of this. I also wanted the piece to be super practical for today, with hidden spaces for chargers and power strips, while keeping the style whimsical. The final thing that determined the design was the material I had at hand, namely a table top.

I know that most people are not going to go to the trouble of doing this. But in case you want to know the steps, here they are. You can also watch a video of the project. 

The Process

  • Remove all the hardware.
  • Spray paint hardware.
  • Decide on the desired height.
  • Make a pattern for the leg design.
from an end table to a desk
  • Cut legs from desk top. 
  • Attach legs with Kreg screws and glue.
from an end table to a desk



  • Add a cleat to the inside of the desk to hold the desk top.
  • Cut pieces for the desk top.
  • Cut the lid that folds down to form the desk.
  • Make two corbels to hold the folding section.
  • Prime and paint everything.
  • Distress by sanding, if desired.
from an end table to a desk

Attach desk lid with hinges.

Attach corbels with hinges.

Reattach remaining hardware.

Line compartments with pretty paper.


The Result

This desk is compact but perfect for today’s living. It works in any room and would be ideal in a small dormer or alcove. As a bonus, thanks to hidden compartments, lots of debris can hide away inside, even while it is open.

from an end table to a desk

You may never do this exact project, but maybe it will open your eyes to possibilities in your own home. If you need a guidance, just reach out to me!

from an end table to a desk

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4 of 23 comments
  • Bmi32050820
    on Oct 28, 2019

    It is really cute and useful. Great way to Marry two great finds but...I think the top was used as desk not an end table. Think of old ships like pirates had. That is how there desk looked. But I love it with the cute legs

  • Shelly Werger
    on Oct 31, 2019

    Beautiful! I am always inspired when I see women builders with crafting. For some reason I have always felt intimidated by using power tools and embarrassed to ask for training. But I love doing craft projects and would love to be more confident and capable of expanding my projects into wood working more!

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