How To Make A Custom Map Desk

9 Materials
3 Hours

My kids are all growing up, 2 are already at University and the little one will join them in a couple of years. So we decided that we didn't really need a playroom any more and would turn that space into a more adult room. As part of this room we wanted a custom computer desk to fit into an alcove with shelves above. We made the shelves out of scaffolding boards and decided to do the same with the desk.

I really love old maps and have made a fabulous map table from an IKEA table in the past. ( You can see it here).

This time I decided to make a map desk but I wanted a design were I could easily change the map whenever I wanted.

I used scaffolding boards to for the top. I cut the board lengths to fit exactly in the alcove. The top was 3 boards in width.

I bought some hairpin legs of Amazon for the desk. You can get them in loads of colours. This colour I chose was called living coral.

I used wooden batons to secure the three scaffolding boards together.

I then screwed in the hairpin legs, one in each corner.

The scaffold board top was then sanded and waxed to give it an aged look.

I carefully measured the top of the desk. Using these measurements I printed a world map to the size of the table top. This map is available on my blog and it's size can easily be adjusted to suit your own measurements. You can easily get the map printed online or at your local print shop.

Due to the fact that printing paper only comes in certain sizes. The map was printed with a white border. So using a rotary cutter I simply cut away the white border.

To protect the map, I ordered a sheet of clear Perspex online. I ordered a piece 5mm thick and the exact size of the table top with four screw holes. One in each corner. Just google and you will easily find a company online you can make a made to measure Perspex sheet for you.

I secured the map to the desk top with a glue dot in each corner. I then lay the Perspex sheet on top.

Remove the protective film of the Perspex and then screw it to the desk.

To finish off I put some nice chrome screw caps on top of the screw heads.

You don't have to have a map underneath you can of course use any image you want. There is a great site were you can download loads of maps from all over the world and other fantastic vintage images such as natural history posters for free. See it here.

What would you have on your desk?

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Claire at Pillarboxblue
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 10 questions
  • Alice Alice on Apr 02, 2019

    This is awesome. How much would it cost?

  • Debi Debi on Apr 02, 2019

    I have an old school map that is not paper but material? it was a rollup map. Trying to find a way to use it. I do have the roller it came with too. Any ideas?

  • Omega Omega on Apr 03, 2019

    Do you think this will work with other than wood desk tops?

Join the conversation
4 of 153 comments
  • Joyce Hopkins Joyce Hopkins on Apr 04, 2019

    This would look so nice with a piece of molding around edges to finish it. You'd never even guess it was home made. I love this idea. My extra bedroom is so small but a built in desk wouldn't take up much space at all. Thanks!

    • Claire at Pillarboxblue Claire at Pillarboxblue on Apr 04, 2019

      Thank you. Molding would look good too. Yes that's why I made the desk so I could get a nice compact one to fit my little alcove.

  • Jo Anne Gobble Jo Anne Gobble on Apr 11, 2019

    I love it!