DIY Reception Style Office Desk

Reception Style Office Desk DIY

I designed this desk with 3 objectives in mind.

  1. To hide my PC and all it's ridiculous cords.
  2. To be feng-shui friendly, putting me in the "power position".
  3. To be cute.

I scoured the internet for a desk I could buy with these 3 aspects in mind and nothing fit the bill.
In the end, I'm glad about that. Because I ended up with something more ME than I could ever find in a store, and it was a lot cheaper too!


Desk Build:
3 pieces MDF board (3/4" thick)
Electric Saw
Wood glue
Screws & screwdriver
Paintbrush & roller

Desk Design:
Tracer projector (like this one)
Mod Podge


For the front of desk:
Cut down one of your MDF boards to 45" x 5ft (boards originally come in sizes of 49" x 8ft).

For the sides:
Cut down your other MDF board to 2 pieces of 24" x 45".
Then, cut a slant down from the top edge of each piece, down to the 33" mark on the opposite edge.

For the desktop surface:
Cut the last MDF board to 23" x 5ft.
Using the remaining wood scraps, cut down 3 sizes for the braces to hold the desktop in place:

  • The first piece size 5ft x 3"
  • The other two pieces size 23" x 3"


Unfortunately, at the time I made this I didn't take a lot of pictures during my building process. But I'm going to take you through the steps as best as I can!

When gluing together, let the pieces sit overnight to dry before screwing in the braces.

I screwed the braces in at 28" up from the bottom of the desk. So my desktop is exactly 28" high above the ground.

After the braces are screwed into place, simply line the tops of them with wood glue, put the desktop in place, and wait for it to dry overnight.

I opted for two shades, one for the front and one for the sides. Get as creative as you like!

*Side note: I did not prime my wood before painting, which I think was fine it just required me to do two coats of paint throughout the desk.

Once your desk is painted and dried, it's time to put a design on the front if you so like.

I printed my design out small on a piece of paper, then used my tracer projector to project it on the front of the desk (you'll need a dark room for this!).

After it was traced in pencil, I took some black paint to fill it in.

And for the last step...

I was super excited when this poster or Audrey Hepburn turned out to be the exact width of the side of my desk.

Audrey's character from Breakfast at Tiffany's has always resonated with me. She was a self-reliant, hustling it was a perfect fit for my office desk.

If you too decide to mod podge a poster to the side of your desk, all I can say is go careful and slow. It was a bit of a challenge to get it on straight and without air bubbles. Be sure to paint a coat of mod podge on top of the poster when finished!

and voila!

Reception Style Office Desk DIY

You've got a totally awesome and chic reception style desk.

Be sure to cover your desktop in polyurethane as a final precaution, to ensure no paint chipping with regular use.

Wanna tour my office? 
See how I styled my desk and get inspired to decorate your own office space! Click here


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