Flip Down Wall Art Desk

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This do it yourself kids desk folds up to become a wall chalkboard! Stores art supplies and even a paper roll holder! Super easy step by step instructions to DIY your own!

HANDMADE FROM THIS PLAN >>

Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!

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Author Notes: 

This one has been a looooong time in the making. I first came up with the ideas of a wall mounted desk last Christmas when I thought having a fold down wrapping station with rolls of wrapping paper and ribbon all neatly lined up would be a perfect spot to wrap gifts. 

 
 But after considering the weight and size of gifts, I decided to scrap the idea and went with the tool box gift wrap station. Building presents makes for large heavy gifts - you know what I'm talking about.
 
 

Perfect for an Kid's Art Desk

I don't know why it took me a year to realize a fold down desk with storage would work perfect as a kid's art desk.  Duh.
 

Tiny Space Solution

We have this constant issue in our house of no where to color, paint and do simple crafts.  We needed a dedicated art stations for the girls, but in our less than 1200 square foot house that I work out of full time, there just isn't the space for a desk or art easel dedicated to the kids.
 

Storage Too!

But this desk, when closed, takes up NO floor space, and acts as a chalkboard for playing school.  But when opened, the desk not only creates a perfect for kids coloring height desktop, it opens up a dedicated area for storing art supplies.  And I've even put in a spot for a craft paper roll!
 

Easy Systems

You know me, I'm all about creating easy systems in the home that make sense and minimize extra work.  Before, we had a show box full of crayons and would haul it around from the table to the floor.  Crayons were never put back and I felt like more time was spent cleaning up after a coloring activity then we actually spent coloring.
 
With this system, the supplies are stored where they are used.  That's what? fifteen minutes less for me of picking up crayons a day?  Adds up . . . 92 hours a year!!!
 

Mount at Any Height

I mounted this desk at Grace's preferred height of 22" to the desktop, but you can mount it at any height.  Hannah is seven, and the desk is still just the right size for her.
 

Easy to Use

I installed a simple hook and eye closure to keep the desk shut.  To use, just remove the hook and eye and fold open.
 
 

Christmas Gift?

If you are looking for a simple inexpensive Christmas gift idea for children, I'd sure consider this one!  It's inexpensive to make (I used a scrap piece of PureBond Plywood leftover from my mudroom as the desktop) and you can modify it to suit.  
 
Shopping List: 

1 - piece 3/4" plywood 16" x 24" 1 - 1x4 @ 10 feet long 1 set hinge supports 1 set basic hinges 3 D ring hangers Chalkboard paint (optional) Moulding or trim (optional)

2 inch screws
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
primer
paint
paint brush
Tools: 
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
Level
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Dimensions: 
You can alter the width of the desk, but do not go any deeper - the support is not there!
Cut List: 

1 - 1x4 @ 11 1/4" 1 - 1x4 @ 12 3/4" 2 - 1x4 @ 14 1/2" 2 - 1x4 @ 24" 1 - 3/4" Plywood @ 24" x 16" 1/2" dowel, 30" long

Step 1: 

I built this project with 2" finish nails, but you can also use screws or the Kreg Jig.

 
Start in the center and work your way outward so you don't get caught in a corner.  Mark all joints and fasten with glue.

Please read all comments when installing the hinge supports - per reader comments, depending on your hinge supports, you may need to add extra clearance for the supports.

Step 2 Instructions: 

Mark joints and attach in place.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Now the top and bottom. Drill 1/2" diameter holes for paper roll here. Leave dowel long so you can roll the outside ends to roll up the craft roll.

Step 4 Instructions: 

You do not have to put the trim on, I did because my chalkboard edges were so ugly! I used window casing, but you can use anything. Attach the top with simple hinges on the bottom.

Step 5 Instructions: 

You will need to add  support hinges like these properly configured so the top does not fall open and supports the desktop.  
Step 6 Instructions: 

Use D Ring hanging brackets to hang on the wall.  Be SURE to attach to at least one stud in the wall, and properly hang in drywall on two other locations.
Step 7 Instructions: 

 
UPDATE: Per reader comments, this desk may not fit standard support hinges with the paper roll holder.   I used a simple chain on the outside coupled with euro style non mortise hinges that already provide support and it's plenty strong.  If I had placed the hinges inset more, the chain could have been put on the inside of the desk as well - but it just worked out better on the outside for me.
 
Other workarounds could be flipping the desk over so the paper roll is to the top, or using a wider width board for the outer frame, with a slightly narrower width board (for example a 1x4 frame with 1x3 shelves) to fit the support hinges.
 
My apologies to anyone having issues.  Thank you to those of you who have left feedback, it is greatly appreciated.  Ana
 
 
Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Estimated Cost: 
Skill Level: 

Comments

Ana, could you be any more clever! This could be adapted to many uses. I think i'll make one for the kitchen area to store random papers or a bill paying station. Thank you for the inspiration!

I've been trying to figure out where I could put a desk for Maddie (6y/o) to do homework and coloring in our tiny 930 square foot home. Thank you so much! Now I can put it in her room!

The hinges in the pictures of the one that you built look different than the one specified in the instructions. Are they? Are the ones from your actual pictures strong enough? I would prefer them to the ones that would hang on the sides and get in the way of arms.

He may wear the pants, but I wear the toolbelt!

Hi Dirt Squirt, thank you! The hinges are different - I used the Euro style ones - but the better installation is the simple hinge and hinge support. We live 100 miles from a Home Depot or Lowes, so I am waiting for my next shopping trip to pick up the hinge supports, and only had on hand the Euro style ones. The euro style hinges do work, but not for a high weight load without the supports. Since the Euro Style hinges are more expensive and harder to install, I recommended the simple hinges on the underside. Hope this makes sense! Best luck! Ana

I want to point out that this desk is also good for the development of young children. When children cross the mid-line of the body it allows for better brain development and specifically the ability to learn to read. Also children with developmental delays seem to be helped by standing vs. sitting (IE: using the chalk board or an easel.

I was just discussing an idea like this for a "fold out" sewing station. I love this idea, but do you think it could handle a sewing machine? I'm thinking I might be out of luck. Love this idea, though, and will likely implement in our girls' rooms.

Hi Sandi, what a great idea, a fold out sewing center! Not sure if the support would be there with my plan, but there are certainly ways of "beefing" up everything!

We really love it in Grace's room - so far, she's put everything away when done, and folded it shut! Here's hoping that continues!

It may sound odd, but one way to get the added support is to add fold up legs to the bottom(or sides?) of the table. Unfold them, lock them into place, and then bring down the table. Or Unfold the table, then the legs if the table/wall is strong enough to support the legs. Obvious the desk would need to be larger and better attached to the wall for this idea. Just my thoughts on beefing things up. :)

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