We’re kicking of this year’s Handbuilt Holiday series with a DIY house play table desk and stool. For the past 7 years Ana White and I have been sharing holiday gift build ideas every Friday in the weeks leading up to Christmas. We want you to build and make gifts for your kids, family and friends. We hope by providing these free project plans that you’ll find just the right gift for that special someone.
A DIY tutorial to build a kids size play table desk shaped like a house. Make this fun house play table complete with simple stool for your creative kids.
This year we are starting the series with a modern kids play table desk designed by Ana White. We have gift ideas of all sizes, some furniture, some games and toys, some things for adults too. Be sure to check out the complete catalog of all the past gift project plans here.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have already seen this little desk build in process. I modified Ana’s plans ever so slightly to make a hinged desk surface. Of course any time you add a hinge there’s always the chance for pinched fingers so be cautious!
- modern house shape frame
- generous play table desk working surface
- utensil ledge to hold pencils, markers, etc
- lots of easily accessible storage space
What would a kids house play table desk be without the perfect little stool? I whipped up this wood stool from scrap pieces left over from the desk build. I didn’t quite have enough scraps for two stools but if you plan ahead you could definitely fit two stools side by side under the desk.
You can see above there is plenty of storage on the shelf and it’s very easily accessible from the back side.
For the stool I mimicked Ana’s design of the house play table frame. By keeping the base framing the same style and shape it makes the stool feel like it belongs to the desk. It’s a very simple build but it does require a right angle drill (or right angle bit attachment) in order to secure those short support pieces with pocket holes. Alternatively you could use countersunk screws from the leg side but the screw heads will be visible.
Can you imagine this play table desk frame painted in a fun color? Bright blue or orange or pink would be amazing contrast against the plywood surfaces.
My favorite part of Ana’s design is the pencil ledge. I just love clever, functional projects and this house play table desk fits the bill. For the complete desk plans click over to Ana’s site here. For the stool plans scroll down below. And be sure to check my notes below on the build process before you begin construction.
Play Table Desk Modifications (hinged desk surface):
- omit 1 – 2×2 @ 38 1/2″ and instead cut 1 – 1×2 @ 38 1/2″ (top frame cross support)
- omit 1 – 1×2 @ 38 1/2″ and instead cut 2 – 1×2 @ 38 3/8″ (top and bottom trim)
- for the 1 – 3/4″ plywood @ 38 1/2″ x 16″ instead cut 1 – 3/4″ plywood @ 38 3/8″ x 16″ (desk surface)
To make the desk hinged in Step 3 I changed the top frame cross support from a 2×2 to a 1×2 in order to accommodate the piano hinge hardware. Then I cut 2 – 1×2 trim pieces for the desk surface plus the plywood at 38 3/8″l instead of 38 1/2″l. This gives you 1/16″ clearance on each side of the desk surface to swing freely with the hinge.
Also note I made a error when cutting the desk shelf. Follow Ana’s plans and cut the shelf at 23 1/4″ wide (mine is 24″ wide) to allow for the desk surface to sit properly with the house frame.
As promised the plans for the stool are down below. Save all your scrap 2×2 pieces from the desk build to make one stool.
Thanks for joining me for this first gift project plan for Handbuilt Holiday 2019. Be sure to stop back every Friday before Christmas for a new gift idea.
Please follow me on social media for sneak peeks and more project inspiration:
SHOP THIS PROJECT: