Make wooden school desk for just $20

The coronavirus pandemic has shown parents everywhere the benefits of having a dedicated space for kids to tackle schoolwork. Even as more schools return to in-person learning, the chance of at least occasional distance learning lingers. In fact, some school districts are looking at making snow days a thing of the past, thanks to the strides made in connected learning out of sheer necessity.

But it can be challenging if you don’t have extra space to set up an at-home classroom and get tired of seeing laptops, books and papers strewn about your dining table. And many people don’t have loads of expendable cash right now to spend on special desks or folding tables.

One man devised a simple and affordable solution: a DIY student desk that costs about $20 and takes less than an hour to build.

Mitch Couch of Lemoore, California is a woodworker and artist who shares his creations across social media, primarily under the user name Goodlyearth. Couch has thousands of followers on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, where he goes by @mitchellcouch. He posted this image last month, of a desk he made:

On YouTube, he posted this video showing how to build the DIY student desk above.

“It might just be the easiest desk you can make for your student,” Couch wrote in the description. “Distant learning can be stressful so let’s make this custom desk that you and your child can build together. The pieces can be transported by car and put together in less than an hour. It is sturdy and the best part is decorating it at the end. You can paint, stain, or add stickers to give your favorite student their own space to learn.”

You’ll need some plywood and pine, wood glue, sandpaper and wood nails or screws. You should also have some tools handy, such as a saw and a nail gun or drill. Couch walks through the entire build in his video and provides written instructions in the description as well, showing just how easy the desks really are to make.

He even built more than 35 of them himself, using materials donated by Grocery Outlet, as noted in this Twitter post. The desks have been provided to students in need for free through local school districts, and Couch is planning to build more.

If you’re feeling handy and find yourself with just a little spare time, a visit to your favorite home improvement store and an hour or so spent cutting, gluing and nailing could result in some extra space — and maybe even a bit of pride in your workmanship.