How to Make Desks From File Cabinets and Countertops

Creating a designated and organized home work space is crucial for maximum productivity, although that doesn't mean that you have to drop hundreds of dollars on office furniture.
Filing cabinets make a strong foundation for a desk
When it comes to your desk, you simply need one that's spacious and efficient, that provides you with enough surface to spread out on, and that has ample storage to keep files and other work-related materials out of sight and organized. Some of the best materials for such a project are the most basic ones, like a length of countertop and filing cabinets. .

Step 1

Select two filing cabinets that are both two drawers high. Measure them. Most filing cabinets with two drawers will be around 28 to 29 inches high, which is the perfect height for a desk.

Step 2

Measure the depth of the filing cabinets. Write it down.

Step 3

Cut a piece of laminate countertop with a circular saw fitted with a laminate blade -- or have it cut at the home improvement store -- so it is no more than 3 or 4 inches longer than the depth of your filing cabinets and 4 feet wide.

Step 4

Place your filing cabinets in the area where you want your desk to go. A corner is an ideal place for such a homemade desk as the two walls of a corner area give the desk additional support.

Step 5

Adjust the filing cabinets so that they are perfectly parallel and that the measurement from the far left edge of the left filing cabinet to the far right edge of the right filing cabinet measures no more than 4 feet.

Step 6

Place the countertop directly on the cabinets. Adjust it so it's perfectly straight.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Circular saw with laminate blade (optional)
  • 2 filing cabinets, 2 drawers high
  • Countertop


  • You can add some industrial strength construction glue on top of the filing cabinets if you want to make the desk as strong as possible. However, the weight of the counter should make it stable enough.

About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."