How to Build a Hutch for a College Desk
College dorm rooms are notoriously small. Schools need to accommodate large numbers of students in small areas. It isn't uncommon for dorm rooms to have double, triple or quadruple occupancy. Most dorms provide you with a bed, dresser and desk. You will probably find that your desk doesn't provide enough surface area for books, computer equipment and work area. If you build a hutch, you need to make sure it doesn't attach to the desk or you could be charged with damages when you move out.
Measure the width of the desk. Add 3 inches to each side of the measurement. The frame will go outside of the desk. For the sake of this example, assume the desk is 30 inches wide; therefore, you need 36 inches of width.
Measure and cut eight 2-by-4 planks the width calculated in Step 1 (36 inches). Measure and cut eight 2-by-4 planks 4 inches long.
Assemble four shelving frames. Each frame needs two 36-inch planks for the width and two 4-inch planks for the length. Position the shorter planks between the longer planks 3 inches from each end. Drill a hole into the 36-inch planks to meet the 4-inch plank. Insert screws and tighten. Note: One frame will not be used as a shelf, but as a base under the desk.
Measure and cut four 2-by-4 planks to a length of 6 feet. Measure and mark the first shelf height. This shelf will actually sit on the desk, so the best way to measure this is to sit one of the frames on the desk and line the planks up against it and mark them. Drill two holes thought the planks where they will meet the frame--one in front and one in back.
Measure and mark the height of the next two shelves and the base frame. You can customize your hutch based on computer monitor size or other desktop needs. Drill holes through the planks where they meet the shelves.
Measure three plywood strips to sit on the shelves: 36 inches by 8 inches. Cut the plywood and sit on each of the frames. Nail into place along the frame.
Screw all shelves into your side post planks. Secure them tightly.
Sit the hutch over your desk.
- Paint or stain your hutch for a more finished look.
- Customize your hutch with tack board or white board glued on with contact cement.
With more than 15 years of professional writing experience, Kimberlee finds it fun to take technical mumbo-jumbo and make it fun! Her first career was in financial services and insurance.