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7 Cool DIY Roll-Top Desks You Can Make Today

Last Updated on August 5, 2020

Thinking Closet Roll Up Desk

Roll-top desks were very popular in the 70s and 80s, and are still used in many households today. Their appealing factor is their ability to hide everything on the desk by sliding down the built-in cover, making the room feel tidier and more orderly. Many desks are refurbished or remodeled for a modern design.

The desks can be quite complex to make, especially the roll-top piece. We’ve gathered a list of designs, from complete builds to remodels that you can DIY. We hope you’ll find a design that’s best suited for you!

1. DIY Roll-Top Desk from Instructables

DIY Roll-Top Desk from Instructables

Featured Image Credit: Instructables

This roll-top desk is a complete build from scratch. It features tons of drawers and cubbies, as well as a pull-out platform that creates additional workspace. Made from oak and oak plywood, polished to a gloss, this desk is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship when finished.

2. Desk Makeover from the Thinking Closet

DIY Roll-Top Desk Makeover from the Thinking Closet

Featured Image Credit: The Thinking Closet

If you’ve got an old rolltop desk already, this desk plan is a great way to refurbish it into a fresh, modern piece of furniture. Some new paint, new hardware on the drawers and cabinets and some stencil detailing make this desk look entirely different. Add a corkboard and some other modifications, and it’ll be suited for any office needs.

3. DIY Classic Rolltop Desk from Shop Smith Hands On

DIY Classic Rolltop Desk from Shop Smith Hands On

Featured Image Credit: Shop Smith Hands On

This is another full build from the ground up. Using oak veneer plywood as the base material, this design brings back the classic look of the old-school rolltop desk. The instructions explain how to cut all the pieces from the same two large pieces of plywood, so there’s no need to buy various cuts or types of wood for this project. It is recommended that you visit a lumberyard that allows you to hand pick your wood, so you can find two sheets with similar grain patterns.

4. Mission Style Roll Top Desk from Stan’s Plans

Mission Style Roll Top Desk from Stan’s Plans

Featured Image Credit: Stan’s Plans

Another design built from scratch, this roll top desk involved several different cuts of wood, including hardwood and soft wood of various thickness and dimensions. As with all roll-top desks, this design includes a large number of drawers and cubbies. However, this roll-top desk has much more cubbies than typical, so you can easily organize all of your office supplies!

5. DIY Refinished Roll Top Desk from the Daily DIYer

This refinished roll top desk will brighten any room with it’s simple and aesthetic design. This plan used a smaller roll top desk, but you could use any old desk as a base model to work from. With a fresh coat of paint, new handles and contact paper on the interior, you can make an old unwanted desk into something that will look great in a modern office or bedroom.

6. Contemporary Rolltop Desk from Minwax

Contemporary Rolltop Desk from Minwax

Featured Image Credit: Minwax

A simple and minimalistic design, this roll top desk is a great model to build from scratch. It’s less complex than some of the previous designs, which makes it perfect for someone looking for a less involved project.

7. Lego Rolltop Desk from

Lego Rolltop Desk from Live Like You Are Rich

Featured Image Credit: Live Like You Are Rich

This roll top desk design is a great way to make a Lego playspace for the kids! It incorporates big Lego baseplates that are cut to fit into the desk and glued in place. Lego baseplates can also be added to the top of the desk to increase building space. When not in use, the rolling top conceals the Legos for a quick tidy look. Legos can be kept in the drawer of the desk, so your kiddos have everything they need to have a great time building!

Featured Image Credit: Thinking Closet

About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!