Standing Desk From an Old Bookcase + Adding More Counter Space to Your Home

Ok, so it's been way more than a week since I tore up this bookcase and said I would make a new project with it in a week. To be fair, it was my birthday and I was moving... and it was my birthday. There's really no better excuse for procrastinating.

My new apartment isn't that small, but it does have very limited counter space, like maybe a 2 foot section, big enough for a dish rack and not much else. Which is why my standing desk is going to have to double as a cutting board. This project was surprisingly simple. I originally saw it on, which I love (I love everything they do) and thought would be perfect for my space too! Theirs has an angled corner, which I think looks great, buuuuutt I don't really feel like getting out my handsaw for this one. So, I'm doing it a bit differently.

It may look like a lot of work but really once I got all my ducks in a row it really wasn't challenging at all.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 6 shelving brackets - mine cost about $2.50 each
  • A pencil
  • Electric screw driver - I got this little Black & Decker one which has made all my dreams come true... not an exaggeration
  • Screws - I used 1/4" going up into the wood and 1" going into the wall
  • Lumber - My tape measurer is packed so I'm going to estimate mine is 1' x 1/2", but I recommend getting whatever suits your needs.
  • You can also use a level and stud finder, which are two inexpensive tools to make your life easier, or you can just eyeball it like me and hope for the best.
  • Tape measurer or level

That's all you'll need!


  • Find your studs - I do this by knocking on the wall. I've been practicing all week listening for hollow and dense sounds like the contractors do. It's kind fun until your dog thinks there's someone at the door.
    • Remember you can always use a stud finder but if you want to do the knocking test start in the corner there's bound to be one there. The typical spacing according the the guys at Home Depot is 16" apart. You'll know when you've hit one when you're drilling and it takes some push to get it going.
    • If there's an outlet, there's a stud, either to the left or to the right. They have to be attached to something. Do your knocking test or use a stud finder.
  • Take your pencil and mark the location of your first stud. This is where you'll install your first bracket.
  • Take your level and trace a faint, straight line to follow to make sure all your brackets are on the same spot on the wall.
  • Knock for your next stud. Draw a small mark. Do this for as many brackets as you have.
Standing Desk
  • Before drilling into the wood, I installed the brackets into the wall and set the wood on top, in case I needed to make any changes before moving on.
  • I left is sitting on top like the picture below so I could measure it up to the other piece of wood.
  • Then I drew out my line on the other wall to make sure it was going to be level with the other one before I started finding my studs.


  • Make sure the two sides match up before you start drilling into the wood.

These plants grow right outside my building. So, I'll be using them a lot.

I love that picture of Jane Birkin! Get your own mandala at Creative Chaos Theory.