8 DIY Roll-Top Desk Plans and Ideas

DIY Roll-Top Desk Plans

Roll-top desks are not as popular now as it was back in the 70s and 80s. However, there are still lots of needs for them, thanks to their appealing capability to hide all the storage with the integrated cover.

If you have the same interest, this article will introduce you to 8 DIY roll-top desk plans and ideas.

Let’s dive into it!

1. DIY Roll Top Desk From Instructables

DIY Roll Top Desk From Instructables

This plan is the best example of a classic roll-top desk design. You have numerous small compartments on the tabletop and a classic S shape for the tambour door.

It has quite an impressive size with a base width of 52 1/4″, depth of 30″, and height of 30 1/4″. To accompany this size, the plan uses only red oak as material.

The humongous size also means that there is enough space to add in some pull-out surfaces on both sides. You will get a lot of usable workspace with the capability of pushing the surfaces in when not in need.

Project details: instructables.com

2. DIY Refinished Roll Top Desk

Sometimes, all the shelves and pigeonholes on a roll-top desk are not necessary. That is why we want to introduce you to this project, which requires you to remove all the cubbies in the first step.

As a result, you get a much larger space to store bigger things. There is also more available surface to rest your arms while working.

The bulk of the work lies in giving the whole desk a new paint job as well as a layer of contact paper and adding hinge handles. In the end, you should see a completely different desk without having to do anything too advanced.

Overall, this desk was refinished that a timeless mix of old and new that will look great in any modern office or bedroom.

3. Roll-Top Desk Makeover

This is not an instruction to build a roll-top desk from scratch but more of a guide on giving your old roll-top desk a touch-up.

Instead of building and assembling wooden planks, you will be changing the desk’s exterior, switching its color palette, adding in some stencil details, the whole decor.

There is also the job of swapping out the old hardware. A good example is putting in the new satin nickel handles to replace the tacky gold ones that most old roll-top desks have.

All in all, you won’t need to expend too much energy on this project, but you must have an old roll-top desk lying around already.

Project details: thinkingcloset.com

4. Woodsmith Plans’ Roll-Top Desk

Woodsmith Plans' Roll-Top Desk

A primary reason for many people not wanting to attempt a DIY roll-top desk lies in the complicated process. That is not a problem with this idea. You won’t need to wrestle with any drawer, saving a ton of time and effort.

After all, it is basically a normal desk, but you will put a tambour door on top of it. Doing so still retains the vital roll-top aspect yet makes it a lot more manageable for people not as experienced in woodworking.

The S-shape tambour door also creates a good accent in the desk’s overall style. This desk with a classic style that high as the waist and is no bigger than a piano.

Project details: woodsmithplans.com

5. Vintage Roll Top Desk Makeover

Vintage Roll Top Desk Makeover

In need of a home office desk with simple DIY tasks? It’s time for a transformation.

You do need to get an old vintage roll-top desk first. There is no requirement for its exterior, but you need its structure to be sound.

The project involves you giving the whole exterior a complete makeover consisting of sanding the tambour and drawers, painting the body with BEHR ULTRA™ Interior Paint, lining both the tambour and the sides with fabric, etc.

This plan doesn’t require you to do anything too physically demanding, so it’s a good choice if you don’t have too much time on hand.

Project details: shrimpsaladcircus.com

6. DIY Lego Roll Top Desk

DIY Lego Roll Top Desk

You get a perfect balance between simplicity and cool appearance with this DIY plan. It doesn’t ask you to build a roll-top desk from scratch. Also, it features a lego baseplate on the desk’s top.

The full desktop’s lego baseplate provides your child with more than enough space to play lego. To ensure that the base plates will stay on the top, you need to use those with industrial-grade sticky backs in conjunction with a strong glue like JB Weld.

Rather than focusing on many cubbies, we only make 2 big drawers so that the kids will easily use their hands to “sweep” all the legos into them.

Project details: stage1.livelikeyouarerich.com

7. Roll Top Desk Plans

Roll Top Desk Plans

This desk plan is the ultimate test of skill for a DIY enthusiast, as it features a scary number of cubby holes: 30 openings, 2 drawers, and 2 book stalls.

Such pigeonholes are perfect for displaying collections of small statues, tiny dolls, anime figures, accessories, etc.

While these holes improve the desk’s storage space significantly, you can expect to spend a lot of time and effort on them.

It also diverges from the usual roll-top curtain approach of cutting a groove. Instead, it uses a thin strip and fastens that strip on the panel’s inside, down from the edge. This way leaves the desk with no ugly nail head and more spacious storage space.

Project details: stansplans.com

8. Make A Roll Top Desk By Make Shape Create

The focus of this roll-top desk plan is to be more functional than nice-looking. That is why it encompasses a roll-top and just one line of drawers. As such, it allows you to have an easier time building without sacrificing too much on the functionality side.

Plywood takes up the majority of the material, as it’s both lightweight and relatively reliable. To increase the strength, the plan also requires you to glue and clamp multiple planks together.

There are also faux legs attached to the sides, providing additional support for the desk.


A roll-top desk is a classic furniture piece that offers both style and function. If you’re looking for a unique desk for your home, a DIY roll-top desk might be the perfect option.

We have provided you with 8 DIY roll top desk plans and ideas. Each idea bears a special draw that can be well-fitted for you.

As long as you follow the steps to a tee, you should have no problem finishing the projects.

So get started today and enjoy building your desk!

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