Hey there! I am kind of feeling “on top of things” right now because it is not even December and I already have a few things crossed off of my Christmas list. One of those being our Teacher gifts this year! I usually wait until the last minute and throw something together but this year I had an idea for a DIY gift that I was so excited to start! I love that it is so versatile and would make a great gift for a child, teacher, in-laws, anyone!
I made these personalized lap desks for $10 each and about an afternoon of work Notice it is NO SEW…. Hot glue is all you will need for this baby!
Here’s how you can make your own:
Purchase Foam board from Hobby Lobby. This is about 18”x30” and will make 2 lap desks. I purchased at 30% off for under $1.50
Also purchase Poly Foam ~ 3”x15”x17” from Hobby Lobby (30% off also at about $5). You will need one of these per lap desk.
Mark a line on the foam board measuring a 14”x16” piece and cut using box cutters. You will need to use quite a bit of force when cutting and cut slow. You will probably need to repeat until you are all the way through the back of the foam board. This will ensure a smooth clean cut
Now, lay the foam board on the foam cushion and trace around the foam board (you want these to be the same size) and cut with a large kitchen knife. Use the same technique as you did with the foam board for a nice clean cut!
Spread hot glue on one side of the foam board and attach the foam cushion.
I chose to wrap the cushion with burlap and purchased 1 yard (1 yard will make two lap desks). I cut the burlap at 24”x26” and placed the foam/foam board on top of it with the foam board side facing UP.
Using a hot glue gun, start wrapping the burlap around the foam like a present, securing with glue as you go.
I chose the shorter sized to have the folds.
Wrapped and flipped over.
Now for the beautiful top!
I wanted a beautiful stained top for the lap desks so of course, I turned to Purebond plywood.
You can purchase the Purebond two ways, depending on how many lap desks you are making:
1) I purchased a 3/4” 4’x8’ sheet of birch at Home Depot. One sheet will make 15 lap desks… or give you a lot of scraps for later projects (cost for the sheet is $42 making the cost for the “top” $3 each)
2) You can special order a 2’x4’ panel and have it delivered to your local Home Depot HERE. One sheet will make 3 lap desks. (cost for the sheet is $15.75 making the cost for the “top” about $5 each)
Either way you choose to purchase, you can have the nice guys at Home Depot rip the panels into 14.5” boards. I take it home at that point and cut to size but if you do not have a saw, you can have the guys actually cut the tops completely. ***Tell them to make the cuts 14.5” x 17.5”***
We love Purebond for so many reasons and here are just a few:
~ It uses Formaldehyde-free glue (scary to think we have been breathing in harmful chemicals until now)
~ It’s made in AMERICA… Whoop!!!
~ It’s made with wood from sustainable forests
~ It’s extremely easy to work with
~It is available at any Home Depot ~ Birch and oak are in stock and you can also order hickory, maple, you name it and have it delivered to your store… Love that!
~Biggest selling point for us… It’s BEAUTIFUL! You get the look of real hard wood for a fraction of the cost
Whitney and I sharing why we have taken the Purebond Pledge
If you are cutting at home, it helps to put a piece of painters tape over your cut line to prevent the wood from splintering on the end. It makes for a really nice clean edge Cut at 17.5” making your tops 14.5”x17.5”.
Now because we want the top to look like a beautiful piece of solid wood, we have to use edge banding to cover up the plywood edges.
You can purchase a roll at Home Depot. You will find it near the Purebond panels.
It is SOOOO easy to apply. Just iron on all 4 edges and cut to size by scoring with box cutters!
Now for the finish!
You will definitely need to seal this and I chose Ultimate Polyurethane by Rust-Oleum to protect the finish. I applied 1 coat with a bristle brush.
Now to personalize
I used my silhouette to cut an “L” stencil (initial of name). You can find so many great stencils at your local craft store if you do not have a silhouette!
I chose a cream colored latex paint that I already had on hand to dry brush the monogram. To dry brush, blot your paint brush until it is almost dry and blot all over the stencil.
I like the roughed-up look it gives the paint.
To attach the top to our lap desk, I applied a generous amount of Gorilla Glue Epoxy along the outer edges and the center of the foam board side of the lap desk.
That’s it! I love that you can personalize this any way you choose! It would make a great gift for kids, teachers, in-laws, you name it. It’s so versatile, inexpensive and thoughtful! I think I need one for myself
Thanks so much for stopping by!