DIY Murphy Desk

With school just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to design a desk to fit a small space.  With 5 kiddos to find space for, I am always trying to think of ways to maximize space and function at the same time.

Check out my DIY Murphy Desk!

DIY Murphy Desk by Shanty2Chic

The best part??  It folds up to this super cute and fully functional chalkboard!

Murphy Desk DIY by Shanty2Chic

How fun is that??  This desk is so versatile too!  I actually built this one for my oldest daughter to use as a vanity.  It gives her a place to pretty up while hiding her makeup from the babies at the same time 😉

This is a really simple build!



  1. Bre on April 13, 2022 at 10:28 am

    hi I was wondering how we can modify the dimensions for the Murphy desk to be the height of our stand up desk? I imagine it would could be a longer desk when dropped down and sit higher on the wall as well as an overall longer “chalkboard” when folded up.

  2. Michael on November 4, 2021 at 6:33 am

    wonderful idea for small rooms

  3. Years late but... on June 28, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    I can’t find hinges anywhere near the size listed in the plans. 18 3/4″ & 22″ aren’t available anywhere that I can find, even online.

  4. Tori on February 8, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the plans – love the design and detail instructions. Did you include the final dimensions some where – I can’t seem to find them…

    If I’m going the math correctly, it looks like the closed cabinet is 22.5 x 32 inches. And once the table is folded down it will be 26 inches off the ground – is that correct?

    • Tori on February 8, 2021 at 12:37 pm

      Actually – want to confirm the full dimensions for the table – it’s 26 inches off the ground – 30 inches long and 22 inches wide, right?

  5. Ryan Hall on June 6, 2020 at 5:18 am

    The link to the plans is invalid.

  6. Nicki Cummings on April 19, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Do you think it would it work to make the desk surface out of one piece of wood that is 19 X 26&7/8 instead of having 3 pieces of wood and drilling pocket holes to attach them? I’m just thinking that it would be easier to have not have to drill the pocket holes and attach the wood pieces together and would also allow for a smooth surface instead of having seems which could interfere with writing or colouring

  7. Sean on June 14, 2019 at 8:06 am

    This is a great desk for homework for my kids. Could you recommend a leg bracket that could used to securely hold the legs in place when folded down? I am finding some online that have 1″+ depth which would place the legs noticeably proud of the rest of the desk when folded. Thanks!

  8. KAYLA on October 5, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    What is the hard wear called ?

  9. kayla on September 28, 2018 at 11:05 am

    what is the latch called I’ve looked at home depot and lowes and don’t know what the latch they used is called?

  10. mouna on February 17, 2018 at 4:06 am

    Thank you so much for this brilliant idea I was thinking me and my sister to change our desk in order to have more space…to be honest I don’t know about wood is there any direction plan to follow or it is better to ask someone expert to build it for me…..I’m thinking about caramel color and in the board place I will put a picture or a white board…thank you and by the way I have found you through Pinterest ?

  11. Lindsey on February 11, 2018 at 10:42 pm

    I can’t access the PDF any more on the Ryobi website. I don’t know if maybe it’s a problem on their end? I can’t access the dimensions to make the cuts.

  12. Jamie Marie Buckner on April 4, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    What did you use for your chalkbaord?

    • KAYLA on October 5, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      Lowe’s has a $6 board 2×3 dry erase on one side and chalkboard on the other. That’s what I used.

  13. Shelli Munoz on February 25, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    I know that this question is off topic. But I was wondering if anyone knows the paint name & brand on the walls? The mint like color. Thanks in advance!

    • Leslie Hynds on June 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      its like seafoam green. my bathroom used to be that color.

      • Shelli Munoz on June 24, 2017 at 11:39 pm

        Thanks Leslie! I love the color!

  14. Sunil Thanik on January 24, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Here is my version of the desk. I don’t normally build things, so this took me a few weeks to construct. It wasn’t very simple, but it was fun to do. I modified the directions because i wanted a very long desktop (55 inches long). As a result I had to cut the frame’s leg supports in order for the desk to sit at a normal seated height of 29 inches. I used black chalk paint so my son can draw on the wood easily with chalk later. I found glow in the dark orange spray paint for the frame leg supports. However, it doesn’t glow too well at night. The desk is so long that it is tough for him to close it up, but he has found a way to do it safely. Great space saver and he loves it!

  15. Aliyia Patterson on January 3, 2016 at 8:13 am

    This may be a silly question. I know nothing about building anything. I’m looking to put a desk in a small space in my dining room and this looks perfect. I’m using it for myself. I’ll be going to grad school full time and will have to turn my office into a third bedroom so I’m losing that space. Will a 5’2 woman be able to sit at this desk comfortably? If not how do I adjust the dimensions or do you have any other suggestions?

  16. Seaquin on November 28, 2015 at 10:02 am

    It states check out my full tutorial over at Ryobi Nation in green. Click on that. Then you can download the plans in PDF format. You don’t have to enter the sweepstakes or sign up for anything.

  17. Bo on August 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I just made this in one day. The plan was to get the materials then just cut the wood to size. The next thing I knew, I was done. Started at 1:45 and was done at 7:30. Just have to paint it now. Didn’t have many problems, besides not doing exactly what the direction tell you to do. I’m turning into my dad!! My 12 1/2 year old daughter is so happy and she will paint the inside and I will paint the outside. Thank you for the planes.

    • Scilla on March 30, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      Hello are you intrested to the DIY Murphy Desk because I can offer to you a course with many options in London Let me know

  18. Caryn on June 1, 2015 at 10:42 am

    in the supply list would be great if you could include necessary TOOLS also

  19. Anthony Pascuzzi on April 21, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    This is a good idea, but the plan dimensions are wrong. I had done all the cutting the day before. But if you look at the 4 1x6x30’s for the desk top 4×6 is 24″ not 22 1/4″. and this is one of a few mistakes that I had to fix.

    • Sunil Thanik on January 24, 2016 at 9:32 am

      I disagree, the plans are correct. There are two 22 1/4 panels for the top and bottom of the frame. The desk top is made of four 1×6 x8 panels. I suggest you print out all the plans in a color printer. It is very self explanatory that way.

      • Anthony Pascuzzi on January 24, 2016 at 11:26 am

        You are correct if you buy the dimensional lumber. But if you are milling the lumber yourself the cut list doesn’t work.

      • Jenessa on March 26, 2020 at 10:07 am

        About how much does it cost, in materials, to build this?

  20. Ashley on January 17, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I would love to get the instructions for this project.. I tried creating an account on the Ryobi website to see the instructions but it keeps saying “There was a problem signing in. Please check your credentials.”.. I tried contacting their customer service, but you have to be signed into your account to email them (that’s a problem when your issue is not being able to log in)… So I’m stuck with no way to log in to access the instructions.. Is there any way you can share the full instructions please?

  21. cristine bishop on December 28, 2014 at 8:31 am

    do you think it would be sturdy enough to hold a sewing machine? i’d love to build this for my craft room! what a space saver! 🙂

    • Sunil Thanik on January 24, 2016 at 9:36 am


  22. Eric on December 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    What type of clamps are used in the pictures? They are different than piano hinges it seems. Any help is appreciated! Thanks!

  23. Patricia on December 10, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I’d tried to sign up, but it won’t let me. I don’t live either in Mexico, US & Canada. Can you please help? I’d like to know more about your post. Thanks!!

  24. Nicole DesJardins on August 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    YES! I just pinned something and captioned it ‘figure out how to build this’ – thanks for saving me the trouble!! Hello new kitchen chalkboard/desk 🙂

  25. Jana Taylor on August 15, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Love this!!

  26. Lorie on August 15, 2014 at 7:54 am

    LOVE THIS DESK… Where do I get directions to build?

  27. Millie on August 15, 2014 at 7:43 am

    It does enter you, so no worries. After I signed this message appeared:Thank you for signing in to RYOBI Nation. You have officially been entered to win the Shanty2Chic Sweepstakes!

  28. Student Mom on August 15, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Poop. I need the instructions please – Ryobi don’t like citizens from RSA…*sniff*

  29. ColleenB. on August 15, 2014 at 4:03 am

    Thank U 4 this wonderful giveaway opportunity.
    A person can Always use some good working tools. I know I can

  30. monee2000 on August 15, 2014 at 4:00 am

    Love this so much! So many places to use this – craft room, kitchen in a small apartment, baby’s changing table, kids desk, etc. thanks for sharing!

  31. Stephanie on August 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I tired to sign in and it won’t let me . I tired 2xs already and resett my password aswell. Why won’t it let me veiw the plans

  32. Elizabeth Henderson on August 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Great desk! I’ve done one other of your projects. So easy and fast. Thank you. Found out that the Ryobi Nation contest is not open to Canadians – boo. I signed up any way.

  33. astrollthrulife on August 14, 2014 at 8:34 am

    Oh I love it, what a great idea for a small space.

  34. Tina Elliget on August 14, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I am in LOVE with this! I have several ideas where it can go in the house….. YAY! THANK YOU!

    • Shanty2Chic on August 14, 2014 at 9:20 am

      Woohoo! LOVE to hear that! 😉

  35. Ellie on August 14, 2014 at 6:26 am

    How can they see who signed in for giveaway!? Can’t wait

    • Shanty2Chic on August 14, 2014 at 6:30 am

      They track it all through links internally. This is how we do our Ryobi giveaways, and it’s super easy and stress free… LOVE! Good luck!

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