My husband actually got quite sad about making this world map desk. The reason was that it was made specifically for a room that was changing from the kid’s play/PlayStation room into an adult chill space.
He didn’t like to admit that the kids were young adults now and it wouldn’t be long until they all flew the nest. However, when the room transformation and map desk were finished he was really happy with the results.
The funny thing is the kids/young adults have actually been using the new room and desk more since the transformation. I don’t think it was just because of the novelty but they also appreciated a more adult space.
The reason I made my
By the way, I have previous form with map desks. This isn’t the first one I’ve made, but it is made a different way to the other 2. The first one I made was a decoupage map table. For the second one, I used Mapbox to print a map onto an IKEA kids table.
If maps aren’t your thing don’t worry you can use this DIY to make a picture desk of your choice. You could even have photos instead. The beauty of this DIY desk you can easily change the map or use any other images whenever you fancy.
Tutorial For A Custom Map Desk
I am no carpenter and have just some basic power tools but I was still able to make a custom desk that I was really pleased with. Plus I got a unique custom desk for a very affordable price.
If you already have a suitable table to use as a desk you can skip the DIY desk part. You can then just print and fix a perspex top to it.
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What you need to make a DIY world map desk
- Scaffolding boards – I used scaffolding boards as they are strong and chunky. Also, I had used scaffolding boards to make some built-in shelves in the alcove and wanted the map desk to match. Scaffold boards are cheap too!
- Long wood screws and some 1” by 4” wood
touse as batons.
- Hairpin legs standard table height. Hairpin legs are really affordable now and come in loads of different
colors. I bought living coral-red legs, which just happens to be the Pantone colorof the year.
- Dark wood wax
- Perspex sheet 5mm thick and custom made to the size of my desk with screw holes. The sheet was delivered with wood screws and chrome screw caps. I’m in the UK but I’m sure if you google you will find a local firm that will cut Perspex to your specification.
- World map – You can download the one I used here. For more printable world maps check out Pictureboxblue for an extensive collection of free vintage maps. There are also some amazing free vintage pictorial world maps here that would look amazing.
- Saw to cut the scaffold boards and wood baton a hand saw would do.
- Electric sander
- Electric drill
How to make a world map desk1. The first thing is to work out the size of the world map desk you need. As I mentioned the desk was to fit into a particular alcove. Then using a saw cut the scaffold boards to your measurements. To make the desk the size I wanted I need 3 scaffold boards for the width.
2. Next, mark where the hairpin legs are to be fixed onto the desktop. Then fix the 3 cut scaffold boards together to make the desktop.
I used 2 wood battens cut to size and screwed across the boards. (Avoiding the area where the hairpin legs were going to be fitted.) The middle screws in the batton were screwed in at an angle.
Each batten was screwed in with 12 screws evenly spaced, four on each scaffold board.
3. Once the top of the desk was secured. I then fixed the hairpin legs, one screw in each corner.
4. Next, stand the table right side up and sand and wax the top.
How to fix a Map to a desk1. First, measure the top of the desk and order a sheet of perspex to fit. I ordered perspex that was 5mm thick with pre-drilled screw holes in each corner.
2. Next, print the world map to fit the top of the desk. I used Photoshop to scale the map to the size I needed. (If you don’t have photoshop try Canva)
Unfortunately, this fell in between A0 and A1 paper size. So I got my local print shop to print the map onto A0 paper with a border.
I simply cut the map from the white border, using a rotary cutter and board.
3. Use a glue dot in each corner to hold the world map in place on the desk. Lay the cut perspex sheet on top of the map and remove the protective film.
4. Finally, finish off the world map desk by screwing the perspex sheet down, and don’t forget to add screw caps for a better finish.
I am so pleased with how this world map desk turned out. It fits perfectly into the little alcove and the scaffold board shelves above it look great too. The map tea towel upcycled chair and map magazine holders I made go well with it too.
We actually use this world map desk as a computer desk. To keep the desk as neat as possible we mounted the computer under the desk in a cage. So only the monitor, keyboard, and mouse need to sit on the desk.
I have a recently reupholstered a footstool with a map tea towel which will fit in really well with this world map desk in the study. I’ve also made a map DIY cork board which looks great above the desk.
I’ve upcycled some empty cookie tins with old maps, for some handy storage to sit on the desk. They fit in nicely with this travel-themed look.