A Bargain DIY IKEA Standing Desk

We love a standing desk, and many of the best ones use IKEA furniture. Reader Kristian Lawrence shares a great IKEA-based standing desk design with us.

I've been meaning to switch to a standing desk for ages, and I finally did it today. It's taken so long because I was trying to find the cheapest possible parts. I knew how I wanted to build it I just couldn't find the right parts for the right price. I thought I'd share my method with Lifehacker because I've noticed you often run standing desk stories and you can add this to the list of methods.

I initially wanted to do it for less than $100 but then I extended it to $150 because I couldn't find the parts ( there aren't very many discount furniture places in Australia). I ended up sourcing all parts from IKEA. I needed it to be the right height (keyboard at around 110cm, and screen base at 120cm); this suits people around 175-185cm tall. I also wanted it to be easy; the entire build was about 35 minutes.

Here are the parts and prices:

Total cost: $181.99. This is technically above budget, but I already had one Billy bookcase so I scraped it in. (That's also why I went with black; white would look more unified.)

Basically, you build the Billy bookcases and place them upside-down onto the upside-down Vika Amon table top. Position them accordingly (I have a space in the centre for my sub, but you could have a wide central bookcase) and use basic pine wood screws and drill four into the top on each bookcase, securing them to the table top.

Next, the top part. Assemble the Capita legs, and place the plate end onto the Ekby Osten shelf in position (mine are in the corners and it dips a bit in the middle; next time I would probably place them at the 3rd point to get maximum stability at the centre and sides while still fitting the keyboard in between). Next, use the supplied screws that came with the Capita legs and drill the legs into place. Turn it over and you have the screen level.

The benefit of this build is you have the correct heights for ergonomic standing desk use, the build is very sturdy, the desk is very spacious and there is heaps of storage in the shelves underneath.

BONUS TIP: If you have a hole drill bit you can cut a hole into the fibre-board back of the bookcase for wires to pass through so you can keep you external hard drives etc. out of sight.

Thanks Kristian!


    Your link for Ekby Osten Shelf goes to a Gizmodo article, not the Ikea page.

    For those who don't have a drill; I assume using non-slip stoppers would be alright for the tabletop?

      I was thinking about doing that to make it easier to move around, but you would sacrifice a lot of stability.
      If you accidentally lean too much on the front of the desk it may topple!

      Here is the sketchup file I used to plan it, it's got both versions that I mention in the article: https://www.box.com/s/d3a79f95e593ec6a744b

    Very nice! I attempted my own standing desk like this but with VIKA BYSKE table legs as they adjust to a little over 42 inches but it looks like a spaceship! This looks much better than what I did! I do however have a question, do you have enough room for your feet or do you find yourself leaning forward? Thanks!

      Hey! I've got plenty of room for my feet, and I've got size 13 too!
      My bookcases are dead centre so there's 16cm between the edge of the desk and the bookcase.

      It would probably be a little more cramped if you got a tall stool for times when you can't be bothered standing, but it is called a standing desk for a reason :)

    Any and all looking into a standing or adjustable height desk-- check out a nextdesk (www.nextdesks.com).
    I could not recommend it more, honestly. I use the Terra model-- it is adjustable in height, it has improved my posture, my energy, my health, annnnddd it just looks really cool.
    It's a bit more of an investment than a makeshift IKEA desk, but it is worth the money because of its convenience I think.
    Anyway, if you're in the market, you should at least give it a gander. I really like mine a lot and I recommend it to everyone! (Clearly.)

      A bit more!? $1,500 for the cheapest option is more than a bit over $160 :P

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