Building a Cheap Standing Desk

I have had a pretty long love affair with the idea of working at a standing desk but up to this point I have only ever been spectator. (My reasons for wanting a standing desk are beside the point, perhaps I'll write those up later but I doubt any reader would care, so no promises for now.) When I moved recently, I had the opportunity to get a new desk and decided to capitalize on my dream. While there are plenty of options for a prebuilt solution (see Geekdesk, Tinkering Monkey, or Wirecutter [LINKS and NAMES]) they were far outside my price range.

I set a budget of $150 CAD and set off across the internet looking for solutions. This price alone curtailed my options to hacking Ikea furniture or building something myself. The other determining factor has been my height. Being a fairly tall lizard-person (roughly 6' 4") the desk surface would need to sit at roughly 43–44" off the ground to be used comfortably. Needless to say that this limited my options even further.

If you browse the multitude of Ikea standing desk hacks, you will probably see a bunch of nice options for people who are either a) much shorter than I, or b) have more funds than I. Thus it was looking like a custom build was the only option available, which has its own set of difficulties because that requires I go to a friends house to perform the build (I live in an apartment complex). That was, until I stumbled across an Ikea standing desk hack by Kristian Lawrence on Lifehacker Australia. Needless to say, I shamelessly ripped off his build and couldn't be happier with the results.

The Build


  • 1 x Ikea Billy Bookcase (White; $49 CAD)
  • 1 x Ikea Lack Tabletop (White; $9 CAD)
  • 1 x Ikea Shelf (White; $6 CAD)
  • 2 x Ikea Shelf Brackets (White; $5 CAD each)
  • 1 x Bottle of Construction Adhesive ($5 CAD)
  • 4 x Wood Screws (1 1/4" long; Free?)

Total cost: $80 CAD

I wasn't totally sold on the colour but for whatever reason white happened to be significantly cheaper than all of the other varieties; therefore, I am the proud owner of a white Ikea standing desk.



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