old wood {new desk}

old wood

I’m not sure it’s normal how much enjoyment I get from not spending money.


If I can accomplish something for free, I’m down right giddy.

It’s quite the obsession actually.
old wood desk

So, to have created a stylish, functional and totally free work space, that I now sit at everyday … just makes me smile at random times throughout the day.

Because I’m a loser.

And, yes, I know paint and file cabinets and side tables cost money.

But I have a desk, and it was originally just old wood.  :)

And the paint I used for the side table were free samples of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  And the side table we bought for about $16 a few years ago (check out the before here), and my mom gave us the file cabinet that I upgraded with book pages a few months ago.
old wood desk

So, yes, there was money spent … a few years ago.

But, when I decided I needed a work space, and realized I could make a work space using items we already had … I was disproportionately (totally just spelled that right on the first try!!) excited.

Back in February I lugged home the beautifully chippy, 16 foot long, 1 foot wide board from the beach.
old woodAnd it sat in about that exact same position for about 6 months because I am efficient.

I had thoughts of making it into a bench.  But this desk top thing is perfect!
old wood desk

I just cut it in 3 equal segments.  And we can pretend I used the whole board, but truth be told I ran into a minor math snafu.  I measured it probably 50 times in 6 months … no joke.  But when the saw came out and I got to measuring, marking and cutting. For some reason unknown to me, I measured and cut the first segment 54 inches.

Such a nice cut, still a great length … but, to let you in on a little secret … 16 feet divided by 3 is 64 inches.  Oh snap!

On the bright side, after cutting three 54 inch segments I’m left with a beautifully chippy board that’s 30 inches long … perfect for a new sign, I think.  :)

Other than my math mishap, this a super simple idea.  Use scrap wood on the underside to attach the three boards together.
old wood desk

Then place on your bases.  And done.

And a bonus feature … since it’s not attached to anything I can take her outside for photo shoots …

annie sloan chalk paint

She covers up the unattractive patio tiles just perfectly. :)

This little diy desk has helped my daily organization exponentially.  I really can’t even express how satisfying it is to have my own little space to be productive and creative. And I didn’t have to buy anything new to make it happen!  #luckiestgirlever

If you want to see what I ended up doing with that decrepit old door in the pic above you can check it out here.  And if you think I’ve finished reupholstering that chair … well … you’d be wrong. :)
old wood desk

And now … to get your final installment of Organizing 101: Back to Basics, head over to Beckie’s blog, Organizing Made Fun (Hello … she clearly knows what she’s talking about when it comes to organization!) to learn about organizing your morning schedule.
power of paintAnd tell me, what do you think of my desk?  Do you love free as much as I do?  Or are you a spender?

I just might share this at Southern Hospitality.
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About Karah

I'm Karah and I'm so glad you're here! I'm a small town girl from the North East who finds myself moving around with my husband and pups every few years and constantly on a journey to make the most of every space we find ourselves in. That little space between what has been and what will be. It'd be so cool if you'd like to join us for the ride.
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32 Responses to old wood {new desk}

  1. Marilyn says:

    Karah, I LOVE what you’ve done here. You have such an amazing eye for shabby chic…I am SSSSSOOOOOO jealous. You definitely give me loads of inspiration!

  2. This is so you! I love it. This desk looks like it’s outside. If it is, I’m so jealous.

  3. What a great space to create! And free too! My favorite price …



  4. SallyAnn says:

    Hi Karah,

    Way to go! I love what you did with what you had on hand. That is what I have been trying to do now for a few months but haven’t gotten too far with it. Love reading your posts.

  5. Anne says:

    Nice job Karah!!

  6. Kristy Rohm says:

    I love it!!! I need a much bigger space for my jewelry!!! Gonna look for an old door!

  7. Lucy says:

    it’s just wonderful…everything i love…chippy wood, chalk paint, book pages…etc…thank you so much for sharing…xo

  8. szinteriors says:

    I love your vision in how you created your desk. And yes, I love your desk, too! Seriously, when it comes to FREE, what’s not to love, and giddy is just one way to describe that ‘cat that ate the canary’ feeling that sweeps through your body from head to toe!

  9. Anne says:

    I LOVE ,LOVE,LOVE this!!!!! Super cool!!!!

  10. Looks great! That’s awesome that the height of the two pieces worked out so perfectly =)

  11. Karen says:

    We could be souls sisters on the strange excitement of not spending anything to get something cool. It is like a drug high for me. I LOVE your desk. I want one too!

  12. So many thoughts:
    - where does one get free samples of ASCP?
    - love your resourcefulness, admire your frugality (sometimes I just have to spend some coin)
    - so its short, math can be hard that’s why they created computers … you get a another sign out of this and someday maybe you’ll add another section to the desktop
    - most importantly you created a perfect place for your creative and organization endeavors and we’ll all benefit for the results of that :)
    - I worry about you getting splinters, perhaps you’ve already put a coat of sealer on the wood?

    Great desk. Happy weekend.

  13. cassie says:

    very cool!!! i love how it all came together!

  14. nicole says:

    Very beautiful! You have such an eye, I don’t think that I would have thought of putting those items together.

    I love free! I find that I need to make most items my own and will be putting in some DIY time whether it is new or not and we’re saving for a new home so… why bother paying a high price when I’ll just DIY! I keep thinking that I’ll be spending in the new house but you never know. :)

  15. I LOVE that desk top! Amazing job, Karah! And I try NOT to spend, unless there is no other option (DIY, thrifting, etc.) I definitely splurge on the things that matter to me, though. ;-)

  16. I too get so excited about completing a project at no cost! Great job! Thanks, Angela

  17. What a great up cycle! I too love to not spend money! Where does one get their hands on free samples of Annie Sloan Chalk paint?! Life to the full, Melissa

  18. I love it Karah!! You did an absolutely amazing job! It looks fabulous :)

  19. Yay for free desks! Looks great!

  20. Beautiful, and free! You are so clever!

  21. Carrie says:

    Love that color blue, by the way. And free desks are the BEST!

  22. Kristin C says:

    This is just beautiful! Love it =)

  23. zefi says:

    A girl after my own heart! LOL I’ve done this type of rennovating forever! When re-arranging a room, look around and use what you have!

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  25. Sherry Hicks says:

    Love your project but I am adoring the chair as well!! Love that it helps with organization and productivity!!

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  27. I love your desk! Your photos make it look so beautiful too, great post! I’ve got this linked to my DIY desks roundup post too today, for inspiration!

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