Inside: Tutorial for making your own DIY Lap Desk Pillow in a few easy steps! Makes it so much easier to work from the couch or while travelling – an essential laptop lap desk.
Desks are great, but what happens when you either don’t have a desk or you want to work on your laptop from somewhere else? Enter the Lap desk pillow! It’s like a blend of a desk and a pillow that gives you freedom to work from wherever you want comfortably. Today, I’ll show you my simple tutorial for a DIY Lap Desk. Here, I’ll be using a basic pillow to form the base, but this could easily be adapted to become a bean bag lap tray too. Just swap the pillow form for a filled bean bag. (It really just depends on the feel you want for your lap desk).
Oh and while you’re here, you might as well check out this simple tutorial for organizing folders on your desk top too! It’s a tech solution that has saved me so much time and makes working from home way easier. Plus you can have a look at how to organize all those apps on your phone, because let’s be real – that’s where we spend most of our time.
Supplies to Make a DIY Lap Desk Pillow
- Pillowcase (a standard size is fine)
- Scrap 1/4″ plywood
- Wood stain (I love these wipes for small projects like this!)
- Fabric Fusion Glue
- Fabric Scissors
- Foam Filling
- Scrap Fabric Remnants
- Gorilla Glue (optional)
- Silhouette Cameo and gold vinyl (optional)
You guys…this is a NO SEW method!! As I was tackling this challenge, we were knee deep in painting and drywall in the basement studio, so I didn’t want to have to haul my sewing machine out in the middle of all that mess. I was determined to come up with a no sew method for making my lap desk pillow. I still wanted it to look like a nice box pleat though….so that’s why I used foam instead of filler!
How to make a DIY Lap Desk Pillow
Here’s what I came up with. First, I measured the rough size of my laptop on my foam, drew a line with a marker and used a serrated kitchen knife to cut it out.
Then I ironed my pillowcase and cut it down all three seams. You only need to use one side of your pillowcase, so you could keep the other piece to make a second laptop desk or use it for something else 🙂
The next part is fairly simple. I basically wrapped my foam with my pillowcase fabric. The first fold-over, I used fabric fusion glue to adhere the fabric directly to the foam. You HAVE TO WORK QUICKLY because the glue really really really really sticks to the foam and if you mess up, you’ll have to cut it away with your scissors.
Let that dry and then pull the next side over and secure with sewing pins. Fold up the edges like a present and make sure you can pull the fabric onto the top because that will all get covered up by your desk anyway. Glue with fabric fusion and pin it to keep it in place. Let it dry like that for about an hour.
Then remove your pins and add glue to the top edge that wasn’t glued down. I saved this part for last in case I needed to tighten things up a bit. I wanted to have slack to do that. If yours looks okay, you can just leave it unglued.
This challenge was all about using a white pillowcase – but it felt really blah to me! I wanted some colour and I was hoping to be able to cover up those ugly side folds in my fabric.
So I grabbed some gorgeous scrap remnant fabric from my stash. I’ve had this bright floral for a while and I was just waiting for the right opportunity to use it. I cut it into two strips, each about 2 inches wider than my foam. I ironed each strip and used my fabric fusion (again) to hem the long sides (leaving the short ends un-hemmed for now.)
Note: If it wasn’t a remnant, I would have used one long piece so save myself from having a second seam. But my remnant wasn’t long enough to wrap all the way around the perimeter of my desk.
Then I pinned and glued it all around the edges of my lap desk to make sure it covered all the ugly. While that was drying, I cut down my 1/4 inch plywood to size and stained it using my favorite stain wipes!
Once that was dry, I attached it to my lap desk pillow using hot glue (and a few dabs of Gorilla glue in the centre to give it some good hold.)
Optional way to Customize your Lap Desk Pillow
The last step was to use my Silhouette to cut out ‘hustle’ and stick it to the bottom corner just for some pizzazz 🙂
I can’t believe how this turned out! I’m so happy with it 🙂 I do try to keep work out of the playroom, but sometimes when LB is napping, I like to lie down here and do some work.
Additional Ways to Build a DIY Lap Desk
Maybe you want something that is a little more sturdy and level – for example if you are working from bed or if you need to travel with something that folds up a little more compact. You might consider adapting this project to either be a bean bag lap tray (by swapping the foam for bean bag filling) or you might want to make one out of solid wood.
- Here House of Wood makes one out of just one board
- Ana White has a great plan for one your can customize as well
- Lifehacker builds a wooden one for just $20
This is totally an easy DIY project that anyone can do. I think it would actually be fun to make on a girls craft and wine night, don’t you?!
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