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DIY Office Built-ins


I love how these built in’s for my husband’s office turned out! I have had so many questions about the details of this project so here is the step-by-step process!

Tools Needed:

DrillMiter Saw – Table SawPocket Hole JigNail Guncorner clampclamps – concealed hinge jig – painting supplies – level


3/4 inch birch Plywood  – 1/2 inch plywood  –  1/4 inch plywood – 1×2 poplar boards –

butcher block – 2×4’s – 1 1/4 inch screws – 2 1/2 inch screws – 1 1/4 inch brad nails –  wood glue – wood filler – sand paper – liquid nails – caulk

Estimated Cost:



Intermediate to Advanced

office built ins


 I started by making a 3d version of my builtins in Sketch-Up. This really helps me visualize and plan.

First I removed the baseboard, and cut out the carpet and pad where the cabinet bases and table legs would go. Then I built cabinet bases using 2×4’s. I secured the bases to stud in the wall using 2 1/2 inch screws.

I built the legs for the desk out of 2×4’s. I wanted them to be substantial in size so I took two of the legs shown above and screwed them together to make one leg. I cut 1/4 inch plywood to cover one side of each leg and attached the plywood with brad nails. I then set the legs into place beside the cabinet bases and secured them to the floorboards and studs in the wall. Once they were secure I cut 1/4 inch plywood to cover the other side and front of the leg. I attached these with 1 1/4 inch brad nails.

As I installed the legs I made sure that they were perfectly level. If the legs weren’t level, the desktop wouldn’t be level.

I also used the largest fostner bit I had to drill a large hole in both sides of one of the legs so I could run cords through it to the outlet in the cabinet.

Next I built the cabinet boxes and cabinet doors. I have a whole post showing this process  HERE if you’d like all of the specifics.

I then wrapped basboards along the bottom of the cabinets and legs, covering the bases.

I then used THIS butcher block from ikea (2 of them) to make the desktop. I removed the metal hardware from the back and used the table saw to cut them down to the right size. The large middle desk piece I only trimmed off some of the depth. The two pieces of desktop over the cabinets were from the 2nd butcher block cut in half and then trimmed down even more on the depth.

I chose the stain Dark Walnut from Varathane and used a gloss polyurethane as the topcoat. I attached the stained/polyurethaned tops with liquid nails.

Next I built the bookshelves! I used 3/4 inch plywood for the sides and top. Connecting them using wood glue, pocket holes, 1 1/4 inch screws and a corner clamp. The shelves were built with 1/2 inch plywood and attached to the sides with pocket holes. The backing is 1/4 inch plywood attached with 1 1/4 inch brad nails. I did not build them with a bottom since they would be sitting on the desktop. I also built them 3 1/2 inches shorter than the ceiling.

I attached them to studs in the walls once they were in place.

I then built the shelf that attaches the two bookshelves and goes over the windows. I built it the same way with the same materials as the vertical bookshelves. I used pocket holes to attach it to the wall studs and the sides of the bookshelves.

I then added pieces of 2×4 in the 3 1/2 inch gap left at the ceiling. I screwed these into ceiling joists so that the top trim could be attached to them and be flush with the builtins. I added 1×2’s to the front of the bookshelves both vertically and horizontally using wood glue and brad nails. (the one white 1×2 in the picture is just primed). I then cut a 6.5 inch wide piece of 3/4 inch plywood and nailed it into the 2×4’s at the ceiling. All of the 1×2’s and the 3/4 plywood should be flush with each other.

I added a 5 inch crown molding on top of the plywood to give a layered look!

It’s so pretty!!!

To finish- I wood filled and sanded all of the holes and seams -I caulked all of the seams against walls and desktop and I painted it all!

I used Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in the color Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore and a foam roller to paint everything.

It turned out better than I could have imagined!!

Here are some other links!

Office Chair- HERE

Cabinet Pulls- HERE

Light Fixture- HERE


1 Comment
  1. Cheryl

    June 27, 2021 11:51 pm

    Hello – love this! Do you happen to know what carpet you used in this room? I am hoping to replicate this look and love that carpet!

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Elise Hunter

Hey there! I’m Elise. I’m passionate about empowering and teaching women how to bring their design dreams to life through hands-on building and creative interior transformations. 

Let’s pick up those power tools, grab a paintbrush, and get ready to build a life you love—one project at a time!

Elise Hunter


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