Cupboard Door into Art Desk Tutorial

Turn a Cupboard into a Desk with iCandy Handmade
Hi friends!  I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a creative guest on Ucreate today!  I’ve been bubbling with excitement for weeks and have been scheming over what project would be Ucreate-worthy.  I hope this one fits the bill…!
First of all, I’m Autie and my friend Jen and I blog over at  iCandy handmade.
I’m a busy mom of 2 cute little kids and during nap time and bed time, I love to work on projects!  I like to make things for my kids and for my home, and share them with you on our growing blog.  I hope you’ll hop on over to iCandy and see all the fun things that we’ve been up to, and hopefully you’ll be inspired to do some of the projects yourself!  After all, if we can do them, so can you!

The project that I thought I’d share with you today started out with these.  My Father-in-law owns a restoration company in Phoenix and often times has cupboard door styles or carpet squares that have been discontinued, and he no longer uses.  My original plans for these sort of vanished, but since I had them in my garage, I was determined to find something unique to do with them.
  The drawer does not open, but the cupboard door does…and it leaves about an inch of space to keep something in it…like art masterpieces of a few sheets of homework paper…hmmmm
I bounced some ideas off of Jen, and this is what I came up with…I give you the
Cupboard Door into Art Desk Tutorial
I made one for each of my littles, and so far, they’re totally diggin’ it!
If you want to know what I did, here’s a quick run-down on what I did:
First things first, I had to sand the suckers down to give the paint something to stick to.
I wanted to use the drawer as a supply holder.  I bounced back and forth between routing out a groove in it to hold several pencils, or drilling a few large holes to hold cups of different supplies like crayons and markers.  The fact that I don’t have a router was the only reason I was leaning in the other directions, but the promise of homemade donuts convinced my neighbor to help me with this part.
We used a plain router to dig out the middle and then an edger to work on the sides. My neighbor is awesome!
Next I spray-painted each piece…
{I used Rustoleum’s 2x Spray paint, Aqua in Satin for the turquoise one, and Eden in Satin for the green one.}
…including the legs which I got at Home Depot for a little less than $3 each
they came with a little screw in the end, which I thought was perfect…as I’d just drill a little hole in each corner, and glue them in with liquid nails.
So, I used a 3/8″ drill bit and drilled a hole 1 1/2 inches in from each side about the depth of the screw (umm…is that a bolt, sorry for my lack of tool knowledge! screw it is!)
I filled up the hole with liquid nails plus a little dairy queen dollop on top, stuck the screw in the hole and twisted it all the way down to the liquid nails squeezed out the side.  I just smoothed out the excess glue with my finger and turned it upside down with a weight on top to let it set over-night.  The Liquid Nails is completely paintable, so after it set, I re-sprayed the cupboard and the legs, and then covered it with a couple layers of clear top-coat.
I screwed the cupboard door back into place after the glue had completely set:
Here we are so far:
I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit the inner panel of the door and mod-podged it in place.
While that was drying, I used my Gypsy and Cricut to cut some black vinyl to spell out the word (imagine)
I used ‘doodletype’ font…which seems to be my fav lately.
After applying the vinyl, I re-coated just the top of the cupboard door with a light layer of top coat to protect the vinyl and the paper from little picky fingers.
…and this is what we’ve got:
My kids have been begging to use their ‘desks’ through the whole process, and I think it’ll be so fun to have a little art center for them to use with our little projects.  I can just imagine my little girl feeling so grown-up at her own little desk!  I love that the cupboard door can close and hold about an inch-worth of stuff…extra papers, or old projects or papers.  Or a place to store homework until it’s done.  I might still attach a little clip on the inside top of the cupboard door to stick a finished project for it to dry, or whatever, but we’ll see.
I hope this little project has inspired you to something similar!  Whether you have cupboard door and drawer face like I did or not, you could use any old sheet of wood and put those little legs on for super cheap to make it your own.
Come see us at iCandy!


You May Also Like…

How to Turn a Coffee Table into a Lego Table by U Create

  Turn a Coffee Table into a Lego Table

DIY Lego Activity Box with Storage - on the go Lego fun!

DIY Lego Activity Storage Box

Become a subscriber

Sign up below and never miss another great recipe or tutorial!


  1. says

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (seriously, I want to keep adding the “!!!” about hundred times over!!!) I MUST DO THIS!!!! AHHH!!! Amazing, amazing…

    (can you tell I am excited about this?)


  2. says

    Hey guys! It’s me, Autie!
    A couple of answers for you:
    Dear Silly Puppet: These particular cabinets don’t have the anti-slam on them… I realized quickly that the slammage was not my fav, and taught my kids how to shut them nicely! The only thought I had was to put a few of those little felt or rubber circles on each corner to cushion the slam…but you’re smarter than me!
    love autie
    Dear VirtualVocations and The Petersons,
    Your question was totally not dumb. The cabinets I used WERE, in fact, samples, so they come mounted on the board like that! Someone commented on iCandy that they’re local cabinet shop was selling the discontinued samples for $2 in the front of their store…something to maybe check out!
    love autie!
    hope that answers your questions!

  3. says

    I grabbed up a few of these at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, out back on the refuse pile. They were completely free, and I go there once a week to check what they are pitching, then head inside for awesome supplies greatly discounted. All counties have a ReStore. Check it!
    Thanks for the Tutorial!

  4. says

    These are adorable! I did not read all the comments so someone else might have mentioned this. Use Chalk Board paint in the larger door area instead of a paper etc. You could also adapt these to make a lap board for an adult or even a bed tray!

  5. Jeanette says

    I am thinking of doing this for the grandson. I think instead of the picture on the lid, I will paint it with chalkboard paint, would make a secondary drawing surface that way. This was a really neat idea, thank you for sharing.

  6. says

    We happen to live in an area where there are tons of cabinet shops and they have rejects all the time. They give them away. That might be a source for others if you know someone with a cabinet shop. Also, You might want to add one of those hinges that locks into place to keep little fingers safe.


  1. […] You can’t tell what this is from the picture, but that’s because I’m hiding the finished project from you on purpose. I do that from time to time to keep you guessing. Okay, I will tell you – this is an art desk made from a cabinet door. Cool, huh? This was a feature I spotted on Ucreate from guest blogger iCandy Handmade. I found this project to be ingenious and I’m wondering what I can make with cabinet doors. For the full tutorial and pictures of the finished projects (there are two – both equally awesome) go here. […]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *