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Portable Desk

Source: Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 5 2002


This little office-on-the-go starts with a store-bought wooden artist's supply box outfitted with a slightly larger board for a desktop and painted white. Small and light enough for kids to carry, it can be taken on vacation or toted outdoors on a warm afternoon.


  • 1/4-inch-thick stiff fiberboard or plywood

  • Art box

  • Sanding paper

  • Wood glue

  • 1/4- or 3/8-inch screws

  • Lattice strip

  • Clamp

  • Primer

  • Paint

  • Mini storage containers

  • Adhesive-backed Velcro disks


  1. Cut a piece of 1/4-inch-thick stiff fiberboard or plywood to be 4 inches wider and 2 inches deeper than a store-bought art box. Sand edges.

  2. Use wood glue to attach the board to the top of the box; position so top lies flush against the back of the box. Reinforce with four 1/4- or 3/8-inch screws (below), attached from the inside of the box lid at each corner (above; screws should be short so their tips do not damage the desk surface).

  3. Cut a 1/2-inch-wide lattice strip as long as the desktop's width, and glue it to the top of the overhanging edge; clamp until dry.

  4. Prime and paint the desk, inside and out. Arrange plastic, semi-transparent storage containers along the inside edges of the box as desired, leaving plenty of room for papers and notebooks.

  5. Apply adhesive-backed Velcro disks (available at art-supply and sewing stores) to the underside of the containers and the inside of the desk, positioning carefully so there is enough room for lids to open.


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