My kids needed a desk and I couldn’t find a desk that would fit the small space we had in our kid’s shared bedroom. I really didn’t want to build a custom desk from scratch and I love a good ol’ IKEA Hack. When I saw the IKEA Ingo table, I had a great idea. I could make a custom-looking desk with plenty of storage for my kids!
IKEA Furniture gets a bad rap sometimes and I’m about to show you what it would look like to take the IKEA Ingo Kids table and turn it into a gorgeous Pottery Barn-inspired desk and scalloped hutch. By that, I mean it’s a classic and stylish desk you’d probably see in a PB catalog. This desk does not exist, lol. Let’s build the desk of your dreams! Errr…I mean your kid’s dreams.
How to create an Easy DIY IKEA Desk Hacks with INGO Kids Table
Shopping List, Supplies, Cut List, and Costs for this project are all at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Assemble Your IKEA Ingo Kids Table
If the table is too size for your space then no sweat! Continue assembling that beauty together. If not, then you’re in the same boat as me! (Skip Step 1+ 2 and head over to Step 3) I needed a custom desk size for the small space I had – so cutting down the tabletop, matching the supports to size, and chopping down the table legs a few inches was the only way to go.
If you are working with a larger space and are looking for an L-shaped kid’s desk, this DIY desk can be modified with two IKEA Ingo Tables to create and long L-shaped desk.
Step 2: Cutting your IKEA INGO table pieces to size
This isn’t going to be a long desk by any means, we’re “hacking” this table specifically to fit in small areas. We needed the desk to fit in a small space and I wanted the desk to be more fitted for my kids ages 4 and 6. We didn’t have enough space for the standard IKEA Ingo Table, we needed a slim desk option.
Most children’s desks I looked at online were between 26” to 29 ½” in height and 18” to 24” in width. With that, the Ingo table itself was a little too large for the small space and the ages of my kids.
We cut our IKEA Ingo Table down with a circular saw and Kreg Rip Cut to 38” L x 19” W with the knowledge that we were going to build a hutch that would sit on top. If your child prefers to stand, you can forego cutting down the table legs for a DIY standing desk.
DON’T THROW OUT THE SCRAPS! Hold on to those we’re going to use them later.
Measure how much of an overhanging lip you want on the desktop and measure accordingly to cut down the underside table frame. We cut the underside table frame at 32 3/4″ for the long pieces and 13 3/4″ for the shirt pieces.
Since you cut off the channel groove to attach the metal table leg bracket you need to recreate that. Run each frame piece through the table saw on the end you just cut off. Add a new channel groove mirroring the other end the IKEA manufacturer had made for the metal table leg bracket to attach.
Don’t worry about the dowels to attach the frame to the tabletop – we’re throwing those out! The screw holes will not line up with the ones on the under side of the table. You will still install those as directed on the IKEA instruction manual for the IKEA Ingo Table.
You are just making the entire project a few inches smaller altogether. That includes the desk legs! We cut the existing table legs down to 26” in length. If you want to change out the table legs for a different style, you can add hairpin legs too! Hairpin legs are an easy way to make the table a bit more on the modern side.
Did you know, based on your child’s age the desk size changes? I had no idea! I thought a child-size desk was the same size for any child’s age. Here’s the breakdown of standard sizes for children’s desks.
Kids Desk Height Guidelines by Age
- Infant 6-12 months old – 12 to 13 inches
- Toddler 1-2 years old – 13 to 14 inches
- Toddler (Pre-School) 2-4 years old – 14 to 17 inches
- Kindergarten 4-6 years old – 17 to 19 inches
- Elementary School 6-10 years old – 20 to 22 inches
- Middle School 10-13 years old – 23 to 29 inches
- Middle School and Above 13+ years old – 26 to 30 inches
Step 3: Assemble IKEA Ingo Table
After you’ve made all your cuts you’re going to assemble the IKEA Ingo Table to make sure everything assembles correctly. Even though you’ve made a few modification and the holes aren’t going to line up properly – follow the IKEA instruction manual to put the table together. This step could be considered optional, but we felt it was necessary to make sure everything fit correctly and that no additional cuts/adjustments need to be made before sanding and staining.
These silver brackets are the hardware that needs to fit into the channel grooves for the desk legs.
Step 4: Sand and Stain the IKEA Ingo Table
We find it’s easier to sand and stain the project when it’s in pieces so we don’t have to fit our sander into little nooks, although a mouse sander would work perfectly for this!
Liv wanted to be part of the build and she did such a good job sanding all the boards! I went back over them with the higher grits, but my girl did such a great job!
I sanded using my orbital sander with 100g, 180g, and 220g – if you want a more in-depth tutorial on sanding you can find it here! I used my favorite stain combo of Varathane Weathered Oak and then a coat of Varathane Early American.
I start by staining the entire project with Varathane Weathered Oak and then put on a light coat of the Early American and use our “wax on, wax off” technique. Using a staining pad in one hand and a paint rag in the other. The stain goes on with the staining pad and then wiped off with the paint rag.
It’s a beautiful vintage-inspired stain combo I’ve used on a few other projects too! Not feeling the stain option? This desk would look gorgeous in white paint too!
Step 5: Re-assemble IKEA Ingo Table
I hope you guys like assembling IKEA furniture, we’re assembling and reassembling this Ingo table quite a few times…all for good reasons! Well, it’s only 2 times, so don’t sweat it.
Once you’ve assembled the table (which is now a desk), it’s time to assemble the hutch! We found that having the desk assembled makes it easier to add the back panels on the hutch later.
Step 6: Building a Desk Hutch
The kids share a bedroom and there wasn’t enough room for a large desk or a bookshelf either. So, building a desk with a hutch made sense for the space because it would add plenty of storage for books, arts and crafts supplies, and more!
Building a Desk Hutch is just building a simple bookshelf!
Cutting Down your Lumber for the Desk Hutch
We used (2) 1×10 @ 8FT and a scrap from the IKEA Ingo table (remember how I said we were going to use those scraps later?). The width of the lumber was already the perfect width for the bookshelf!
I cut (2) boards at 39” for the sides of the hutch from the (1) 1×10 using my favorite miter saw and the top of the hutch using the scraps from the Ingo table @ 36 ½” L x 8 ½” W and (2) shelves cut from 1×10 @ 36 ½”.
Assembling the Desk Hutch
Make pocket holes using your Kreg520PRO in your shelf pieces – 36 ½” x 8 ½” and (2) 36 ½” x 9 ¾” . There should be 2 pocket holes on each end of the shelf. 4 pocket holes total on each shelf.
Assemble the shelf by attaching the top piece (36 ½” x 8 ½”) to the sides (39” x 9 ¾”). I used my corner clamp to hold the side piece and top in place. Use 1 ¼” Kreg screws to attach. Remember there will be a ¾” gap on one side of the shelf and that’s for the scallop trim to fit.
Measure 12” between the shelves, from the bottom of the shelf to the top of the shelf. Use the corner clamp to hold each shelf in place while you attach using the 1 ¼” Kreg screws.
Cutting Out the Scallop Trim
I cut the scallop trim piece at (1) 1×10 @ 36 ⅜”.
This wasn’t the most mathematical way to create a scallop trim, but we used a roll of blue painter’s tape that just so happened to be the perfect size to fit scallops perfectly across the trim piece.
I placed the edge of the tape at the edge of the trim piece half circles around the tape at 4 ½” in width.
I clamped the trim piece to my workbench and used my jigsaw to cut out the scallop design.
The cuts for the scallops weren’t perfect, so I sanded it with sandpaper as if I was flossing giant teeth!
I attached the scallop trim to the top of the bookshelf using wood glue and clamps. Letting it dry overnight before removing the clamps.
Making the back panel of the desk hutch
I wanted to give the hutch more character than just a plain back panel and wanted it to be stained like the rest of the piece. I used (2) 2’x4’ underlayment project pieces of plywood at ¼” from The Home Depot and cut vertical channel grooves to create a shiplap look that I’d be able to stain!
The channel grooves are cut using a table saw or a circular saw, placing the blade at ⅛” depth, you don’t want to go through the underlayment plywood, you want it only to be on one side.
The shiplap pieces are X” in width, this does not include the width of the blade ⅛”.
Cut the (2) sheets of plywood to 21 ⅝” x 39” and 16 ⅜” x 39”.
After your plywood is cut to size, cut your channel grooves, there will be 9 “shiplap pieces” total.
Each shiplap piece will be 4” in width. After adding the first channel groove you will stick the end of your measuring tape in the channel groove you just cut and measure 4” for the next shiplap piece. Measure 4 shiplap pieces at 4” and the last at 5” (this will be the centerpiece on the back panel). Add the last channel groove at the end of the 5” shiplap piece on the 21 ⅝” x 39”.
This is done so you can attach the second panel without them looking like 2 separate pieces. The second plywood sheet at 16 ⅜” x 39” 4 shiplap pieces and 3 channel grooves.
Attaching the plywood hutch back panel
Since these are 2 separate pieces you’ll attach the 21 ⅝” x 39” piece first. Use wood glue, 1” brad nails, and my favorite go-to brad nailer to attach around the edges of the bookshelf and on the back of the shelves.
Attach the second plywood panel backing, the 16 ⅜” x 39” following the same steps above. To keep the 2 pieces from bending or warping at the bottom where it sits on the IKEA Ingo Desk, you will attach a piece of the scrap underlayment plywood piece at 1” x 39” to cover the seam.
Use wood glue and brad nail at the top and center shelves. Use a piece of painter’s tape to hold the glue and scrap piece together at the bottom.
If you have any old desks you could also build the hutch portion of this project to add a little bit of a personal touch to an item you already have!
Step 7: Attaching the Desk Hutch to the Desk
We used L brackets to attach the hutch to the desk by attaching the bottom corners of the hutch to the back of the desktop.
Since this is in a kid’s room we also added furniture tip hardware to the desk hutch to prevent any unwanted accidents!
Step 8: Seal that baby up…
We’ve been really into sealing our projects with furniture wax lately and this Varathane Natural Furniture Wax makes everything feel like butta.
Get the Look:
This IKEA Desk Hack made this a much more functional desk and created tons of storage space for the small space we needed to fill. My kids are obsessed with the desk and love all of the extra storage space we created with the hutch over the desk. Honestly, it’s the perfect desk for my kids and could be considered a double desk for them. Since they’re so young we’re able to add two seats for each of them! We filled our kid’s desk with some great organization finds from The Container Store, but there are loads of Ikea items that would also fit perfectly.
There isn’t a ton of storage in this small space and we weren’t really into getting a storage unit for anything that doesn’t fit in this small house of ours. So maximizing the kid’s space with a great desk was the best thing to give them plenty of room to play too! Since we added the hutch over the desk there’s so much storage space for
The desk setup is a great option if you don’t have much space to work with. Sometimes a DIY desk is a better solution than a new desk!
This desk could also be modified for a home office space and would be able to fit a laptop to become a computer desk.
Ready to re-create your own DIY Ikea Desk with the Ingo Table?
- IKEA Ingo Table
- (3)1 x 10 @ 8FT
- Miter Saw
- Circular Saw or Table Saw
- KregJig 520PRO
- 1 1/4″ Kreg Screws
- Varathane Weathered Oak Stain
- Varathane Early American Stain
- Varathane Wax in Natural
- Ear and Eye Protection
(2) 1 x 10 @ 39”
(1) scrap piece from Ingo Table @ 36 1/2” x 8 1/2”
(2) 1 x 10 @ 36 1/2
(1) 1 x 10 @ 36 3/8 x 4″ (scallop piece)
(1) 2 x 4 project plywood sheet @ 39″ x 21 5/8″
(1) 2 x 4 project plywood sheet @ 39″ x 16 3/8″
(1) 2×4 project plywood sheet @ 39″ x 1″
**with additional supplies and tools already on hand
Love a good IKEA Hack? So do we! Check out these other IKEA Hacks we’ve created.
What do you guys think? I know this isn’t one of your standard IKEA desk ideas since this started out as a table. Will you try your hand at creating a desk out of the IKEA Ingo Kids Table too? Let me know below!