How to Make a Cheap Standing Desk: Budget-friendly DIY Guide

By Rob Orr / Last updated: Oct 20, 2023


Whether you’re working from home or in an office, you might have heard about the benefits of using a standing desk. It’s believed to improve posture, help burn more calories, and boost productivity. However, not everyone is willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional standing desk. We’re here to help you create your very own cheap standing desk that’s both functional and wallet-friendly.

In this article, we’ll explore how to create a DIY standing desk without breaking the bank. With a little bit of effort, you can build a standing desk that caters to your needs and suits the available space. By scavenging for materials, you can keep costs low and create the perfect workspace for yourself. The good news is that there are numerous ways to do that, whether it’s using IKEA furniture or repurposing other items.

In my experience, once I switched to a standing desk, I noticed a significant improvement in my posture and overall energy levels throughout the day. To ensure that you get the most out of your new desk, we’ll also cover some tips on maintaining proper posture, choosing the right materials, and making necessary adjustments for maximum comfort.

Key Takeaways

  • Building a cheap standing desk is possible and beneficial for posture and productivity.
  • Choosing the right materials and design can save you money, and IKEA is an affordable option.
  • Adjusting your desk properly and maintaining good ergonomics help ensure wellbeing while using a standing desk.

Why a Standing Desk?

You’ve probably heard the buzz about standing desks. But do they really improve your productivity and health? Let’s dive in and see what the fuss is all about.

Sitting for long hours at a desk can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. This lack of movement can negatively affect your health, leading to issues like obesity, heart disease, and poor posture. Investing in a standing desk can help you combat the consequences of sitting too long, improving your overall well-being.

One of the main benefits of using a standing desk is that it can alleviate back pain, especially if you’re sitting for extended periods. A standing desk helps to improve your posture and puts less stress on your neck and lower back. However, it’s essential to be mindful of your posture while standing to avoid putting too much stress on your joints.

In my experience, standing desks have positively impacted my productivity levels. When you’re standing, you’re more likely to stay engaged with your tasks and maintain your focus. As a result, your overall work efficiency may increase. Pair that with the fact that standing desks can help you burn more calories and improve blood flow, and you’ve got a recipe for a healthier, more productive work environment.

But, like all good things, moderation is key. Standing for too long has its downsides, such as joint and muscle fatigue. So, it’s essential to find the right balance between sitting and standing to reap the maximum benefits of a standing desk. Ideally, you should switch between sitting and standing throughout the day to keep your body in motion without overexerting it.

In conclusion, a standing desk can be a valuable addition to your workspace, positively impacting your productivity and health. Just remember to maintain proper posture and find the right balance between sitting and standing to make the most of this desk upgrade.

Choosing Your Materials

When deciding to create a cheap standing desk, it’s essential to choose the right materials to ensure both stability and functionality. Not only do you want materials that are budget-friendly, but also ones that will stand the test of time (pun intended). Here are some suggestions to help you get started.

Ikea is well known for offering affordable furniture options, and it’s no surprise that many people turn to them when building a DIY standing desk. They provide a variety of desk legs that can be easily adjusted to the desired height. You can pair these legs with an economical tabletop or even repurpose an existing one.

Another option to consider is creating a cardboard standing desk. Although it may not be as durable as other materials, it’s an ideal temporary or transitional solution. Plus, cardboard is budget-friendly, lightweight, and environmentally friendly. When constructed properly, a cardboard standing desk can provide the necessary support and stability for your work setup.

In addition to choosing the right materials, you need to consider the overall ergonomics of a standing desk to maximize comfort and productivity. For instance, the desk should allow your arms to be at a 90-degree angle while typing, and the monitor should be positioned at eye level to avoid neck strain.

Lastly, don’t forget about the materials for additional features that can enhance your workspace. From standing desks made of various materials to organization accessories and cable management solutions, investing in the right combination of components will help you create an efficient, budget-friendly standing desk.

Ultimately, choosing your materials comes down to a balance between cost, durability, and functionality. With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, you can design a standing desk that meets your needs without breaking the bank. In my experience, the key to success lies in being open to unconventional ideas and keeping the end goal in mind – a more ergonomic and productive workspace.

Creating Your Desk

So you want to create a DIY standing desk that won’t break the bank? You’re in the right place! In this section, we’ll cover some practical and budget-friendly ways to build a standing desk that meets your needs. Let’s get started!

To begin with, a simple and cost-effective way to build a standing desk is by using a sturdy, pre-existing desk as your foundation. Ensure the desk is stable and able to support your desired work setup (don’t forget to take into account how much weight a standing desk can hold). You might need to stabilize a wobbly desk before you start adding anything else.

Next, you’ll want to consider your ideal desk height. To achieve the perfect height, measure your elbow height when standing and then subtract an inch. This will be the ideal height for your keyboard platform.

Adjusting Your Desk

Are you tired of sitting all day at your workspace and looking for a change? Want a cost-effective solution? Look no further, here’s how to create a budget-friendly adjustable standing desk that’s perfect for your home office. Let’s dive in!

First, determine the ideal height for your adjustable standing desk. Your goal is to achieve a proper working position with your elbows at a 90-degree angle or slightly more when typing. The key is to ensure your elbows are at approximately your waist or elbow height. You may use an online calculator or a tape measure to figure this out.

Next, consider cheaper solutions to convert your existing desk into an adjustable standing desk. One option is to use boxes, shelves or stack of books to lift your monitor, keyboard, and mouse at their required heights. Another alternative is to build an improvised desk from affordable materials such as wood planks and shelf brackets. Just be cautious about the stability and overall safety of your DIY standing desk setup.

When it comes to adjustable ergonomic desks, you have several options. The most budget-friendly option is to install your own adjustable height brackets, which can be bought online or at a local hardware store. Once you have these brackets, simply attach them to your existing desk, allowing you to change its height according to your preference. Keep in mind, this method may require a bit more DIY skill and some basic tools.

An important aspect of adjusting your desk is making sure you also have the right chair to go with it. Look for an office chair that has adjustable height features, comfortable padding, and ergonomic design to pair well with your new standing desk setup.

In my experience, creating a DIY adjustable standing desk can be a rewarding and cost-effective solution, perfect for those who want to improve their home office environment without breaking the bank. Just remember to prioritize stability, comfort, and proper ergonomics when adjusting your desk to ensure a healthier and more productive workspace. Happy adjusting!

Adding Additional Features

So you’ve decided to make your own cheap standing desk. Congrats! In this section, we’ll discuss adding a few additional features that can help you optimize your new standing workspace. Don’t worry – we’ll keep things simple and affordable.

To begin with, consider your input devices, such as your keyboard and mouse. Ergonomics is crucial when using a standing desk, so choose options that allow for comfortable positioning and reduce strain on your wrists and hands. Some people find split or ergonomic keyboards helpful, while others may benefit from using a vertical or trackball mouse.

Now, let’s talk about your existing desk. If you’ve already built or modified it into a standing desk, you might want to add a riser to adjust the height for optimal ergonomics. Risers come in various styles and materials, so finding one that suits your needs and budget should be an easy task. Remember, the goal is to achieve a comfortable working height that allows your arms to be at a 90-degree angle while typing.

Setting up your new standing desk in your home office may require some reorganization. Don’t simply place it against a wall or near a window without considering the environment. Think about whether you’d like to face the wall or the window while you work. Do you need more natural light, or perhaps a view to feel inspired? Or maybe you prefer a more focused, distraction-free workspace.

Lastly, keep in mind that even when using a standing desk, it’s essential to take breaks and allow your body to rest. One popular accessory you might want to consider is an anti-fatigue mat to reduce the strain on your legs and feet while standing for extended periods. Additionally, check out other standing desk accessories that can help enhance your work experience and ensure comfort throughout your day.

By incorporating these additional features into your cheap standing desk setup, you’ll create a more enjoyable and ergonomic workspace that supports your productivity and well-being. Happy standing!

Ikea as an Option

You’ve heard of people transforming Ikea furniture into incredible hacks, and now it’s your turn! Not only can you save money, but you’ll also have a cool and functional solution. Get ready, because we’re diving into the world of Ikea hacks to create your cheap standing desk.

In my experience, Ikea has some of the best options for affordable furniture. Their Lack side table has become a popular choice for DIY standing desk enthusiasts. It’s a low-risk option that won’t break the bank. All you need is a Lack side table and you can start assembling your very own standing desk.

When it comes to adding height and stability to your standing desk, the Ikea Ekby Valter bracket is a great choice. These brackets, paired with a tabletop or even a shelf, can create the perfect adjustable-height standing desk. What this means for you (yes, you) is that you have the flexibility to find your ideal ergonomic height for both posture and comfort.

But hold on, we’re not stopping there! Why not mix things up by adding some accessories to your standing desk? Consider adding a lamp or keyboard tray. You could even use some of the many other Ikea products to create additional storage and organization. Remember, this is your standing desk, so make it work for you.

In conclusion, Ikea offers a variety of options to make your standing desk truly unique and affordable. Whether it’s a simple Lack side table, the sturdy Ekby Valter brackets, or a combination of multiple pieces, you’re sure to find a solution that fits your needs and budget. So, go on and challenge yourself to make your ideal standing desk with a little bit of creativity and some help from Ike

Standing Desk Alternatives

Tired of sitting at your same old standard desk all day? (I know I was.) Check out these budget-friendly standing desk alternatives that’ll get you on your feet in no time. Let’s dive right in!

DIY a Standard Desk Solution: In my experience, one foolproof approach to convert your existing desk into a standing workstation is to improvise with some affordable IKEA odds and ends. You don’t even need to break the bank; you just need some creativity and patience. Check out this CNET guide on how to use IKEA parts to elevate your workspace to new heights. Ready, set, stand!

Wall-Mounted Wonders: Seeking a space-saving solution? You can’t go wrong with a wall-mounted standing desk. These desks are compact, efficient, and surprisingly affordable. These clever little contraptions fold up when not in use and will have you wondering how you ever worked without one. So lose some floor space (and gain some brownie points with your lower back) with these brilliant wall-mounted examples.

Corner Desk Conquests: Limited on space but eager to stand up and take charge of your workday? Fear not, my friends! These corner desk alternatives will satisfy your standing-desk desires without taking up a ton of room. By utilizing the often-overlooked corner of your room, you’ll make efficient use of space while improving your posture at the same time. With the right desk, the sky’s the limit… or in this case, the corner’s the limit.

Now you’ve got the scoop on some budget-friendly standing desk alternatives. No more excuses! Transform your workspace, give your back a break, and boost your productivity by trying out one of these options. The power to revolutionize your workday is quite literally at your fingertips, so go ahead – make the switch and never look back.

Maintaining Posture and Wellness

Are you tired of sitting all day and want to maintain a healthy posture? Let’s talk about how to maintain good posture and wellness while using a cheap standing desk. In this section, we’ll cover the importance of posture, how to avoid sitting too long, and how to stay well-balanced while standing.

Good posture is essential to prevent muscular imbalances and reduce the risk of injury. When using a standing desk, it’s crucial to set the desk height and computer screen position to optimize comfort and minimize strain (like what’s explained in this Healthline article). Ensure that your feet are flat on the ground, with your knees slightly bent. Keep your pelvis neutral, and make sure your spine is aligned with your head and shoulders relaxed. Place your screen at eye level so you don’t have to bend your neck.

Long hours of sitting may have negative effects on your health, but that doesn’t mean you should stand all day either (Consumer Reports). Balance is key. Alternate between sitting and standing every 20-30 minutes to keep your body engaged and avoid fatigue. I found that using a timer or reminder app helped me stick to a healthy sit-stand routine.

Wellness goes beyond posture. While using a standing desk, don’t forget to incorporate self-care into your daily routine. Stay active by taking short walks, stretching, and practicing proper breathing techniques. In my experience, regular breaks, even just a couple of minutes, go a long way in ensuring a healthy, productive workday.

Remember, a budget-friendly standing desk doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your posture and overall wellness. By making small adjustments and staying mindful, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to maintain a healthy balance.

Final Tips

Building your own standing desk can be an affordable and satisfying project. In this section, I’ll share some final tips to help you create the perfect DIY standing desk that suits your needs and budget.

First and foremost, it’s essential to plan your standing desk properly. There are numerous DIY standing desk plans available online that can guide you through the process. Choose a plan that matches your woodworking skills, workspace, and desired features.

When it comes to materials, don’t be afraid to get creative to keep the build cost low. For instance, repurposing old furniture, using scrap lumber, or finding affordable alternatives at your local hardware store can save you money. Remember: the goal is to create a functional and comfortable workspace without breaking the bank.

While building your own standing desk can be cost-effective, some people may find that it’s more convenient to buy a standing desk. There are affordable options out there, like the ones listed in this article. However, it’s essential to consider the real story behind the high prices of some standing desks before deciding whether to build or buy.

In my experience, taking the time to fine-tune your DIY standing desk for ideal ergonomics is crucial. Adjust the height of your desk to ensure your arms are at a 90-degree angle while typing, and consider incorporating options like adjustable monitor stands or keyboard trays. A comfortable workspace will help you enjoy the benefits of using a standing desk.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun in the process. Diving into the world of woodworking and DIY can be an enjoyable and satisfying experience, especially when you know you’re creating something that will improve your health and productivity. Go ahead and give it a shot!

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials can be used for a DIY standing desk?

In my experience, a variety of materials can be used for constructing a DIY standing desk. Some common options include wood, metal, and PVC pipes. It’s essential to choose materials that are sturdy, durable, and can support the weight of your computer and other work essentials. Also, consider the aesthetic appeal and how well the materials complement your existing workspace.

What are some simple and low-cost ways to create a standing desk?

Creating a standing desk doesn’t have to break the bank! One simple and low-cost method is to use IKEA components, such as shelving units and tabletops, which can be easily combined to create an ergonomic workstation. Another option is to repurpose existing furniture, like stacking books or using a sturdy box to elevate your laptop on your existing desk.

How can I convert my existing desk into a standing desk?

Converting your existing desk into a standing desk can be quite simple. One method is to purchase a desk riser or adjustable platform that sits on top of your current desk, allowing you to transition between sitting and standing throughout the day. Alternatively, you can try a DIY approach by modifying your current desk to accommodate a standing position – just be sure to maintain proper ergonomics to prevent strain and discomfort.

What tools are needed to build a simple standing desk?

The tools needed to build a standing desk will vary depending on the design and materials used. However, some common tools include a saw, power drill, screwdriver, wrench, and a tape measure. Additionally, you’ll need various screws, bolts, and other fasteners to securely assemble your desk. Safety equipment, such as goggles and gloves, is also essential when working with tools and materials.

Are there any inexpensive standing desk alternatives?

Yes, there are inexpensive standing desk alternatives available. Apart from the DIY methods mentioned earlier, you could also consider purchasing an affordable drafting table or a laptop stand to convert your existing workspace into a more ergonomic, elevated station. Just ensure that the alternative option supports a comfortable posture and maintains your health and productivity.

What are some common designs for DIY standing desks?

There is no shortage of creative designs for DIY standing desks. From using repurposed materials such as reclaimed wood or industrial piping to innovative configurations like wall-mounted and dual-tier designs, the possibilities are limitless. When planning your standing desk, focus on a design that suits your workspace and style preferences while maintaining proper ergonomics, functionality, and stability.

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Rob Orr

Rob is a graduate of Florida State University and the founder and Senior Editor of HomeOfficeHacks.com, a website dedicated to helping people navigate the unique challenges of working from home. As a remote working veteran with over 10 years of experience, Rob has developed a deep understanding of the strategies and solutions that can help people thrive in this environment. He is a respected expert in the field, renowned for his clear, engaging, and informative content. An award-winning web designer, developer, and digital marketer, Rob is also the owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties. His dedication, resourcefulness, and creativity have earned him a reputation as a respected leader in the remote work and digital media communities, inspiring others through his work and passion for lifelong learning.

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