Lap Desk Makeover

Macy’s developed a recent bizarre obsession with lap desks.

I blame Pottery Barn Teen. Theirs are SEVENTY NINE dollars. SEVENTY NINE!!!

We have an outlet near here that sells Pottery Barn stuff that’s damaged or mis-monogrammed. We picked up this one for $10.

(Hey Matti…I have your desk!)

I removed the screws and took the lid off its hinges.


Then I sanded the top. The letters were painted on, so I need to make sure to get rid of any ridges. I also wanted to rough up the old finish a bit.



Then I wiped it down well with a damp cloth. I don’t really think this next step is necessary, but I did it. So, I’m including it.

I taped off the bottom, just so I wouldn’t get any overspray.


And then I went outside and sprayed.



I used spray chalkboard paint. I’ll be honest with you…I didn’t love it. If I wanted a chalkboard finish again, I’d use the brush on kind and just do a couple of light coats with a sponge roller. If you don’t care about it chalkboard-ness of it all, just go ahead and use regular spray paint.

And then I reattached the lid.

Finished product?

Now we’re both happy…for way way WAY less than SEVENTY NINE dollars. ;)


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  1. What a deal! I like it better than the original…I have only ever used the brush on chalkboard paint, and have had great results.

  2. Super cute. I love the idea of using chalkboard paint.

  3. What resourcefulness! I wouldn't have thought you could get rid of that name. Good job!

  4. i've been meaning to blog about that outlet – i haven't been there yet, but my mom LOVES it so we have a ton of beach towels, sheets, etc. from there. my kids all have duffle bags with random initials on them…

  5. Very cute!! Macy will enjoy using it I am sure!

  6. I have chalkboard paint in a can. You could have borrowed it. In fact, if you want another coat, rolled on, just call.

  7. Love that place! We found a lap desk with my daughters name on it and couldn't believe it. WE also have tons of bags, I just get pathes at JoAnn's and sew over the monogram. Great idea for the top, I might have to grab another one and do that for a gift!

  8. Courtney Price ~ Vintage Ginger Peaches says:


    That's seriously insane. Yours is better :)

  9. So does this mean she's moved on from her obsession with Shape Ups?

  10. Very cute! I want one for myself!

  11. connorandmaddiesmom says:

    ok, I am so going to check out the outlet near me too!

  12. I love the sudoku puzzle book. Whenever I see those I think of Macy and her doing them at, like what, age five?!

  13. Does the chalk come off on her or what she's got resting on the desk?

  14. Okay, LOVE IT.

  15. $79. rofl. I made one for my son starting with a kitchen cabinet door sample I found in the trash. It happened to be the perfect size, perfectly smooth, and thick enough for me to use screws to attach a piece of upholstery fabric from my stash, stuffed with an old pillow. Very plain and simple, and I didn't have to refinish the wood, so it was fast. OK, DS turned his nose up at it. Some people don't appreciate upcycling (nee trash picking). Now it's mine. I like it. It's not nearly as pretty as yours is though, and doesn't have storage. Oh, I would have loved yours as a kid!

  16. Another great idea! TFS!

  17. Jen and Marty says:

    I'm definitely doing this. Thanks for the creative idea! How are you by the way? I need a Girls Camp report. :) Talk soon!

  18. Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust says:

    Great job and I love your sense of humor . . . "Matti, I have your desk". You crack me up!

    Warmly, Michelle

  19. I'm Thankful for... says:

    Where is the outlet?!?! Heart this!!!

  20. Outlet?? Where??

  21. Can you please share where this outlet is located? I am a Potterybarn fanatic and will be visiting Utah in the SLC/Provo area next month. I would love love LOVE to make a trip to the outlet a part of my visit!!!

  22. An Experiment in Happiness says:

    Looks great! I will have to make one now!

  23. Parabéns o movel amarelo ficou lindo! você é muito criativa!!! adorei conhecer se blog, um beijo grande.

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