How to make a handy lap desk

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Photos ER Lombard

Sending a few emails in bed or joining a group call from the comfort of your couch? Then this is the perfect portable desk…

You will need

  • 4mm plywood (two pieces of 400 x 600mm)
  • template
  • masking tape
  • carbon paper
  • pen
  • jigsaw
  • clamps
  • sandpaper
  • Woodoc Water-Borne FLOOR Clear Matt
  • Woodoc Colours Brights Blue
  • mixing container and mixing stick
  • paintbrushes
  • cold glue
  • Velcro
  • hot glue gun
  • pillowcase (40 x 60cm) 
  • feather pillow inner (40 x 60cm)


1. Download and print the template at 100%. It will print onto six A4 pages. Join them with masking tape.

2. Position the template on the plywood and trace the shape with the carbon paper. 

3. Secure the plywood to your work surface with the clamps and cut out the shapes. On one piece, cut away the penholder area. Leave it intact on the second one.

4. Decant about 50ml of the Woodoc Water-Borne FLOOR Clear Matt into the mixing container and add some Woodoc Colours Brights Blue. Stir well.

5. Use a brush to apply the sealer, tinted in step 4, to the penholder area.

6. Apply cold glue to the entire surface, except the sealed area, and laminate the other piece of plywood onto this one, allowing the cut-out penholder to overlap with the sealed area. Allow the glue to cure.

7. Seal the tray on all sides with three coats of Woodoc Water-Borne FLOOR Clear Matt, allowing it to dry between coats. After the first and second coats have dried, sand lightly with fine sandpaper before applying the next coat. Do not sand again after the third coat has dried.

8. Cut the Velcro into four pieces of 25cm each and four pieces of 45cm each. Use hot glue to attach the pieces to the bottom of the tray as well as to one side of the pillowcase. 

9. Insert the cushion inner and attach it to the tray


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April 2023

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