2 inexpensive ways to turn shelf unit to a standing desk

Two simple and inexpensive ways to turn IKEA shelf units into a standing desk. Very useful for the current WFH situations.

#1 GERSBY standing desk

I prefer to work standing up. And I’ve spent the majority of my career working upright.

I took the jump and retrained as a software engineer at the start of 2020. My first job as a junior involves working remotely. A sit-down desk did not cut it, so I got hacking. 

Luckily I had a GERSBY bookcase spare.

IKEA Items used:
Other materials
  • Plywood 300 x 750 x 20 mm
  • Scrap laminated chipboard 565 x 440 x 20 mm
  • Corner braces x 8
  • Circular saw
  • Stanley blade and large metal ruler
  • Cordless Drill and screws
How I hacked my bookshelf standing desk:

I suggest you have a play around before you get cutting. Everyone is different and has different needs. It’s not hard to mock different heights with the bookcase to see what works for you. My requirements and instructions are below. 

I needed my monitor and laptop screen to be eye level, so I wasn’t straining my neck. I set the shelf at different elevations until I had found the perfect height. Then, I took it apart. 

IKEA GERSBY bookshelf standing desk

Related: 3 standing desk converter ideas for your WFH set up

I wanted it to be 1350mm from the ground. From the top, I would have to remove 450mm. I cut the sides with a circular saw.

With the MDF backing, I used a Stanley knife for a cleaner cut. I kept the offcut from the top of the sides and used it as a template to drill the dowel and bolt holes at the top of the newly cut sides. With it all cut, it was time to reassemble the bookcase.


I needed the top to be larger so I could fit my monitor and laptop on it. I cut down a piece of ply to 300 x 750 mm. So I would have 75 mm on either side and 60 mm extra on the front. Then, I attached it with four small corner braces. 

Adding the desk

Besides that, I needed to have a desk area. I ended up using a piece of laminated chipboard that was 565 x 440 x 20mm. With that, I had a desk with the depth of the bookcase 240 + 200 extra millimeters. I played around with different heights and settled with it being 1100mm from the floor. After that, I attached it with four corner braces. 


Next, I needed an access point for an extension lead. So I can plug in my laptop, screen, and device chargers.

Wires are a nightmare.

I wanted a clean solution. Now that the top of the bookcase was removed, I had a spare shelf. I used this at 900 mm. Then, I got a scrap bit of wood and used it as a template to drill more holes for the new shelf.

I drilled two more large holes in the MDF backing. The holes were at the same level as this new “mini” shelf. The first was for the extension lead to go in.

The second was for the other wires to be fed out of and up to the top. Keep them out of sight but still accessible. 


Voilà! My little lunch break project was completed. It was super fun to do and the first project I have done like this. What do you think?

IKEA GERSBY bookshelf standing desk

Happy Hacking!

~ by Charlie

#2 LERBERG temporary desk

A very simple mod turning the LERBERG shelving unit into a desk. And back again to shelving if you so wish.

Remove the top most shelf if you have an already assembled LERBERG unit. Otherwise, assemble it without the top shelf.

IKEA LERBERG standing desk

Related: A Standing Desk Built into the PAX wardrobe

Place a KOMPLEMENT shelf onto the LERBERG second (now top) shelf.

If this standing desk is a temporary situation and you want to convert the LERBERG back to its original form, use C clamps to fix the shelf in place.

c Clamp

If not, fasten the desk onto the LERBERG shelf with screws and nuts.

It fits a large monitor with adequate space for a keyboard and mouse.

IKEA LERBERG standing desk

You can further accessorize it with S-hooks to hang headphones and other cables.

I would also suggest placing heavy items such as magazines or books on the bottom shelf to keep the bookshelf standing desk more stable.

See the full tutorial here.

~ by Lovpowwoman