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How to Make a Folding Laptop Table

Need a comfy place to work from your couch? DIY Expert & House One editor Jenn Largesse shows you how to build a custom laptop table that easily stores away when not in use.

Whether you’re working from home or streaming your favorite show, nothing beats the convenience of having a dedicated holder for your laptop that can easily fold away when not in use. Read on to learn how to build your own custom laptop table.

Cut List

  • 1x2 Vertical Legs – 4 @ 9 ¼ inches
  • 1x2 Leg Horizontal Supports – 4 @ 7 ½ inches
  • 1x2 Base Sides – 2 @ 22 ½ inches
  • 1x2 Base Ends – 2 @ 9 inches
  • 1x2 Ledge – 1 @ 16 inches
  • 11 ½” Stair Tread Table Top – 1 @ 8 inches
  • 11 ½” Stair Tread Table Top – 1 @ 16 inches

Scroll down for a list of tools and materials needed for this project.

Steps for Building a DIY Folding Laptop Table

  1. To get started, first cut the 1x2 leg and base pieces to length.
  2. To create the bolt holes for the folding legs, lay the long sides of the base over two legs and drill a hole through both layers.
  3. Repeat to drill the holes in the remaining side and leg pieces. Once complete, trim the top corners off the leg pieces so that they can spin freely under the tabletop.
  4. Prep the remaining 1x2 leg and frame pieces with pocket holes at each end.
  5. Now, assemble the legs by position the sides on the edge and the horizontal pieces flat, using a scrap block to position the 1 ½-inches from the top and bottom of the sides. Repeat to assemble the second leg with glue and pocket hole screws.
  6. In the same way, attach the ends of the frame between the longer sides using glue and pocket hole screws.
  7. Place the legs inside the frame, and insert a bolt through each hole. Lock the bolt in place with a washer and a nut. Now the legs can swing open to stand the base upright.
  8. It’s time to cut the tabletop, which I’m making from a stair tread. I cut mine into two pieces so that one part will be fixed to the base and the other will tilt up for easier typing on my laptop.
  9. To create a ledge for the tilting section, clip the front corners of the 1x2 with a miter saw.
  10. Prep the square edge of the tilting section of the tabletop with pocket holes. Secure the 1x2 ledge to the tabletop with glue and pocket hole screws to create a place for items to rest on when tilted.
  11. Flip the tabletop upside down and position the base. Drill pilot holes through the frame and into the fixed section of the tabletop. Use a countersink drill bit to open the hole, and then drive a 2-inch screw through each hole and into the tabletop.
  12. Now it’s time to attach the legs to the surface, and for that, we’re using hinges. Place the hinges along the square edge of the tabletop. I like using a centering bit to drill pilot holes for hinges.
  13. Drive screws through the hinges and into the tabletop and the base. Once attached, the larger section of the tabletop should freely tilt.
  14. To create a leg to hold the top in a tilted position, first bevel the end of a 1x2 at 45-degrees. Attach a hinge to the square-cut end, and then screw the hinge to the underside of the tabletop. Tilt the leg up and mark its location on the frame.
  15. Using a drill and a chisel, create a notch in the frame. Now, you can tilt the leg and place it in the notch to hold the tilted surface in place.
  16. To keep the leg from hanging down while not in use, I decided to attach a magnetic catch to the underside of the tabletop and the side of the leg to hold it in place.