(Not another) IKEA TROFAST children’s desk and chairs!

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This DIY IKEA children’s desk has an additional table that lets kids play opposite one another.

I built this hack because my kids often want to use our kitchen table to spread out, play or draw. However they insist that no grown up is in the room when this is happening, which is an issue at dinner time.  

I suggested I build them a desk in the spare bedroom and they were keen.

In all the desk cost around £150 and took about three hours to make.

I’m jealous of their desk, which I guess is the thing I like most about it.  I’d have loved something like this when I was a kid.  Keeping it quiet when I built it on the day before half term was the hardest part! 

TROFAST additional slot in table

The additional removable table that slots into the TROFAST drawer runners

In all seriousness, making sure my measurements are accurate is always the hardest part and the part I pay most attention to. (As well as making sure I cut the feet accurately, I didn’t want a wobbly desk!)

List of IKEA items used in my hack
  • TROFAST x 2 (plus another TROFAST I bought on eBay for £7, though a 15mm piece of furniture board cut to size would work just as well).

In addition to the TROFAST I used the following items to decorate:

  • SVALLET lamp x 2
  • ANILINARE notebook x 2
  • MÅLA pens x 2
  • BINTJE pots x 6
I used the following tools:
  • Circular saw
  • Wood screws
  • 2440mmm x 1220mm x 15mm plywood sheet (I had plenty left over)
  • 38mm x 38mm baton cut into 10cm long desk feet
  • Cordless drill
  • Sandpaper
  • 610mm x 1220mm x 12mm plywood sheet
  • Jigsaw
  • Sander

IKEA TROFAST children’s desk instructions:

Measure the space your desk is going to fit into.  The wall along which my desk was placed was fractionally less than 3m long.

Build the first (middle) TROFAST and make sure it is placed centrally, equal distance from the side walls.

Cut the other TROFAST in half using the circular saw (or handsaw if you prefer).  This is roughly 45cm.  You will need to cut the top, bottom and four thin batons.

(Skip this instruction if you have another TROFAST like I did.  Take one of the sides and draw around it on your furniture board twice and cut it to size.)

TROFAST children’s desk and chairs

Build both halves of the TROFAST as you would do normally.  This will leave you with two halves, both of which will be missing a side.

Using the spare TROFAST I bought, or the furniture board, screw the sides to each half of the TROFAST.

Making the feet

Cut your 38mm x 38mm baton into 10cm long lengths.  You will need twelve of these.

Turning each TROFAST upside down, drill a hole in all four corners of each unit.  I lined this up by ensuring my drill head fitted snugly into the corner.

Line up each foot to it is pushing into the corner underneath of the TROFAST and screw it in with a long wood screw.  Repeat twelve times.

Turn the units upright and space along the wall.

Cutting the desk top

For this part I pre-measured the wall and had my plywood cut to size at my local B&Q.  If you aren’t able to access this service, measure the wall including any skirting board and half it. (I did this to fit it in my car!)  The desk top on mine is 50cm deep.

Place the desktops on the TROFAST and screw them in place in all four corners.  You will on need short wood screws.

The desk is designed to grow with my kids so it is easy to disassemble and attach longer feet.

Additional desk top

I also designed an additional desk to allow my kids to play opposite one another.  I did this by:

Measuring the width of a TROFAST storage box (roughly 29.6cm) and measuring the distance from the point the wooden shelf runner ends to the wall (on my case 46cm).

TROFAST IKEA children’s desk and chairs

Using a 12mm sheet of plywood I drew a 29.6cm x 46cm block on one end and then use a jigsaw cutter to cut off the wood either side of this to create a T shape.

Use a mug to draw a line around the two corners of the part of the wood that will form the table and cut these out with a jigsaw cutter.  Give the sides and rounded corners a smoothing with a hand sander or sandpaper.

This T shape now slides into the shelf runners where a drawer would normally fit.

I then build a simple hollow box for the table to rest on.

That completes my IKEA TROFAST children’s desk.

~ by John Cantrell

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