Before & After: Plywood Trash to DIY Desk Treasure

published Feb 16, 2014
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(Image credit: Sarah Riedl)

Sarah had been knee-deep in a pile of plywood scraps while tackling a year-long kitchen renovation. There were scraps that were too big to toss, but too small and damaged to make anything of use. Except that Sarah totally came up with a creative way to use them. And a gallon of wood glue was involved!

(Image credit: Sarah Riedl)

From Sarah:

In an attempt to shrink the scrap pile without wasting anything, I did the most logical thing: I bought a gallon of wood glue, cut all the plywood into long strips, and glued them back together with the inside of the plywood on the outside.

I took my mid-century modern design inspiration from a set of hairpin legs that I salvaged from a broken table in our basement. Mid-century modern turned out to be a good choice, since streamlined boxes are easy to build, and the simple shape allowed the texture of the wood to shine through.

I made one big sheet of glued-up plywood strips, and cut the pieces of the desk out of that single sheet so that the texture would line up perfectly and wrap around the desk. The result: A totally unique piece of furniture, for the price of a gallon of wood glue.

As you can imagine, it took more than just wood glue to pull off this project (it even took the guidance of an expert). But you can see exactly how Sarah made a desk out of plywood scraps, including all the steps and the project price break-down, on her blog. A lot of work, but a pretty neat way to reuse materials that would have ended up getting thrown away!

Thank you Sarah!