The Not-So-A-Door-Able Desk: throwing in the towel

Oh I hate when projects go drastically awry.  :(  I was so excited to make a simple Parsons style desk from one of the discarded doors in my new house.  It all seemed so easy!  Use a door, figure out the legs, add some paint, done.  I'd seen these door desks all over the internet, from Martha Stewart to Young House Love and many other blogs in between.  But for whatever reason, my door desk was doomed from the start.  These were my inspiration pieces:

Martha Stewart
West Elm Parsons Desk
At first, I wanted to go with the look in Martha Stewart's desk, which used bookshelves as supports.  The only problem: I could not find a bookshelf that worked!  They were all either too tall, too wide, or too expensive.  I found one that fit the bill perfectly, but the cost was insane and it would have made more sense to buy a brand new desk.  See - here is a picture of one of the several failed attempts at bookshelves - way too tall:

I finally gave up and decided to buy pre-made legs from Lowe's in an attempt to make my desk look like the West Elm Parsons desk.  I thought this was the easy solution: the legs had screws already in them, so I thought all I had to do was drill a pilot hole in the door and then screw in the legs.   Then paint the piece and I'd be done!  The legs cost about $35 total.

I cut my door down to size with my little saw and then made my pilot holes.  Everything went smoothly with the first two legs, but the second two would not stay.  They were wobbly and unsecure and when I tried to turn the piece over, they fell right out.  I knew this wasn't good.  I tried to save the day with a little liquid nails - didn't work.  Then I tried my last ditch effort: I bought some 2x2s and tried to secure them under the door and to the legs to give added support.

Unfortunately, I broke three large screws and one of my wood drill bits trying to drill through those legs.  That was it and I gave up.  I was really angry, especially because I'm now out about $40 for the legs, 2x2s and special large wood screws.

But we still needed a desk.  [Note: this was in late September, so even though this post is live in October, I did not actually spend the money in October - I am aware of, and still succeeding at, my October no-spend challenge] I looked in the new IKEA catalogue and found the Micke desk, which is available in white.  It was only $70 and had the lines and color that I wanted.  So I took the kids to IKEA one Sunday and picked up the desk and a few other IKEA delights.  Here is the desk!

I want to add a custom look, so I plan to add some hardware to the drawers and paint a bit of silver on those open legs.  I'll post the transformation as soon as I tackle it.  The living room is coming along!  Now I need to add some artwork.  It's looking a little boring in there, no?  I'm not sure if I'll keep the desk here ... I just kind of pushed it here for the time being. 

Have any of you had a failed project? Please make me feel better! I know I'm not alone.  Sure, I'm bummed about wasting the $40 but I'm more upset that I could not make it work!

See you swoon,


  1. I've had PLENTY of failed projects. I think that comes with the territory. One bad project out of as many as you do isn't bad! I know its frustrating though!

  2. I've also had many failed projects. I've just never blogged about them! I want to do something similar for a desk, but I'm thinking of using a file cabinet on one end and a bookcase on the other end. I can't buy anything this month, so I might try to build something out of pallets. Heavens!

  3. Please!! more than I care to name!! I admire that you try anyway, You are like me in that I see something and say, " I can make that", sometimes easier said than done! That desk is nice!!!

  4. I agree with Maury, one bad project out of as many as you do isn't bad!