How To Make A Sustainable Desk For Your Office

Embarking on a DIY project is always incredibly fun and highly cost-effective. Completing an item that you spent pouring your heart and soul into can be immensely rewarding, especially when it turns out exactly as you envisioned it would.

Whether you are a newbie to DIY or a pro, it is always good to do some research before you begin creating your own furniture. If you find yourself in need of a new office desk, and are feeling up to the task of building your own one, you will be pleased to know you're in great hands!

We have carefully curated this article to help you familiarize with various ways to craft a sustainable desk, that won't have any negative impacts on our planet.

Here is How To Make A Sustainable Desk For Your Office

Sustainable Desk For Your Office

To make you desk environmentally-friendly, you should use natural or recycled materials.

But here is what you will need:

Materials Needed:

  1. Recycled Material: Old wooden pallets or reclaimed wood.
  2. Natural Materials: Bamboo or certified sustainably harvested wood.
  3. Fasteners: Screws or nails made from recycled steel.
  4. Finish: Eco-friendly paints or stains that are low in VOCs and harsh chemicals.
  5. LED Light: For desk lighting, if needed.

Tools Needed:

  1. Saw
  2. Drill
  3. Measuring tape
  4. Paintbrush
  5. Screwdriver

Now we will go over the steps to create your sustainable desk.

Steps to create a sustainable desk

There are seven steps to creating your sustainable desk, we could add more, but these seven steps are essential for success.

Step 1: Plan Your Design

Before you get down to the nitty-gritty, sketch out your desk design. Decide if it's going to be an L-Shaped Desk, Adjustable Desk, or a Conventional Desk. Also, consider where in your office environment this desk will be placed, keeping in mind access to natural light.

Step 2: Source Your Material

Opt for recycled material or renewable materials like bamboo. Make sure to check the carbon commitments or embodied carbon of the materials you're sourcing. It's not just about the wood; your screws or fasteners should also be from recycled steel to minimize energy consumption.

Step 3: Cut and Assemble

Measure twice and cut once. Assemble the desk according to your plan, taking care to use all materials efficiently to reduce office waste.

Step 4: Sand and Finish

Use a fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges. Then, apply a coat of eco-friendly paint or stain that's free of harsh chemicals to maintain good indoor air quality.

Step 5: Add Ergonomic Elements

If you need a chair, go for ergonomic chairs that are also sustainable. This contributes to mental health and a healthier future for you and the planet.

Step 6: Illuminate

If you've planned a space for a lamp, use an LED light to reduce energy bills and energy usage. This complements the renewable energy sources you might be using in your hybrid office or coworking spaces.

Step 7: Office Supplies & Accessories

For holding your electronic devices or office supplies, use organizers made from sustainable products. You can even go a step further by using reusable water bottles and cleaning products that are eco-friendly.

How to make your desk even greener

There are a few more things you can do to make your desk even greener.

  1. Recycle or Resale: If you ever decide to upgrade, sell the desk or recycle its parts.
  2. Multi-Use: Design the desk to serve multiple functions to extend its lifespan.
  3. Maintenance: Regularly check for wear and tear and make any necessary repairs to prolong the desk's life, reducing the need for a new one.

On top of all of this, we think it is important to expand more on this topic and discuss why being sustainable is important. 

Why Is Sustainability Important?

You may dive into this project for the enjoyment aspect, or perhaps you have chosen DIY over a sustainable furniture brand, to keep expenses low.

Whatever your reason, it is important to ensure that your DIY office desk is crafted using eco-friendly methods.

In light of global warming, many people are turning into conscious consumers to help save and preserve our natural environment, as well ensure that future generations will be able to safely inhabit our planet.

Buying mass-produced furniture can often facilitate carbon emissions, and excessive waste, which is harmful to our planet.

Sustainable DIY is a better and affordable alternative to fast-furniture, and will ensure that you minimize the likelihood of a negative environmental impact.

Aside from being conscious of our Earth's environment, sustainable DIY also ensures you are purchasing responsibly sourced materials.

This means that the employees who have harvested any resources have done so in safe work environments, and have been fairly paid for their services - unlike most fast-furniture brands.

The majority of today's mass-produced furniture is created in sweatshops, meaning workers are treated inhumanely and receive an unfair salary for their hard work. This is why sustainability should always be upheld.

What Eco-Friendly Materials Make Excellent Desks?


In order to create an eco-friendly desk, you must purchase sustainable materials.

In doing so, you will be reducing your carbon footprint, and ensuring that you are welcoming safe materials into your home.

An Important Note: Many manufacturers incorporate Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into their materials which cause a range of health issues over prolonged exposure. It is vital for your own health that you source organic materials that are free from VOCs and any other harmful chemicals.

To help narrow your search, we have listed 4 sustainable materials that will help you craft a stunning eco-friendly desk.

  1. Upcycled and Recycled Wood

    Reclaimed wood is favoured by many sustainable office desk brands as it prevents waste and provides the wood with a new life. At Mojo Boutique, we love reviving old teak wood furniture to craft stunningly rustic items. We also use driftwood that is ethically sourced from Indonesian beaches, to create refreshing, modern furniture that is full of character.

    Buying live edge wood is an easy and cheap way of sourcing sustainable materials for your desk. In most cases, live edges are left over untreated cuts of wood that construction workers would otherwise dispose of.

    You may decide to purchase an antique wooden desk and transform it into something new for your office. Or, if you happen to have old wooden furniture sitting in your loft or garage, channel your inventive streak and make use of what you already have.

  2. FSC Certified Wood

    If you would rather buy brand new and pre-treated wood, it is important to make sure that it is FSC certified. This certification means that the wood you are purchasing has been responsibly grown and cut.

    Opting for FSC certified wood will ensure that your purchase is not contributing toward deforestation, which causes tonnes of CO2 emissions and results in many animals dying and losing their homes.

  3. Bamboo

    Bamboo is widely advocated as Mother Nature's most robust sustainable materials. It renews at a rapid speed (growing 1mm every 90 seconds!) and requires no chemicals to help it flourish and grow.

    Bamboo is believed to exceed many materials for its strength, including bricks, wood, concrete and even steel. This means that you can craft a sustainable desk that will comfortably endure daily usage.

  4. Upcycled and Recycled Metal

    If you are an experienced DIY fanatic, and are looking to explore new, more advanced avenues of creation, try using upcycled and recycled metal to create a frame for you desk. If you are newer to the exciting world of DIY, you may decide to take a less advanced route, by repurposing some old metal table legs for your office desk.

    We all know how expensive metal can be. Purchasing old metal will mean that you can buy this material for a fraction of the price. You could also ask around, or go to a scrap yard and attain metal for free!

  5. Sustainable Rattan

    Rattan is very similar to bamboo with regards to how fast it can grow. Because rattan is so light, it can be easily harvested and manipulated into all sorts of intricate designs, such as wicker. If you are looking to add a bohemian touch of texture to your work space, you should definitely incorporate rattan into your desk.

Sustainable Finishes For Your DIY Desk

You may believe that sustainably finishes are hard to come by, however, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover that there are many eco-friendly, non-toxic finishes on the market.

Try searching for polishes, varnishes and paints that are Greenguard Gold certified. This means that the product you are purchasing has been extensively checked in line with a strict health and safety criteria.

This certification often means that a product has very little to no chemicals and toxins that are detrimental to our health.

If you want to purchase a finish that is 100% safe, search for VOC free products.

There are many eco paints and varnishes that are plastic free and organic, meaning they are completely harmless and non-polluting to both your home's environment and the planet's.

Ideas for Designing Your Office Desk

Finding inspiration be tricky, especially if you have multiple preferences.

If you know exactly what you are going for, then you are already well on your way to creating a DIY masterpiece.

However if you aren't entirely sure what you like, a good way of pinpointing a specific style is by creating a mood-board.

You can use platforms such as Pinterest to create a digital mood-board, or, you can create a physical one to help inspire your creativity. This will also aid you to discover your unique aesthetic so that you can create a desk that reflects your individuality.

Timeless desk styles to inspire your project

To further your inspiration, here are some of the best desk styles that embody timeless interior aesthetics, so that you will never grow bored of your creation:

  • Purist/Minimalist Desks: Minimalist desks consist of uncomplicated features, making this style perfect for a DIY newbie. If you love purist design, then minimalism is likely your match. This kind of desk shouldn't have any complicated details, serving as a functional yet attractive piece of office furniture.

  • Eclectic Style Desks: If you'd prefer your desk to be the focal point of your office space, you may want to go for an eclectic style desk. Eclectic interior is often bold and decadent, compromising of metallic accents, vibrant colors and quirky silhouettes.

  • Standing Desks: In recent years we have seen a significant rise of ergonomic furniture. A standing desk often has adjustable heights that allows you to alter how you work, and cater to your comfortability. Because of the adjustability aspect, a standing desk may be best if you are more experienced with DIY builds.

  • Mid Century Style Desks: Mid century design is making a huge revival at the moment all thanks to its sleek and sophisticated style. This interior aesthetic often marries natural, warming wooden textures with muted tones to create a harmonious balance.

    A classic mid century desk is symmetrical, with storage space on either side and a vast surface for your work materials.

Discover Our Collection Of Eco-Friendly Desks

At Mojo Boutique, we stock a variety of high-quality sustainable office furniture, all of which is ethically made-to-order.

If you feel like you are no longer up to the DIY task, or perhaps if you need a chair to accompany your newly crafted desk, discover our collection or artisanal desks today.

We also stock a charming range of office-friendly decor, such as our handcrafted pen holders, photo frames and plant stands.

We adhere to sustainable practices throughout every stage of production at our boutique, to ensure we are effectively minimizing waste, reducing unnecessary pollution and supporting the livelihood of Indonesian craftspeople.

In line with our eco-conscious passion, we have additionally partnered with South Pole to launch a variety of projects that offset our carbon footprint. Discover more about our sustainability here.

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading the information above, you may still have some questions about making a sustainable desk for your office. In this section, we will address some frequently asked questions to help you create an eco-friendly workspace.

Are there any eco-friendly finishes or sealants I should use?

When it comes to finishing your sustainable desk, the most important factor to consider is selecting products that are non-toxic and safe for you and the environment.

Natural waxes, oils, and sealants are the best option as they contain fewer toxins than synthetic finishes. Beeswax, linseed oil, hemp oil, or soy wax are all great options.

Are there any sustainable resources I can use to build my desk?

Yes! Sustainable materials like reclaimed wood and bamboo are popular choices when it comes to creating a more eco-friendly workspace.

Reclaimed wood is often sourced from recycled buildings or old furniture, meaning you are not adding to deforestation. Bamboo is a renewable resource, as it is fast-growing and requires little water to thrive.

How long does it typically take to build a sustainable desk?

The amount of time it takes to build a sustainable desk depends on the size, complexity, and type of desk you are creating. If this is your first attempt at a DIY project, it may take longer than usual.

However, with enough practice and patience, you should be able to complete the task in an acceptable time frame.

When choosing the materials for your desk, make sure to consider the environmental impact of your choices. Opting for sustainable resources like reclaimed wood and bamboo can help minimize your carbon footprint. Finally, always keep safety in mind when building furniture!

Can I find eco-friendly furniture hardware or accessories for my desk?

Yes, you can find a wide range of eco-friendly furniture hardware and accessories for your desk. Sustainable materials like reclaimed wood, bamboo, or recycled plastic are all popular options for creating a green workspace.

Additionally, there are several companies that specialize in designing modern yet sustainable furniture hardware and accessories. You can choose from items such as drawer pulls made from natural fibers like cork or bamboo, or even a minimalist office chair crafted from recycled materials.

These are all great options for making an eco-friendly desk that looks stylish and modern.


Creating a sustainable desk for your office is not only environmentally friendly but also a rewarding DIY project.

By using eco-friendly materials, considering the design and functionality, and repurposing or upcycling materials, you can create a desk that is both sustainable and unique.

Additionally, using eco-friendly finishes and sealants will ensure that your desk is safe for both you and the environment.

With a little creativity and effort, you can make a sustainable desk that fits perfectly into your office space. We hope this information has been helpful, and feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.

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