I upgraded my home office by adding a computer monitor with a much larger screen. With the screen right at eye level, an external keyboard, and an ergonomic wireless mouse (good bye neck strain!), I no longer use my laptop to type or for display.
But it’s still the engine that runs everything – and it’s taking up valuable desk space. So are my headphones which I use all week long for video calls. Having them nearby is good, but oy! the clutter!
I needed a de-clutter solution! I researched DIY laptop stand ideas, keeping an eye out for wooden laptop stands (I’m always looking for ways to use scrap wood) and DIY stands for headphones. I found both but I didn’t want two stands taking up room in this small space.
So I designed a simple DIY laptop stand with – BONUS! – headphones stand built in! My two-fer solution is a solid object that takes minimal effort to make.
At the end of the day, I’ve combined two little projects into one easy project and created a sturdy structure that provides easy storage for your portable laptop AND your headphones.
Here’s how to make it!
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Parts and materials
- 1 x 4″ wood (actual size: 3/4″ x 3-1/2″) – Plywood scrap, MDF board, pine – any leftover wood planks will work. I used solid pieces of oak.
- 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws – You’ll need coarse threaded screws for soft woods, and fine threaded screws for hard woods. Not sure what wood you’ve got? Check out this guide.
- Foam (optional) – To protect the outer shell of your laptop.
- Glue (optional) – Wood glue, hot glue gun and hot glue, etc.
- Felt pads (optional) – To protect your desk.
- Sand paper or steel wool (optional) – If you want/need to sand the final product.
- Your choice of finish coat (optional) – Polyurethane, stain, paint, a natural oil, etc.
- Saw – Any saw will work. This project uses simple butt joints so only right angle cuts are needed.
- Power drill – To make pocket holes and install pocket hole screws.
- Pocket hole jig – I used the popular Kreg R3 jig, but any pocket hole jig will work. If you don’t know about pocket holes and Kreg jigs, check out this Saws on Skates tutorial.
- Clamp – To secure your pieces while you screw them together.
- Speed square – Here’s a good tutorial on using these.
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Cutting utensil (optional) – To cut down outer shell protective foam (optional). A box cutter, utility knife, or scissors. I used an X-acto knife.
- Power sander (optional)
Bottom piece: 1 x 4 x 6-1/2″
Laptop support back piece: 1 x 4 x 4″
Headphones piece: 1 x 4 x 9-1/2″
Headphones rest: 2-1/2 W x 2-1/4 L” (Please be careful when cutting small pieces of wood with power tools!)
Cut your wood and make pocket holes
The first step is to use the saw of your choice to cut your wood pieces down to size.
Next, use your pocket hole jig to create pocket holes in the back piece, headphones piece, and headphones rest piece.
Prepare outer shell protection (optional)
While the wood project pieces are loose, use them as a guide to cut down pieces of your protective foam so that it is the exact size you need for your wood boards. Don’t install the foam yet; put it aside for later.
Note: During assembly, if you’re using glue, apply it to your wood pieces before installing pocket hole wood screws.
Attach the back piece
The back piece acts as one side of support for your laptop. Use pocket hole wood screws, a clamp, and your drill to install the back piece centered and flush with one end of the bottom piece.
Be sure to install the back piece so that the pocket holes are not facing out. When you’re done, none of the pocket holes will be visible in your project.
Figure out spacing between the back piece and headphones piece
For this step, I measured the height of my laptop plus two foam square pieces. Then I used my ruler to figure out how much space I needed to create between the back piece and headphones piece to allow my laptop to easily slide in and out of the laptop stand.
Note: If you’re installing a protective layer such as foam, use this measurement to cut a piece of foam that you will install in the bottom of your laptop stand.
Attach the headphones piece
Use the measurement you obtained in the last step to figure out where you need to install the headphones piece.
For my project, I measured 7/8″ from the inside edge of the back piece, placed the pocket hole side of my headphones piece at that measurement, and used my speed square to line everything up nice and straight with the bottom piece.
Use pocket hole screws and your drill to install the headphones piece onto the bottom piece.
Attach the headphones rest
I installed my headphones rest centered 1/2″ from the top of the headphones piece. Depending on your headphones you may need to adjust this measurement.
Homemade laptop stand: done!
Outershell protection. If you’re using a protective layer, install it now.
Finish coat. If you’re putting on a finish coat and you’ve used glue, let it dry thoroughly before applying stain, polyurethane, paint, etc.
Felt pads. If you’re using felt pads on the bottom of your stand, apply those now, or once your finish is dry.
A note about laptop size and the size of your wooden planks
I designed this DIY notebook stand for my sleek Dell XPS 13″ laptop computer. I used light and heavy headphones to model this DIY project. Both are nicely supported.
The size of your laptop and your headphones may dictate different cut sizes. If your laptop’s a lot bigger than my Dell, consider using a wider board for your bottom piece to add stability.
This combination laptop/headphones stand was the best solution for my small space. I hope this fast, easy DIY project gives you back some work space and clears up some clutter!