Wooden Lap Desk–{Roadkill Rescue}

I have kind of become known among my friends as the girl who loves trash.  I get random texts, emails, and phone calls that say “Hey I was driving and I saw {insert random object} on the side of the road and thought of you.”  My response?  I LOVE IT!  So when my friend brought these two end tables destined for his curb into work for my hubby to give to me I was flattered.  I love the thought that people think “Oh Beckie can make something cool out of this.”  So I took the two end tables and turned the tops into two wooden lap desks for my kids.



Fine grit sandpaper

spray primer

Spray Paint ( I used Emerald Green and Ballet Slipper from Krylon)

Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape


Vinyl stickers or scrapbook letters

Stick pin or tweezers

Here is the piece before I started the process.  It was in great shape but I didn’t have any need for any end tables in my house.  However, it was solid wood and I knew I could repurpose it for a use in our house.

wooden lap desk (5)

1.  I started out turning the end table on its side and hand sawing the top off, (no power tools required!).

wooden lap desk (19)

wooden lap desk (16)

2.  Next I sanded the whole piece down with a fine grit sandpaper and then wiped it clean.  Then I spray primed the entire piece and lightly sanded it when it was dry to smooth out the surface.

3.  Then I spray painted the piece upside down painting everything except the top.

4.  Next I used blue painter’s tape to create a border around the edge carefully measuring it and then added the names of my children with a vinyl stencil that I created using my Silhouette machine. (Laura from Say it on the Wall can create a vinyl stencil name for you if you don’t have a Silhouette machine).


5.  Then I sprayed the top covering the tape and the vinyl name with Krylon’s Emerald Gloss spray paint.  I ran inside WHILE THE PAINT WAS STILL WET and gently peeled back the tape and vinyl letters.  A stick pin or tweezers works well for this.  The key to smooth lines is removing your tape/stencils while it is still very wet.




Isn’t it funny how you have a purpose for things and your children always use it for something else.


If you want to watch me do this project in living color I showcased it on my local lifestyle show called Indy Style below.


Download Free Plans for a Double Sliding Barn Door!


Enter your email and the DIY Barn Door Plans will be sent to your inbox!

100% secure. Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Leigh Anne says:

    Those are adorable! And when I first saw the tops cut off I thought, those would make good step stools! Kayla and I think alike 😉 What do you plan on doing with the leftover bottom cabinet?

  2. Wow, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing, I love visiting with you to see what cool and creative things you’ve come up with.

    Have a great day!

  3. Beckie great roadkill transformation. I too love to repurpose discarded, still useful pieces. I plan my run on ‘bulk trash’ days to scope out any good finds and constantly scour Freecycle for tons of free pieces. Love that green color too.

  4. Kristan says:

    That is so cool, love what you did with them!!

  5. Ooo, very nice! Kids always have their own ideas for stuff, don’t they? 😉

  6. Great repurpose! (and I love the name Kayla! my 4 daughters all start with a K) I also get texts from friends giving me a “curb alert”. Great job!

  7. These turned out so great! The only stuff I ever see on the side of the road really needs to stay there. I keep looking though!

  8. I will admit it Beckie! I live in Oregon, and I even think of you when I see stuff on the side of the road. I even find myself in the car with my husband going “ooh ooh roadkill honey, pull over” He’s not quite a fan yet, but hopefully I will find something great and bring it home and make it even better like you!

    • Oh that comment made my day! I love it. You will find your ultimate kill one day I just know it. {WINK!}

      • ok, so excuse me while I sound like a kid in a candy store…. but OMG Beckie!!! I found my first amazing kill!!! I had 5 kids in the car, and I swear my brakes may have been smoking!! The kids were all for the FREE pile on the side of the road, and I am so excited to do my first roadkill, which will be a Land of Nod knockoff!! You will be the first one I show!!!

        Thank you for the good vibes, and GREAT blog!!!


        • OMG OMG OMG…I am dying to see it. Can I see a sneak peek. Just a picture of the roadkill and I will be happy. So excited for you!!! And I love that you had to tell me!

  9. love your new stools! 🙂
    great job on the tv show too! you do a great job.

  10. Very cute. Love the side table too.

  11. I love these! I must say, if these are sturdy enough to stand on, I’m with Kayla–a great step stool! I just love that you have the reputation of someone who can make something cute out of just about anything. I thought about you today as I was making a custom storage tin for my college-bound son. It’s not exactly “roadkill rescue,” but it IS “trashcan rescue”!

  12. These turned out fantastic! They are super cute. I think my kids would totally use them as step stools too!

  13. Just saw this @ Jen’s Weekend Wrap Up. I saw the names and knew it had to be you! Just awesome, as always.

    But how’d you get TWO trays? Please don’t tell me you built one to match. C’mon . . . please? I just bought a cordless drill and was feeling pretty proud. Ha!

  14. What a great idea! Now I need to find myself a piece of furniture like that at a thrift store.

    My kids would LOVE this!!

  15. I would have never thought to cut off the top! Great idea, and it turned out so cute!

  16. This is such a great idea! I love designing my own desks and adding all your personal marks in it.

Speak Your Mind