DIY: Building a reception desk!


Call us crazy. You may. I allow it.

My boyfriend is the owner of a gym. And like many self-employed people out there, we have to do A LOT of the things needed to be done inside of it. Some because they’re simple. Others because our budget doesn’t allow the incredible high priced services available. This DIY project resulted of the latter.

It took us about one week of planning, two trips to the wood shop, several to Leroy Merlin, 1 hour work in the work station of Leroy Merlin, around 16 hours to actually build it. And a lot of persistence, patience and creativity.

We had the blueprint from the franchiser {yup, it’s a franchise, surprise surprise!} so I put every piece of wood that we would need in a piece of paper, highlighting the sides that needed to be fringed (the border, matching the melamine color). We used particle boards, 19mm thick, coated with light grey melamine. They’re not as lightweight as you’d think. **sigh**


It took the wood shop about 3 days to deliver the cuts. Loved the service, will probably go back. Portuguese, Lisbon-area residents, look up Sobreira e Serras. They’re awesome. And no, they didn’t sponsor this. We paid full price.

Then, on Saturday morning, we went to get the cuts. It took us 30 minutes to put it all inside the car. And I’m so glad we took both our cars! If we hadn’t, I would be walking home.

diyreceptiondesk2At about 2.30pm we started the endeavour. All we had to do was basically follow the blueprint, and build the reception desk, part by part.

diyreceptiondesk3Β Here are some of the tools that we used:



I need to rave about that Bosch drill. Seriously. We weren’t supposed to buy that one – we wanted to get a cheaper brand – but I’m so glad we did! It’s really awesome and, paired with the Wolfcraft screwdriver set, works perfectly as an electric screwdriver and that was essential for this project. For more info on that Bosch drill and a similar one on Amazon, click here.

Also, I now love the Wolfcraft hole drill {the red drill}. It’s really easy to use and works perfectly. The clear and grey circles below were used to secure the glass countertop and to conceal the screws. The paint and paintbrush were used to conceal some parts were the melamine hem wasn’t as perfect as could be. I couldn’t find a thinner brush, so I cut some of the brissels. We have to be creative, right?

So, on we went to the building process.


We started by building the lower desk. Then, several hours later, it was time for dinner. Oh, the glamour! =)


Even with injuries, we proceeded.


Then, we moved on to the higher desk.


It is huge! And heavy. =) We drilled the holes where needed.


But it was almost 11.30pm so we went home. Not before stopping by McDrive and grabbing two McBifana Menus. πŸ˜› Goodbye, low carb living. I’ll see you again tomorrow.


The next day we started the last 6 hours of the project by stopping by Leroy Merlin and using the workstation there to cut a metal frame to ensure safety and sturdiness. It’s an awesome station, with the best tools out there. We’ll use it again, for sure.


Then we went to the gym and secured the frame underneath the lower desk. The higher one also had metal reinforcements that you can see in a photo below. It also has a light that makes it look really nice and professional-built.



We screwed both desks together and put several reinforcements to make sure it would stay like that. Also, we taped a felt lining to the bottom so it wouldn’t damage the floors.

And, just before revealing the finished project, take a look at one of the {many} fun moments of the weekend: using the magnetic screwdriver to gather all the iron-dusts! eheheh We’re children at heart! =)


And now it’s time to reveal it! It is not perfect but it’s perfect to us! =) It’s not yet completely finished, as it will have a vinyl logo of the gym on the front, but it’s pretty much done! And how pretty? We’re so proud!


I hope you enjoyed this DIY and that it actually inspired you to try and make a bit more by yourself. All you need is creativity, persistence and perseverance.

See you tomorrow!

I’ll be sharing this DIY on my favorite websites. Check them out!

Sofia @ Something on Everything

I'm a 32 year old Portuguese Psychomotricist / Early Intervention Specialist that loves to write about everything! Here you'll find a lot of different and great topics, but lately I've been loving to write about Food, Fitness and DIY! Hope you enjoy it and follow me on a journey to a better self! Aside from the social media links on the top of the page, you can also connect with Sofia Linha on:Google+

19 thoughts on “DIY: Building a reception desk!

  • September 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    This looks great! It looks like it was a lot of hard work too! Wonderful job! Found you on Inspire Me Please link up! If you like to like up come over to for Craft Frenzy Friday!! I hope to see you there!

  • September 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Great project. Pinned from the Pincentive Blog Hop.

  • September 26, 2013 at 1:28 am

    Fabulous project…great job (and a great way to save money on a desk too!). This would be great to link up to Create It Thursday #21…it’s live now! Hope to see you there!

  • September 30, 2013 at 2:52 am

    The reception desk turned out awesome! I love the light on the front of it. It’s got plenty of storage and looks perfect for a gym! Would you mind to link this up to my Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop? Our readers love seeing great DIY projects like this. Thanks!!

  • May 9, 2014 at 12:18 am

    I would love to make one of these…. do you mind if i get the prints to make one too?

  • May 31, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I would love to make one of these as well, would you mind sending over the plans?

    • July 12, 2015 at 10:30 am

      Hi Anthony! It was a couple of years ago, I’ll se if I can find them in the archives. If not, I’ll ask for a copy and send it to you during the next week. Expect an email from me! πŸ˜‰

      • April 2, 2016 at 9:02 pm

        I would love the plans as well! Did you happen to find them??

  • June 24, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing that. You have taken your own valuable time to help other small business owners and that is so very nice of you!

  • July 10, 2015 at 4:19 am

    I just purchased a dog grooming shop on kauai. Would you mind sending blue prints.

    • July 12, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Hi Troy! It was a couple of years ago, I’ll se if I can find them in the archives. If not, I’ll ask for a copy and send it to you during the next week. Expect an email from me! πŸ˜‰

  • September 3, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Hi, This was a great post!!! I would love to get those plans as well if possible. It would be a great help.

  • October 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I am a just starting my dance studio and this would be perfect. Would you mind sending me the specs. Also how much did it cost in materials compared to the franchise price?

    • October 24, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Melodie! Good for you! Starting a business is always an exciting time!! I will be sending you the plans in a couple of days. Our franchise has really high prices and it was around 3000€ ($3300) and we got everything we needed for around 600€ ($660). πŸ˜‰

      • October 26, 2015 at 5:13 pm

        Thank you!

  • March 21, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    Do you still have the plans for this? I am opening a business in April and need to build a reception desk. Thank you!
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  • June 21, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    Hi, would you be able to send me the blue prints? We are making a reception desk for our small tech company!


  • December 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I love the desk and I would like to receive the specifications on how to build this. I am starting my own “second chance school” for troubled youth. It would be great to build a reception desk like this one.

    Thanks in advance,
    Obrigado πŸ˜‰

    • December 12, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Etiene! Of course, leave your email and I’ll send you the details. πŸ˜‰

      Good luck to you! And thank you!

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