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.



  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. 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.

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