How to Make Your Own Monitor Stand

Make your monitor stand large enough to fit across your lap and avoid this cramped work position.
Make your monitor stand large enough to fit across your lap and avoid this cramped work position. (Image: young man using his lap top image by Kovac from <a href=''></a>)

You can easily make your own monitor stand even if you are not a master builder. You'll just need basic tools and ability, along with some melamine board, and you're set. The design is the same whether you need a stand for your desktop monitor or for your laptop. The most basic monitor stand is an inverted U, with squared off corners instead of round. With very little extra work, your monitor stand can hide wires, prevent pens, pencils or your laptop from sliding off and add a splash of color to your room's decor.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Melamine board
  • Saw
  • Level
  • Wood screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood glue (optional)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Decorative appliques (optional)

Measure the base of the monitor or laptop to determine the minimum length and width for the monitor stand. The size for the monitor stand is dependent on the style, size and shape of the monitor base as well as ergonomic considerations. One of the advantages of DIY is that you can build to your needs. So, take the time to study the OSHA standards (link in the reference section) for the proper ergonomic height, angle and distance the monitor should be. An average flat-screen monitor might need to be raised by about 3 inches on a stand that is about 12 inches wide. But your monitor, your desk, your chair, your height and your working positions all should be taken into consideration.

Plan the design on paper. You will need a top and two sides at minimum. Add a front to hide wires, and extend the sides and front about 1/4 inch higher than the top so that you have a built-in stop for pens and other small items.

Measure, mark and cut the boards for your monitor stand. You may be able to buy melamine boards that are already close enough to the size that you need since they are available in many sizes. Sometimes the hardware or home improvement store will cut the boards for you.

Screw one side to the side of the top board, with 1/4 inch extending higher than the surface of the top board. Using wood glue first and then screwing the boards together will increase the sturdiness. Be sure that you have the right sides facing out and up so that the smooth, white trim is showing from the front instead of the cut edge. Attach the other side to the other end of the top board in the same way.

Attach the front board to the front of your U-shaped stand with the wood glue and screws. Again, be sure all boards are facing the right direction so that there are no raw edges showing. The front board should also extend 1/4 inch higher than the surface of the top board.

Leave the monitor stand bright white as the melamine board comes, or paint it. Or place appliques, stickers or photos on the monitor stand, and apply polyurethane over them to prevent the stickers from peeling off. The melamine board provides a protected, wipe-clean surface, so it is not necessary to finish it except for your preference.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make this monitor stand in a bigger size and shorten the front board, and it makes an excellent lap desk for your laptop.
  • You may be able to find a ready-made item, such as a tray or small stool, to use as a good base that you can turn upside down or add some sides to in order to cut down on some work or to make the monitor stand more interesting. Think creatively to find new uses for everyday items.

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