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DIY Travel Lap Desk – no sew!

Summer vacation is here! We had a long road trip planned this year, Chicago to Myrtle Beach, so I’ve been looking at travel desks for the kids, but just couldn’t bring myself to spend the $60 for 2 of them from Amazon. I browsed Pintrest for some DIY ideas and boy there were a ton of cute ones, but all of them needed some kind of sewing. I don’t have a sewing machine or the knowledge of how to sew so I got to brain-storming and thought about taking those ideas and merging them into a no-sew method.

No-Sew Laptop desk

Materials needed:

  • Cookie Sheet
  • iron fuse
  • pillow stuffing
  • material
  • foam board or other stiff board
  • hot glue gun
  • plastic place mat (optional)
  • velcro (optional)


First I cut up a board to be about an inch smaller then the back of the cookie sheet. The board I used was left over from an old coreplast sign, you can use any stiff board or cardboard for this.


I also clipped the corners so they weren’t sharp.


Then I took the material and cut it so it had the middle the size of the board plus 5″ flaps on all sides.


To ‘sew’ the sides together I used the iron fuse, and fused the corners together using the right sides of the material. The iron fuse is basically a glue that you apply by heating it with an iron.


Then flipped the material inside out and stuffed it with the pillow filling. Placed the board on top and hot glued it together.


I used velcro to attach the tin cookie sheet to the pillow. My thought was at a later date I could add on a write-on board or they could flip the cookie sheet over if they wanted a flatter side or possibly something else.


To finish it off I added a plastic placemat cut to size inside the cookie sheet with the hot glue. You don’t have to do this step but it comes in handy for food spills 🙂 Plus the kids liked them because they had Disney charters on them.


Overall these worked very well, and so much cheaper than the ones on Amazon. Since I used the fuse I wasn’t sure they were going to hold up, but they lasted all trip…14 hours each way! They were quick and easy too, I created them an hour before we left! Yep hubby was yelling at me for that one….lol

My cost for both was about $15 (I had some of the materials already).



Here are the kids with using them, of course my son had to make faces.




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  1. melissa on August 5, 2014 at 7:20 am

    You can also use it to play games like checkers..add magnets to one side of the chip and there you go.

    • jen on August 5, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      yep… there are all kinds of ‘add-ons’ I’ve been thinking about 🙂

      • melissa on August 5, 2014 at 3:09 pm

        You are so crafty!

  2. JL Zinner on August 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    So Cute, going to have to try this!!

  3. nicole627 on August 28, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Wow! This is such an incredible idea Jen. I would love to have these for my kids on road trips. Although I’m not very crafty, you gave super easy to follow instructions. This is so awesome. I LOVE IT!

  4. Family Camping Trip to Myrtle Beach with Reviews! on October 16, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    […] that we can bring that doesn’t need heating. Any suggestions? Luckily I made some laptop desks (see here), packed some snacks and purchased a few more apps for the kids to […]

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