How to Make a Herringbone Laptop Tray

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This project was brought to you be HP and QVC, but the project and opinions belong to Thrift Diving.

Watch This Project: How to Make a Herringbone Laptop Tray



Right now I’m knee-deep in two big makeover projects, one of which is my garage makeover.

I’ve been trying to convert it into a pretty little workshop for the past 3 years, but you know how that goes with garages. 🙂

This fall, however, I decided there was no excuse. So I’ve been chipping away at it, starting with my workbench.

Let me refresh your memory on what it looked like before I got started.


Making over my garage with Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner 4 - Thrift Diving


The good news is that this workbench doesn’t look like this anymore!

Check it out!


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One thing you’ll notice that’s different, other than the fact that I don’t have a crapload of DIY materials hanging out everywhere, LOL, is that I’ve got a new laptop!

My friends at HP wanted me to test out the HP 15 Series laptop, and it couldn’t have come at a better time!


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With my garage workshop makeover, I’ve been wanting to create a workspace that allows me to bring a computer in. I do a ton of video and pictures for blog posts, and it sucks having to run downstairs to my office to upload those pics and videos in the middle of projects.

Before, there was no way I could even think of bringing a laptop into this area!

I decided to not just clean my workbench, but to make a DIY laptop tray in a fun herringbone pattern using pallets and scrap wood.

The laptop tray keeps my new computer off of the bench where it could come in contact with a lot of debris and paint or stain spills!


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I’ve had the laptop for a couple of weeks now and there are a few features I’m suuuuper excited about!

First of all, it has 2 TB of hard drive space.

Let me put this into perspective: I’ve got 3 external hard drives and all of them are full. Shooting just one video, I use up as much as 60 gigs of hard drive space, which is insane. 2 TB should last me a good while.

Second, it has a DVD burner!!!

Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had a DVD burner?!

I’ve been wanting to create some family movies to hand out as Christmas gifts this year, but I didn’t have a DVD burner, until now. Woot woot!

Click here to read more about the specs for the HP 15 Series laptop.


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But the best part is that HP is offering this laptop at the lowest price of the season right now.

I’ve got the white, but it comes in 8 colors.

This weekend on QVC for Black Friday, they’ll be offering their exclusive lilac and mint green colors!

I love colorful laptops. 🙂

HP 15 series laptop in lilac on QVC

You should definitely check it out if you want a good laptop without spending a lot of money! The prices are around as low at $529.98, which is right on point for budget-minded people like us.

Okay, now for the tutorial!

How to Make a Herringbone Laptop Tray


  • Pallets or scrap wood
  • 2×4 legs (4 total at 9″ each)
  • 1/4″ birch plywood (about 21″ x 15″)
  • Miter saw, jigsaw, or circular saw
  • Birch wood edge banding tape
  • Wood glue
  • Ruler or empire square
  • Sandpaper or sander
  • Screws, nails, or Kreg jig for joining legs


A couple months ago I received a shipment to my house that came boarded up in this pallet wood. I kept them, of course, because who could throw away impossibly good wood??


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After unscrewing them apart, I was left with a pile.


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I used my empire square to mark each board into 7″ pieces to use for the herringbone pattern. I could get two 7″ pieces from each board.


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Freshly cut on the miter saw!


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Next, I had to cut the 1/4″ birch plywood with my circular saw. Then , I started laying out the pattern for the herringbone top.


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It’s really easy to create this pattern, just by staggering them at right angles!

Once I got the fit just right, I used wood glue to secure the pieces.


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Once it was dry, I flipped it over and cut off the edges with a circular saw, creating a cleaned-up herringbone rectangle.

I hadn’t ever done a herringbone anything, but I can tell you one thing: I LOVE THIS PATTERN! Why haven’t I been doing herringbone sooner? This would be exciting as a floor pattern. 🙂


Herringbone Laptop Tray 2


Anyhow, the smaller pieces needed to be specially cut to get them to fit. You can use a miter saw or a jigsaw.

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I had left over 2×4’s from another project and decided they’d make really sturdy legs.

I used my Kreg Jig to create pocket holes so that I could easily screw the legs onto the laptop tray top, creaeting strong joints.


Herringbone Laptop Tray 5


I used my power drill to screw in the legs in the pocket holes..


Herringbone Laptop Tray 6


I added some birch wood edging banding tape to hide the cut edges.

If you can believe it, it goes on with an iron! 🙂


Herringbone Laptop Tray 3


I gave it a good sanding with Very Fine sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges.


I decided to leave it natural because I love the look of the rustic top. Later, I’ll need to seal it to protect it.

I can guarantee it will get some paint or stain on it! LOL

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There were some cracks and gaps because the pallet wood wouldn’t exactly the same size, which it should be to get it perfect, but since this was a rustic look, I didn’t mind the imperfections!


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My HP 15 Series laptop would get damaged sitting on my workbench like this. I really want to be able to work out in the garage, maybe while my paint is drying or if I need to check or respond to email.


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Now, it will be up high and out of harm’s way, while still allowing me to be productive in one workspace instead of being spread out over the house.

I’m thinking of making another one for the bedroom, but with “good” wood.

Not bad for scrap wood that didn’t cost me a dime, right??


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HP 15 series laptop


How to Make a DIY Herringbone Laptop Tray - AFTER


Herringbone Laptop Tray 7


I can’t believe how awesome my workspace is turning out to be!

My goal is to have it completely done by New Year’s Eve.


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Be sure to check out QVC on Saturday, November 26th when this laptop will be featured at the Today’s Special Value. You can also get the sales price by visiting QVC’s website!

So what do you think?!

I can’t wait to get the rest of the workshop cleaned up, painted, and ready for projects.

In the meantime, I’ve got this corner workbench with organization, clean surfaces, and a great new laptop to work on!

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  1. Linda Weeks says:

    Here I thought there would be angles and math to get that done! Now I don’t feel nearly as afraid to try the herringbone pattern! Very sustainable project, too!

    1. Exactly, Linda! Just using scrap wood! Just make sure it’s all the same size, or else it won’t work. But there’s no measuring, except to make sure the wood is the same length and width! šŸ™‚

  2. Another great job, and what a great idea to get your laptop up and out of the way of accidental damage! Herringbone is such a pretty pattern. You mentioned somewhere that you’d like to whitewash it and I think that’s a great idea. Rustic, but with a wee bit of polish! Never done herringbone with wood, but did try it with fabric when I made the top for a table runner. Looks very nice that way, too.That was before I moved, so now I’ll have to get that top out and finish it up. I think I’ll check out that laptop as well. I would definitely like to get rid of my desktop because it just takes up too much space! Thanks for all the inspiration. Wishing you all a wonderful, happy Thanksgiving!

    1. Hey, Teckla! That sounds interesting: herringbone with fabric! Oooooh, I feel inspired now! Wouldn’t that be nice as pillows??! Or maybe a chair reupholster project? Thanks for the idea!

  3. Rebecca Barbarino says:

    Love the herringbone, With longer legs it would make a darling tv room side table. Love it!

  4. Serena,
    I’m responding to your question about fearing a DIY – like a major bathroom overhaul. My husband and I did it. Back in the early 70s when we were first married (yes! it’s been almost 50 yrs!) our bathroom had the old plastic tiles and our bathtub was really scratched up. We looked at a relative’s DIY bath remodel and decided if he could do it, we could. So we took off the old tile, tore the sheetrock off and replaced it with exterior grade plywood, and bought ceramic tile.My husband put the glue or adhesive on the wall and put the tile on and I grouted it. We had to keep a humidifier running because I was having trouble with all the dust in the air, but I’d grout a little and hold my head over the humidifier. We replaced the old linoleum with “peel and stick” bathroom tile, but it held up for over 20 yrs! After that we had a pro come in and remodel, tearing everything back down to the studs. I was very proud of our ceramic tile installation DIY and always will be! We had to buy special tiles for inside corners and the finishing trim, but we got it right.

  5. Candyce Blodgett says:

    Great little project and it looks like the perfect height! I can’t even call my basement with a hodge podge of various tools on a workbench and stuffed into cabinets a workshop (Yet! Thank you for the inspiration!!). Your workshop looks AWESOME so far!!! I’m envious of all your tools!! Thanks for posting (in the most delightful way) how you use ’em! šŸ™‚

    1. Hey, Candyce! You saw my before picture–it, too, couldn’t really be called a workbench. More like a disaster! But it’s a lot of fun seeing these spaces transform right before your eyes, isn’t it? Your space will look great when you’re done! Paint, paint, paint! Makes a huge difference! šŸ™‚

  6. You are too cool! I love the herringbone pattern. It’s a lot of cuts, but boy is it worth it. Congrats on the new laptop, too. Memory rocks and so do you.

    1. Hi, Alys! Awww…thank you! I’m actually considering doing a white-wash on it because I like the rustic look but would love a little color on it! Yeah, there were a lot of cuts, but not many and so worth it! I’m curious to see how good herringbone can look with with bathroom tile! Wouldn’t that be gorgeous?!?

  7. Great job–as usual, Serena and I will check out the HP lap top. Also, wanted to let you know that we are thrilled with the tools I won from your Ryobi giveaway..We have siveral projects on our to-do list where they will come in handy. Thank you again! I love your creative posts and breezy style

    1. Yay!!! So glad you love the tools! I tell ya–power tools are DA BOMB! I do love paint, but there’s nothing like cutting wood, screwing wood, and just making something totally unique! Good luck with your projects!

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