July 26, 2012

DIY Campaign Style Desk

Last April, my mom surprised me with World Market's Josephine Desk for my birthday (thanks, Mom!):

I love the desk as-is but lately I've been thinking about adding a little something to it to make it more unique. I love the look of campaign desks but hate how much they cost and trying to find a vintage one on my city's Craigslist is like trying to find a needle in a haystack - impossible.

[ Images via Style Hive ]

[ Image via 1st Dibs ]

Anyway, the more I looked at campaign desks, the more I started noticing how similar the style of my Josephine Desk was to them. That's when my DIY light bulb went off!

Feeling inspired, I went to Ace to see what kind of campaign-esque hardware they had and ended up coming home with the following:

3 packs of 4 1-1/2" x 3/8" brass corner braces (later updated to 4) - $3.49/each:

And 2 brass lion head pulls - $3.79/each:

Which I used to create my DIY version of a campaign desk:

Side note: I know the pulls I chose for my desk aren't true campaign style pulls but every pull that I found that looked like a real campaign pull required a chunk of the drawer to be cut out so the pull could be recessed into it. I didn't feel comfortable with that idea so I passed on buying real campaign style pulls and bought the ones I felt more comfortable with (and liked more!) instead :)

Before I show you any more after photos, let me explain what I did first for those that would like to DIY a campaign desk of their own!

You may have noticed in the photo above that the corner braces I got from Ace have "Ace" stamped into one side:

I didn't want my desk to look like it was sponsored by their company so I simply flipped them over so I could use the non-branded side on my desk.

To start attaching the braces to my desk, I held one of them up to the corner and used it as a template to drill a 3/32" pilot hole through one of the bracket's holes:

Then I screwed one of the brass screws that came with the braces into the newly drilled pilot hole to hold the corner brace in place:

This made it easier for me to drill the other 3 pilot holes into the desk:

After the remaining 3 pilot holes were drilled, I screwed 3 more brass screws into the holes and just like that, my first corner brace was in place!:

Then I repeated the same steps above to attach the remaining 15 braces. I attached 4 corner braces to each side of the desk:

Right side:

Left side:

3 to the left side of the drawer on the front of the desk (since I had already attached the top left one):

And 4 to the right side of the drawer on the front of the desk:

Once the braces were attached, I eyeballed where I wanted my lion head pulls to go (7 1/2" in from the left and right, 1/2" down from the top) and then I drilled two, 9/64" pilot holes into the front of the drawer so I could screw two screws into the drawer from the back (one for each pull), and attach my lion head pulls:

[ Please excuse the night time photos :) ]

Once the pulls were attached, my DIY campaign style desk was complete!

Why yes, I am using a slice of agate as my mousepad :)

How about a little before and after action?



Now let's do a little budget breakdown, just for fun:
  • Josephine Desk - Already owned (It'd be $139.99 if you were to buy one today)
  • 4 packs of 4 brass corner braces @ $3.49/each = $13.96
  • 2 lion head pulls @ $3.79/each = $7.58
  • TOTAL: $21.54!!!

What do you think of the transformation? Are you going to DIY some campaign furniture of your own?

I'm sharing this project on: House of Hepworths, AKA Design, One Project Closer, and Our Fifth House!


  1. lady you need to come help me with my house! this stuff is awesome that youve been working on!

  2. Haha I'll road trip myself out there one of these years! I can always help you via text/Facebook in the mean time though :)

  3. Wow!! That is a fabulous makeover, so simple but makes a huge difference! Thanks for sharing!! xo

  4. I LOVE it! So creative and I love the way the lion pulls look! They're so cute and tiny! :)

  5. What a neat upgrade! Of course, my favorite part is the Mac. :) heehee
    Thanks so much for linking up and linking back. Be sure to like us on facebook for contest updates and winners!

  6. It looks GORGEOUS! The details make all the difference.

  7. Jocie - Thanks! I love my Mac haha Couldn't live without it! Off to "like" your page!

    Tanya - Thank you! :)

  8. Hey can you come to.my place and do it over. You are good!

  9. awesome. where did you buy that desk to begin with? i love it. the whole make over is very creative.

  10. Thanks Susy!

    Thanks Carol! The desk is the Josephine desk from World Market :)

  11. I love this!! Could you please tell me where you got the chair that goes with your desk? I'm looking for something similarly rich and velvety....

    1. Thanks Kate! I got the chair at TJ Maxx when about 5 years ago. I know that doesn't help you now but I've seen similar ones for sale on Overstock, Target, and flash sale sites like Joss & Main!


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