Combination Stationery Case Lap Desk

A few years ago I made some stationery cases out of cherry. I wanted something that would hold paper & envelopes, and be sturdy enough to write on and durable enough for travel. I made one in monarch size, and one in letter size. The letter one was the last, so it’s a bit more refined.

I used an elastic band to hold them shut, but I’m thinking of figuring out something that’s a little more elegant.


The top panel is set a little below the side so that sheets won’t slide off, and is stiff enough to write on.


The space below is enough for maybe 40 sheets, depending on the weight of the paper. I usually carry a few sheets of monarch and the rest in letter.


A thumb hole in the top of the divider panel makes it easy to get to the envelope compartment below.


There is a small compartment at the end to store cartridges, but really it’s there because the envelopes aren’t as long as a sheet of paper 😉

The elastic band does a nice job of holding sheets while they’re being written on. I’ve taken this on trips, and used it while sitting on a plane. It’s a bit bulky, but it holds far more paper than a portfolio and provides much more protection.

I’m considering making a few more and offering them on Ebay, so if you’re interested let me know!

[UPDATE: you can now buy one of these cases here.]

A New Desk

Ok, it’s not new, because my father an I built it back in about 1979. But I just brought it home from his basement where it’s weathered many years and a few floods. It’s in good condition structurally, but has plenty of lifted veneer and dings.

I wanted to have a place that was focused on pen and paper rather than my computer. Computers have a way of taking over a desk, between a mouse, cables, and whatever extra USB connected doodads are around. This desk does a nice job of holding paper-related stuff but is not well suited to my laptop, although it does fit inside when I close the front. Because of where the desk is I’m motivated to close it whenever I’m not using it. My wife like this because it’s far more tidy than the huge pile of mess the computer desk usually is. I like it because when I want to write something it’s nice to have a clean place to do it.


I think I might make a replacement, out of a bit nicer wood and with a few minor changes. The cubbies aren’t quite tall enough for a #10 envelope, and they could stand to be a little wider. But that will be a fairly major project, and in the mean time I think i will just enjoy the desk I have.