When it's not winter, I don't really appreciate my laptop giving me third degree burns on my thighs while I work at night from my cozy chair. Putting something under it would solve the problem, but I wanted my laptop raised too, to make typing easier, which required something thicker than the magazine I'd been using to protect my legs. This started my search for a reasonable lapdesk. I wanted to buy one, but I looked everywhere and could not find the one.
Soon, I found these directions (downloadable at the bottom of her post), which are truly easy and require minimal sewing. A lot of DIY templates involved screws or building a cup holder, all bells and whistles I did not need. This was straight up cutting, sewing, and hot gluing. I decided to make three: one for me, one for Clover, who is always writing, drawing, or reading, and one for Rocket, who would feel left out otherwise.
The hardest part was getting the wood cut at Home Depot. They'll cut it for free, but tracking down an employee to do it is almost impossible at our local store. I nearly gave up, which is when an employee who is not the usual cutter took pity on me (or felt his life threatened when I trapped him in the pre-fab fence aisle) and cut them without quite knowing what he was doing. The measurements are a little off due to the guy's inexperience, and he used black Sharpie to make his measurement marks, but I got my slab of wood cut into threes, which is what mattered.
Kevin sanded the edges for me, to make them perfect and to avoid sharp corner pokes. I tried sealing the top of the boards, but it was absorbed by the MDF wood and made it look kind of streaky, so I made that the bottom and used the unfinished side as the top. I went with MDF instead of real wood because of the weight. I held other boards at Home Depot, but they had too much heft for something I wanted on my lap.
I wanted my pillow part bigger than those used in the directions, so I experimented a little with each one until I got it about right with mine. I may have gone overboard slightly, as the kids make fun of my large pillow. But screw them, because I have full coverage and they don't. I glued the fabric (with sewn corners) to poster board, filled the pillow with bean bag filler (after I debated for days over the merits of foam, Polyfill or bean bag filler until Kevin told me I was over-thinking it), then hot glued it all to the pre-cut board.
It's an easy project and the perfect solution to my problem. The kids love theirs, and they're portable, so they can move them from room to room and potentially even into the car, if I felt remotely okay with pens or Crayons in my car.