How To Make Tony Stark’s Workshop Desk For Dolls And Action Figures

Get out your toolbox because today we are creating the coolest doll desk you’ll ever see!  What’s so special about this particular desk?

It’s inspired by Tony Stark’s workshop desk!

I was browsing Pinterest late one night (something I do a lot of, apparently😉) when an image of a Hot Toys Tony Stark standing in front of a light-up desk popped up into my feed.  Of course, I had to click it!

I believe the 1:6 scale piece of Stark inspired furniture I stumbled upon is made by a company called Toys Box.  The desk is modern looking, has LED effects, and costs about $50–and that price doesn’t include shipping.

Sadly, I can’t afford such a pricey accessory.  However, it sparked the idea to create my own version and also show you how to build one for your dolls and 1:6 scale figures.

An in-depth tutorial showing how to make a desk for your twelve-inch dolls inspired by Tony Stark's workshop desk in Iron Man 2. #howto #diy #ironman #tonystark

You will need:
  1. Thin plywood or craft wood (I used a scrap sheet of 1/8-inch thick plywood.)
  2. A 7/16-inch wood dowel.
  3. Wood glue.
  4. A jumbo straw (the straw needs to be sturdy enough to support your doll’s weight).
  5. A cheap doll stand (Hobby Lobby sells inexpensive dolls stands for about $1.99).
  6. Desk template from our blog (just follow one of the links to our Printables page and click on Iron Man Printables).
  7. A 1/8-inch wood dowel (A wood skewer will also work).
  8. A thin sheet of craft wood (I’m using 1/16-inch thick Basswood).
  9. Paint and gloss sealer.
  10. *Optional: Small magnets.
  11. *Optional: Computer screen printable from our Printables page (click on Iron Man Printables to find the screens).
Supplies for doll desk.

 

Note: I’m using wood for this project; however, you can make this desk using cardboard (as long as you don’t have any craft eating kittens😉).  Just cut the cardboard the same dimensions as the desk and use regular glue instead of wood glue.

 

The desk we are making is based on the one seen in Tony’s garage in Iron Man 2.  It’s a semi-circular, steel desk with four computer screens.

Iron Man 2 Screenshot.
Wake up, Daddy’s home.

Besides looking like the one in the movie, I also want this desk to double as a figure stand.  It’s frustrating (sometimes heart-stopping) to watch your perfectly posed doll crumple to the floor.  I’m going to put a stop to that by incorporating a stand into the design of this desk.

Now, let’s get crafty!

How to make a Tony Stark inspired desk for a 12-inch doll or action figure:
  • First, let’s measure and cut out the wood pieces.  You can draw your own pattern or take a shortcut and print out the template from our Iron Man Printables.

 

  • The top of the desk is a 7.5″ by 5.1″ rectangle with the center cut out to get that semi-circular shape like the one in the screenshot.

Template for desk.

  • The legs are 7/16″ dowels cut down to 5 1/2-inches. 

 

  • You’ll also need two 9” by 9″ pieces of plywood for the base, and four 1 1/2″ by 1 1/2″ pieces of plywood for supports.
Dimensions for wood doll desk.
  • Trace the template onto the plywood then cut it out using a jigsaw–and please be careful when using power tools.  We don’t want to lose any fingers!
  • Sand the pieces smooth and round off any sharp corners to give the desk a sleek, modern vibe.  I used a Dremel, but this plywood is thin enough that a sanding block would also work.
After cutting and sanding the pieces, you can start gluing them together.
  • Glue one of the small squares on top of the other.  Repeat with the other square and set aside to dry.

Glue the smaller squares together to create thicker ones.

You should have two thick 1 1/2″ by 1 1/2″ squares.
  • Fill the seam between the two pieces with wood putty and sand the edges.

 

Screenshot showing the desk supports.

I’m calling these squares “supports” because that is what they look like in the screenshot, but they are really more for decoration and don’t actually hold anything up.

Even though these pieces aren’t a necessity, we’re going to glue them to the bottom because we want our desk to resemble Stark’s as much as possible.

  • Flip the desk upside down and glue the squares (supports) to the underside of the desk at each front end.

Glue the supports to the bottom of the desk.

  • Set the top aside and let it dry.

Building a modern doll desk with wood.

Once the glue is dry you can attach the legs.

It’s hard to see in the screenshot, but it looks like Tony’s desk has eight legs–two at each end and two at each corner curve.  So I cut my dowel into eight 5 1/2″ long sections.  Make the sections longer if you want your desk taller than 5 1/2″.

Also, because I want to make sure the legs are thoroughly attached, I’m going to “sink” them into the desk.

  • Flip the top over and mark where you want the legs positioned on the underside (two at each end and two at each corner curve).
  • Then use a drill or Dremel to make divots no bigger than your dowel on the marks.

Inset legs by making divots in the underside of the doll desk.

You don’t want to drill all the way through the top.  You just need a hollow area to hold the dowel.  The divots give more surface for gluing the dowels to the bottom of the desk, which bring us to our next step–attaching the legs!

  • Squeeze a dab of glue into each impression, then stick the dowel into the hole.

I wasn’t looking forward to holding each dowel upright while waiting for the wood glue to take hold, so I switched from wood glue to a quick drying adhesive similar to E6000.

Now we can start working on the platform and figure stand.

  • Position the desk on one of the 9″ by 9″ pieces of wood and trace around the legs.
  • Then grab one of your jumbo straws (I used a hard, plastic straw from a tumbler) and mark where you want the stand positioned.

Mark where you want the doll stand to set on the platform.

Just so you know, the straw is going to support your doll or figure, which is why you need a strong one.

  • Using the marks as guides, drill holes the same diameter as the desk’s legs and the straw.

DIY Wood Doll Desk.
After double checking to make sure the dowels fit inside the holes, you can pull out your paints because it’s time to give this almost finished masterpiece some color!
  • Paint both 9″ x 9″ pieces of wood the color of your choice.  I’m painting the sides and bottom of this platform black and covering the top with marble contact paper.
Paint the platform.
  • Then glue the 9″ x 9″ squares together to finish the platform.
  • Paint the desk metallic silver.
Metallic silver doll desk for 12-inch dolls and action figures.
  • Attach the desk to the platform by gluing the legs into the holes in the top.
  • Set the desk and platform aside to dry while we start work on the figure stand.
Building The Figure Stand:

You could just stick a regular doll stand behind the desk and call it a day, but I want something better–something that’s mostly transparent but looks nice if it is seen.

So, I’m going to create my own figure stand using a tumbler straw and wire from a cheap doll stand.

Making a doll stand using thick wire and a straw.

I keep a stash of these white stands on hand for doll photography.  These stands work by holding the doll around his or her torso, which is fine for Barbie dolls, but I don’t want that for my Hot Toys figures—it might scratch them😱!

So, we are going to fix this by bending the wire from the white stand into a U shape like the wire on this Hot Toys stand.

Hot Toys figure stand verses cheap doll stand.

  • Remove the wire insert from the doll stand (you can throw away the white base), then use pliers to rotate the wires on each side until the curve is at the bottom.

Remove the wire insert and twist the wire to create a seat for your doll.

Instead of grasping the doll around the waist, the wire creates a “saddle” to hold the doll.

Now it’s time to cut and measure the straw.  I’m going to cheat and use my Hot Toys stand as a guide.

Measuring a Hot Toys figure stand.

This stand measures just under six inches from the base to the curve in the wire.  I’m going to play it safe and cut the straw 6-inches long.  It’s okay if you cut the straw too long (you can always trim away more) but cut it too short and you’re up a creek!

Cut the straw for the doll stand.

 

Again, this straw is very hard so I’m using a Dremel.

 

 

Six inches was still too tall for the stand.  Tony’s feet hung a couple of centimeters above the platform, so I ended up shaving the straw down until it measured one line under six inches (or 5  and 15/16 inches).

This straw is just under six inches.

  • Once the straw is the right height, glue it to the base and insert the wire.

Glue the straw to the platform and insert the wire.

  • Finally, seal the desk with a glossy sealer to make it shine.

Use a gloss Polycrylic to seal the doll desk.

Congratulations! 
You’ve created a bafflingly beautiful doll desk with a built-in stand for your dolls!

But why stop here?  Let’s make it even better by jazzing it up with some computer screens!

Recreating The Computers In Tony Stark’s Workshop:

There are four computers on Tony Stark’s desk.  We’re going to replicate these by gluing our printable computer screens to four rectangles of wood.   We’re also going to glue thin wood dowels (or skewers) to the top of the desk to hold up the screens.

  • Grab your 1/8″ dowel and cut it into four 4″ long sections.  Then cut four 2″ by 3″ rectangles from your sheet of Basswood.

Making doll computers out of craft wood and dowels

This Basswood is so thin you can cut it with an Exacto knife.  No saw required!

Note: These are the measurements I used for this desk, but you can adjust the height of the dowels and size of the Basswood to whatever you like.
  • Sand the cut edges smooth, then paint the dowels and rectangles metallic silver and seal them with a gloss sealer the same way you did for the desk.

  • Mark where you want the computers positioned on the desk and drill four holes in the top for the dowels.

Drill four holes in the top of the desk for the dowels.

  • Glue the dowels into the holes.

If the holes are a little large, you can cover the bottom with a piece of tape to keep the dowels from sliding down.

Now, let’s make the computer screens.

Use our printables to make doll sized computer screens.

I left a small border of wood around each screen because I thought I’d like it.  Unfortunately, I don’t.

So, I’m going to trim away the excess wood before going any further.

Trim excess wood from around computer screen printable.

This looks much better!

Iron Man 2 computer screen printables.

We’re almost done!  All that’s left is to attach the screens to the dowels.

  • Glue the computer screens directly to the dowels, or do what I did and glue a small magnet to the top of each dowel and the back of each screen.

Make removable computer screens using magnets.

Since the screens aren’t permanent, I can switch them around or change them out for a different set!

Doll-sized computer screens.

  • Finally, touch up any areas with missing paint.

Last minute touch-ups!

You still with me?  Great because it’s time to step back and admire our project!

The Finished Product!

Our custom made desk for Tony Stark is complete!  This project took me about four days to complete but, honestly, I spent most of that time waiting for paint to dry😴.

The end result is totally worth it though!

DIY doll desk with built-in stand.

I love metallic silver against the black marble.  It looks sharp!  The figure stand also turned out perfect.  It sits firmly on the platform and, if it weren’t for the wire, you’d hardly see it.

However, it’s the screens that steal the show!

Computer screens for Hot Toys Tony Stark.

They may not be exact replicas of Tony Stark’s computers, but they’re pretty darn close!

Speaking of which, let’s see how Tony likes his new setup!

Custom Workshop Desk For Hot Toys Tony Stark.

DIY work desk with stand for Tony Stark figure.

I think he looks right at home!

How to make a desk for your Hot Toys Tony Stark.

Computer screens and desk for twelve-inch dolls and Hot Toys figures.

Yeah, I don’t think Tony has any intention of leaving this technological workspace any time soon.

I hope you enjoyed this Iron Man inspired craft tutorial!  Don’t forget to drop a comment letting me know what you think, and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this desk because I’d love to see it!

How to make a desk for dolls and Hot Toys figures.

Also, I’d like to let y’all know about the awesome giveaway happening over at My Little Doll Corner.

She’s giving away a Meeshell Mermaid doll from Ever After High! 

Follow the link above to visit her site and enter to win (instructions explaining how to enter are in the post).  The giveaway ends today (Friday, July 6th) at midnight EST, so you better hurry!

6 Comments

  1. Very nice work! On a sad note, did you hear that Steve Ditko has taken a portal to the afterlife? 🙁

    1. Author

      Thank you. Yes, I read about Steve Ditko passing earlier today. It’s a sad day for the entire Marvel Universe. He created some amazing characters.😢

  2. The desk looks amazing! 😀 It looks just like Tony’s desk.
    -Quinley

    1. Author

      That was the goal! I’m considering remaking the cardboard version just to show how it’s done, but we’ll see (the wood one is pretty easy to make and a lot stronger). Glad you liked the post!

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