I found this desk at the thrift store. The price tag said $24.96. I waited it out until it was 50% off and the price was $12.48. Then I bought it (well, actually, my sweet Emily went and bought it for me because I was out of town on the date of the price reduction -- bless her!).
I knew something that most others did not: that the pieces to the missing pen drawer were inside one of the other drawers -- thus making the desk complete. I knew how to put the drawer back together. And I knew how to save the desk from worn ugliness:
I decoupaged maps over all the worn and damaged surfaces.
Out of consideration for my wood-loving friends Jeff and Barbara, I did not cover any un-damaged wood but, instead, let it shine in its own natural beauty:
I love the little pull-out work surface! Wasn't that where the principal taped his passwords?
The top is a collage of many smaller maps of U.S. cities and states. A kid could learn a LOT from this desk! Ok, so could an adult. That blue spot with the green around it is Crater Lake (in the top right portion of the dest top). That's my favorite spot on the whole desk!
Total cost: $12.48 for the desk plus 29 cents for the glue. I had the maps and the sealer (all free). Now listed on Craigslist for $225.00.