This DIY Modern Desk is a fast and simple piece that adds function and style to any workspace. The minimalist look is versatile and the compact size makes it easy to fit in any room. You will be amazed at how easy it is to build!

If you’re looking for an easy modern office desk it doesn’t get any easier than this DIY computer desk. You’re welcome 🙂

This DIY office desk was a gift to my newly-married daughter who works from home and is also doing virtual college classes. I was able to put this cheap DIY desk together in less than 2 hours, and that included digging through my scrap wood pile to get a plywood piece that would work for the top.

This isn’t the first desk I’ve built for this girl. When she was in high school I built her a floating desk that we put under the window in her bedroom. Because the desk was built into the wall, it wasn’t feasible for her to transfer it to her new apartment. She was pretty happy to get this modern work desk to fill the small corner of her bedroom.

Without further delay, let me show how to build a simple desk with only a few pre-purchased items and a piece of plywood. This is so easy you will want to make a few more! Or if you’re like one of my friends who is homeschooling 6 children, a quick and easy DIY kids desk (or six!) will come in handy!

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DIY Modern Desk

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3/4″ Plywood cut to the desired size for the desktop
(desk shown is 18″x 36″)
Metal Legs (hardware included)
Pencil Drawer (hardware included)
Edge Banding
Paint finish of choice for the top

The plywood top for this DIY home office desk came from my scrap wood pile. Sometimes it pays off to hoard all of my leftovers 🙂 If you have your own pile, be sure to browse my gallery of scrap wood projects. You will find something there to use up your scraps. I love to make things to give away as wedding gifts, like this wooden tray or this key holder. It saves me the cash and the happy couple walks away with a custom gift. A win-win.

Ok, back to this cute and easy diy desk. Scroll down to see the steps I followed. There’s no science to it. To make it even easier to assemble, I recommend you paint the plywood top first, get it looking like you want it, then attach the metal legs and the pencil drawer.

And baddabing! your home office modern desk is ready for use.

If you prefer videos you can see a screencast of my Instagram stories below. Otherwise, scroll down for the steps.

Step 1: Cut Plywood to Size and Paint

Decide what size you want the top to be and cut the 3/4″ plywood to size. If you don’t have a table saw, have the plywood cut at the store. Most home improvement stores will cut these to size for free or for a small charge. Also, you don’t have to buy a full sheet of plywood, most stores sell half pieces (2′ x 4′) or even remnant pieces that may work for this project and will save you money.

I recommend you apply the desired paint finish and get it looking as good as you can, then attach the rest of the pieces once the top is dry. For the light grey finish, I mixed one part GF Driftwood to two parts GF snow white and applied it with a foam roller. Once dry, I applied three coats of GF High Performance Top Coat for a smooth, durable finish. I love this paint and have used it in many of my projects.

Step 2: Attach the legs

Now it’s just a matter of adding the rest of the pieces to finish up your modern writing desk. Using a drill attach the metal legs to each corner. The screws come with the legs so there should be no guesswork there.

Step 3: Attach the Pencil Drawer

Lastly, attach the pencil drawer. Again, the hardware is all included and the instructions in the package are easy to follow. Keep in mind that your desk will need to be at least 17″ deep to be able to fit this drawer. Any narrower and it will hang off the back.

This pencil drawer has plenty of space! Enough to fit thicker items, such as staplers and glue bottles. I love the fact that I was able to add a storage solution, yet keep the simple, minimal look of this small DIY desk.

Step 3: Apply Edge Banding

If you haven’t heard of edge banding allow me to introduce you to the coolest stuff on the planet! It covers up the rough plywood edges giving a clean, finished look.

They have different widths to match your plywood. Iron it on, snap at the corners and voila! A little finish work and this modern black desk will be looking so good, with edges smooth as a baby’s bottom! Edge banding can be sanded, stained, or painted to your liking. You will love it!

Here’s one last look at the finished DIY wood desk. I hope you liked this tutorial and you decide to give it a go! I added a random folding chair for staging and also for you to get an idea of the size of the desk. If you pair it with a modern desk chair it will look really good! And no one will know how easy (and cheap!) it was to build.

This DIY Modern Desk is a fast and simple piece that adds function and style to any workspace. The minimalist look is versatile and the compact size makes it easy to fit in any room. You will be amazed at how easy it is to build!

Be sure to pin the image below so you can save this for yourself and add to the collection of modern office desks in Pinterest land!


Thanks so much for stopping by! If you like mega-easy projects like this one, be sure to join our DIY sisterhood community! I promise I don’t email a lot. Only when it’s something worth sharing, and I would never spam you or share your email address with anyone. The one risk of joining is that your husband may resent your sudden love for his beloved power tools ;)!

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Janice| Sawdust Sisters

Novice woodworker and serial Popcorn eater, Janice Thomas writes detailed tutorials that motivate others to "dare to try". Originally from Puerto Rico, Janice is fluent in Spanish and dreams of owning a beach house on the island someday! Janice currently lives in Utah with her husband and children, where she works as a university professor.

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