Today I am going to show you how to build this super easy DIY writing desk with pencil drawer. I am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to home decor. My style is modern with a side of rustic farmhouse.  My husband, on the other hand, is all modern, so I have to sneak in my farmhouse touches on him, as I mix old and new when I decorate.

DIY Writing Desk with Pencil Drawer

In looking for ideas for a DIY writing desk, I did a little shopping and fell in love with this desk, which was…ahem…$847, so I recreated a version of it using pre-made materials. I am so happy with the way it turned out. What do you think?

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1. Reclaimed Wood OR a Pre-Cut Solid Wood Panel cut in the dimensions you need- I bought mine at Lowes in their pre-cut wood section. They come in different sizes. I chose 24″ x 48″. If your size varied from their standard cuts, they will cut it to size. I actually had them rip mine 3 inches to better fit my space. This item is only available in store. You can totally get creative with the top. I thought about using 2x4s as planks, but I wanted a smooth surface.

2Pencil Drawer You can build the drawer out of wood for an even less expensive option. This drawer is the bomb, though!

328″ Hair Pin Legs There are many variations and heights, but these were my favorite.

4. (16) 3/4″ wood screws to attach the legs

5. Screw Driver or Drill/Driver to attach the screws. If you are shopping for cordless drills, here is the one I use

6. Finish of choice, for the wood top. I used Polyurethane Clear Satin Finish

7. Sand Paper, 240 grid


The first thing I did was get the wood top ready. The wood I purchased comes pretty well prepped. I did sand it all over and rounded the sharp edges a bit. I sanded it by hand just to have better control. I struggled with what to do for a finish, but after much thinking I decided to keep it simple (again!) and just sand the top and and apply polyurethane. Given that this was going to be a desk, I wanted a smooth surface, so I gave it 3 coats of Poly. I let the Ploy dry overnight after each coat. I also lightly sanded between each coat. It was so hard to do that!. I just wanted it done! But in the end it gave it a nice smooth finish. I am happy that I did that.
DIY Hairpin Desk with Pencil Drawer


DIY Hairpin Desk with Pencil Drawer


The pencil drawer is super easy to attach. It comes with all of the hardware you need. The brackets attach to the side rails which then attach to the wood. Just make sure you place it where you want it. I wanted it centered.

DIY Hair Pin Desk with Pencil Drawer

DIY Writing Desk with Pencil Drawer


Now you are ready to attach the hairpin legs Place them in each corner on a diagonal. I eye balled the placement but you can mark it if you would like. Attach with 3/4″ screws.

DIY writing desk with pencil drawer

Fifteen minutes later (tops!) I was at this stage.

DIY writing desk with pencil drawer

You can see how large the pencil drawer is in this picture. You can even fit a keyboard inside! It also has this cool locking mechanism that keeps it from sliding open on you.

DIY Writing Desk with Pencil drawer

It doesn’t get any easier than that, right?

Here are a few pics of the finished desk

DIY Writing Desk with Pencil Drawer

I love how it looks with this chair !

DIY Writing Desk with Pencil Drawer

In this picture you can see my entry way (touch of farmhouse!). That was one of my first DIY projects. And I do have a little storage on the shelves and baskets next to the desk, so that’s good!

DIY Writing Desk with Pencil Drawer

Thanks for stoping by. Be sure and Pin this for later!

DIY Writing Desk with Pencil Drawer

Have fun building (or shall I say assembling) this desk! :)


If you enjoyed this project you might also want to check out this other DIY Desk  and our other wood projects

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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.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Duane

    Love it. I sit at it almost every day. ;)

    1. Janice

      Love you sweetie! :)

  2. Lisa

    Janice I love this. I always enjoy hairpin legs on anything and your chair is on point.


    1. Janice

      Awe thanks Lisa!!!

    1. Janice

      Thanks Vineta! I love how simple it is too!

  3. Sam@Raggedy Bits

    Love the sleak design and those legs!!! I would have loved this in my Son’s room while he was studying!

    1. Janice

      Thank you Sam! I know! those legs are my favorite!

  4. Kim Six

    What a great project! Featuring you this week at You’re Gonna Love it!

    1. Janice

      Oh wow!! Thank you so much!

  5. Jes

    I love this desk! I’ve had these legs in mind for my dining table. Thanks for sharing on Talk DIY to Me!

    1. Janice

      Thanks Jes! Those legs would look amazing on a dining table!

    1. Janice

      Thanks Toni! It’s where I do all my work when I’m home. I love it!

  6. Another super project. Love the whole thing. In fact, it’s simple enough that I might give it a try. LOL… XO Pinning and Stumbling

    1. Janice

      Yes! Try it! Super easy :)

  7. Aliyah

    Love this table and I want to make it! How’s it holding up? Is it level or does it wobble? Is the wood sagging?

    1. Janice

      Hi Aliyah! I’m glad you liked it! It is holding up great. I’ve never noticed any wobbling while working on it, but if you purposely try to wobble it (I just did to answer your question) it will wobble some. That’s why I got the thicker legs. I don’t like wobbling either :). No wood sagging either. I still i use it every day and love it!

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