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.
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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DIY WRITING DESK MATERIALS
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.
2. Pencil Drawer You can build the drawer out of wood for an even less expensive option. This drawer is the bomb, though!
3. 28″ 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
PREPPING THE WOOD TOP
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.
ATTACHING THE 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.
ATTACHING THE HAIRPIN LEGS
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.
Fifteen minutes later (tops!) I was at this stage.
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.
It doesn’t get any easier than that, right?
Here are a few pics of the finished desk
I love how it looks with this chair !
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!
Thanks for stoping by. Be sure and Pin this for later!
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 Thomas writes detailed tutorials for novice woodworkers and DIYers. She also works as a university professor in the health care industry. Have a question for Janice? Feel free to send her a message here!