$55 Fancy X Desk

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 07/23/2019 - 12:23
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You can build this desk with just a few tools and off the shelf lumber. This farmhouse style desk looks like a million bucks, but only cost $55 to build.  Free plans with step by step diagrams, shopping and cut list by Ana White.

beautiful farmhouse desk

photo credit  Whitney from Shanty2Chic

Here's from Whitney: I was in need of a new 'blogging' desk for my bedroom, but couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I love my fancy farmhouse table, and knew just who to call to help me draw up a desk inspired by that look. I was wanting something functional, but also pretty since it will be in my bedroom. I think it is perfect. I made it in just a couple hours, and spent less than $55 in wood... Woohoo! Thanks so much for working with me on this Ana! 

beautiful farmhouse desk made from 2x4s

fancy x desk dimensions diagram
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List
  • 5 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 1x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 2 – 2x12 @ 6 feet long OR 4 – 2x6 @ 6 feet long
  • 2 ½” self tapping wood screws for countersinking
  • 2 ½” Pocket Hole screws
Cut List
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 20”
  • 4 – 1x4 @ 18”
  • 8 – 2x4 @ 10 ¾” (long point to long point, both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degrees off square)
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 21” ¾” (long point to long point, both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degrees off square)
  • 4 – 2x4 @ 21”
  • 4 – 1x4 @ 3 ½”
  • 3 – 2x4 @ 59”
  • 2 – 2x4 @ 30 ¾” (long point to short point, both ends cut parallel at 45 degrees off square) - CUT TO FIT
  • 2 – 2x12 @ 72” OR 4 2x6 @ 72” - Tabletop
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Start off by making two giant Is.

Step 2

And then add the bracing with the countersink bit.

Step 3

Followed by the top and bottom, ends mitered.

Step 4

And then an easy step, just glue and screw the 2x4s on top. It's the stacking that makes these legs so beautiful!

Step 5

Step 6

Now it's starting to look like a desk!

Step 7

Now add the cross bracing ...

Step 8

And finally the top! If you are using pocket holes, I recommend building top first, and then attaching top to base. Also, you could substitute out plywood for the top for a smoother writing surface.

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth.

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.



Sat, 07/06/2013 - 21:26

I love the simplicity of this desk and plan on building it this week. However, I have one question: when building with 2x's there is always a gap between boards when, for example, using them for the desk top (crumb catchers). Is there a way to eliminate this other then using 1x's or one solid piece?. For Rigidy i contemplated using 1/4 " plywood with 1x12s on top, since the 1xs by themselves would bend without support beams.


Mon, 07/08/2013 - 06:34

The grooves from joining boards side by side into a panel are annoying. If you have a table saw you can rip the edge to get rid of the curved edge, and then edge join the boards with glue. You can also use a jack plane to get a similar result. Panel glue-ups are probably beyond what Ana is trying to do here though. Startwoodworking.com, Fine Woodworking and Popular Woodworking all have good articles on panel building though, as well as a number of youtube videos. Worth checking out if you don't mind stretching yourself.


Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:57

I'm looking to make this my very first build (I'm in desperate need of a home office desk). What is the best way to attach the top of the desk to the base? Just screw it on? Sorry, I'm just terribly unfamiliar with all of this.


Sat, 09/13/2014 - 17:07

I attached mine from underneath with pocket holes. If you don't have a Kreg Jig you can still attach it from underneath by drilling pilot holes through the 2 x 4 braces that the top sits on and using 4" screws. You will definitely need the pilot holes. Without them getting a 4" screw all the way through a 2 x 4 is difficult. Hope this helps!


Mon, 09/22/2014 - 11:08

Great desk.  This isn't my first project, but my first with miter cuts with a sliding miter saw. I did figure out how to do the 45 degree cuts, but a video or link to a helpful video of how to make 45 degree cuts would be very helpful for your users.  It took a lot of time trying to figure out how to cut them on the same 2x4.  I saw a bunch of videos on YouTube for cutting miters but they all showed a cut on one end like molding, but nothing on both sides of the boards and how to measure for that.  For future reference I would love to see a video on how to do this so I don't end up wasting wood by incorrectly setting up the saw, measuring, and cutting.  Help us out when you have time, I think we would all love to see it.  Thank you for your great projects.  Now that I have a sliding miter saw I'm all in on this woodworking stuff.  Love it already. 



Mon, 12/28/2015 - 15:14

It would be very helpful to have a video or blog that would explain how to assembly the cut list correctly to minimize waste. That seems to be the hardest part of the process! 

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