$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.



Sun, 02/28/2016 - 13:54

Love the desk, currently building, but it is shocking how many important details are missing. 

Materials: PH Screws

- What are PH screws? Do you mean Phillips Head? Why does it matter what the heads are? 


Cut List: 2 – 2x4 @ 30 3/8” ¾” (long point to short point, both ends cut parallel at 45 degrees off square)

- What is 3/8" 3/4"?

- Adding in long to long just makes things confusing. If you measure a boards length, you always measure the actual length. At least is it not common sense to do that? 

Step 1: You list "finish nails" yet do not have those in your materials. And you just have the diagonal boards thrown up there, no guide to distance, it is easy to have the two boards not be even if you aren't very careful. 


Step 5: those 59" 2x4s are 3 1/2 inches wide, you have them being the height of the width of two 2x4s. Which is not the case. 3 1/2" > 1 1/2" + 1 1/2".

Why not post the sketchup file so we can actually view the item at different angles? That would be great, plus then we can scale the item if we want or identify errors. 



All that aside, thank you. 


Larry St Croix

Sun, 02/28/2016 - 20:31

What are PH screws?

Pocket hole screws, which have their own special head. If you don't have a Kreg jig all is not lost. You can glue the wood and either use finish nails by hand, or a brad nailer. It is an either/or scenario, using both methods would certainly be secure but maybe a tad overkill.



Sat, 07/09/2016 - 17:47

Ana, I love this desk! I love your site too! I asked my hubby for one of these for my birthday but I would really love it to have drawers since it will be used as a vanity. Could you put a plan up with added drawers?


Sun, 02/04/2018 - 03:11

I personally got started about 2 months ago and am already creating my own projects, and did it all thanks to the help of a set of 16,000 Woodworking plans that are so easy to follow - literally anyone can do this.

I'm sure this will provide tremendous value to anyone who's starting out with this. You can check it out here: https://tinyurl.com/y7gyxo2l


Tue, 02/18/2020 - 09:56

you need six 2x4s.  also the four 21 3/4" cuts should be 21" even.  You'll find this out when you try to stack a 21" straight cut on top of it and it's 3/4" too long.  Other than having to go back and get another 2x4, it was a pretty easy build. Figuring out how to attach the 45 braces to the main vertical leg piece was interesting.  This design would benefit from a 4x4 leg.


Mon, 09/21/2020 - 06:17

How have I NOT seen this desk before now! I built her last night...finished about 11:30...and everyone was asleep already and i haven't been able to show to anyone yet... :( It's going into one of my short term rentals for nurses...perfect compliment in the little house!

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