Simple Writing Desk with Drawer

black writing desk
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This simple writing desk features a large drawer.  Minimal design compliments any decor.  

black writing desk plans
teen homework desk
desk used as nightstand

Do you need a simple desk for your home?  We are furnishing my teen daughter's room and needed a desk.  I wanted a simple desk that would keep the room feeling clean and minimal, but still very functional and good sized.  We loved the Lonny Desk from Pottery Barn, but priced at $300 - we thought we could build something inspired by it for alot less.

So we built this desk - using mostly scrap wood and a drawer slide.

It turned out really great, and is perfect in the space!

We featured this desk in our weekly YouTube video

And for those of you wanting to build it - the free plans follow.

Thanks so much - please share a photo if you build - we REALLY appreciate each and every photo shared.  It's truly a big deal!





simple writing desk dimensions
Dimensions shown above


Shopping List

2 - 2x2 @ 8 feet - Cut two legs for each, and then cut remaining cuts from leftovers

1 - 1x4 @ 8 feet long

2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long

2 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long

1 - 1x4 @ 4 feet long for drawer face

1 - 24" x 48" project panel or 3/4" plywood (must have one smooth surface)

1 - 1/4" plywood @ 16" x 36-1/2" - for drawer bottom

1 - 16" Euro Drawer Slide (the white bottom corner mount ones)

2 knobs or handles


Common Materials
3/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch finish nails
Cut List


4 - 2x2 @ 28-1/4" - legs

2 - 1x4 @ 19" - side aprons

2 - 2x2 @ 19" - side stretchers

2 - 1x3 @ 15-1/4" - drawer slide spacer

1 - 1x4 @ 39" - back apron

1 - 2x2 @ 39" - bottom stretcher



1 - 3/4" plywood cabinet grade or similar @ 40-1/2" x 20-1/2" - top

4 - 1x2 @ 20-1/2" - side trim

2 - 1x2 @ 42" - front trim



2 - 1x3 @ 16" - sides

2 - 1x3 @ 36-1/2" - front/back

1 - 1/4" plywood @ 38" x 18" - bottom

1 - 1x4 cut to fit for drawer face

Cutting Instructions

Cut all 1x boards with a compound miter saw or similar.  Good cuts are essential.  Cut plywood with a table saw or circular saw with a guide.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander


Step 1

Drill one 1-1/2" pocket hole on each end of the 2x2 stretcher. (NOTE: You may wish to also drill the 2x2 pocket holes for the bottom stretcher in step 3 at the same time to avoid having to readjust your Kreg Jig).  Attach with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws and glue with pocket holes on underside of 2x2.

Drill 3/4" pocket holes on each end of the 1x4s, two per end.  Also drill two pocket holes facing upward for attaching tabletop in later steps.

Attach to the legs with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws and glue, making sure the pocket holes for attaching the top are facing upward.


Step 2

Drill two pocket holes on each end of 1x4 back apron.  Also drill 3/4" pocket holes facing upward for attaching the tabletop in later steps.

Attach back apron to the legs - make sure the pocket holes you drilled for attaching the tabletop are facing upward on inside.

Attach the 2x2 base support with 2-1/2" pocket hole screws, pocket holes are on the bottom hidden on underside.

Step 3

Glue and nail 1x2, flush on all outside edges, to underside of tabletop.

Step 4

Glue and nail side trim to tabletop.

Step 5

Step 6

Attach base to tabletop with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws.

Step 7

Drill two pocket holes on each end of longer 1x3 boards.  Attach to the shorter 1x3 boards with 1-1/4" pocket hole screws - place pocket holes on outsides of drawer. 

You can add dividers to the drawer at this step using 1x3s or 1x2s.

Attach 1/4" plywood to the bottom with 3/4" brad nails and glue.

Step 8

The sides of the base need to be furred out for the drawer slide.  I used a 1x3 and nailed on with 1-1/4" brad nails and glue.

Step 9

Install drawer slides and fit drawer in desk.

Step 10

Cut drawer face and place on drawer.  Nail on with a couple of 1-1/4" brad nails (avoid areas where you are drilling out for hardware)

Remove drawer and secure with 1-1/4" screws from inside of drawer (you can use pocket hole screws)


Leslie Fox

Mon, 09/07/2020 - 07:22

I just made this! It's the first piece of furniture I have ever made. I learned a lot, and it came out great!

I think there may be a typo on the cut list. Should the plywood on the bottom of the drawer be 16" instead of 18"? That's how I had to cut mine to make it work. Thank you!