A Simply Beautiful Desk to Build

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk

This simply understated desk is super easy to build! The DIY plans to build a Mardell Writing Desk feature three drawers and trim under the top adding a bit of style! This desk is a project that can be completed in a weekend and would make a fabulous gift!

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Copy

Materials:

Lumber:

  • 3 – 1×4 at 8′
  • 4 – 2×2 at 8′
  • 1 – 4′ x 4′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood
  • 1 – 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood
  • 2 – 3/4″ decorative trim at 8′ (or make your own)

Cut List:

  • 4 – 2×2 at 29-1/4″ – Legs
  • 6 – 2×2 at 15″ – Side Framing
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 4-1/4″ x 15″ – Left Side Panel
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 10″ x 15″ – Right Side Panel
  • 5 – 2×2 at 45″ – Front & Rear Stretchers
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 13″ x 18″ – Divider
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 18″ x 18-1/4″ – Drawer Bank Divider
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 4-1/4″ x 18-1/4″ – Back Panel
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 5″ x 18-1/4″ – Back Panel
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 4-1/4″ x 26″ – Back Panel
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 20″ x 50″ – Top
  • 2 – trim cut to fit – Ends Under Top
  • 2 – trim cut to fit – Sides Under Top
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 12-1/2″ x 15-3/4″ – Smaller Drawer Box Bottoms
  • 4 – 1×4 at 12-1/2″ – Smaller Drawer Box Sides
  • 4 – 1×4 at 17-1/4″ – Smaller Drawer Box Front & Back
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 12-1/2″ x 23-1/2″ – Larger Drawer Box Bottom
  • 2 – 1×4 at 12-1/2″ – Larger Drawer Box Sides
  • 2 – 1×4 at 25″ – Larger Drawer Box Front & Back
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 4″ x 18″ – Drawer Front
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 4-3/4″ x 18″ – Drawer Front
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 4″ x 25-3/4″ – Drawer Front

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk

Click on the drawings for a larger view!

Step One

Edge banding will be applied to the exposed edges of the plywood prior to assembly.

Cut the pieces for the legs, the side framing pieces, the left side panel, and the right side panel. With the pocket hole jig set for 1-1/2″ material, drill pocket holes in each end of the framing pieces. Assemble the side frames as shown using glue and 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws.

Set the pocket hole jig for 3/4″ material and drill pocket holes in all four edges of each panel. (Pocket holes are not shown in all four edges of the left side panel.) Secure the panels into each corresponding side frame using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The back face of the panels will be flush with the inside faces of the frames.

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Sides

Step Two

Cut the pieces for the front and back stretchers. Set the pocket hole jig for 1-1/2″ material and drill pocket holes in each end of the stretchers. Secure the stretchers to the side frames using glue and 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Rear Stretchers

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Front Stretchers

Step Three

Cut the piece for the divider and cut the notches using a jigsaw. A small portable pocket hole jig will be needed to drill the pocket holes in the notches. Secure the divider to the stretchers using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Divider 1

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Divider 2

Step Four

Cut the piece for the drawer bank bottom. Set the pocket hole jig for 3/4″ material and drill pocket holes in the side edges as shown. Secure the drawer bank bottom to the divider and right side frame using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Drawer Bank Bottom

Step Five

Cut the pieces for the back panels and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the back panels to the rear stretchers using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The inside face of the panels will be flush with the inside face of the rear stretchers.

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Back Panels

Step Six

Cut the piece for the top. The top will overhang the desk frame by 1″ on all sides. Secure in place using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

There are no dimensions given for the trim that will be secured under the top. The length of each piece will depend on the style and whether the corners are mitered or butted against each other. Cut the trim pieces to fit, then secure in place using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Top

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Trim

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the drawer boxes. Drill pocket holes in all four edges of the bottom as well as each end of the sides. Assemble the drawer boxes as shown using glue and 1-1/4” pocket hole screws. Install the drawer slides according to the manufacturer’s installation instructions, locating them ¾” back from the front edge of the legs and divider. For an easy tutorial, click here. Make any necessary adjustments.

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Sm Drawer BS

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Sm Drawer FB

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Lg Drawer BS

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Lg Drawer FB

Step Eight

Cut the pieces for the drawer fronts. Mark the position for the drawer pulls and drill the holes. Shim the drawer front in the opening – there will be a 1/8” gap around all sides – then drive screws through the holes for the drawer pulls into the drawer box. Open the drawer, and secure the drawer front using countersunk 1-1/4” screws from the inside. Remove the screws from the holes for the drawer pull then finish drilling the holes. Install the drawer pull. For an easy tutorial on installing drawer fronts, click here.

DIY Plans to Build a Mardell Writing Desk_Drawer Fronts

Finish as desired.

The desk would be the perfect piece for a little student or even as a craft desk! It would also look fabulous in an entryway or behind a sofa used as a console table. Have any questions about the DIY plans to build a Mardell Writing Desk? Leave a comment below!