Questions? cher@designsbystudioc.com

An Easy to Build Desk Perfect for Crafting or Studying


DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk

This simple desk is the perfect addition to a craft room, a kid’s room, or a home office… The DIY plans to build an Open Shelf Desk feature two shelves on each side with a drawer on top and a narrow center drawer. The plans are drawn to make the most out of a sheet of plywood. This awesome desk can be completed in a weekend!

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Copy

Materials:

  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4″ brad nails
  • 1-3/4″ brad nails
  • Edge banding
  • 3 sets of 16″ Drawer slides
  • Cabinet pulls
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper (100, 150, 220 grits)
  • Finishing supplies (primer & paint, or stain, sealer)

Lumber:

  • 5 – 1×2 at 8′
  • 3 – 2×2 at 8′
  • 1 – 2′ x 4′ sheet of 1/4″ plywood
  • 1 – 4′ x 4′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood
  • 1 – 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3/4″ plywood

Cut List:

  • 8 – 2×2 at 29-1/4″ – Legs
  • 8 – 1×2 at 12″ – Shelf Framing
  • 8 – 1×2 at 15″ – Shelf Framing
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 15″ x 18″ – Shelves
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 5-1/2″ x  15″ – Sides
  • 4 – 1×2 at 12″ – Outer Side Stretchers
  • 2 – 1×2 at 15″ – Drawer Slide Spacers
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 5-1/2″ x 24″ – Center Back
  • 2 – 1×2 at 24″ – Center Front Stretchers
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 18-1/2″ x 55″ – Top
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 3″ x 9-1/2″ – Outer Drawer Box Front & Back
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 3″ x 14″ – Outer Drawer Box Sides
  • 2 – 1/4″ plywood at 10″ x 13″ – Outer Drawer Box Bottom
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 1-3/4″ x 14″ – Center Drawer Box Sides
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 1-3/4″ x 21-1/2″ – Center Drawer Box Front & Back
  • 1 – 1/4″ plywood at 10″ x 22″ – Center Drawer Box Bottom
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 3-3/4″ x 11-3/4″ – Outer Drawer Box Fronts
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 2-1/2″ x 23-3/4″ – Center Drawer Front

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk

Click on the drawings for the larger view!

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

Step One

Cut the pieces for the legs and the shelf framing. With the pocket hole jig set for 3/4″ material, drill pocket holes in each end of the framing pieces. Secure the framing to the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The back face of the framing pieces will be flush with the inside faces of the legs.

There will be two leg assemblies made.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Shelf Frame 1

Step Two

Cut the pieces for the shelves. Cut the notches using a jigsaw or a bandsaw. Secure the shelf to the framing using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Shelf 2

Step Three

Secure the second set of shelf framing to the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Secure the second shelf to the framing using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Shelf Frame 2

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Shelf 3

Step Four

Cut the pieces for the sides and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the sides to the upper portion of the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The inside faces of the sides will be flush with the inside faces of the legs.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Sides

Step Five

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

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Back

Step Six

Cut the pieces for the outer stretchers and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the stretchers to the legs using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Stretchers

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the drawer slide spacers. Secure the spacers to one side of each leg assembly (as a left and a right) using glue and 1-1/4″ brad nails.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Drawer Spacers

Step Eight

Cut the piece for the center back and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the back to the upper portion of each of the leg assemblies using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. The inside face of the back will be flush with the inside faces of the legs.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Center Back

Step Nine

Cut the pieces for the center front stretchers and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the stretchers to the upper portion of each of the leg assemblies using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Center Stretchers

Step Ten

Cut the piece for the top. The top will overhang the sides and the front by 1/2″. Secure the top in place using glue and 1-3/4″ brad nails.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Top

Step Eleven

Cut the pieces for the drawer box sides, front, and back. Cut the groove in the bottom edge of each piece at 1/4″ wide by 1/4″ deep using a table saw or a router and a straight bit. Set the pocket hole jig for 3/4″ material and drill pocket holes in each end of the drawer box front and back pieces on the opposite side as the groove. Make sure that the pocket holes will not interfere with the groove. Secure the sides to the back using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Drawer 1

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Drawer 2

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Center Drawer 1

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Center Drawer 2

Step Twelve

Cut the piece for the drawer bottom. Slide the bottom into the grooves in the sides and back. The piece should fit snugly but not too tight.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Drawer 3

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Center Drawer 3

Step Thirteen

Insert the front edge of the drawer box bottom into the groove on the drawer box front. Secure the drawer box front to the drawer box sides 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 sides.

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Outer Drawer 4

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Center Drawer 4

Step Fourteen

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 an Open Shelf Desk-Drawer Fronts 1

DIY Plans to Build an Open Shelf Desk-Drawer Fronts 2

Finish as desired.

This desk is the perfect project for those new to woodworking as well as those looking for an easy project. The desk would also make a fabulous gift for the upcoming holiday season! Have any questions about the DIY plans to build an Open Shelf Desk? Leave a comment below!

Designs by Studio C is your DIY connection to How-To information, DIY projects and free furniture plans. Have questions about the plans? Contact me at cher@designsbystudioc.com!
Some posts on DbSC contain affiliate links. What this means is that if the link is clicked and a sale is made, I will make a small profit. Product links and sponsored posts are what help keep DbSC going - thank you for the support!