Introduction: How to Build a Small Desk

This is a step by step tutorial on how to build a small desk. Be sure to check out the video if you have any issues during the build.


1x2” 8ft 3pcs
2x2” 8ft 3pcs
1x12” 8ft 1pc
1x8” 8 ft 1pc
1 1/4” pocket screws 100pcs

Step 1: Cut Up Your 1x2s and 2x2s

6 at 12”
7 at 18.5”
2 at 27.5”

6 at 30”
1 at 27.5”
1 at 18.5”

Step 2: Let’s Put Some Pocket Holes in Those Boards

Put two pocket holes on each side of all of these boards except the 30” 2x2s

Also, on two of the 18.5” 1x2s, two of the 12” 1x2s and the two 27.5” 1x2s, put one pocket holes in the center.
These will be used to attach the top later.

Step 3: Make Some Marks on the 30” 2x2s

Mark 3” up from the bottom on all the 30” 2x2s
Also mark 15” up from the bottom

Step 4: Assemble the Back of the Desk

Lay out the back of the desk as shown in the pictures.
The 30” 2x2s will make up the legs of the desk.
Then place a 27.5” 1x2 flush with the top between the first and second one.
A 27.5” 2x2 will be attached 3” up from the bottom
Set the 12” boards between the 2nd and 3rd 2x2. These should be attached flush with the top, at the top of those 15” marks, and at the top of the 3” marks.

Offset these boards 1/4” from the outside edge of the 2x2s.

Use pocket screws and wood glue to join these boards together

Step 5: Attach the Sides

The sides are made up using all the 18.5” pieces.
On the left side, attach the 18.5” 2x2 3” up from the bottom and a 18.5” 1x2 flush with the top.
On the second and third 2x2, attach 18.5” 1x2s 3” up from the bottom, 15” up from the bottom, and flush with the top.

I also offset these 1/4” from the sides of the desk

Step 6: Assemble the Front of the Desk

This side should go together in the opposite direction from the back. Also, there should be no 2x2 on the bottom portion of the large opening.

Step 7: Put the Two Sides Together

Once again, it’s ideal to offset the 1x2s 1/4” from the outside edge of the 2x2s.

Step 8: Cut Four 1x8s to 21”

Step 9: Cut Out the Corners So They Rest on the Shelves Flush With the Outside Edges of the Desk

Step 10: Attach the Shelves

Attach them using wood glue and finishing nails

Step 11: Cut the 1x12 Into Two 48” Pieces

Also, combine the two pieces into one 24” board using pocket screws and wood glue

Step 12: Attach the Table Top Using Pocket Screws and Wood Glue

The left and right sides should overhang 2” on each side
If you use edge glued lumber, the front should overhang 1.5” and the back should overhang 1”.
If you use a traditional 1x12s, the font and back should both overhang 1/2”

Step 13: Sand and Prep Your Desk

Step 14: Finish the Desk How You Like

Once you stain and seal or paint your desk, it’s ready to be put to use!