The following is the process I used to build this small study desk for my son to use for drawing, reading, etc.
Step 1: Find Your Wood
I started with a trip to my local hardware store and purchased 2 sheets of pre-sanded, laminated crafting pine at 3/4" x 24" x 48" each.
Step 2: Trim Your Wood
Next, using a jigsaw, I cut both sheets in half, leaving 4 pieces of 2' x 2' squares.
Step 3: Draw the Shape
Then, I took measurements of the dimensions I wanted the desk to be and used those measurements to draw out the frame shape (side panels). To be as accurate as possible, I drew this shape on just one of the squares, and then after I cut it out, I used it as a template to trace the other side panel onto a second square piece.
Step 4: Cut Out Your Frame
Next, using a jigsaw and a stable surface, I cut out the side panel shapes I previously drew onto the 2 squares. Remember, to help get both sides exactly alike, I drew and cut out one panel, and then used that as a template to trace and cut the second side.
Step 5: Cut Out Tabletop, Seat and Support Pieces
Again using my measurements, I traced and cut out pieces for the table surface, seat surface, rear-bottom support piece and 4 shelf supports (2 each for the table surface and the seat).
Step 6: Clamp and Sand Frame
Next, I clamped the 2 side panels together in order to sand all of the edges to be flush with one another.
Step 7: Align and Place Supports
Then, I aligned the table surface and seat where they will need to be positioned in order to sit flush inside the frame and marked the positioning in which I wanted the shelf supports to sit. I drilled pilot holes with a drill bit smaller in circumference than my screws.
I then made sure to use a drill bit which was larger than the head of my screws to create an indentation where the head of the screws would rest in order to countersink the screws (or to keep the screws from sticking out past the thickness of the wood).
Step 8: Assembly
Finally I complete the assembly with screws. When you're finished, check the stability to see if you desire more support pieces or not.
You can also add a backing board, add a back to the seat, create a cubby under the seat for storage, paint it, stain it, seal it, add chalkboard paint to the table top, etc.
Step 9: Updates and Alterations
I wanted to customize the aspects of the desk specifically to my son and make the desk look a little more....finished.
To start, I trimmed a U-shape out of the table top, to allow for more comfort and room while sitting at the desk.
Next, I wanted to raise the seat up a little bit to make it more suitable to my son's current height. To do this, I cut up a few scrap chunks of 2x4's and positioned them in the corners of the seat and screwed them in. Then I cut out another seat and screwed it to the top of those 2x4 blocks. This gives him a couple inch boost, and when he grows a little bit, the booster seat can be removed.
My next step was to add a little more sturdiness to the desk, so I removed the rear support piece from the back, and replaced it under the seat. Then I measured and cut an extra sheet for a back to the desk. (All from the same orginal 2 sheets of wood.)
Then, I filled all of the screw holes with wood filler, let it dry, and then sanded the whole desk smooth. (Another great reason to countersink your screws.)
Next, I stained the entire desk with my favorite color stain and a paintbrush. Oh, and lots and lots of rags.
Finally, I used a spray seal to cover the entire desk and help add that professional finish.