DIY Mid-Century Modern Desk

Hi, it’s Amy from Hertoolbelt, back with another build plan.  In case you missed the last project, we built a vintage crate shelf to get organized.  This weeks project is a sleek mid-century modern desk that is inspired by this sweet desk.

Build a Mid-Century Modern Desk inspired by Dot and Bo @Remodelaholic #buildingplan #diy

This modern desk was previously available on Dot & Bo.  Their desk was made from walnut which is gorgeous, but we can get a similar look with pine for less.

How to Build a Simple Modern Desk

If you love the sleek modern look, you'll love this easy Mid-Century Modern Desk build plan on Remodelaholic.com

Materials

  • 2 – 3/4″ x 16″ x 48″ pine panel (stain grade panel is around $16)
  • 1 – 1″ x 3″ x 8′ board (actual 3/4″ x 2 1/2″)
  • 4 – table leg angle top plates (with 5/8″ screws)
  • 4 – 27 1/2″ round taper table legs
  • wood glue
  • 1 1/2″ or longer brad nails
  • sandpaper
  • stain/paint
  • top coat

There are a few variations that can be done with this simple mid-century modern desk build.  Make a desk with a single panel.

If you love the sleek modern look, you'll love this easy Mid-Century Modern Desk build plan on Remodelaholic.com

Build a sleek box for a little added storage.

If you love the sleek modern look, you'll love this easy Mid-Century Modern Desk build plan on Remodelaholic.com

I have also seen modern desks with additional dividers in the box that add a little character.

If you love the sleek modern look, you'll love this easy Mid-Century Modern Desk build plan on Remodelaholic.com

 Step 1

(If you are building the single panel desk, skip this step.)  Cut the 1″x3″ into 2 or 3 – 16″ long pieces.  You’ll want to sand all of the inner pieces of wood now, because they will be difficult to sand after assembly.  Use wood glue and 1 1/2″ min brad nails to assemble the slim box.  Make the 2 1/2″ x 16″ pieces flush with the ends of the panel.  Nail from the panel into the 2 1/2″ x 16″ pieces from the top and bottom.  If necessary, clamp the joints in place while the glue dries.

If you love the sleek modern look, you'll love this easy Mid-Century Modern Desk build plan on Remodelaholic.com

 

Step 2

On the backside of the panel, measure and mark 5″ from the ends and 1 9/16″ from the sides.  You can also rotate your plate some to make the angled legs more defined from the side, and scoot your legs in a little more if you want, it just depends on the look you’re going for.  Use the table leg angle top plate as a template and mark the screw holes.  Drill small pilot holes, making sure not to drill all of the way through the panel.  Secure the angle plates with 5/8″ screws.  Repeat for each plate.  Attach the legs onto plates.

If you love the sleek modern look, you'll love this easy Mid-Century Modern Desk build plan on Remodelaholic.com

Step 3

Remove any excess glue, apply wood filler to holes, cracks and blemishes and allow to dry.  Sand the wood filler and desk until smooth finishing with 120-150 grit sand paper, always finish sanding in the direction of the grain.  Apply stain or primer/paint to the desk and allow to dry.  Apply a top coat/polyurethane/polycrylic as directed and allow to dry.

Enjoy your handmade Mid-Century Modern Desk!


If you love the sleek modern look, you'll love this easy Mid-Century Modern Desk build plan on Remodelaholic.com #diy

 

For more build plans check out Hertoolbelt:

rolling table counter island and stools console table with scroll legs sq Rustic chevron bed on hertoolbelt

Rolling Counter Table // Scroll Console Table // Barn Wood Bed

——————————–Update 05/21/2016——————————

Check this out!

Mid-Century Modern Desk built by reader using Remodelaholic plans

Anna, one of our readers, used these plans to build herself a desk for her apartment. Here’s what she had to say:

I was looking for a new desk for my room, which is small and has very limited room for a desk – but I’m in college and need a nice place to study. So I found your plans for a mid-century modern desk and adapted the measurements to fit my personal needs and exchanged the wooden legs for steel hairpin legs. I LOVE the finished product and am super proud of myself since I’ve never built anything before – not even a bird house.
I purchased all the materials to build the desk top at Lowe’s, and ordered the hairpin legs from Rockler through Amazon.com
Total spent on project: $125

Never built ANYTHING before? Anna, this is beautiful and looks professional!  Thanks for sharing!

Have you used one of our posts to create something beautiful that you’d like to share? We’d love to see it! Let us know here

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More DIY desks:

Turn kitchen cabinets into a built-in desk
build a wall-to-wall built-in desk and bookcase unit, Home Is Where My Heart Is featured on Remodelaholic

Build a wide farmhouse-style computer deskcustom-computer-desk-plans.jpg

Build a wood and metal modern deskDans le Townhouse_DIY Desk Complete_Good Lighting

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15 Comments

  1. This mid-century desk is just what I was looking for to go into my lounge! You’re awesome, thank you so much!

    1. I am getting ready to build this desk. Did you figure out how to keep the desk legs from being wobbly?

      1. I screwed in the mounting plates very tight and the legs are screwed in as tight as I can get them- but there still appears to be wobble where the leg screws into the mounting plate. When you built the desk, did it feel sturdy? I looked at similar free plans on the Internet for a console table and the person who posted said there was some wobble/instability inherent because of the skinny legs – I was wondering if you had a trick for keeping the desk feeling sturdy/stable.

        1. My daughter and I built this and it is also very wobbly. The mounting plates are tight and the legs are screwed in as far as possible. The mounting plates are a little flimsy. They are from Home Depot..
          Should the screw on top of the leg go into the wood?

  2. Amy, how would you recommend staining/finishing these pine boards to get a dark satin finish similar to the depicted?

    Thanks for the tutorial!