I finally built a thing! Ha. It’s been way too long since I’ve built anything and this DIY plywood desk project has been on my to do list since last year. This is an easy build and a great project for beginners, and as always, you can customize it to your taste by painting or staining it whatever color you choose. I could have gotten this project done way faster, but my little Jonah keeps me on my toes 24/7. He currently has a broken elbow which he got on Mother’s Day! But slowly but surely, I finally finished. (P.S. Did you know that a banana peel looks like a fossil when you leave it under a nightstand for who knows how long. We discovered this when moving furniture in the boys’ room. What is it with boys?)
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Materials I used:
- 1 4×8 sheet of plywood (I used Purebond maple)
- Circular Saw
- Kreg Rip Cut
- Hairpin legs (I bought these from Amazon and they can be purchased in custom lengths.)
- Wood Glue
- Orbital Sander
- Minwax Polycrylic in Satin finish
- 2 inch screws
- Countersinking drill bit
- 12 L Brackets
How to Build a DIY Plywood Desk
First, cut your plywood to the following dimensions:
(2) pieces at 4 ft. x 18″
(24) pieces at 18″ x 4 1/2″
Sand. And sand some more. And then sand even more.
I knew that I wanted the middle slot in the desk to be 11 inches wide (wide enough for a notebook or folder but not too wide), and I wanted a total of 3 slots. I made 4 stacks of 6 pieces of plywood. I originally started with 4 pieces, but decided I liked it chunkier so I added two pieces of scrap in the middle of each stack. I didn’t mind that those pieces were shorter since you’re not going to see them from the back anyway, but if I was doing it over, I would have cut them all to the same length. I glued and screwed them all together, countersinking my screws as I went along. This allowed each piece of plywood to lay flush against each other.
Once I had all of the pieces of plywood attached, I sanded them again just to even out the edges. It’s hard to get them perfectly aligned and straight since there are sometimes length variations of a fraction of an inch, and when you’re lining them up side by side, it’s noticeable. So I tried to sand them down to the same height.
I flipped what would be the top of my desk over, and attached each block of plywood using L brackets. I knew I would be screwing them from underneath when I added the bottom of the desk, and I didn’t want screws to show on the top, so I opted to go with this method of attaching them. For added strength you can use wood glue too. I used 2 L brackets on each side of each plywood stack. Your stacks should look like this when you’re done:
Working on the desk upside down, I added the bottom (which was on top at this point), and then screwed it onto the plywood stacks. I didn’t get photos of this part because I was also trying to film video which I hope to have posted to YouTube soon!
Lastly, I added the hairpin legs. I had to use some shorter screws than what they came with in a few places because they would have poked through the plywood. I actually just used some screws I had left over from my L brackets and they worked great.
Now it’s time for the finish! I used Minwax Polycrylic in Satin (I like it since it’s water-based).
And here it is in the boys’ room now. I ordered a white chair just like this one and it hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m debating which one I will end up using.
You can find the Boba Fett print here.
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