$55 Fancy X Desk

Free plans to build a Fancy X Desk with just $55 in building materials!


Projects built from this plan. Thank you for submitting brag posts, it's appreciated by all!


Author Notes: 

Hi Friends!!!

Do you remember a bit back when our friend Whitney from Shanty2Chic built this amazing Fancy X Table?

Well, she loved it so much, she asked me to make a desk plan too!

Here's from Whitney:

I was in need of a new 'blogging' desk for my bedroom, but couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I love my fancy farmhouse table, and knew just who to call to help me draw up a desk inspired by that look. I was wanting something functional, but also pretty since it will be in my bedroom. I think it is perfect. I made it in just a couple hours, and spent less than $55 in wood... Woohoo! Thanks so much for working with me on this Ana!

And since many of you loved it so much, we of course are sharing the plans with you!

But please, stop over and check out the details on Whitney's Fancy X Desk build and tons more photos here!

Enjoy the plans!

Shopping List: 

5 – 2x4 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1x4 @ 8 feet long
2 – 2x12 @ 6 feet long OR 4 – 2x6 @ 6 feet long
2 ½” wood screws for countersinking
2 ½” PH screws

measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
countersink drill bit
General Instructions: 

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

Dimensions are shown above.
Cut List: 

2 – 2x4 @ 20”
4 – 1x4 @ 18”
8 – 2x4 @ 10 ¾” (long point to long point, both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degrees off square)
4 – 2x4 @ 21” ¾” (long point to long point, both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degrees off square)
4 – 2x4 @ 21”
4 – 1x4 @ 3 ½”
3 – 2x4 @ 59”
2 – 2x4 @ 30 3/8” ¾” (long point to short point, both ends cut parallel at 45 degrees off square)
2 – 2x12 @ 72” OR 4 2x6 @ 72”

Step 1: 

Start off by making two giant Is.

Step 2 Instructions: 

And then add the bracing with the countersink bit.

Step 3 Instructions: 

Followed by the top and bottom, ends mitered.

Step 4 Instructions: 

And then an easy step, just glue and screw the 2x4s on top. It's the stacking that makes these legs so beautiful!

Step 5 Instructions: 

And then the feet.

TIP: If you desk wobbles at all, just add cork pads under the feet.

Step 6 Instructions: 

Now it's starting to look like a desk!

Step 7 Instructions: 

Now add the cross bracing ...

Step 8 Instructions: 

And finally the top! If you are using pocket holes, I recommend building top first, and then attaching top to base. Also, you could substitute out plywood for the top for a smoother writing surface.

Preparation Instructions: 
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
Project Type: 
Skill Level: 


I really love this one . . . I wonder if a set of square 3.5" "bun" feet would push this over the top to astounding. I LOVE it as it is, though.

(Like maybe some of these? http://www.osbornewood.com/Square-Feet.cfm)

It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. -- W. Edwards Deming

I loooove this plan! I am needing a craft table and this would look perfect! If I wanted to increase the height to make it more appropriate for crafting use would I increase the height of the cross bars and legs by the same measurement?

At a glance, I think you could adjust the height of the center straight 2x4 on the end, then cut your angled 2x4's accordingly, without widening your base. You will need mitre saw. Good luck!

Great plan Ana, i plan to make this one as a stand for an old Lathe i was recently been given, if i thicken everything up it should be stable i think.

I have now found my Labor Day Weekend project! And just in time to be completed for this semester's first round of tests!

But I did have one question, what would be the best way to attach the top? I have a pocket hole kit - I would obviously use that to attach the table top pieces together, so would I add pocket holes to the inside of the top piece attached in step 4?

I'm not sure if it's because I am not advanced enough in my cut planning but I ran short of 2x4. I got one more to cover what's left.

Also, for the Canadians reading this, as always make sure you adjust the plans for your local dimensions. Our studs are not the same dims as in the USA.

I finished a dry-fitting assembly of mine (minus the back cross supports whose dimensions I haven't yet worked out) and it built very well.

I had to go with 2x6s for the top and some of them worped by the time I got to them. other than a planer does anyone have any ideas on how I could straighten them?

You could buy a power planer for four or five hundred dollars, but a jack plane can be picked up for a hundred or two hundred dollars new, and significantly less used. There are lots of good articles and videos out there on using hand planes to flatten boards.

Be warned that you'll also need to learn to sharpen a plane blade, which won't ship to you properly sharpened for board flattening. It's not hard, and I was able to pick up a good oil stone sharpening set at Lowes for less than $30.

Once you learn to use a plane you'll be very glad about the new things you can do.

UPDATE: yesterday afternoon I had a chance to check out Mastering Hand Tools DVD. The price is really good, and the section on the Jack Plane (a.k.a. world's widest jointer) has everything you need about how to flatten boards, including show to sharpen the plane properly.

According to the cut list, there are 4- 2x4's cut at 21 3/4 long point to long point, but according to the drawing of how the desk is built, those pieces should be just 21" I think. I am building it right now, and it's not working out just right because of that. I'll need to go do some recutting.

I actually made myself the original plans but had shorten it a bit and used 4 2x8's for the top and moved the brace towards the back, and am using it in my office (30" deep). Love how the top was reinforced with an extra 2x4, that's what missing on mine.

Also, I attached everything together using metal corner type braces so I can take everything apart easily since it doesn't fit through my doorwar or hallway to the office. I know PH's would have worked well for this too, but figured the holes from screws/brackets would be less visible than PH's since everything is cheapo studs stained to a beautiful walnut!

Love your work Ana, keep them coming :) [Soon I'll have an Ana White house lol]

I was planning to build the Sawhorse Desk for my daughter's room renovation, but this has much cleaner lines and will grow with her better. Any ideas how to adjust the back angle brackets if I make the desk only 48" wide? I can adjust the angle, I'm just not sure that would look best...

I like the angle that's there. How about keeping the angle the same and just adding a pair of uprights? In my mind it looks great, but of course, my mind is a weird little place. Before you build it, try a drawing, because it's not like I've actually tried this.

I know, I really like the look as it is - I'll definitely draw it out first, but I think I might end up with a 3rd X for the back. Wish I had more room to build it as specified, but for a small bedroom space is tight.

Love it! I built it this weekend... The only issue with the original plan is that "4 – 2x4 @ 21” ¾” (long point to long point, both ends cut NOT parallel at 45 degrees off square)" needs to be 21" not 21 3/4"

It came out great though!! Thanks!

You need 6, 2x4x8. If you add up the 2x4 material list your still way to short with 5 of them

I like this plan very much. But I wonder if using 2x2's in place of the 2x4's would suffice and be strong enough? Any thoughts?

I am using to 2x12s for the top. The plan only shows two 2x4s for the top support. One 2x4 is shown at the rear with a 1 1/2" inset. Should the other 2x4 be at the rear of the front 2x12?

Also, how are the 2x12s attached at the sides.


I needed a large computer/drawing table with lots of surface so I swiped you leg/base design for this and substituted an old hollow-core door as the desktop and trimmed its sides out with some doorstop to give it a nicer edge and more finished look and to cover the slight indentations from the the hinge cutouts. Also the hole from the doorknob is ideal for feeding cords through. The leg dimensions needed to be altered slightly to fit the wider top and some more center structure was added to support any weight. Huge thanks for the design and inspiration!

I find my self having to make a lot of changes to the plans. I know this could be due the nature of how construction grade lumber is cut, but sometimes it seems really off, oh well it could just be me :-P but thank you so much for your effort. This will be the 2nd plan I build for my wife! Hopefully I can get some good pictures of both soon! Thank you again!

I LOVE this desk, but it is going into space that is 60" wide. Will it be easy to shorten it from 72" to 60" without much of a problem? (I realize the cross bracing lengths and the boards connecting the sides will need to be sized down -- does anyone have any suggestions for doing that easily?) This will be my first build, so I'm seeking input before I start next week! Thanks so much!

I LOVE this desk! My husband built me the Fancy X table and benches for our dining room and this is the perfect style desk for my craft room! This site rocks! Thank you for the great plans!

I love the simplicity of this desk and plan on building it this week. However, I have one question: when building with 2x's there is always a gap between boards when, for example, using them for the desk top (crumb catchers). Is there a way to eliminate this other then using 1x's or one solid piece?. For Rigidy i contemplated using 1/4 " plywood with 1x12s on top, since the 1xs by themselves would bend without support beams.

The grooves from joining boards side by side into a panel are annoying. If you have a table saw you can rip the edge to get rid of the curved edge, and then edge join the boards with glue. You can also use a jack plane to get a similar result. Panel glue-ups are probably beyond what Ana is trying to do here though. Startwoodworking.com, Fine Woodworking and Popular Woodworking all have good articles on panel building though, as well as a number of youtube videos. Worth checking out if you don't mind stretching yourself.

I'm looking to make this my very first build (I'm in desperate need of a home office desk). What is the best way to attach the top of the desk to the base? Just screw it on? Sorry, I'm just terribly unfamiliar with all of this.

I attached mine from underneath with pocket holes. If you don't have a Kreg Jig you can still attach it from underneath by drilling pilot holes through the 2 x 4 braces that the top sits on and using 4" screws. You will definitely need the pilot holes. Without them getting a 4" screw all the way through a 2 x 4 is difficult. Hope this helps!

Great desk.  This isn't my first project, but my first with miter cuts with a sliding miter saw. I did figure out how to do the 45 degree cuts, but a video or link to a helpful video of how to make 45 degree cuts would be very helpful for your users.  It took a lot of time trying to figure out how to cut them on the same 2x4.  I saw a bunch of videos on YouTube for cutting miters but they all showed a cut on one end like molding, but nothing on both sides of the boards and how to measure for that.  For future reference I would love to see a video on how to do this so I don't end up wasting wood by incorrectly setting up the saw, measuring, and cutting.  Help us out when you have time, I think we would all love to see it.  Thank you for your great projects.  Now that I have a sliding miter saw I'm all in on this woodworking stuff.  Love it already.