$55 Fancy X Desk

Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 07/23/2019 - 12:23
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You can build this desk with just a few tools and off the shelf lumber. This farmhouse style desk looks like a million bucks, but only cost $55 to build.  Free plans with step by step diagrams, shopping and cut list by Ana White.

beautiful farmhouse desk

photo credit  Whitney from Shanty2Chic

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! 

beautiful farmhouse desk made from 2x4s

fancy x desk dimensions diagram
Dimensions are shown above.


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” self tapping wood screws for countersinking
  • 2 ½” Pocket Hole screws
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 ¾” (long point to short point, both ends cut parallel at 45 degrees off square) - CUT TO FIT
  • 2 – 2x12 @ 72” OR 4 2x6 @ 72” - Tabletop
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Miter Saw
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
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!


Step 1

Start off by making two giant Is.

Step 2

And then add the bracing with the countersink bit.

Step 3

Followed by the top and bottom, ends mitered.

Step 4

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

Step 6

Now it's starting to look like a desk!

Step 7

Now add the cross bracing ...

Step 8

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.

Finishing Instructions
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.



Fri, 08/31/2012 - 05:04

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.

Crystal A (not verified)

Thu, 08/30/2012 - 11:05

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.

Milca (not verified)

Sat, 09/01/2012 - 15:01

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]


Wed, 09/05/2012 - 04:44

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...

In reply to by buffy0506


Wed, 09/05/2012 - 18:49

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.


Thu, 09/06/2012 - 07:26

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.

Steve LaVoise (not verified)

Mon, 09/10/2012 - 11:49

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!

Meagan (not verified)

Fri, 09/28/2012 - 02:07

Do you think it would be possible to widen the table top by 5-10" without compromising the stability?