A Corner I Wouldn’t Mind Being Sent To–DIY Corner Desk

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Hello everyone!  I am so excited to show you the latest build that I have been working on this last week.  If you follow along on Instagram, you may have already seen it, but it’s a corner desk!  I have never made one like it before, and I always love a new challenge…especially when it turns out even better than expected.  It was a bit tricky, but all the details really pack a huge punch.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

So, what do you think??? See what I mean?  The framed out drawer fronts, the molding, and the legs with that oil rubbed bronze hardware…ooooh laaa laaa.  Okay, okay, get it together.

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But, for real, I wouldn’t mind being sent to the corner if this was the corner I could go to 😉  Unfortunately, it’s not for keeps.  I built this for a friend from high school and she sent me two pictures of desks and she liked different aspects of each and wanted them combined.  These are my favorite kinds of projects, because I have some direction, but also some freedom to decide how the best way to combine them would be.  In this case, she wanted the corner to be a 45 degree instead of a 90 (picture 1), but she also wanted some cute feet and some fancy molding details (picture 2).

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Lucky for me, she wasn’t too picky about dimensions.  I ended up making the desk about 5’x5′ (not including the molding on the edge), about 32″ tall, and about 20″ deep (on the two “wings” not including the molding).  Each “wing” extended out about 23″ on the front side.  This allowed for plenty of room in the front corner to slide in an average sized chair and still look good proportionally with the drawer size.

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So, you really just want to know how I built it right?  Well then, let’s get started 🙂

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Tools Used:

Circular Saw

Miter Saw

Table Saw

Jig Saw

Drill

Kreg Jig

Nail Gun

Square

Straight Edge (level)

Clamps

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Supplies Used:

3/4″ plywood (amount depends on size)

1×3 boards (amount depends on size)

1/4″ plywood (for drawer bottoms and drawer fronts)

Cove molding

8 wood feet

8 foot attachment plates

drawer slides

5/8″ wood screws for attaching slides

1 1/4″ pocket hole screws

2″ screws (optional)

Wood glue

Drawer pulls/knobs

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1. Cut out the top

First, I cut out the top to the size I wanted.  I stated the dimensions above already, and I drew it out on the plywood with a straight edge and a pen to get a feel for the size.  First, I was going to go for a 4×4 desk, so I wouldn’t have to piece the plywood together, but it felt too small, so I went with 5×5.  I emphasized the lines I actually cut in the picture below.   Notice one “wing” is longer than the other.  Keep reading.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

I cut across the board first with my circular saw (to make a 5×4 piece), then I cut the straight lines of the wings.  Once those were cut, I CAREFULLY cut along the straight line of the 45 degree line with my jig saw.

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Because plywood sheets are 4×8, I had to attach a 12″ piece onto the end of one of the “wings.”  I attached it with wood glue and pocket holes (using my Kreg Jig and screws).  I later reinforced it by screwing some boards across the underside of the seam.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Then, I set the top aside while I built the rest of the pieces.

2. Build the drawer cabinet boxes

I built the cabinets so that their total height would be 31 1/4″, depth 19″ and width 22″. (Don’t forget to keep in mind the height of the legs you use and the fact that the face fronts add 3/4″ to the total depth.)  I cut four cabinet sides and two cabinet bottoms based on these dimensions.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes in the bottom of the cabinet bottom pieces.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Then, I screwed the sides and bottoms together with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

While I had the cabinets upside down, I went ahead and attached the feet.  I measured in 2″ from each edge and made a mark.  Then I took a drill bit and drilled a little into the plywood (BUT NOT ALL THE WAY THROUGH).

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

This was because when I screwed my leg into my leg plates, the threaded rod, stuck out too far.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

So the hole allows me to screw the plate in and still be able to screw the leg all the way in, too.  Once the holes were drilled, I screwed the plates in making sure to match the middle holes up with the holes I drilled.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Then, I screwed in the legs.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Then, I flipped them over and attached two pieces of scrap wood at the top using pocket holes and screws making sure everything was square.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

3. Add Face Frames

Now that the boxes were built, I added face frames to the front.  I made my frames from 1x3s and pocket hole screwed them together, then attached them from the inside of the cabinet using pocket holes and screws again.  I built my frames to accommodate two identically sized drawers.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

4. Add drawers

 Because the face frames don’t allow me to mount the drawer slides directly to the side of the cabinet, I had to install “spacers” to push the slides out to where they would clear the face frame when the drawer was open.  I cut some scraps about 1 3/4″ wide and mounted them on the side of the cabinet where I wanted to install the drawer slides making sure they were level.  I screwed them in with 2″ wood screws and sinking them a little (then I needed a little more clearance, so I glued and nailed some thin shims on top of that…that’s why you don’t see my screws), but you could also pocket hole screw them in if you wanted.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Then, I attached the drawer slides to the spacers.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Once the slides were in place, I made four drawers of identical size.  You can check out my post here about how to make drawers.  I didn’t attach face fronts yet, but I went ahead and installed the drawers without them.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Once the drawers were in, I also added cove molding along the bottom of the cabinets using my nail gun and glue.

5. Make Drawer Fronts

I made the drawer fronts like a shaker style cabinet door.  I made them about an inch taller and wider than the opening on the face frame of the cabinets.  This tutorial shows you how to make shaker style doors.  I used the same method to make the drawer fronts.  Instead of pocket hole screwing them, I glued and clamped them instead.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

While that was drying, I drilled pocket holes in the outside of the sides of the drawers (would have been easier to do this before installing them, but I didn’t think about it) to attach the face frames later.

6. Install middle drawer to the top.

While the glue was drying on the drawer fronts, I flipped the top upside down and drew out where I wanted to install the cabinets.  Then I drew where I wanted to install the slides for the middle drawer.  I cut some scrap 1×2 and attached drawer slides to them.  Then, I drilled them into the top.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

I built a drawer to fit this space and installed it.  I used a scrap piece of plywood for the face front and cut it about 1/4″ shorter than the distance between the cabinets so it would have clearance and not hit either when it slid out.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

I also screwed scrap 1x2s along the lines in the picture above.  This helps when putting it together (when it get’s to its final destination) to know how far in to place the cabinets.  It also provides somewhere to attach the top to the cabinet when it’s in place as well.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Then, I flipped it all back over and added cove molding along the edges of the top.  I puttied the seam (see on the left) and along all the joints.  Then sanded, caulked a few places, and painted everything.

7. Add drawer fronts

After everything was painted, I attached the drawer fronts and the pulls.  I cut slits in the back of the drawer fronts so the 1/4″ plywood bottom would rest inside.  See this post for more details. Then I attached them with pocket hole screws from the pocket holes I drilled earlier in the sides of the drawers. (I was in a hurry to get done and take pictures while the sun was out, so I apologize for lack of pictures here.)

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Once everything was finished, I brought it in my bedroom for a trial run at putting it together (I wanted to make sure the new owners would be able to assemble it when they got home).

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Once all the pieces were in place, I screwed the top to the cabinets on those 1x2s I talked about from step 6, and also added some screws through the scrap piece along the top of the front of each cabinet (you can see the picture of it in step 2).  For an extra support, I cut a 2×2 for the back corner and attached it with pocket holes and screws.  You can barely see the 2×2 in the picture below.  I painted it white before the new owners picked it up.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Sorry for the lack of pictures at the end…I was trying to get done while the sun was out to take pictures and we were also trying to make it to the Homecoming parade that morning…Danny likes parades, so we go to every one we can.

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So what do you think?

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Like my assortment of books here?  We’ve got 1984 and Brave New World for when you’re feeling really morbid about the government (both highly recommended by the way), Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights for when you need a dark, twisted, semi-romantic read, and Math Reasoning and Fluid Power for when you literally have nothing else better to do.  Nice.

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

So, really, what do you think?  I thought it turned out better than I expected and I was super excited to show my friend who requested it.  Although I was sad to see it go.

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If you loved it, don’t forget to Pin for later!  Let me know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to follow along on Instagram to get all the sneak peeks on my latest builds!

Build Your Own Corner Desk {That Looks Like A Pro}

Until next time, happy building!

 

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20 Comment

  1. Reply
    Jan
    November 1, 2016 at 8:36 am

    You did a phoneminal job!!! I want one’!👍

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      November 1, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  2. Reply
    Linda
    November 1, 2016 at 8:51 am

    Wow, so impressed! It is beautiful. Sure wish you were my friend so I can get you to make me one!! What a talent you are.

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      November 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  3. Reply
    Laura
    November 2, 2016 at 3:07 am

    It is very pretty and “yes” I would want one too. I have questions for you…. What type of paint did you use on the desk? And how did you paint it? Do you use a spray gun…spray paint etc… It also looks like there is a glossy sheen to it….did you put on a protective coat of something? Thanks in advance for you answers…..if you do answer…..

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      November 2, 2016 at 7:13 am

      Thank you so much! I used Kilz primer (two coats) and Sherwin Williams regular latex paint in a satin sheen (two coats). I wish I had a paint sprayer, but I do not, so I used a small roller and a brush. I rolled the flat areas that I could and brushed the areas that I couldn’t get with the roller. I did not use a protective coating, but after the paint dried, I hand sanded with 400 grit paper and it seems to take away the “tacky” feeling you sometimes get with latex paint.

  4. Reply
    Samantha Murphy
    December 2, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Hello!! I’m actually very interested in trying to make a desk just like this and was wondering if I could get the exact measurements that you used? I measured a corner in my house and the 5×5 desk size is perfect!

  5. Reply
    Amy
    January 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I love this!!! Exactly what I’ve been looking for. If you don’t mind me asking what did you charge to make this? I’d like to show it to some carpenters in my area to see if they could make me one, but kinda need to know if I’d even be able to afford it in the 1st place.
    Again beautiful work!!!!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 3, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Hi Amy! Please send me an email from the contact page 🙂

  6. Reply
    Ashley Smith
    January 5, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I am looking to make a desk as close to this as possible. It is exactly what I have been looking for! I love the style and size. It is perfect! Do you have the whole shopping list needed for this size desk somewhere? I couldn’t find it, but was hoping maybe I overlooked it. I would love to get the shopping/ cut list, if it is around. Thanks for posting this; you did a fantastic job!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 5, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Thank you! I have a supplies list in the blog post, but not an exact cut list. Most of my tutorials I post without exact measurements that way you get the idea of HOW to build it, but you can customize your own size. Hopefully this will get you started. I used 2 sheets of 3/4″ plywood, one sheet of 1/4″ plywood, and I bought a few (I think 3 was plenty) 1x6x8 boards and ripped them to 1x3s. I apologize for not having exact measurements in the post, but this way, you can completely customize the size you need. I may draw up some plans once I learn how to use the software, but tutorials is all I have right now. Feel free to email me (from the contact page) if you need some help!

      1. Reply
        Ashley Smith
        January 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm

        Thank you! It’s on the to-do list now, and hopefully in the next few weeks I will be able to get to it. Glad I found your blog!

  7. Reply
    Tyler
    January 9, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    About how much did this cost to build?

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      January 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Please send me an email through the contact page and I will be glad to answer your question 🙂

  8. Reply
    Becky
    February 15, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I too am drooling over this desk, those legs! That cove molding! Those gorgeous drawers! Your blog makes me so happy. Seriously, not only are you a superstar with power tools, but you manage to make it all seem attainable. I appreciate the detail and fun that you inject into your work and your site. Thank you so much for being part of my day!

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      February 16, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Thank you! Your sweet comment made my day 🙂 Thank you so much for following along…I am truly thankful for readers like you!

  9. Reply
    Janet
    March 26, 2017 at 11:44 am

    It’s ABSOLUTELY Wonderful! I want one for my Sewing Table. Be honest, how much did it cost to make this?? I’d much rather have a good handmade item than a factory put together! Super Great Job!! jwt

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      March 27, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      Thank you!! I would have to go back and double check my math, but it probably cost me about $150-200ish in lumber and materials to build. I’d say that’s much better than the $1000+ similar items in the furniture store 🙂 Thanks again!

  10. Reply
    Gail
    May 12, 2017 at 8:14 am

    This is so gorgeous😍! About how long start to finish did it take you to make?

    1. Reply
      Shara, Woodshop Diaries
      May 12, 2017 at 10:01 am

      Thanks so much!! It took several hours. I worked on it several nights after work and some on a weekend. So it’s hard to say how long it took me since it was a little here and a little there. You could probably get it done in a weekend if you worked on it most of the day both days 🙂

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