Check out my super cute DIY Childrens Desk Plans with Storage and Style – lots of storage, guys!
Hi, guys. Here are those DIY Childrens Desk Plans with Storage, that I’ve shared a few times on Instagram. The build has lots of steps, but it’s not hard. It’s a pretty simple frame to build. Then you just add some cove moulding and a plywood or beadboard panel to each opening. The hardest part of this build will be installing the drawers.
Drawers are just sometimes a pain and take a bit of fiddling. But, you can do this! And, it’s totally worth it to get this great desk! The next time I install drawers, I’ll be using the Kreg Drawer Slide Jig. It looks like a huge help and time saver.
Also, this desk size is best for grade school kids. Depending on the size of the kid, of course. Middle School and High School kids will need a bigger desk. You can always adjust this plan to add more height and a fourth drawer or a cabinet.
Bonus: Free Printable Plans for this DIY Kids Desk with Storage are available for download at the end of the tutorial. If these steps are confusing, the printable will help explain things better, with plan images of each step and measurements 🙂
DIY Kids Desk with Storage – Tools Needed
- Kreg Jig, Screws and Drill
- Wood Glue
- Brad Nailer and Nails
- Miter Saw
- Sander and Sandpaper
- Straight-Edge Cutting Guide
DIY Kids Desk with Storage – Shopping List
With all of this moulding and plywood, this can be a pricey build. But if you love the look and want a pretty desk with a high-end look, you’ll be glad you built this.
- Edge Banding
- 3 sets of 16″ Bottom-Mount Drawer Slides
- 40′ of 2×2 Dimensional Lumber
- 48′ of 1/2″ x 3/4″ Moulding
- 36′ of Cove Moulding
- 1 – 4′ x 8′ sheet of 1/4″ Plywood
- 1 – 4′ x 8′ sheet of 1/2″ Plywood
- 1 – 4′ x 8′ sheet of 3/4″ Plywood
- 17′ of 2 1/4″ high Door Casing
- 10′ of Cap Moulding
- 10′ of Panel Moulding
You can find the full cut list for the DIY Childrens Desk Plans in the printable. Be sure to double-check everything, as you build. It’s always possible that I could have mis-typed something. Bloggers don’t have editors. 😉 Also, I used Select Pine Dimensional Lumber, Birch Plywood, and Pine Moulding for this build.
Watch this 4-minute look at How to Build this Childrens Desk
DIY Childrens Desk Woodworking Plans – Build Steps
We’ll use 2×2’s to construct the 2 desk sides and the middle of the frame. All 3 will be built the same way. Put 1 pocket hole on each end of the 9 – 2×2’s.
Glue and screw 3 of the shorter 2×2’s between 2 of the longer 2×2’s. The first should be even with the top of the longer 2×2’s. The top edge of the second should be 6 1/2″ down from that. And the top edge of the third should be 3 1/2″ up from the bottom of the longer 2×2’s. Build 3 of these.
For the front and back “chair” sides of the desk, put 1 pocket hole on each end of 5 – 18″ 2×2’s. Glue and screw 2 of the 3 frames you built in Step One together with the 5 – 18″ 2×2’s. 2 of the 18″ 2×2’s will connect the 2 frames at the top edges of the front and back of the frames. 2 of the 18″ 2×2’s will connect the 2 frames 6 1/2″ down from the top edge. The last 18″ 2×2 will connect 3 1/2″ up from the bottom.
To complete the framing, put 1 pocket hole on each end of 6 – 16″ 2×2’s. These will connect the third side frame to the frame you assembled in Step Two. Glue and screw 2 of the 16″ 2×2’s at the top edges of the front and back of the frames. 2 of the 16″ 2×2’s will connect the 2 frames 6 1/2″ down from the top edge. The last 2 – 16″ 2×2’s will connect 3 1/2″ up from the bottom.
Now onto the moulding and panels for the DIY Childrens Desk Plans with Storage. We will use 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding to build a frame for the 1/4″ Plywood or Beadboard Panels. Cut 10 – 15 1/2″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces to attach to the 15 1/2″ 2×2’s. Glue and nail along the 1/2″ side of the moulding, to leave enough room for the plywood and cove moulding.
BE CAREFUL, you want these in the right spot. 8 of them should be on the short sides of the desk, flush with the inside edges of the 15 1/2″ 2×2’s.
The other 2 will be flush with the inside of the opening for the seat on the lower part of the middle frame. If it helps explain this, you want the whole inside of the opening for the seat to look the same. So, the moulding on the left and right side should match.
Finish those 6 plywood panel frames with 6 – 12 1/4″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces, on the 3 larger bottom sections. And 4 – 3 1/2″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces. Glue and nail along the 1/2″ side of the moulding, to leave enough room for the plywood and cove moulding.
Both sides of the desk and the inside panels are done for now. Now, add 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding to the back of the desk. You’ll need 4 – 18″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ and 4 – 16″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces.
After gluing and nailing those in place (flush with the inside edge of the 2×2’s), glue and nail 4 – 3 1/2″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces to the sides of the 2 top panels. And, 4 – 12 1/4″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces will finish the sides of the 2 lower panels.
DIY Kids Desk with Storage – Panel Cut List
- 2 – 15 1/2″ x 5″ plywood panels – 1/4″ thick
- 3 – 15 1/2″ x 13 3/4″ plywood panels – 1/4″ thick
- 1 – 16″ x 5″ plywood panel – 1/4″ thick
- 1 – 18″ x 5″ plywood panel – 1/4″ thick
- 1 – 16″ x 13 3/4″ plywood panel – 1/4″ thick
- 1 – 18″ x 13 3/4″ plywood panel – 1/4″ thick
- 1 – 15 1/2″ x 18″ plywood panel – 1/4″ thick
- 1 – 15 1/2″ x 16″ plywood panel – 1/4″ thick
- Cove Moulding cut with 45-degree angles
- 8 – 5″ long pieces
- 8 – 15 1/2″ long pieces
- 8 – 13 3/4″ long pieces
- 4 – 16″ long pieces
- 4 – 18″ long pieces
DIY Kids Desk with Storage – Panel Install
Now, let’s install the 1/4″ plywood panels, or Lauan board, and cove moulding. Be sure to use a smooth board, if you want a smooth finish. If you want to see grain, you can use a cheaper grade plywood.
I worked one side at a time with this, flipping the desk on end to put the side I’m working on face up. For the 2 short sides, you’ll need 2 – 15 1/2″ x 5″ plywood panels and 2 – 15 1/2″ x 13 3/4″ plywood panels.
Use glue to attach the plywood to the 1/2″ x 3/4″ frames. Then glue and brad nail cove moulding tightly in place, over it. For your 45-degree cove moulding cuts on the 2 short sides, you’ll need: 4 – 5″ long pieces, 8 – 15 1/2″ long pieces, and 4 – 13 3/4″ long pieces. Be sure to nail into the sides of the 2×2’s, instead of through the other moulding.
Now, you can finish the back of the DIY Kids Desk with Storage. You’ll need 1 – 16″ x 5″ plywood panel, 1 – 18″ x 5″ plywood panel, 1 – 16″ x 13 3/4″ plywood panel, and 1 – 18″ x 13 3/4″ plywood panel. Glue those in place. Then glue and brad nail the cove over each panel.
For your 45-degree cove moulding cuts, you’ll need: 4 – 5″ long pieces, 4 – 16″ long pieces, 4 – 18″ long pieces, and 4 – 13 3/4″ long pieces. Be sure to nail into the sides of the 2×2’s, instead of through the other moulding.
Next, we’ll add a panel to the lower, right-hand side of the chair opening. You’ll need 1 – 15 1/2″ x 13 3/4″ plywood panel. Glue it to the frame you built. Then frame in the bottom and top of the other side with 2 – 15 1/2″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces. BUT THIS TIME glue them 3/4″ side down AND FLUSH with the edge of the 2×2.
This is really important because it will be where you’d attach your drawer slides. So, you want everything flush and square to make sure the slides will work. Finish that panels moulding with 2 – 12 3/4″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ on the sides.
Then add 2 – 15 1/2″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces between the 2 smaller drawers at the top. Each one should be glued and nailed on the 1/2″ sides and flush with each side of the 2×2. These will be used for the drawer slides again.
Now, we’ll attach 2 drawer bottoms. You need 1 – 15 1/2″ x 18″ plywood panel and 1 – 15 1/2″ x 16″ plywood panel. Use 4 – 15 1/2″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces, 2 – 15″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces, and 2 – 17″ long 1/2″ x 3/4″ moulding pieces to build support frames for the panels.
Glue and nail the moulding to the 2×2’s 1/4″ down from the top of the 2×2, so that the plywood panels will sit flush with the top of the 2×2’s. Then glue the panels to the top of those frames.
DIY Kids Desk with Storage – Desk Drawers Cut List
I used 1/2″ Birch Plywood for the drawer fronts, 1/2″ Plywood for the drawer frame, and 1/4″ plywood for the drawer bottoms.
- Drawer Frame
- 6 – 3 3/4″ x 16″ x 1/2″ plywood
- 2 – 3 3/4″ x 14″ x 1/2″ plywood
- 2 – 12 1/4″ x 14″ x 1/2″ plywood
- 2 – 12 1/4″ x 16″ x 1/2″ plywood
- Drawer Bottoms
- 1 – 17″ x 16″ x 1/4″ plywood
- 2 – 15″ x 16″ x 1/4″ plywood
- Drawer Faces
- 15 13/16″ x 4 13/16″ x 3/4″ plywood
- 17 13/16″ x 4 13/16″ x 3/4″ plywood
- 15 13/16″ x 13 9/16″ x 3/4″ plywood
DIY Kids Desk with Storage – Desk Drawers Build
We’re ready to build our drawers. Yasss! All 3 drawers will be 16 inches deep. I used 16″ Bottom Mount Euro Drawer Slides. So, the slides required 1/2″ clearance on each side.
Make sure to check the directions for the slides you buy. The requirements may be different. You might have to adjust your drawers for the slides you use.
Also, you can use soft close, side mounted drawer slides. Just adjust the drawer plans per the slides and add moulding or 1/2″ plywood where the slides will be mounted inside the desk. I’d also recommend an inset drawer bottom for side-mounted drawer slides. It’s stronger when bottom-mount slides aren’t helping support the weight. And, looks prettier.
You’ll build 3 box frames for this DIY Kids Desk with Storage. With the drawer sides being the 16″ long pieces. Use glue and nails to construct. You could use pocket holes, but I think it’s overkill for drawer sides and makes lining up a square box harder. Good wood glue is strong enough here. The Brad Nails hold it tight together while the glue dries.
The top left box is 2 – 3 3/4″ x 16″ x 1/2″ plywood and 2 – 3 3/4″ x 16″ x 1/2″ plywood. The top right box is 2 – 3 3/4″ x 16″ x 1/2″ plywood and 2 – 3 3/4″ x 14″ x 1/2″ plywood. The bottom right box is 2 – 12 1/4″ x 14″ x 1/2″ plywood, and 2 – 12 1/4″ x 16″ x 1/2″ plywood pieces. Remember, the 16″ pieces are the drawer sides. A Straight Cutting Guide for your circular saw can be a huge help here.
Glue and Nail 1/4″ plywood bottoms onto the 3 boxes. Top left bottom is 17″ x 16″. The 2 right-side drawers are 15″ x 16″. Gluing and nailing is strong enough here because the Euro slides will carry the load on the drawer.
Install drawers using the drawer slides, per slide instructions. Make sure drawer sits inset 3/4″ from outside of frame to allow for drawer face. I set my drawer slides as close to the bottom of the drawer opening as possible. Adjust drawer slides until you are satisfied with how the drawer opens/closes. You may need to add more moulding, if your slides are set higher than mine.
Apply Birch edge-banding around all 4 sides of the drawer faces. Place drawer face on installed drawers, with a 1/16″ gap on all sides of drawer face. Temporarily hold in place with 1″ finish nails, double-sided tape, or hot glue. Then clamp face for extra security and screw on face from inside of drawer.
DIY Kids Desk with Storage – Moulding & Top
I find with trim moulding, it’s best to measure and cut as you go. This helps you get the tightest fit and account for any slight differences in build. It also helps you focus on which direction the 45-degree angle should be cut on each end of the trim.
I used about 17′ of 2 1/4″ high Door Casing as base moulding around the bottom of the desk. About 10′ of Panel Moulding, similar to this, centered on the middle 2×2 rails. And, about 10′ of cap moulding along the top edge.
Based on which cap moulding you pick, you may need to adjust the desk top. My desk top is 40 1/8″ x 20 1/8″ x 3/4″ Birch Plywood. That leaves about 1/4″ overhang on all edges. I finished the desk top with edge-banding, applied with an iron.
I used wood conditioner on the top, then finished with 2 coats of Watco Medium Walnut Danish Oil. I also applied 3 coats of Varathane Matte Poly to make sure the top is extra hard and protected. This is a kids desk, after all. DO NOT ATTACH the top until the desk is finished.
DIY Kids Desk with Storage – Finishing Steps
Now, fill all holes and imperfections with wood filler and let dry. Repeat as needed. Then sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Brush clean or vacuum away dust. Follow up with a slightly damp tack cloth or scrap cloth, to get it extra clean. You may also need to use primer or wood conditioner, based on your finish.
To finish my DIY Kids Desk with Storage, I used Magnolia Homes Paint by Kilz, in Eggshell, color matched to DecoArt Chalk Paint in Rouge. I like the Magnolia Homes line because it’s so easy to work with on furniture and walls. Like chalk paint, it is quick drying and sands easily. I have to say, I don’t even prime with this paint. I’ve used this paint in other colors on my DIY Laundry Table an DIY Console Table with Drawers too.
The inside of the drawers are painted the Magnolia Homes Paint by Kilz color Vibrant Horizon, in Eggshell. This is the same color I used on my kids’ bedroom wall.
Attach the desk top with glue and nails OR angle brackets OR pocket holes. Add some pulls you love and that’s it! You’re done. Enjoy you’re new DIY Kids Desk with Storage. 🙂
Hello, DIY friends! You can download the DIY Kids Desk with Storage plans here. These plans are currently free to email subscribers and for personal use only. They cannot be shared or sold without my permission. Please let me know if you have any questions and enjoy your build! 🙂
Looking for more DIY Furniture? Check out my DIY Modern Farmhouse Console Table.
Or, have a look at my Build Plans Gallery to see everything.
Feeling inspired? Now you’re ready to build your own DIY Kids Desk with Storage. Let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.