15 Easy DIY Mid-century Modern Desk Ideas

Last updated on October 21, 2023

Here are 15 different ways to make a mid-century modern desk, complete with step-by-step instructions and photos.

A mid-century modern desk is known for its minimalist look, taper or hairpin legs, and an overall attractively stylish design. Everyone wants one, but it can cost a pretty penny to buy.

Building a DIY mid-century modern desk is a great way to get a stylish and unique piece of furniture for your home without spending a lot of money.

These tutorials will walk you through the process of building your own desk step-by-step, from cutting the pieces of wood to the correct size to installing the legs and drawer slides.

With careful planning and execution, you can build a beautiful desk that will last for years to come.

DIY Mid-century Modern Desk Plan

Mid-Century Modern Desk plans

Tutorial: edhart.me

Expected cost: $50-$100

Materials:

  • 1×8 pine boards
  • 1×4 pine boards
  • 1×2 pine boards
  • Wood glue
  • Nails or screws
  • Saw

This is a relatively easy project that can be completed in a weekend. It is perfect for a beginner woodworker, as it does not require any complex cuts or joinery.

The desk can be customized to your own space, and the legs can be cut down to size if necessary.

How to Make a DIY Mid-century Modern Desk

thisoldhouse.com

Tutorial: thisoldhouse.com

Materials:

  • 3/4 x 2 x 4 Plywood Panels
  • ½ x 4 x 4 Boards
  • 1 x 3 x 8 Pine Board
  • 1 x 4 x 4 Board
  • ¼ x 2 x 4 Plywood Panel
  • Tapered Legs
  • Angled Top Plate Leg Brackets
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Filler
  • Sandpaper
  • 1¼-inch Finish Nails
  • 1-inch Wood Screws

This project is a fairly easy one to complete, as it only requires basic woodworking skills and knowledge. The most difficult part of the project might be cutting the pieces of wood to the correct size, but as long as you have a measuring tape or ruler, this should not be too difficult.

Overall, this project should only take a few hours to complete.

modernbuilds mid-centyry modern desk

Tutorial: modernbuilds.com

Expected cost: $100

Materials:

  • Walnut plywood
  • Maple
  • IKEA legs
  • Drawer slides
  • Danish oil

This project is a desk that I built from scratch. It is made out of walnut plywood and maple.

The legs are from IKEA. The drawer slides are from Amazon.

The Danish oil is from Walmart. The project is not difficult to complete, but there are a few things that you need to be careful with.

When cutting the plywood, be sure to use a track or straight edge to guide your circular saw. When cutting the dados for the drawer dividers, be sure to square them with a chisel before adding the dividers.

Also, when installing the legs, be sure to cut them down 3″ and the mounting bracket 1 3/4″ so that they don’t extend past the table top.

cedarandstonefarmhouse.com

Tutorial: cedarandstonefarmhouse.com

Expected cost: $50-$100

Materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Plywood
  • 1×4 lumber
  • Construction adhesive
  • Cordless drill
  • 1 inch hole saw
  • Paint or stain
  • Polyurethane
  • Sandpaper
  • Desk chair

This project is a bit more involved than some of the others, but it is still relatively easy to do. It will take some time to measure and cut the wood, but the actual assembly is not too difficult.

You may need help lifting and moving the desk once it is assembled.

instructables.com

Tutorial: instructables.com

Expected cost: This project will cost around $100 to complete

Materials:

  • Wood
  • Dovetail joinery
  • Tools (saw, hammer, etc.)

This project is a bit more difficult than some of the others, but it is still manageable for most people. It involves building a desk from scratch using wood and dovetail joinery.

The project will take some time to complete, but the end result will be worth it.

onecrafdiygirl.com

Tutorial: onecrafdiygirl.com

Expected cost: $50-$100

Materials:

  • Tape measure
  • Plywood
  • Wooden boards
  • L brackets
  • Screws
  • Paint or stain
  • Sandpaper

This project is a bit more difficult than some of the others, but it is still manageable for most people. It requires some basic tools and materials, and it takes a bit of time to complete.

The end result is a functional and stylish desk that will save you space in your home.

tablelegs.com

Tutorial: tablelegs.com

Expected cost: $10-$20

Materials:

  • Wooden tabletop
  • Hairpin legs
  • Flattener cleats

This project entails creating a cleat system for a mid-century modern table. It is not difficult to complete, but it does require some precision in order to get the angles right.

instructables.com

Tutorial: instructables.com

Expected cost: $20-$30

Materials:

  • 3 planks
  • Hairpin legs
  • Wood glue
  • Oil
  • Dowels

This project is an easy intermediate weekend project. The only difficulty resides in the slanted sides.

instructables.com

Tutorial: instructables.com

Materials:

  • 1x8x8 pine boards (4)
  • 1x4x8 pine boards (2)
  • 1x2x8 pine boards (2)
  • 1x12x8 pine boards (2)
  • 1x6x8 pine boards (2)
  • Kreg Jig
  • 1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
  • 2 inch pocket hole screws
  • Wood glue
  • Stain

This project is a desk that is inspired by mid-century modern design. It is made to be sleek and simple, while also being strong and durable.

This desk is not a trivial build, as there are 82 pieces that need to be cut and assembled. However, following the plans and instructions carefully will result in a successful build.

This project will take some time to complete, but the end result will be worth it.

hometalk.com

Tutorial: mypassionfordecor.com

Expected cost: $50-$100

Materials:

  • Old desk
  • Chalk paint

This project is a great way to add some personality to your home while also getting some practical storage out of it. It’s a simple project that anyone can do and only requires refinishing an old table.

Mid-century Style Modular Desk Unit

bhg.com

Tutorial: bhg.com

Expected cost: $30-$40

Materials:

  • Tracks and shelves by Rubbermaid
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Drill
  • 1/4 inch drill bit
  • Screws
  • Shelves

This project is a beginner level project that will take approximately 2 hours to complete. It involves painting the tracks and brackets, marking and measuring for the tracks, installing the tracks, and securing the shelves.

Mid-century Modern Desk with Monitor Stand

toolboxdivas.com

Tutorial: toolboxdivas.com

Expected cost: around $100.

Materials:

  • 1/2″ plywood
  • 1×2 lumber
  • 1×4 lumber
  • 1×6 lumber
  • 1/4″ dowel rods
  • Wood glue
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or stain
  • Hardware (hinges, knobs, etc.)

This modern shoe cabinet is a great way to add storage and style to your home. The sleek design features two doors that open to reveal plenty of space for storing shoes, boots, and other footwear.

The project is not too difficult to complete, but it does require some basic woodworking skills and knowledge. With the help of some clear instructions and illustrations, you should be able to put this cabinet together in no time.

IKEA Hack Mid-century Modern Desk

ikea hack mid century modern desk

Tutorial: sarahmakesstuff.com

Expected cost: $100.

Materials:

  • IKEA wood tabletop
  • 4 hairpin legs
  • Screws
  • Drill

This project is a bit more difficult than the IKEA hack desk, but still relatively easy. You’ll need a wood tabletop, 4 hairpin legs, screws, and a drill.

DIY Mid-century Modern Floating Desk

instructables.com

Tutorial: instructables.com

Expected cost: $50-$100

Materials:

  • 1/2″ plywood
  • Walnut board
  • Woodworking tools

This project is a mid century modern wall hanging standing desk. It is made from 1/2″ plywood and walnut, and is finished with a clear coat.

The project requires some woodworking skills and knowledge, as well as access to woodworking tools. It is rated as a medium difficulty project.

cassiefairy.com

Tutorial: cassiefairy.com

Materials:

  • A chest of drawers
  • A saw
  • A drill
  • Screws
  • L brackets
  • A level
  • A tape measure
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or stain

This project involves making a mid-century modern desk from a chest of drawers. It is not difficult to complete, but it does require some time and effort.

Recap

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