Building Allegra's Writing Desk

Discover how to build Allegra's Writing Desk with this detailed, step-by-step DIY guide. Perfect for woodworkers of all levels, this tutorial covers everything from material selection to final assembly. Learn how to cut pine boards to precise dimensions, assemble a sturdy frame using a Kreg Jig and pocket hole screws, and finish your desk with high gloss paint and Varathane white wash stain. Enhance your woodworking skills and create a functional, beautiful desk. Check out the gallery for more pictures and detailed plans, and explore affiliate links for essential tools and materials. Happy building and thank you for supporting my work!



5/22/20245 min read

Building Allegra's Writing Desk: A Step-by-Step Guide

Welcome back, fellow woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts! Today, I'm thrilled to walk you through the process of creating Allegra's Writing Desk, a project that combines functionality, simplicity, and a touch of elegance. Whether you're an experienced woodworker or just starting out, this guide will help you build a beautiful desk while learning some valuable techniques along the way.

Hand Drawn Plans and How I Upgraded Them

I drew up these plans in my handy dandy notebook (thanks, Blue's Clues) and worked out all the math, including the cost for each piece of material. I was mindful of keeping the costs down as well.

While this method works great for my use, I realized that my chicken scratch and personal notations wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone else. I might add another post one day detailing all these instructions, but for now, I imported this image of my plans into Google Drawing and added lines and shapes directly over the image.

As I traced over the image, I periodically deleted the background image to check the lines I had made. Google Drawing makes it easy to draw over a picture, delete the background to check your progress, and then undo the delete to keep going. I understand this might be confusing for some of you, but this will have to be a topic for another post, as there are just too many steps to add to this already lengthy post. Regardless, the image on the left is the original, and the image on the right is what I came up with after tracing it in Google Drawing.

By doing this, I made my plans clearer and more accessible for everyone. Stay tuned for more detailed posts, and happy building!



A higher quality image can be found here in PDF form and is free for anyone who wants it.

Materials and Tools Needed

Before we dive into the details, let’s gather the materials and tools you'll need for this project. Here's a comprehensive list:

  • Pine Wood

    • 1”x6”x8’ - 4 pieces

    • 2”x2”x36” - 4 pieces

  • Pocket Hole Screws

  • Titebond II Wood Glue

  • Varathane White Wash Stain

  • High Gloss White Paint

  • Plywood for the Cubby Shelf


  • Kreg Jig (for pocket holes)

  • Table Saw (for cutting pine boards)

  • Kreg Pocket Hole Screws

  • Titebond II (for strong joints)

  • Varathane White Wash (for staining the legs)

  • Bar Clamps (for clamping the table top)

You can find these tools and materials at your local hardware store or online. Here are some links to purchase them on Amazon:

Step-by-Step Construction

Step 1: Preparing the Wood

Start by cutting your pine boards to the required dimensions. For this project, you'll need:

  • Part A: Two pieces of 1”x6”x19”

  • Part B: Two pieces of 1”x6”x43”

  • Part C: Four pieces of 2”x2”x30” (legs)

  • Part D: One piece of 1”x6”x48” (tabletop)

Remember, the true dimensions of a 1”x6” board are ¾”x5 ½”. This might be obvious to seasoned woodworkers, but it's an essential detail for beginners.

Step 2: Assembling the Frame

Using the Kreg Jig, drill pocket holes on the ends of the boards. This will help you create strong joints. Attach the boards (A and B) to the legs (C) with pocket hole screws. Ensure everything is square and level before tightening the screws.

Step 3: Creating the Tabletop

For the tabletop (D), joint the edges of the 1”x6” boards using either a jointer or a table saw. Apply Titebond II along the edges and clamp them together using bar clamps. Let it dry overnight to ensure a strong bond.

Step 4: Adding the Cubby Shelf

Initially, I didn’t plan for a cubby shelf, but during the build, I decided to add one for extra storage. I decided to rip the face of the desk into two long strips and three smaller space blocks to make a better-looking and more functional desk cubby/shelf. The face was ripped down to 1 ½” pieces that gave a nice amount of space in between to fit various items while also allowing enough material for the pocket holes to be drilled and enough surface for them to clamp onto when attached to each other.

Step 5: Painting and Staining

Once the desk is assembled, it's time to finish it. I chose high gloss white paint for the top and sides to provide durability and a clean look. The legs were stained with Varathane White Wash to keep the grain visible and add a nice contrast.

Step 6: Final Assembly and Touch-Ups

After the paint and stain have dried, reassemble the desk and make any necessary touch-ups. Ensure all joints are secure and the desk is stable.

Understanding the Measurements

Part C is 2”x2” but really 1.5”x1.5” and we want the desktop to be 48”x24” so the desk frame needs to be smaller. Here’s my rationale for the overhang. I subtracted 3” off of each board because the part C is on both sides and 1.5”+1.5”= 3”. We wanted a 3” overhang so I took an additional 3” off. I then calculate how much total material I need.

  • A: (24”-3”)+(-2”)= 19” x2 = 38”

  • B: (48”-3”)+(-2”)=43”x2 = 86”

I use the delta symbol as a total length for my shorthand: Δ124” means that I need 124" of material.

Each board is 96” long so I needed two boards for the frame of the desk. Part D is the tabletop which is joined either by hand or machine then clamped together with bar clamps with Titebond II dowels, biscuits, or just butt joints.


And there you have it! Allegra's Writing Desk is complete and ready to be a stylish addition to any home office. This project not only enhances your woodworking skills but also provides a functional piece of furniture. Don't forget to check out the gallery on my website for more pictures and detailed plans.

If you enjoyed this project, be sure to follow me on Instagram for more DIY ideas and woodworking tips, or take a look at the gallery here this site. Happy building!

Check out more projects on my gallery page.

Learn more about the tools I used: Kreg Jig, Pocket Hole Screws, Titebond II Wood Glue, Varathane White Wash Stain.

By following these steps and using the right tools, you can create a beautiful and durable desk that will last for years. Happy woodworking!

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure

Hey there, fellow DIY enthusiasts! Just a friendly heads-up: some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. By using these links, you’re helping support my work and enabling me to create more amazing projects and share them with you. Thank you for your support and happy woodworking!