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DIY Vintage Printer’s Cabinet Turned Desk


Recently finding a small desk to facilitate my laptop in an effort to substitute my office desk for a change of scenery led me to a desk at Pottery Barn called a Printer’s Keyhole Desk.  I really liked it, but I wasn’t quite sure it fit my budget in terms of my frivolous desire to accommodate a second work area.  As luck would have it, I was inspired by a do-it-yourself version curtesy of Elisha from Pneumatic Addict Furniture, who on her blog post walked me right through how to make a real wood version of what I already knew would suit me perfectly.  Elisha does an excellent job showing you the steps with special mention to Ana White who designed the plans to make your own.

DIY Desk inspired by Pottery Barn Printer desk – free step by step plans from


Inspired by Pottery Barn’s Printer’s Keyhole Desk:



A couple months back my husband, who is currently a full-time engineering student, requested a “real desk” for his birthday. Shamefully, we have been using a dresser and folding chair as a make-shift office space for years.

If you know me at all, you know that I would NEVER pay $1000 for a desk, especially one that is built out of particle board and pine veneer. The first step to building one was to find some suitable legs. I talked to the people at Osborne Wood and guess what? They designed a table leg that is a perfect match to the inspiration! The Chatham Table Leg. Just look at them. Aren’t they beautiful? Very reasonably priced I might add. Around $20 each for knotty pine.


You can find detailed building plans on Ana’s site.  I wanted mine a little darker and cooler, but I think it looks pretty darn close. It may be a little “old school”, but that’s what I wanted. A classic piece in a neutral color that would stand the test of time.


This desk.  Yes, this desk is completey DIY.

Preparation 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 pre-drill 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!

Shopping List: 

1 – sheet of 3/4″ plywood (rip two strips 13-1/2″ wide x 8 feet long and save scraps for drawer faces)
4 – turned legs
4 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×12 @ 10 feet long
1 – 1×3 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×4 @ 3 feet long
5 – 1×6 @ 6 feet long
1/4 sheet of 1/4″ thick plywood (for drawer bottoms)
3 – 16″ Euro Drawer slides (the white cheap ones)
2 inch screws
3/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws

measuring tape
safety glasses
hearing protection
Kreg Jig™
circular saw
compound miter saw



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