DIY Nightstand – Farmhouse Nightstand with a Drawer

A guide with building instructions and a cut list for building a simple DIY nightstand with a drawer and a shelf. When you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, build it yourself

how-to-build-a-nightstand  

Sometimes it’s difficult to find exactly what I’m looking for in a piece of furniture. We spent months searching for the perfect nightstands for our bedroom. I wanted small nightstands with one drawer and a shelf towards the bottom. After searching for so long, I gave up and we decided to design and build our own farmhouse nightstands.

We found plans similar to what I wanted from Ana White’s blog, but we changed them a bit because they weren’t exactly what we wanted. Her plans were technically for a side table, so it was more rectangular. I specifically wanted *mostly* square nightstands.

DIY Nightstand Materials and Cut List (Makes 2 Nightstands)

Materials
  • 2 – 1×4 – 8 ft. long
  • 2 – 2×2 – 8 ft. long
  • 1 – 1×8 – 8 ft. long
  • 1 – 1×6 – 8 ft. long
  • 1 – 1×5 – 8 ft. long
  • 1 – 5/8″ square dowel – 8 ft. long
  • 1/4″ plywood scrap (drawer bottoms)
  • 35 – 1 1/4 pocket hole screws
  • 10 – 1 1/4 screws
  • Wood glue
Cut List
  • 8- 1×4 @ 16″ (tabletop boards)
  • 2 – 1×8 @ 11″ (apron width, backside)
  • 4 – 1×8 @ 8″ (apron length)
  • 8 – 2×2 @ 25″ (legs)
  • 2 – 2×2 @ 11″ (support beam under drawer front)
  • 2 – 2×2 @ 10″ (drawer slider support)
  • 6 – 5/8″ square dowel @ 10.5″ (drawer sliders)
  • 2 – 1×6 @ 11″ (drawer front)
  • 6 – 1×5 @ 11″ (drawer sides and back)
  • 2 – 1/4″ plywood at 9″x9″ (drawer bottom)
  • 4 – 1×6 @ 14″ (shelves)

wood-cuts-for-nightstand

Farmhouse Nightstand Assembly

First, assemble the sides of the nightstands by attaching the legs. I recommend investing in a pocket jig for this project. We use a Kreg Jig and it is amazing for creating pocket holes. Pocket holes are holes drilled at an angle, so they create a little “pocket” for the screw. They make furniture look much more professional because the screws are not visible. Hidden screws are a necessity when it comes to building furniture.legs-of-nightstand

small-kreg-jig

pocket-holes-in-furniture

Once the sides are assembled, attach them to the back apron. Then, attach the 2×2 front support beam. There is also a 2×2 through the center of the nightstand. It is attached to the back apron and front support beam. beginning-stages-of-a-nightstand

One of the 5/8″ square dowels runs the length of the center supports and acts as the track for the drawer. diy-drawer-slide

The other two 5/8″ dowels connect to the insides of the legs, creating the top track for the drawer. nightstand-with-drawer

Assembling the Drawer

The drawer of the nightstand is basically an 11″ box. It is made up of three 1×5’s and a 1×6 for the drawer front. Cut a 1″ by 1″ square cut into the bottom of the drawer backpiece. This is the space for the track and allows the drawer to slide in and out. Attach the bottom of the drawer about 1″ from the bottom (above the notch for the drawer slide) using wood glue.

building-a-nightstand-with-a-drawer

Once the drawer is assembled, attach the top. Assemble the top by gluing four 1×4’s together with wood glue. Then, attach them with pocket holes for added stability.  Attach the tabletop using wood glue and 4 pocket holes, 2 on either side of the nightstand apron.attaching-top-to-nightstand

assembling-a-nightstand

unpainted-nightstand

Assembling the Shelf

Assemble the shelf by gluing two 1×6’s together with wood glue. Then, attach them with pocket holes for added stability. In each corner, cut out a 2″ by 2″ square so the shelf will fit between the nightstand legs. Attach the shelf to the legs of the table, about 6″ from the bottom, using wood glue. Add 4 pocket holes, 1 per leg for additional stability.

diy-nighstand-with-shelf

After the nightstands were assembled I sanded, primed, and painted them. I chose to use the white paint I had leftover from building the kitchen table (Snow Storm by Olympic in semi-gloss) for the body of the night tables. The tops I stained with Minwax Dark Walnut, also leftover from the table. To seal the tabletop I used two coats of polyurethane. I knew I’d be setting a glass of water there every night and didn’t want to leave any rings over time. nightly-essentials-on-nightstand

The final dimensions for the nightstands are 16×14 (top), 14×12 (body), 26″ tall. And the drawer dimensions are 11″x11″. Overall, the project difficulty was probably intermediate. It wasn’t incredibly difficult, but precision is key when working with cuts of wood this small. Plus, constructing a drawer is pretty intimidating.

diy-nightstand

I’m so thrilled with how these DIY nightstands turned out! They are exactly what I wanted and look great in our space.

For more DIY furniture builds, check out our plans for building a farmhouse kitchen table and coffee table!

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35 Comments

  1. It looks so great for about $25! That’s awesome.
    Have fun at Ikea! This weekend I would like to try to do some painting, but we’ll see. I am also going to “run” a 5K =)

  2. I love how it turned out – and you’re right, you couldn’t have bought something that nice for only $25. We have the Hemnes nightstands and they were $70 each!

    Enjoy IKEA!

  3. I would like to see you make two items. 1, a table that goes over the back of the toilet.

    2, A table or bookcase that goes behind the couch.

    Thank you for the inspiration!!

  4. Love the nightstand. We need to get a pocket hole jig. We built our outside table without one and I think on the next project it would be great to have and make a more professional look like you said.

  5. I totally sympathize with you having to wait a little until Jesse is ready for the next night stand project. ML is the same way with the kitchen backsplash. Tiling is complete but I’m still waiting on the grouting. No complaining though because they both did awesome!

  6. You two need to give yourselves a big ole pat on the back!! It looks awesome!! And the fact that it was only about $20 makes the whole thing worth the work! I love it!

  7. Hi! This is a beautiful table. Could you give us a cut list and label what piece corresponds to what part of the table like Anna White does? I’m new at making furniture and not quite sure how to make your modified table. Thanks!

  8. This table turned out great! I know this post is a tad old, but I’m hoping you will respond. I want to make my own nightstand too! I’m just wondering what type of wood you used? This will be my first “woodworking” project and I have no idea what type of wood would work. Plus the cost is great for the amount of wood it took.

    Thanks – Kate

  9. I see the picture of the dowel, but I don’t see where it is located on any other pictures. I can’t see it anywhere in the drawer pics.

  10. Your table is beautiful! And take it from me, a Kreg jig will more than pay for itself. It has allowed me to build several of my own furniture pieces. A bookcase, end tables, my bed, my dining table, a vanity table, and other things I’m forgetting, I’m sure. Lol.. I have the junior and for 40 bucks, let me tell you, it has been far past worth it.

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