Need some storage in your bedroom? Make this adorable DIY nightstand with three drawers. Learn how to build it with a few common tools and these free plans.
DIY Nightstand with Drawers
Add storage to your bedroom with this easy-to-make DIY nightstand with drawers.
Up top, there’s space for a lamp, to set a drink, or charge a phone. Down below, three drawers keep magazines, books, remotes, and more hidden out of sight.
This simple do-it-yourself project could also be used as an end table next to a couch or chair, or extra storage in the bathroom.
Download the free, easy-to-follow plans and build one (or two!) today.
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Table of Contents
Inspiration for This Project
This project was inspired by an antique-style storage chest. The chest had five drawers. The drawers had an interesting detail. They were inset but were slightly proud of the cabinet. Proud in woodworking means one piece is raised or protrudes above another piece.
The inspiration piece was tall and narrow. It measured nearly 40″ tall and about 11″ wide. I loved the style, but the size didn’t serve a practical purpose. It was too tall to use as a nightstand and too short and narrow to use a small dresser.
Here’s what I did. I redesigned the piece so it could be used as a bedside table. This DIY version has three storage drawers. And the drawers feature the same detail as the original.Back to Table of Contents
Where to Use This Nightstand
- As a nightstand or bedside table
- As an end table next to a couch or chair
- To organize toiletries in a bathroom
- Storage in an entryway
What Tools Do You Need?
The drawers make this wood nightstand look complicated, but they’re as easy as making a simple box. This project can be made using basic woodworking skills and just a few common woodworking tools.
Tools like a miter saw, pocket hole jig, and a drill. We’ll also need an additional saw to cut the back of the cabinet and to cut the detail at the bottom of the legs.
I used a miter saw to cut nearly all of the parts for this project.
Pocket Hole Jig
We can use any pocket hole jig to drill the pocket holes for this project. I used the Kreg Jig 72OPRO to drill the pocket holes for my nightstand. The inexpensive, user-friendly Kreg Jig 320 is also a great choice for drilling pocket holes.
The drill was used to drill the pocket holes and to drive the screws that join the parts together.
Related: Impact Driver vs Drill: What’s the Difference?
Right Angle Drill Attachment
It’s also handy to have a right angle drill attachment. The pocket hole locations on this project are tricky to reach with a traditional driver.
A right angle drill attachment is the perfect tool to drill in a tight spot or to drive screws in hard-to-reach places.
Related: How to Screw in Hard to Reach Places
We’ll need an additional saw to cut the hardboard for the back of the cabinet and the bottoms of the drawers. I used a table saw to cut these parts. If you are not comfortable using a table saw, you could use a circular saw instead.
A circular saw and a Kreg Rip-Cut or Kreg Accu-Cut could be used to rip the parts to width. Then a circular saw and a DIY crosscut jig or the Kreg Crosscut Station could be used to cut the parts to length.
I used my scroll saw to cut the detail at the bottom of the legs. You could also use a jigsaw to make these cuts.
Drawer Slide Jig
There is one other tool that I used to assemble the nightstand. That tool is a drawer slide jig.
I used the jig to attach the drawer slides to the case. I also used it to attach the drawer slides to the drawer boxes. You can do both of these steps without a jig, but using a jig makes it much easier.
Related: 5 Essential Cabinet Making ToolsBack to Table of Contents
What Wood Should You Use?
This easy-to-make nightstand can be made with just about any type of wood. I used common pine to build mine. Pine is inexpensive and easy to work with.
I purchased the pine 1×2s, 1×3s, 1×4s, and 1×6s at my local home improvement store.
Related: Beginner’s Guide to Wood Sizes
I used a small piece of ⅛” hardboard for the back of the cabinet and the bottom of the drawers. Hardboard is usually located near the plywood section in the home improvement store.
🔄 OPTIONAL: I had some cove molding leftover from making these DIY cabinet doors. I added the cove molding between the case and the top to give the nightstand a little visual interest.Back to Table of Contents
How Do You Build Drawers?
The drawers are as easy to make as building a simple box. There are six parts to the drawer. There are four sides to the drawer box, a bottom, and a drawer front.
The sides are joined with pocket holes. The bottom is attached with glue and nails. The drawer front is attached to the drawer box with a few screws.
Related: How to Build DIY DrawersBack to Table of Contents
How Do You Finish the Nightstand?
This small nightstand could be finished in a variety of ways. It could be left natural, painted, stained, or a combination of paint and stain.
I chose to paint my nightstand. First, I applied a few coats of primer and then painted my nightstand with two coats of a Behr color called “Verdigris”.Back to Table of Contents
DIY Nightstand with Drawers
- Click here to download the FREE plan (includes detailed instructions, measurements, and bonus tips)
- Wood (per printed plan)
- 1-¼” Pocket Screws
- 1-¼” Wood Screws
- ⅝” Brad Nails
- Wood Glue
- (3) 10″ Drawer Slides
- Table Top Expansion Brackets
- #8 x ½” Truss Head Screws
- (3) Knobs
Step 1. Make the Sides
Cut 6 pieces of wood to length. Apply glue to the edges and clamp to form 2 side panels.
When the glue is dry, use the diagram in the printed plan to layout the location of the legs.
Next, in the leg area that will be removed, drill a hole near the corner of each leg. These holes will make it easier for the saw to turn the corners. I used a scroll saw to cut out the leg area, but you could also use a jigsaw instead.
Step 2. Attach the Bottom
Cut 3 pieces of wood to length for the bottom. Apply glue to the edges and clamp to form a panel.
When the glue is dry, use the diagram in the printed plan to drill pocket holes in each end.
Related: How to Use a Kreg Jig
To help with positioning the bottom panel, I clamped a piece of 1×4 scrap wood to the bottom of each side.
Apply glue to the edges of the bottom, position on top of the scrap wood, and clamp.
Attach using 1-¼” pocket screws and a right angle drill attachment.
Related: How to Screw in Hard-to-Reach Places
Step 3. Attach the Front and Back Rails
Cut 5 pieces of wood to length for the rails and drill pocket holes in each end.
On the back, the top rail was positioned at the top of the sides and the bottom rail was positioned below the bottom. Clamp and attach using 1-¼” pocket screws.
To help position the front rails, I cut several pieces of scrap wood to use as spacers. I clamped the scrap wood to the side panels. Then, I applied glue to the ends of the rails, positioned on the scrap wood and attached it using 1-¼” pocket screws.
Step 4. Attach the Front Legs
Cut 1 piece of wood to length and use the diagram in the printed plan to layout the location of the legs.
Next, in the leg area that will be removed, drill a hole near the corner of each leg. These holes will make it easier for the saw to turn the corners.
I used a scroll saw to cut out the leg area, but you could also use a jigsaw instead.
Then, use the diagram in the printed plan to drill pocket holes in the foot rail.
Apply glue, position flush with the front, and clamp. Attach using 1-¼” pocket screws.
Step 5. Install the Drawer Slides
I used the Kreg Drawer Slide Jig to install the drawer slides for the middle and top drawers. But there wasn’t enough room to use it on the bottom drawer.
To install the bottom drawer slides I placed the slides on top of pieces of ¼” MDF.
I wanted the front of the drawer to be an ⅛” proud of the front of the nightstand. In other words, I wanted the drawers to protrude an ⅛”.
The drawer faces are ¾”, so I set the drawer slides in ⅝” from the face of the cabinet.
I installed the drawer slides in the middle and top drawer using a drawer slide jig.
Step 6. Make the Drawer Boxes
Measure the space between the drawer slides and adjust the dimensions of the drawer box if necessary.
Cut 12 pieces of wood to length for the drawer sides. Apply glue and clamp. Repeat for the remaining pieces.
Cut 12 pieces of wood to length for the front and back of the drawer box. Apply glue and clamp. When the glue is dry, drill pocket holes in each end. Repeat for the remaining pieces.
Assemble the Drawer Box
Apply glue to the ends of the front/back, position on the sides and clamp. Attach using 1-¼” pocket screws.
Cut 3 pieces of hardboard to size. Apply glue to the drawer box, position the bottom, and attach using ⅝” brad nails.
Use the diagram in the printed plan to mark the locations for countersink holes on the inside of the drawer box. These holes will be used to attach the drawer box to the drawer front.
I used a countersink bit to drill countersink holes at each location.
Related: How to Use a Countersink Bit
Step 7. Install the Drawers
I used the Kreg Drawer Slide Jig to install the drawers. Position the drawers and attach to the drawer slides.
📝 NOTE: The drawer fronts need about an ⅛” of clearance on each side. Adjust the dimensions if necessary.
Cut 3 pieces of wood to length for the drawer fronts. I planned to use knobs for the drawers. To find the center of the drawer front, I placed a straight edge from corner to corner and made a mark. I used a ¼” drill bit to drill a hole at each mark. Your knobs may require a different size drill bit.
If you plan to use handles, you can use a Kreg Hardware Jig to install the handles
Next, I used playing cards to center the drawer front in the opening.
Then, I used the drill bit to drill a hole through the drawer box. The screws that came with my knobs were too short for my drawers. I bought 2” screws from the home improvement store to install the knobs.
I attached the knob until it was tight enough to hold the drawer front so that it was snug, but still could be moved.
Again, I used playing cards to center the drawer front in the opening. Then, I pushed the drawer from the back of the cabinet. I clamped the drawer front to the drawer box and attached using 1-¼” wood screws.
Step 8. Attach the Back
Cut 1 piece of hardboard to size for the back.
Apply glue, center the back on the opening, and attach using ⅝” brad nails.
Step 9. Attach the Top
I attached two brackets to each side of the case. I attached one bracket to the front and back of the case. I positioned the holes in the tops of the brackets so they were facing in the same direction. This will allow the top to move with seasonal changes.
Related: How to Attach a Table Top to a Base (The Right Way)
The top is flush against the back and centered from side to side.
I attached the top through the expansion brackets using these screws
Step 10. Add Cove Molding
This step is optional. I had some cove molding leftover from making these DIY cabinet doors. I attached the cove molding between the case and the top with ⅝” brad nails.
Step 11. Finish the Nightstand
See How Do You Finish the Nightstand? for more information.
Add storage to your bedroom with this easy-to-make DIY nightstand with drawers. Or use it as an end table next to a couch or chair, or extra storage in the bathroom.
Click here to download the free plan (including the detailed instructions and measurements) now!
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