3 Drawer Nightstand

Add a lot of storage space to your room with these plans to build a DIY nightstand with 3 drawers.

DIY Nightstand

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If you’re wondering where all the drawers from the last few posts came from, here’s the culprit! This may be one of my favorite woodworking projects to date. I say that every time I finish something, but I really mean it this time! There’s so much storage space in this little guy, and I just can’t get over the clean lines.

If you’re looking to build this, I have a few posts with more details about the drawers that you may be interested in:

For the purposes of the lumber and cut lists, I used dimensions for the drawers based on building the drawers with a finish nailer. If you choose to build the drawers with a different method, adjust your cuts as necessary.

Enjoy the Plans!

DIY Nightstand

Tools & Supplies

Lumber:

  • 5 | 1 x 4 @ 8′
  • 1 | 2 x 2 @ 8′
  • 1 | 1 x 2 @ 8′
  • 1 | 1 x 6 @ 8′
  • 1 | 1/4″ x 1 1/5″ Lattice Trim @ 8′ (available in the trim aisle)
  • 1 | Half Sheet of 1/4″ Plywood

Cuts:

  • 4 | 2 x 2 @ 23″ (legs)
  • 6 | 1 x 2 @ 13 1/2″ (frame)
  • 8 | 1 x 4 @ 20″ (sides)
  • 5 | 1 x 4 @ 17 1/2″ (tabletop)
  • 6 | 1 x 4 @ 15″ (drawer sides)
  • 6 | 1 x 4 @ 10 1/2″ (drawer front & back)
  • 3 | 1 x 6 @ 13 1/4″ (drawer fronts)
  • 4 | 1/4″ Lattice @ 14″ (trim)
  • 1 | 1/4″ Plywood @ 13 1/2″ x 20″ (nightstand back)
  • 3 | 1/4″ Plywood @15″ x 12″ (drawer bottoms)

Step 1.

Build the sides of the nightstand out of 1x4s. You could use plywood, but I went with 1x4s this time – up to you!

DIY Nightstand step 1

Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws to attach the boards to each other as you would a tabletop. Stagger the pocket holes to ensure a solid joint.

You’ll also need pocket holes along the outside edges of the panel to attach the side to the legs in step 2.

DIY Nightstand step 1b

Build two sides.

Step 2.

Attach the side panel to the 2×2 legs with wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

DIY Nightstand step 2

Repeat for the other side.

DIY Nightstand step 3

Step 3.

Join the side panels together with the top & bottom 1×2 supports in the front and back.

DIY Nightstand step 4
front view

Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws to attach the 1x2s to the legs.

DIY Nightstand step 5
top view

Step 4.

Insert the back panel into place and attach it to the 1x2s with wood glue and finish nails.

DIY nightstand

Step 5.

Once the back panel is in place, add a support in the middle along the top and bottom to make sure the side panels don’t bend inward at all.

Position the center 1x2s just behind the middle joint in the side panels to avoid putting a screws through the seam (if you built it out of 1x4s rather than plywood).

DIY nightstand

Step 6.

Add the trim pieces on the top and bottom of each side panel.

DIY nightstand

Step 7.

Build the top of the nightstand the same way that you did the side panels. Join the 1x4s to each other with wood glue and 1 1/4″ finish nails. Stagger the pocket holes on each side to ensure a strong joint (as shown in the photo above).

Wait to attach the top until you’ve installed all the drawers.

Step 8.

Build three drawers with dimensions as shown. See the posts listed at the top of this tutorial for details to build the drawers.

DIY Nightstand step 6b

Install the drawers in the nightstand as shown in my tutorial – How to Install Drawer Slides. I used bottom-mount slides since I attached the bottom of the drawer with finish nails and glue. The bottom-mount slides reinforce the bottom a little.

Once you’ve installed the slides, attach the drawer fronts. See my post on how to install drawer fronts if you need more information.

DIY Nightstand step 10

Step 9.

Last but not least, attach the tabletop! I positioned the tabletop so it’s flush with the back of the nightstand and overhangs the front 1/2″. Adjust to fit your style.

I like to attach tabletops with small corner braces. The braces let the top move when the wood expands and contracts without pulling on the frame.

DIY Nightstand

I used four on this tabletop – one in each corner of the frame (on the inside side of the nightstand).

DIY Nightstand step 9

And that’s that – sand and finish as desired!

DIY Nightstand

I stained it with Varathane weathered wood accelerator in “brown” and sealed it with glossy water-based polyurethane.

I used some old handles I had lying around for the drawers, but here are some similar ones.

DIY Nightstand

Please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Bitterroot DIY

Thanks for stopping by!

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DIY Nightstand
DIY Nightstand

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Scott Wiggins says

    As far as attaching the top to the aprons have you ever used figure 8 fasteners? After the first time using them I’ve never looked back. They allow for seasonal wood movement while being just loose enough when fastened and are more than strong enough. I’ve found a little wiggle room allowed by them or the Z clips if you don’t mind routing the slots for Z clips. Woodworkers hardware has an awesome price on figure 8’s and would be cheaper than the corner brackets also. Nothing wrong with corner brackets, just inquiring. Great looking night stand by the way.

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Yeah, I’ve seen a lot of my friends use the figure 8s but just haven’t picked any up. I’ll have to try them out though – they seem simple and good quality. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Chuck C says

    First time cabinet builder. I found all the instructions easy to follow and the links were helpful. I do have two issues. Why not make the drawer width a half inch wider so no blocking was necessary?There might be a good reason for this I’m just asking. And second, I was a little bummed that the top was flush front and back. Not like in the pictures were it looks like half inch overhang, like the sides. But overall a great project.

    • tylynn_sattler says

      I’m so glad you built this and thanks for the questions!

      First question: The drawer slides are 1/2″ thick. I didn’t want to be able to see the slides sticking out behind the drawer faces so I made the drawer a little narrower and the faces a little wider and blocked the slides so you can’t see them from the front. Just personal preference! (hope that makes sense?)

      Second question: I should have clarified how I positioned the tabletop – I positioned it so the back is totally flush with the back of the cabinet and the front overhangs 1/2″ to the front. The cabinet is 17″ deep and the tabletop should be 17 1/2″ deep (with five 1x4s that are 3 1/2″ wide each). If you center it, it should still have a 1/4″ overhang to the front and back. However, I went back and clarified that in the plans. Sorry about that miscommunication and thank you for drawing it to my attention!

  3. Cindy Navarro says

    I like the plans and your site a lot. How can I download the plans for the night stand. I tried clicking on the picture and everywhere else, but nothing worked. I am eager to try building this project.

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Thank you! There is not a downloadable version of these plans – all the instructions are written in the post.

    • tylynn_sattler says

      I just sent you an email as well, but I’ve updated the plans to include the instructions for the back. Sorry about that.

  4. Andy says

    Hi great looking project, am new to this and looking at the plans I get two different sizes for the sides 13″ and 14″ . What am I doing wrong?

    • tylynn_sattler says

      Hi there, I’m not sure I understand the question – the sides are 14″ wide made from four 1x4s glued and pocket holed together (3.5″ x 4 = 14″). Where did you get the 13″?

    • tylynn_sattler says

      2x2s are actually 1.5″x1.5″ when you buy them. 2×2 is just the nominal dimension. All part of learning!

  5. Ethan says

    Hey, this is such a cool project, I was confused on where the lattice trim came in? It was only mentioned in the shopping list and cuts but I don’t know where it’s applied.

    • tylynn_sattler says

      I responded to your other comment, but in case you miss it – I used it to trim the top and bottom of the sides. See Step 6.

  6. Ethan says

    Great stuff. I was wondering what the lattice trim is for? You only mentioned it in the cuts and shopping list.

    • tylynn_sattler says

      I used it on the top and bottom of the sides just to make it look a little more finished. See Step 6.

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