Introduction: HomeMade Modern DIY Concrete Walnut Nightstand

Picture of HomeMade Modern DIY Concrete Walnut Nightstand

This nightstand consists of an outer concrete shell formed with Legos and a wooden drawer that's faced with a piece of live edge walnut. I'm most proud of this project for its aesthetics. I don't use hardwoods often in my projects because it's expensive, but this piece of live edge walnut came from my parent’s backyard. This is my third, large Lego and concrete project and the Legos are holding up just fine. Most of the dried concrete flakes off the Lego bricks and small pieces can be scraped or brushed off with a toothbrush. Only use cold water and mild non-abrasive soaps to clean the bricks. If you have a mesh bag for laundering delicates, you can place the bricks in the bag and wash it in a washing machine with the water temperature set to cold. Do not use hot water or you'll warp the bricks.

Step 1: Supplies + Tools

Picture of Supplies + Tools

Lego Bricks
I used the classic Lego bricks to make the mold. I raided my parent's attic to retrieve my childhood stash and purchased a few new sets. Purchasing all new bricks for this project might be a bit expensive, so I'm working on a post showing how the nightstand could be cast in sections to reduce the amount of Legos needed.

3/4" Melamine Board
Melamine board is particle board with a smooth laminate surface. It's a great product for making a concrete form work. I bought a 4' by 4' sheet and had four 2 1/2" strips cut at Home Depot.

Hardwood Board
I used walnut with a live edge that I got from my parent's backyard.

3/4" Pine Boards

1/2" Plywood

Quikrete Countertop Mix
I prefer the Commercial Grade Quikrete Countertop Mix for these type of projects but Quikrete 5000 will work just fine as well.

Hot Glue Gun
I used a hot glue gun to glue the Legos to the board. Don’t worry – the glue will peel off later.

RYOBI 18 Volt Cordless Drill

RYOBI 18 Volt Circular Saw

RYOBI Orbital Sander

Step 2: Layout the Mold

Layout the design and build the mold 3 bricks high. Place temporary spacers to get the inside and the outside rings in the right position. The concrete frame is just a simple rectangular frame with ledges on the inside to support the drawers. I built the frame up 3 layers before building the mold out to create the drawer supports. I used flat tiles on top of the lego bumps to keep the concrete from sticking to the Legos.

Step 3: Glue Down the Legos

Picture of Glue Down the Legos

Use the hot glue gun to glue the Legos to the melamine board.

Step 4: Finish Building the Mold

Picture of Finish Building the Mold

Build the mold up brick-by-brick. When you get to the top, place some support braces to keep the walls from bending out under the weight of the concrete.

Step 5: Mix + Pour the Concrete

Picture of Mix + Pour the Concrete

Mix the concrete and spoon it into the form. After you have put in about 5 inches of concrete, use a stick to push the concrete into the corners and vibrate the air bubbles out of the concrete. Repeat this process until the mold is full. You don’t need to trowel or smooth the top surface since the melamine side of the mold will be the front and will come out nice and smooth.

Step 6: Let the Concrete Cure

Let the concrete cure at least 20 hours before removing the mold.

Step 7: Remove the Mold

Removing the Legos can be a bit time-consuming. Remove the upper layers and then cut the glue with a knife. Flip the block over and start removing the bottom bricks. You can use long nose pliers to remove the bricks from the bottom, but be careful not to scratch or bend the plastic bricks.

Step 8: Strip the Bark

Picture of Strip the Bark

I used a hatchet to remove the outer layers of bark and then used a hammer and chisel to chip off the inner layers.

Step 9: Cut the Wood for the Drawer

Picture of Cut the Wood for the Drawer

The drawer for this project is a pine box with a hardwood face and a plywood bottom. I measured the concrete and cut the wood to make a box that fits inside the concrete frame. I wanted everything to fit nicely within the concrete with minimal gaps, so I measured twice and used clamps and guides to make nice straight cuts with my circular saw. I cut the walnut so that the live edge side hangs down and covers the concrete drawer supports, while also serving as a handle.

Step 10: Sand + Paint

Picture of Sand + Paint

I sanded the pine and plywood pieces by hand, painted the pine pieces and finished the plywood with a coat of Danish oil.

Step 11: Assemble the Box

Picture of Assemble the Box

I glued pieces of pine to the underside of the plywood and screwed the side pieces to the base.

Step 12: Sand the Walnut

Picture of Sand the Walnut

The walnut I used was very rough, so I started sanding it with 80 grit paper with my orbital sander. Then I switched to 220 grit before finishing with 400 grit. I was careful with sanding the live edge since I wanted to maintain the natural contours.

Step 13: Finish the Walnut

Picture of Finish the Walnut

I finished the walnut with a coat of Danish oil.

Step 14: Screw on the Walnut

Picture of Screw on the Walnut

I screwed through the inside of the pine drawer and into the walnut so that the screws wouldn’t show from the outside.

Step 15: Clean the Legos

Most of the dried concrete flakes off the Lego bricks. Some small pieces can be scraped or brushed off with a toothbrush. Only use cold water and mild, non-abrasive soaps to clean the bricks. If you have a mesh bag for laundering delicates, you can place the bricks in the bag and wash it in a washing machine with the water temperature set to cold. Do not use hot water or you will warp the bricks.

Step 16: Done!

Picture of Done!

Good luck making your own concrete walnut nightstand and please email or tweet photos to @benuyeda or For more DIY ideas and projects, visit us at HomeMade Modern.


Leathaldose (author)2015-12-05

that looked like $2000.00 worth of legos to make a $30.00 night stand.....

Robotrogue (author)2015-07-23

Nice design - I have one suggestion for an improvement:

Including the drawer runners as part of the concrete design is a nice touch, but the pine will wear away fairly quickly rubbing against concrete. To solve this, you can cut some hardwood strips, and epoxy them to the tops of the concrete drawer runners - so the drawers are sliding on hardwood instead of concrete.

Hardwood runners are common practice, so that little addition would extend the life of the drawer.

Other alternatives would be to buy some 'slippery tape' (UHMW tape) to use on top of the runners instead of hardwood.

zagatozee (author)2015-02-20

Great project, but for future reference, the plural of Lego, is Lego. "Legos" is never correct.

SirCooksalot (author)zagatozee2015-07-02

Wait,what? I can't have 10,000 Legos? Says who? "I have a large bin of Lego"!?! That just sounds snobby and elitist, I won't do it. I suppose youd have me say 'Tar-jay' instead of Target. Legos Legos Legos

IamTheMomo (author)2015-02-17

What an impressive project! It turned out beautifully, and shows tremendously creative thinking. I have enjoyed molding concrete also, and I think I'll tackle a project or two of my own in a few months. This time I'll get smart and wear goggles; last time wet concrete splashed in my eye and burned it when I mixed it with a trowel.

SirCooksalot (author)IamTheMomo2015-07-02

Ouch! Once it's in your eye, you do NOT want to take a trowel and try to mix it. The trowel must have scratched your eye, and then the concrete started burning. I admire your perseverance, but instead of mixing it in your eye socket, try a bucket. If you must mix wet concrete in your eye, use a rubber spatula or something softer than a trowel...jeez.

ooohlaa (author)IamTheMomo2015-02-26

yikes thanx for heads up!

shawnlambert (author)2015-03-03

You never said the demensions of the lego mold...or approximately how many Lego were used...

ooohlaa (author)2015-02-17

Wow, marvelous. It helps a lot that you are such a master craftsman, including the video. Love concrete, wood and metal together. Very feng shui also. Just lovely thanx so much. I bought several bags of concrete last summer and never got to do my projects. Just hope when I get to it this year they haven't solidified from being in an outdoor shed. They will be hard to transport to the rural Florida dump! (no garbage pickup).

KTirado (author)ooohlaa2015-02-24

Just use them as stepping stones/garden edges in the yard if they have solidified.

hbridge88 (author)2015-02-21

Beautiful work, I love how you combine the industrial with nature.
One question, about how heavy is it when completed?

Kabelbinder (author)2015-02-20

really nice project!
How many legos did you need to build that size? if you count 2x4 basics?

ShesGotMoxie (author)2015-02-19

Okay this is just sexy. I am definitely making these from my new place!!!

spark master (author)2015-02-18

cute use of leggo's! But set 4 rods or rod couplings in the cement at the corners for legs. I learned the hard way a flat bottom need perfectly flat floors to work well. Nice instruc-table (sorry lame but I could not help it!

3366carlos (author)2015-02-15

nice, are the legos re-usable? or were they destroyed?

gabryllo (author)3366carlos2015-02-18

From the Youtube video:

The legos are reusable once they are washed.


stankoman (author)3366carlos2015-02-17

Please answer!

melknoy (author)2015-02-17

I'm inspired. One of the best videos on the site.

dvan den wijngaerde (author)2015-02-17


BG_instructs (author)2015-02-16

GReat job done with them lego's, kids won't be so happy when they find their legos covered in concrete, so i still need a back up here.

Did you reinforce the concrete with anything on the inside, like a metal mesh?

emilyvanleemput (author)2015-02-14

It turned out amazing.

king_peo (author)2015-02-14

amazing project. next rime before remove the lego use some vibro machine (smartphone is ok) to remove the boobles of air

thetreehearts (author)2015-02-13

WOW legos?? That is so neat I would have never thought of that use for them! Really cool. Do the legos just pop off when taking the concrete out of the mold, or are they ruined?

kylegilbert (author)2015-02-13

Nice. Love it!

ClenseYourPallet (author)2015-02-13

That is great. What an interesting and beautiful project. Thanks for the wonderful ideas

Quark- (author)2015-02-13

Very creative and great job using the legos as a concrete mold. It makes me wonder...

seamster (author)2015-02-13

What a beautiful piece! Very inspiring.

Did you apply any kind of finish or do anything to the concrete?

About This Instructable




Bio: HomeMade Modern is an online design source that publishes easy-to-follow, DIY recipes for creating modern home furnishings. We provide creative ideas for making affordable alternatives ... More »
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