Introduction: Pallet Nightstand

Picture of Pallet Nightstand

What's a pen without ink?

What's a man without a woman?

What's a party without the booze?

But most importantly.....

What is a bed without a pallet nightstand?!

Three months ago a big ol' pallet found its way to me. My girlfriend had always wanted a unique nightstand so I decided to make one for her.

Oh... If you like this instructable please vote for me in the pallet contest.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools


- Pallet preferably a weathered one (I used the big double pallet you see in the picture)

- Nails

- Screws


- Piece of triplex or some other piece of thin plywood. Approximately 4-6 mm thick.

- Satin finish wood stain (water based)


- Pry bar

- Hammer

- Circular saw

- Belt Sander

- Hole saw

- Jig saw

Step 2: Breaking the Pallets Apart

Start by breaking the pallet apart. Use a prybar and a hammer to remove the slats. You can also use a chisel to loosen the slat before you use a prybar, doing this won´t damage the wood as much.

Step 3: Cut Frame Pieces

Picture of Cut Frame Pieces

Let´s build the frame!

The frame consist of 10 (3x2 & 4x1) boards held together by 2 ´rectangles`.

- Cut the 10 boards at 52cm using your circular saw (or any desired length).

- Select which sets of board you want to use for the sides and which ones for the back.

- Put the sets of boards next to each other and measure the total width. This is the measurement you want to use for your rectangles.

- The rectangles consist of 4 pieces of beams each. It's really important to cut the beams at exactly the right size.

Step 4: Assembling the Rectangles

Picture of Assembling the Rectangles

When you're done cutting the pieces you can assemble the rectangles. The rectangles will be out of sight once the nightstand is finished. A pretty connection isn't that important.

The pieces of beams are 70mm thick and I didn't have screws that long. I drilled a 12mm hole half way up the beam so the screws would be long enough.

Be sure to make the rectangles squared and both exactly the same. I clamped the pieces down on top of each other while screwing to be sure I made them exactly the same.

Step 5: Cutting the Top Boards

Picture of Cutting the Top Boards

When you're finished assembling the rectangles you have to cut the top boards. Use your circular saw to cut the pieces at the right size. You also have to cut your boards in length, an easy job for the circular saw.

Step 6: Sanding the Pieces

Picture of Sanding the Pieces

Before assembling the frame you have the sand the pieces with the belt sander. If you're crazy enough you can do it by hand but I strongly advice you not to;)

I used the belt sander in a circular motion to create a nice pattern.

Step 7: Assembling the Frame

Picture of Assembling the Frame

For the assembly I only used nails. You can use glue too but it isn't necessary. The frame should be sturdy enough.

NOTE: When assembling the wood it should be dry. I assembled the frame when the wood was still moist (a rooky mistake). Once I had put it inside the house the wood shrunk and seems were showing. I didn't mind the seems because it gave a rustic look. But it's better to let the wood dry.

- Firstly assemble the top boards onto the rectangular. When the boards are a little bit too big you can use the belt sander to get it flush on all four sides.

- Secondly nail down the boards from the sides and the back. This is a tricky part. You have to clamp everything down and get it nice and square before nailing. I don't have a good picture of this part. I clamped it down on a workbench resting on a piece of wood, what later becomes the front board (you can see in the picture).

- Lastly you can assemble the front board.

Step 8: Glue Plywood Pieces

Picture of Glue Plywood Pieces

To make the drawer slide more easily you can glue two pieces of plywood to the inside of the frame as shown in the picture.

Step 9: Making the Drawer

Picture of Making the Drawer

The drawer is made of 5 pieces of wood and a piece of 4 mm plywood.

- Firstly measure up the size of the plywood and cut it with the circular saw.

- Measure the height and cut a groove into the front board 8mm in depth. This will fit the plywood.

- Cut up the other boards.

- Put the boards on top of the plywood and put them together with nails and glue.

Step 10: Making the Shelf

Picture of Making the Shelf

When you're finished with the drawer (without the board with the heart shape) you can place the shelf. Use screws to secure the two slats to the sides. Make sure the slats are even.

Now you can nail the shelf boards on the slats.

Step 11: Making the Heart-shaped Hole (Optional)

Picture of Making the Heart-shaped Hole (Optional)

When you're making this for your girlfriend I would definitely recommend making the heart-shaped hole. Chicks dig hearts. Otherwise I would just make a round hole;)

- Firstly cut your board to the correct size.

- Secondly draw the correct heart shape you desire. I used a hole saw (32mm). (Always use a pencil and definitely not a sharpie. It will get in the wood and it's very hard to sand off).

- Drill the two holes with your hole saw.

- Use the jigsaw to cut out the remaining bit.

Now you can assemble the board with some nails and glue.

Step 12: Finishing the Wood

The nightstand is now finished. To protect the wood and to give it a little more detail I used a transparent satin stain. I colored this stain with a little bit of black and white pigment to give it a slight grey-wash effect.

- Clean the wood.

- Sand the wood with sand paper with 150 grid.

- Clean the wood again.

- Apply a layer of stain and wait for at least 4 hours.

- Sand the wood lightly with 200 grid.

- Clean the wood.

- Apply a second layer of stain.

Step 13: Final Product

Picture of Final Product

I hope you enjoyed this instructable and I hope you decide to make one yourself one day (or for your girlfriend;).


AgasallosC made it! (author)2017-12-10

I made one inspired in your design, but a bit different... thanks for the inspiration!!!

AnnetteV11 (author)2017-08-14

Great instructions and thank you for the inspiration! Now I need to get some pallets and try this out. :D

RyanR241 made it! (author)2017-03-26

Got this done today with a little modification. Love it and thx for posting.

cindyparker65 (author)2017-03-19

Awesome instrustions even for a womsn to lol no girlfriend so i assumened only men follow this lil but i do i love it ty

mrcivil made it! (author)2017-03-10

I used this pattern to make a pair of nightstands for my kids. I added a powerstrip inside near the top for them to plug all their stuff into. I used "standard sized"(?) pallet slats and the finished product was about 14x15 surface area following the directions..

l.benjamin.blocker made it! (author)2017-02-13

Great plans--they got me on track for my first piece of furniture. Mostly pallet lumber, but I used old tongue and groove cypress from a friend's camp that was destroyed in the 2016 flood of Louisiana for the sides. Finished tonight in time to suprise the fiancée tomorrow dor Valentine's Day.

MathiasL1 (author)2016-09-22

Thanks for tout great instructable :). For sure my girlfriend will love it

PatrickP110 (author)2016-06-22

I'm gonna give this a go. Well done looks good

amansell91 (author)2016-02-23

this is awesome, great job :)

rincewind1953 (author)2016-02-14

Like the bedside nightstand I will have to make 2.

GlennB23 made it! (author)2016-02-06

Very easy 1st project, thanks for the plans.

bsmith192 made it! (author)2015-05-21

Worked out well. Missus added her own touch on the front. Cheers mate

rubenrijst (author)bsmith1922015-09-16

That looks really nice! Good job!

antony.bell.73 (author)2015-08-12

I think that was a waste of such a big pallet, it would of made a really nice table, but I love the nightstand anyway ill definitely be making this.

MichaelS77 made it! (author)2015-07-01

I made with same modifications. Tks for share.

stephansaggers made it! (author)2015-04-27

I made this for my girlfriend and she absolutely loved it! Thanks for the great idea

Nicely done! Thanks for the comment.

DannyBoy803 made it! (author)2015-04-05

My design varied greatly from yours towards the end, but the inside frame and method of construction is the same. I opted out of the drawer, and I used mostly pallet wood except for the top which I used cedar from another project to complete. Then I buttered the whole thing up with some boiled linseed oil to complete.

LunaDale (author)2014-06-01

a woman without a man is a person.

MartKnow (author)LunaDale2015-02-14

What is it with these dang Social Justice Warriors, fight a fight worth fighting, no this trivial bs, it's a figure of speech, Feminist bull junk tainting an innocent Instructable

DannyBoy803 (author)LunaDale2015-01-10

He said, and I'm quoting here, "What's a man without a woman?". Not the other way around. Can we please not turn humor in a project into a feminist issue? Also, read what the man said next time.

Eh Lie Us! (author)LunaDale2014-06-03

Big thumbs up!

...and a man without a women? Wait for it...

a person?

swapnil.panchal.355 (author)2015-02-12

Incredible. I am highly inspired by your DIY nightstand. Thanks friend.

bjones93 (author)2014-11-28

Done this a while ago! But in a maple stain finish. I'm on carpet so I made coaster feet so the draw could slide out. Also have a knocker pulley on the draw. Best part done with a hand saw (all cuts!)

Jack0by (author)2014-09-14

I built it for my brother and he loves it! I have never thought it would be so easy to build. ☺

michaelgc (author)2014-09-03

Great looking night stand, we just got a bigger bed and now all of our night stands are too big for the room. I just love all of the pallet furniture on here...

Bernyk made it! (author)2014-08-11

i havent filed down the heart in the center and built the frame a bit differently from you as well but my lovely lady is very happy with it and i thank you for the inspiration!

martina.friesen.1 (author)2014-08-08

maybe someday I will get to doing the things that I think my hands are meant to

bjones93 (author)2014-08-05

Half way thru making this but my cuts are all thru handsaw, so a little time consuming plus getting a level unit too

kirchop23 (author)2014-06-15

Very well done. Agree with other comment about pocket holes.

tkotlarz (author)2014-06-13

Awesome job, I like the look of this, its simple and good looking. I need to figure out how to vote for this.

jkastelein (author)2014-06-06

Ik vind het een prachtig ontwerp!

thegrendel (author)2014-06-04

Creative and very nicely done.

billbillt (author)2014-06-04

double plus good...great job..

dpiccine (author)2014-06-04

Good job man!

Funny seeing that people missed the focus on the project and aimed to crucify you! hahaha....

3 things that cannot be brought back... thrown arrow, time lost and spoken word! :P

Keep rocking buddy!

Esque (author)2014-06-04

Great instructable, nice and clearly laid out. As for being offensive, I think a few people need to A) Stop taking life quite so seriously and B) Accept the fact that outher cultures in other countries have all sorts of saying and phrases that they might just not understand.

Eh Lie Us! (author)2014-06-03

I am absolutely DIGGING all of the pallet upcycle Instructables! Right on, people.

doodlecraft (author)2014-06-01

It's wonderful--I love how rustic it looks, and of course, the little heart! :)

rubenrijst (author)2014-05-31

Thanks for the great reactions

@ Tazmjm69 I knew about pocket holes but didn't use them so far. I will definitely use them in the future. Thanks for the advice.

emilkaram (author)2014-05-31

l love it

HollyMann (author)2014-05-30

wow this looks super nice - I love it!

shazni (author)2014-05-30

looks wonderful!

Tazmjm69 (author)2014-05-30

Turned out great! The next time you make one of these (or any wood project) you may want to check into pocket holes, it would solve the screw length issue easily. If you're not familiar with pocket holes, Google it. Once you start using them, you'll never use anything else! Great project though!

Blarkey (author)2014-05-30

excellent instructable loved it.!

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