Introduction: DIY Small Side Table/nightstand

About: Part MacGyver, part Martha, creator, host and producer of Engineer Your Space, an award winning DIY home design show dedicated to clever, affordable and stylish solutions for common challenges faced by renters…

I recently built a new headboard for my bedroom and needed a new bedside table to go with it. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on this so I gave myself the challenge to build something out of a pile of leftover wood I had been accumulating for a while. You can see the whole build process in the video but here are the steps to make the table

Step 1: The Inspiration

The design for the table was loosely inspired by this $800 table from C2B. I say loosely because I was making my table with limited tools and scrap pieces of wood I had left over from other projects.

Step 2: Cut All the Wood

I don't have a workshop so I set up outside in the alley to cut all the wood (love my Worx workbench and cordless circular saw!).

I used 3/4" plywood for the bottom and top of the table:

the bottom has 2 pieces:

1 x 21"x15"


and the top has 3 pieces:

15" x 9"



For the pedestal, I had used 1"x3"s and 1"x4"s - having a miter saw would have been nice to cut the 1"x3" but I made the circular saw work.

1"x3" cut list:

3 x 4.5"

2 x 5.5"

2 x 6.5"

2 x 7.5"

2 x 8.5"

2 x 9.5"

1"x4" cut list:

3 x 5.5"

2 x 5.5"

2 x 6.5"

2 x 7.5"

2 x 8.5"

2 x 9.5"

2 x 10.5"

1 x 11.5

Step 3: Finish Off the Edges

I covered all the ends of the wood pieces with iron-on veneer - that was the longest part of making the table!

Step 4:

I used wood glue and 1 1/4" screws to attach the boards together, staggering the screws so they wouldn't hit the ones from the previous board. I also used 3" screws to attach the plywood boards to the pedestal. I used a level to make sure the table wasn't going up crooked and a line in the middle of each board helped me align them in the other direction.

Once the pedestal was done, I attached the first piece of plywood to the top with 3" screws and then screwed that to the other 2 pieces of plywood from the bottom so that no screws would show on the top.

Step 5: Sand and Protect the Wood

I loved the look of the wood so I chose to not paint it. I love the shape of the table and how sculptural it looks and it looks great with my new headboard!