Brina Side Tables


I love building pieces of furniture for other people.  While I definitely love making knock-offs for myself, there’s something about using a friend as a loving “client” to build for.  To take their ideas and style and mold it into my own is such a fun challenge for me.

Do you guys have that one like-a-sister person in your lives who knows exactly what you’re thinking before you even think it?  Enter my super cute, super stylish, BFF, Brina, who has been living with ugly, mis-matched end tables for her master bedroom for WAY too long.

Me and Brina, my maid of honor

She had very few guidelines for her end tables.  She wanted them to match, she wanted a dark stained finish, and she wanted a drawer in the top with closed-in sides and an open bottom for display storage.

I spent quite some time trying to find the perfect end table to knock off for Brina.  Even though there are about a million different versions of this end table out there, I never found one that I really really loved.  I definitely liked this Cynthia Bedside Table from Pottery Barn, but it still wasn’t perfect:

Pottery Barn Cynthia Bedside Table

So, I decided to use this end table as a general inspiration for the design and come up with my own that was a bit fancier.

This project is great for someone who has a lot of scrap since it uses a lot of different sized boards.  I wouldn’t recommend making this for a first project, I’d level it out at intermediate/advanced because of the drawer.


See full sized dimensions above.

Shopping List:


1 – 1/2 Sheet of 1/4″ Plywood

1 – 1/4 Sheet of 3/4″ Plywood

3 – 1×2 @ 8 feet long

2 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long

1 – 1×3 @ 8 feet long

1 – 1×4 @ 4 feet long

1 – scrap 1/6 @ 20″ long

1 – piece of 3″ base molding @ 8 feet long  (I used 2 1/2″ molding and a 1×2 at the base to give it a bit more oomph)

2 – pieces of 3/4″ x 3/4″ cove molding @ 8 feet long (Optional)


Hardware and Supplies:

1 – set of cheap-o bottom mount 16″ drawer slides (like these from Home Depot)

1 1/2″ Screws

2″ Screws

1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws

2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws

5/8″ Finishing Nails

1 1/4″ Finishing Nails

Wood Glue

Wood Filler

Medium Grit Sandpaper

Primer or Wood Conditioner

Paint or Stain

Wood Veneer Banding in your wood species if staining



Kreg Jig

Circular or Jig Saw

Miter Saw (If using trim)




Measuring Tape


Safety Glasses


Cut List:

*1 – 3/4″ PLY @ 19″ x 23″ (Top)
*1 – 3/4″ PLY @ 19″ x 18″ (Bottom Shelf)
*2 – 1/4″ PLY @ 15″ x 22″ (Sides)
*1 – 1/4″ PLY @ 22″ x 26 3/4″ (Back)
*1 – 1/4″ PLY @ 16 1/2″ x 16″ (Drawer Bottom)
4 – 1×2 @ 22″ (Side Trim – Long)
4 – 1×2 @ 12″ (Side Trim – Short)
2 – 1×2 @ 19″ (Top Side)
4 – 2×2 @ 26″ (Sides)
2 – 2×2 @ 15″ (Base Support Sides)
3 – 1×3 @ 19″ (Top Supports)
2 – 1×2 @ 16 1/2″ (Drawer Mounts)
2 – 1×2 @ 15 3/4″ (Drawer Front – Top and Bottom Trim)
2 – 1×2 @ 5 1/2″ (Drawer Front – Side Trim)
1 – 1×6 @ 18 3/4″ (Drawer Front)
1 – 1×2 @ 19″ (Drawer Front Base Support)
2 – 1×4 @ 16″ (Drawer Sides)
1 – 1×4 @ 15″ (Drawer Back)
2 – Pieces of Baseboard @ 18 1/2″ (Bottom Trim, Sides)
1 – Piece of Baseboard at @ 22 1/2″ (Bottom Trim, Front)
Cut Cove Molding to size where desired

*Like Ana White, I am committed to only using Pure Bond plywood in my home so as not to slowly kill off my family with formaldehyde.

Step 1:

Cut plywood as shown above.  My mock-up is based on a full 4′x8′ sheet, but this project is much more ideal if you are able to use up some plywood scrap for the 3/4″ piece.

Step 2:

 Attach the inside trim as shown using your Kreg Jig.  (If you don’t have a Kreg Jig, you could also use 2″ screws with a countersink bit.)

Step 3:

Attach the sides and the base support 2x2s to the inside of the frame with either your Kreg Jig or 2″ screws.  Make sure there is a 1/4″ inset on the back when you drill it together to make room for your plywood in the next step.  (You can use a scrap piece of 1/4″ plywood to hold it in place while you screw it in for a perfect fit.)

Step 4:

Attach the top side 1×2 with 1 1/4″ screws and finishing nails.

Step 5:

Add 1/4″ plywood side pieces to the back as shown with wood glue and 5/8″ finishing nails.  Make sure to only nail around the edges!

Step 6:

Add cove molding to the inside of the panels as desired with wood glue.  Here it’s shown with the molding on the top and bottom, but it would also be really pretty to add  it all the way around on the inside with mitered corners.  Or, you could ditch the cove molding all together!

Repeat steps 2-6 for the other side.

Step 7:

Add bottom shelf and top supports to connect your two side pieces using your Kreg Jig.  You can add your pocket holes on the top of the supports as the top piece will cover them up once it’s added at the end.  The bottom of the shelf should sit 2 1/2″ up from the base of the legs.

Step 8:

Begin assembling the inside of your drawer as shown above with your Kreg Jig on the sides and 1 1/4″ finishing nails and glue to add the bottom.  Once your bottom mount drawer slides are in place, it will help hold together the drawer.

Step 9:

Add drawer supports as shown above with 1 1/4″ screws on either side and wood glue.  Make sure to only drill in the far sides so you hit the 1×2 boards and don’t go through the 1/4″ plywood only.  It’s also very important these are level!

Step 10:

Add drawer slides as shown above following your manufacturers instructions.  (Slides represented in pink).  Always allow 1/2″ on each side of your drawer for the slides.

Step 11:

OPTIONAL: Attach the drawer front base suppport with your Kreg Jig (on the inside) 5 3/4″ from the bottom of your top supports.  (I chose not to in my side table, but many side tables have this underneath the drawers for a clean finish.)

Step 12:

Using your scrap 1×6 as the back of the drawer front, trim out with your 1x2s as shown.  To attach the front to the drawer insides, center the front into the space, leaving 1/8″ all the way around the edges.  Then, use your finishing nailer and wood glue to nail it to your drawer.  Add your knob or hardware as desired.

Step 13:

Attach 1/4″ plywood back as shown with wood glue and 1 1/4″ finishing nails.

Step 14:

Attach the 3/4″ plywood top flush to the back, leaving a 3/4″ overhang on the front and sides.  You can choose to add cove molding underneath the top in the 3/4″ gap to fancy it up a bit.

Step 15:

Use your 2 1/2″ baseboard to trim the bottom.  Make sure to miter those corners! 

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Filed under Building Plans

20 Responses to Brina Side Tables

  1. GORGEOUS! I love the well thought out plan too! Thank you for sharing with us!

    • Thanks, Ana! That means so much to have the “Ana White” stamp of approval! You’ve inspired so many people, obviously including me. Thank you for all that you do!

  2. Love this! The instructions are super clear – appreciate that!

    Do you have an idea of how much the project ended up costing you?

    • Thanks so much, Rachel! I try to make my tutorials easy to follow – I’m happy that you think I succeeded!

      The cost of the project gets a lot less expensive if you’ve got some scrap plywood laying around. The boards and molding were about $30 per end table at my local lumber yard. The plywood can be a bit pricey… I only use Pure Bond from Home Depot, and that’s $45 per sheet for the 3/4″ and about $25 per sheet for the 1/4″. (I tried to use 1/4″ as much as possible to save some $$.) It might be a lot cheaper in other states… I live in Los Angeles where everything is more expensive :-) . If you build 2, the price goes down substantially. So, if you build one and have to buy the plywood, it’s about $100 per end table, but if you build two with the plywood it’s about $65 per table. The good thing, if you have to buy the plywood, is that you have a ton of scrap left over for your next project!

  3. Amazing. You’re amazing. I absolutely cannot wait until we can build together (i.e. you can teach me all of your secrets)! Amazing plans, Shane. You have such amazing taste and a great eye!

  4. Very huge flow of information. Great work!!

  5. Amazing! I’m so impressed!


  6. Jonathan

    My wife and I love the bedside table that you made, and i want to make some for our house. What kind of wood did you use? What stain color is that? Thanks for giving such wonderful examples, when we are finished we will send you a picture of our work. Thanks again and keep building.

  7. Jennifer

    OMG!!! I love love love this, thanks for sharing!! The instructions are very clear and seems to be really easy!! was wondering, if you don’t mind me asking would you or will you be making a matching dresser to this?? this is awesome!! me and my husband just bought a house and I love you and Ana’s website we are in the processes of building my kids beds ( from ana’s website ), next is our room and i am soooooo using this plan!! thanks again!! Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks so much, Jennifer! I’m so glad you like it! You know, I hadn’t thought about doing a matching dresser, but those might be some fun plans to make! I’m definitely crafting up some dresser plans, but they wouldn’t necessarily be in the Brina collection. So, thanks for the idea! Good luck with your kids beds – you sound like one busy lady! I can’t wait to see your pictures!

      • Jennifer

        your welcome, I just thought since these plans are soo beautiful, maybe a matching dresser! just been busy trying to settle in the new house, trying to get the wood installed and find the other furniture and kitchen renivated.. Been really busy lately , but I can’t wait for it to slow down, once all the renivations are done, then moving in of the furniture..cant wait to see your dresser plans! and will post pictures of the beds me and the hubby build!! thanks for the luck i am gonna need it!! I have no idea what i am doing!! LOLZ!

  8. Melissa

    Thanks for the plans! My husband and I took advantage of a cold and rainy Memorial Day weekend and started making a pair of these tables for our living room. We’re just about done with the first one, and it has turned out better than we expected, and in a shorter amount of time than we thought! Two questions/comments:

    1) Cut list: The length listed for the “top side” is wrong at 19″. According to the illustration (and our experience building it), it should be 18″ long.
    2) Did you use any sort of trim/veneer around the edge of the table top? I was thinking it might look nice to cover the exposed edge of the 3/4″ plywood. But, whatever you did looks great in your pic!

    Thanks again! ~Melissa

  9. Mesha

    I fell in love with this night stand. Do you have plan for a head board and dresser to go with this?

  10. Jake

    I am in the final 20% of building the Brina table. I used an inspiration from Cher Texter at The Design Confidential for the the table top which you can see at

    I really like the table and the new challenges it offered. But so far so good. I want to post to you a couple of pics and get advice on the color stain for the base. I am inclined to extend the dark color of the top’s frame but I am no artist or color coordinator. I also have the trim but undecided to use it or not.
    How can I post a pic or two?

  11. Jake

    My version of your Brina table can be seen at:
    Credit is given for the design coming from OPD.
    many thanks

  12. scott

    I love your plan; I’m currently trying to build it. I am stuck on step 3. I can not figure out how to attach the 1 x 2 frame to the 2 x 2 leg as my Kreg jig not drill holes in the 1 x 2 when it is in the jig horizontally. Step 2 went well as i could put the wood in vertically and drill the holes. But in order to attach the 22″ wood to the 26″ wood I would need to have the holes drilled vertically on the short side…wouldn’t I?

    • Jeremy


      You can still use the jig. It looks funky drilling the holes but they do work. You will be required to use the cove molding on the outside panel though to cover up the half circle’s the jig will leave visible in the 1×2.

  13. Jeremy

    Would you care to share the Sketchup file for this project?


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