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.
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:
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.
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
1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
2 1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
5/8″ Finishing Nails
1 1/4″ Finishing Nails
Medium Grit Sandpaper
Primer or Wood Conditioner
Paint or Stain
Wood Veneer Banding in your wood species if staining
Circular or Jig Saw
Miter Saw (If using trim)
*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.
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.
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.)
Attach the top side 1×2 with 1 1/4″ screws and finishing nails.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
Attach 1/4″ plywood back as shown with wood glue and 1 1/4″ finishing nails.
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.