Well… this is embarrassing. I’ve literally been working on these side tables on and off for 2 months. They were supposed to be for my friend Argie’s birthday… in November. (We have almost the same birthday, mine is the 6th and hers is the 8th. Cute, right?) Anyway, the problem was definitely not the building. That was about an afternoon. It was the finishing. How come the finishing always seems to take 10 times longer than the actual building? And is 10 times less fun? Anyway, there is a TON of edge banding on these suckers, and it took me a while to get the stain right. I used 2 coats of Dark Walnut Gel Stain by Varathane, and then one coat of Minwax Jacobean on top to get it a bit darker. (Which I like to pronounce as Jacko-bean much to the annoyance of my husband. It’s so much more fun than ja-co-be-an, though, isn’t it?) On top of that, there are three coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly for superior protection and shine. BTW, this is my first time with wipe on poly, and I must say, it is an amazing product for this lazy girl. You literally just… wipe it on. Genius.
Anyway, lets move on to the fun stuff. Like how awesome these bedside tables turned out! I modeled them after PB Teen’s Booknook Bedside Tables, which is such a fun design. (After staring at these tables for so long, it kinda looks like ET with the big head. But in a cute way…) I love all of the extra open storage at the bottom. It’s segmented for better organization.
I’m also a sucker for hardware, and these bedside tables are no exception. Anthropologie was having a 50% off sale on a lot of their knobs, and I picked these up for half off. (score!) Hardware is definitely the “bling” of any furniture, and with Argie meaning “Silver” in Greek, I had to get serious about the bling.
The other great thing about these side tables is that it uses exactly a half piece of plywood. So, if you’re making 2 to match, it works out kinda perfect. Anyway, enjoy!
Estimated Cost: $50-75
1 – 1×2 @ 6 feet long
1 – 1×4 @ 6 feet long
1 – 1×8 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1/4″ Plywood Scrap (at least 21″ x 14″)
1 – 1/2 Sheet of 3/4″ Plywood
Hardware and Supplies:
1 – set of bottom mount 14″ drawer slides
1 – super cute knob or pull
LOTS of edge banding
1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
1 1/4″ Finishing Nails
Medium Grit Sandpaper
Primer or Wood Conditioner
Paint or Stain
1 – 1×2 @ 21 1/2″ – Base (long)
2 – 1×2 @ 15″ – Base (short)
2 – 1×4 @ 21″ – Drawer Inside (long)
2 – 1×4 @ 12 1/2″ – Drawer Inside (short)
2 – 1×8 @ 8 1/4″ – Center Divider
1 – 1×8 (ripped to 6 1/2″) @ 21 3/4″ – Drawer Front (You could also use the end scrap piece of your plywood for your drawer front)
2 – 1×8 @ 15 1/4″ – Drawer Casing Side
1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 21″ x 14″ – Drawer Bottom
1 – 3/4″ Plywood @ 27 3/4″ x 23 1/2″ – Back
3 – 3/4″ Plywood @ 23 1/2″ x 15 1/4″ – Shelves
1 – 3/4″ Plywood @ 22″ x 15 1/4″ – Drawer Casing Bottom
Make sure to re-measure and check for square after every step. Sometimes when building your measurements can be off very slightly, and it’s important that your numbers are exact. (Especially when working with doors and drawers!) Measure your available space before building this plan to make sure that it will fit. Please read through the entire plan before getting started.
Cut your 3/4″ plywood as shown in the diagram. If an entire sheet doesn’t fit into your car, have your local blue or orange rip your plywood into 2 23 1/2″ x 96″ sheets. This plan is great because it uses almost exactly a half sheet, so if you need 2 bedside tables it works out perfectly.
Attach your drawer casing to the sides by using your Kreg Jig. (You could also countersink 1 1/4″ screws from the outside, but, as always, the Kreg Jig gives you a stronger, more secure hold with less holes to fill when finishing.) While all of your sides are open, now would be a good time to attach the drawer slides to the inside of your casing. This way, you’re not trying to fit your arm into the tiny drawer space later on down the road. The drawer slide should have a 3/4″ gap on the front, leaving additional room for your drawer front.
Attach the box to the top of your plywood back by either using your Kreg Jig from the inside of the box or countersinking 1 1/4″ screws from the back. The top and sides of your box should be flush with your plywood.
Attach the center shelf and divider together using your Kreg Jig. (There should be 11 3/8″ on each side of the divider on your plywood.) Once the two pieces are already attached, Kreg Jig the entire piece from underneath your shelf into your plywood back. You have two options when it comes to better securing your center divider: you can either Kreg Jig it into your plywood back and the shelf top, or you could countersink your screws from behind. Usually I’m all about the Kreg Jig, but by countersinking from the back it will give you less holes to fill in the future. But, either method would work.
Assemble your drawer using your Kreg Jig as shown above. Attach the bottom with 1 1/4″ finishing nails and wood glue. Screw in your bottom mount drawer slide and fit it into your drawer. There should be a 3/4″ gap in the front to leave room for your drawer front.
Once your drawer is inside of your end table, line up your drawer front leaving a 1/8″ gap on all sides. Attach it to your drawer using 1 1/4″ finishing nails and wood glue. (This step will be even easier if you lay your bedside table down on its back.)
Finish your project as desired! For tips on finishing, check out the Lazy Girl’s Guide to Finishing.