Argie Bedside Tables


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


Dimensions as shown above.

Shopping List:


1 - 1x2 @ 6 feet long 1 - 1x4 @ 6 feet long 1 - 1x8 @ 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 Wood Glue Wood Filler Medium Grit Sandpaper Primer or Wood Conditioner Paint or Stain


Kreg Jig Miter Saw Table Saw Drill Nailer Sander Level Measuring Tape Carpenter’s Square Safety Glasses

Cut List:

Boards: 1 - 1x2 @ 21 1/2" - Base (long) 2 - 1x2 @ 15" - Base (short) 2 - 1x4 @ 21" - Drawer Inside (long) 2 - 1x4 @ 12 1/2" - Drawer Inside (short) 2 - 1x8 @ 8 1/4" - Center Divider 1 - 1x8 (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 - 1x8 @ 15 1/4" - Drawer Casing Side Plywood: 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

General Instructions:

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.

Step 1:

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.

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

Attach the top to your box by either using your Kreg Jig or countersinking 1 1/4" screws from the top.  All edges should be flush and square.

Step 4:

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.

Step 5:

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.

Step 6:

Repeat step 5 with your bottom shelf and divider.

Step 7:

Flip over your end table to attach your 1x2s to the bottom, leaving a 1/4" overhang on all sides.

Step 8:

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.

Step 9:

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.

11 Replies to “Argie Bedside Tables”

  1. These tables look absolutely incredible! I know you had a heck of a time finishing the stain, but it turned out beautifully!

    Finishing the bed you and I built turned out to be quite a bit more work than I had imagined! Once it got out of my car and all the pieces were set out, it was obvious more sanding was necessary. Finally got it painted after several coats… not to mention the fact that my only work space was outside with the wind. Sending you some photos of the finished piece — all set up — tonight. 🙂 I promise!!

    1. Thanks, Stacy! I knew you would totally understand – you were one of the only people to see them in progress! I’m so glad they’re done and that Argie loves them… now on to new fun projects… :-).

      I’m so excited to see pictures of the bed! I’m not surprised it needed a bit more finishing love. We were definitely rushing it in the end there after 14 hours straight of building. But – totally worth it! You’re the best building buddy a person could ask for. Time for another trip to socal to build!

      1. And Shane, it looks like your diagrams were made in SketchUp, yeah? If you still have the full/final one, any chance I could get it? I’m going to take a shot at making a scaled-down version.

        1. Hi Andrew! Yes, all of my diagrams are made using SketchUp. I have uploaded the “Argie Bedside Table” to the Google Warehouse. If you do a search for either the “Argie Bedside Table” or “Old Paint Design”, it will be there waiting for you. Good luck with your scaled down version!

    1. For what it’s worth, I used pine. (Just the standard Home Depot 3/4″ stuff.) I think my only regret was realizing too late I shouldn’t have mixed plywood with straight-up pine. (I messed up a couple times on this one and didn’t haven’t more plywood available.) It took the stain in a complete different way. For if you *don’t* intend to use a stain, definitely go with oak.

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