How to Build a Small Nightstand

Build your own small nightstand with a few building supplies that you can find at your local home improvement store. These simple step-by-step instructions are designed to build a small nightstand that's 14-inches square and 25-inches tall. Adjust the size of the wood panels and the table legs to build a custom nightstand to fit your space.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 wood panels, 14-inch-long-by-14-inches-wide-by-1½-inches-thick
  • 4 decorative table legs, 23-inches tall
  • Light grade sand paper
  • Stain and sponge or primer, paint and brushes
  • Sponge or cloth
  • Measuring tape
  • 8 "L" brackets
  • Screws and screw driver


    • 1

      Sand each wood panel and each table leg with light grade sandpaper to remove splinters and rough spots.

    • 2

      Apply a coat of stain or primer to one side of the wood panels and to all of the table legs. Spray stain or spray primer works best on round decorative legs. Let the coating dry. Flip the panels and legs over and apply stain or primer to the other side. Let it dry.

    • 3

      Lightly sand all of the wood surfaces and remove the sanding debris with a damp sponge or cloth. Apply another coat to each side of every piece of wood. Continue to finish the wood for your nightstand until you are pleased with the results.

    • 4

      Cover your work surface with a clean, soft cloth so you will not scratch your nightstand's finish as you build it. Place the four table legs on the cloth. Measure and mark 10-inches from the top of each leg.

    • 5

      Place one of the "L" brackets on each mark and then attach them to the legs with wood screws. Place one "L" brackets on the top of each leg so that the bracket is flush with the top edge. Attach the brackets with wood screws. Remove the legs from your covered work surface.

    • 6

      Place one of the finished wood panels face down onto the covered work surface. Let one side hang over the edge of your work table 4-inches. Flip one of your table legs upside down so that the bottom "L" bracket fits flush onto one corner of your wood panel. Attach the table leg to the wood panel. Repeat this process for the other extended corner. Rotate the exposed corner on your table and attach the brackets to four corners. This is the bottom shelf of your small nightstand.

    • 7

      Place the remaining wood panel face down on the covered surface. Line up the top "L" brackets of each table leg into the corners of the wood panel. Attach the brackets to the top panel with wood screws. Flip your small nightstand right side up and place it by your bed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add strips of decorative trim around the perimeter of the top shelf of your nightstand. Finish the trim the same as your nightstand, or to coordinate with the finish.
  • Wear a mask when you stain or paint.
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