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How to Build a DIY Nightstand with a Drawer

Here’s how to build a simple and traditional bedside nightstand with a drawer and shelf, perfect for any decor style!

We’re all about modern, minimalist furniture here at Charleston Crafted, as evidenced by things like our modern side tables, console table and coffee table. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t recognize the importance of traditional furniture.

A couple years ago, we did a makeover of my mom’s bathroom in a single weekend. It really made a huge impact and made her want to update her bedroom and other parts of her home.

However, she still used her big, bulky furniture and needed something more functional and open. That’s where this DIY nightstand with a drawer comes in play.

If you want to build a side table from plywood and simple lumber, check out this tutorial!

Short on space? Check out our tutorial for how to build slim, floating nightstands!

DIY Nightstand with Drawer and Shelves - Charleston Crafted

DIY Nightstand with Drawer and Shelves

Fun fact- Well, this is the first project we’ve ever done with drawer slides.

They were actually super easy to install, but to add a sliding drawer requires you to build a drawer as well as the table and connect them.

I’m going to go over the basic steps for how to build this bedside table, but if you’d like the full set of plans, simply download them here!

Nightstand with drawer open

How to Build a Nightstand with a Drawer

This bedside table was built in three broad steps: build the base, build the drawer, and connect them.

Click here to get the full plans with material list, cut list and step-by-step instructions with computer model imagery for this nightstand with drawer!

Step one: build main base

First, we built the box of the nightstand with 1/2″ plywood. The box, however, doesn’t have a front or a top. Those get added in future steps.

The box was attached to the legs with pocket holes.

Step two: Add lower shelves

Next, we cut the wood for the two shelves.

The shelves were each four 1x4s joined together with pocket holes. We also used a router to make a nice edge around each shelf.

We joined the box to the legs first then the shelves inside the legs with pocket holes as well to create a stable base.

Nightstand base assembled

Step three: Building the Drawer

This nightstand has a fully functional drawer on drawer slides. This drawer adds valuable storage where you need it on a bedside table!

The drawer was made to be 1″ less wide than the table box and 1/2″ shorter. This way there would be room for the drawer slides.

The drawer itself is a simple box, with four sides and a bottom. The important thing to remember when building a drawer is to put your pocket holes on the BACK of the back piece and on the FRONT of the front piece. This way, they will be completely hidden in the end.

Nightstand drawer

Step four: How to Install Drawer Slides

We bought a pair of 14″ drawer slides that were super easy to install. There are all sorts of stories about how you can mess up drawer slides, but let me tell you the easiest possible way.

Installing drawer slides

The easiest way to install drawer slides in a nightstand is to place a piece of long 1/4″ plywood inside the box on each side, then put the drawer slides on top of the plywood.

Line the slides up with the front of the box and then extend them to their full length. Simply drill the slides into place with the plywood under them.

Now, put your drawer on top of the plywood and line up the drawer slides and screw them into place.

Read my full guide to installing drawer slides without a jig!

Finally, pull the 1/4″ plywood out. Boom, now your drawer has a 1/4″ clearance on the bottom of the drawer box.

Drawer installed on nightstand

Step five: Adding the Top and Drawer Face

The last steps were to add the top and drawer face. For this, we cut a drawer face and glued it onto the drawer front.

The top of this end table was made with four boards connected with pocket holes and glued onto the box.

Step six: stain and hardware

We finalized the build with stain, poly and a glam knob.

This DIY nightstand with a drawer is the perfect option for anyone going with a more traditional style. Having this piece as a bedside table allows for hidden storage and to have things on display.

Remember, if you want to download the DIY bedside table plans, you can get them here and build it yourself!

DIY Nightstand with Drawer and Shelves - Charleston Crafted
Yield: 1

How to Build a Nightstand with Drawer

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Active Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Estimated Cost: $10-50

This beautiful nightstand with a drawer and two shelves is a doable DIY project that will allow you to make a custom furniture piece for your bedroom. It can also be used as a side table or end table in another part of your home.


  • 1 sheet of 1/2" plywood
  • 3/4" boards of your choice


  • Table Saw
  • Drill
  • Pocket Hole Jig
  • Router


  1. Build the box top
  2. Connect the box top to the legs in the corners
  3. Build shelves and attach inside of legs
  4. Build drawer with pocket holes on outside
  5. Attach drawer to inside of box with drawer slides
  6. Attach drawer front to drawer with wood glue
  7. Attach table top to top of box with wood glue
  8. Stain, poly and add a knob.
  9. For full cuts and details, download our FREE PDF plans in post

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37 Easy and Chic DIY Nightstand Ideas You Can Build- Anika's DIY Life

Tuesday 26th of October 2021

[…] 12. Simple DIY Nightstand from Charleston Crafted […]


Friday 19th of March 2021

This project is amazing. I’ve always been to afraid to try such diy, but your wonderful step by step tutorial makes it look easy. Thanks for sharing

Nightstand with Drawer – Free Woodworking

Monday 6th of April 2020

[…] handsome nightstand features a drawer for storage as well as two open shelves. Follow along at the link and see how it […]


Tuesday 28th of January 2020

It turned out great and completely changed the look of my bedroom.

Enrique Giménez

Monday 27th of January 2020

Wow you make it look simple, great job.


Monday 27th of January 2020

Thanks Enrique! We try to share projects that are doable for our readers and show them the easiest way to do it!

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