DIY Wood Nightstand with Drawer

We’re sharing the last project from our bedroom makeover – our DIY wood nightstand with a drawer! We actually weren’t sure if we were going to share this one as a DIY or not, it’s a little bit more involved than what we typically share. But we’ve had some questions about it, and we did capture the process, so we decided to share as simply as we could how we did it. Hopefully the step photos help show the process a little more for those thinking about tackling this project!

For my nightstand, I wanted a simple look and I wanted it to include a drawer so I could hide the things that aren’t as pretty, like tissues and cough drops, and keep the top from looking too cluttered. The design actually allowed for a pretty big size drawer, which is really nice.

We used ambrosia maple to make the nightstand from, it’s one of my favorite types of wood to use since the natural pattern in the wood is so nice. We did a cut out half circle instead of using a drawer pull or handle, and I like the minimal, slightly modern look that brings to the stand. Always gotta blend that mix of modern and natural with a hint of the old farmhouse we’re living in!

I love how this DIY wood nightstand turned out. It’s so nice to be able to customize things so it’s the right size and height for what works in our space! You can see the stool we made to use as a nightstand on the other side of the bed here.

nightstand with one drawer with vase and books on it
bedroom with eucalyptus on nightstand with brass lamp
pieces of wood cut to size and pieces of wood clamped together
drill screwing into wood and pocket hole jig on wood
piece of wood with dowel pins and wood clamped together
drill screwing pieces of wood together and drill screwing back of wood on drawer
pieces of wood cut to size and some pieces of wood put together for drawer
drill screwing into a piece of wood for a wood drawer


  • wood boards (we used ambrosia maple)
  • 3/4” plywood
  • 1/4” plywood
  • table saw
  • mitre saw
  • circular saw
  • straight edge
  • router 
  • rabbiting bit
  • clamps
  • framing square
  • pocket hole jig and screws
  • screws for attaching back and drawer front
  • coping saw
  • dowel pins
  • drill bits 
  • drill
  • glue
  • clear polyurethane finish


Cut your boards so that you can glue up pieces large enough to cut top, sides and drawer front out of.

  • sides – 12” x 23”
  • top – 12” x 17”
  • drawer front – 7 1/4” x 15 1/4”

Cut the top and sides and drawer front to size.

Mark out and drill the holes for dowel pins to join the top and the sides.

Drill pocket holes on the inside top of the sides.

Drill holes and glue and clamp the sides to the top.

Screw in the pocket hole screws.

Rabbit the back of the top and sides down to 7” from the top and 5/16” deep

Cut a piece of 3/4” plywood to fit between the sides and a depth from the front of the stand to the rabbit in the back minus the thickness of the drawer front.

Drill pocket holes in the bottom of the piece. 

Cut a 6-1/8” wide spacer and place it between the plywood and the top, use pocket hole screws to fasten the plywood to the sides.

Cut a pice of 1/4” plywood for the back and screw in place.

From a piece of 3/4” plywood, cut the sides of the drawer. The sides are the depth of the plywood drawer shelf, minus 1/8”; and the front and back are the width of the opening, minus the thickness of the two drawer sides and 1/8”. 

Use the table saw to cut a dado for the drawer bottom 3/8” up from the bottom. 

Cut a 1/4” plywood bottom. 

Drill pocket holes at the ends of the front and back drawer pieces. 

Glue and screw the drawer together with the bottom in place. 

Cut the drawer front to width.

Draw a 3” half circle on the top of the drawer front in the center and cut out with a jig saw. Cut a 4” half circle out of the front side of the drawer in the center. 

Attach the drawer front to the drawer, so that you have an even gap on all three sides. 

Sand and apply finish.

wood nightstand with drawer against white wall
wood nightstand with brass lamp next to a bed

You can see more of the bedroom here.



Bed – DIY | Accent Wall – DIY | Duvet Cover – c/o Magic Linen | Waffle Blanket – c/o Magic Linen | Lumbar Pillow Cover – c/o Magic Linen | Striped Sheet Set – c/o Magic Linen | White Pillows – Target | Brass Lamps – Lamps Plus | Minimal Planter – Convivial Production | Tall Ceramic Vase – no longer available, similar one that I like more and now want to get 😁

© 2018 The Merrythought Collective, LLC | Logo by Craig Pierce