Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Oh Yeah, We Built Night-Stands!

So, remember that SUPER SECRECT project I've been babbling on about for ages now? Well, it's done! They're all done! What are they you ask? Why, night-stands, of course!

This one's mine :)

Now, I don't have a picture of it (I should, really) but up until now I've been using an empty box as a night-stand, and I cannot tell you how many times I've knocked the damn thing over trying to turn my alarm off and had all of my things go flying. Grr. Very frustrating.
So  way back in December my husband and I decided to rectify this grievous error by making ourselves a pair of matching custom night-stands. Easy, right?

Well it was actually pretty darned easy, just a bit time consuming, but I'll get to that later. In the mean time, let me should you how we made that gorgeous night-stand from this pile of wood:

Now we absolutely have to give credit where credit is due. The original plans for this night-stand come from the amazing and talented Ana White. The night-stands are adapted from her Narrow Cottage End Table plans. But wait, there's more credit to be distributed.

When I first had the idea to build our own night-stands, I immediately consulted with my personal friend, Google. And he recommended a blog called Attempts At Domestication, where they were hard at working building their own night-stands. They had already done the hard work of adjusting Ana's plans to fit a night-stand instead of an end-table, and as you can see we borrowed extensively from their design. (We adjusted the height and such, but really... we're thieves, plain and simple). We also took to heart their suggestion of investing in a pocket jig and well, we couldn't have made this project without it, so thanks!

Okay, now back to our project. We had a pile of wood all cut and ready to go... so what to do net? Assembly, of course! We busted out or brand new Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig (at ~ $40, easily the most expensive part of the project, but totally worth it), and got to work!

First up, we put together the pieces that would become the sides of the night-stands. As you might be able to tell from this picture, we opted to make both night-stands at once. This is because we both needed night-stands, and because we're very lazy people. I knew that if we didn't make both at once, that second stand would never get finished.

Ta-Da, sides are assembled!
Next up was to put the entire "base" of the stands together. This includes the sides & back, and the drawers.

This involved a lot of clamping, and much use of our (by now) beloved Kreg Jig. It wasn't super easy and seemed to take a lot longer than it actually did, but we eventually got the base of the night-stands fully assembled.

We opted not to go the drawer-slide route, and instead just tacked a piece of scrap plywood onto the bottom of the stand to serve as a drawer runner. It actually worked pretty well (after a coat or two of some candle-wax) and was certainly easier. Considering how small our drawers are, and the fact that so far I've just got my kindle and my glassed in mine, I'm pretty happy with that decision.

The next step (that we actually did first, shhh!) was to put together the tops. Again, our Kreg Jig was invaluable here. It allowed us to assemble boards flush to one another without any screws or nails showing at all.

Look Ma, no screws! Well, none that you can see at least.
I realize that for some reason, I don't have a single picture of us assembling the drawers themselves. Weird, because I'm usually fairly obsessive about documenting every step, but what can you do. I promise you that we did in fact build drawers. Here, you can see them in this picture:

There's everything drying off in our storage space after receiving a first coat of paint/stain.
Now I should mention that one of the reasons that this project took us ~3 months to finish is the fact that we don't have a good work space in our apartment. My husband has a nice "shop" area, but it's at his parent's house. Which meant schlepping over there whenever we wanted to work on these. Add in my husband's full time job, my two part-time jobs and the fact that we had a VERY cold and snowy couple of months, and well... you can see how things just took a bit longer than we were expecting.
So when it was finally time to paint and stain, we jumped at the chance to take our night-stands home and work on them (we've got a small balcony and a drop-cloth, perfect for this task).

Our beautiful stained night-stands :)

The whole project took a bit longer than we wanted, but the cost came in at about ~$75, and that's for both night-stands. I actually have a break-down of how much we spent on each block of wood, but I don't want to bore you more than I already have. The Kreg Jig was ~ $40 and worth every penny. And I didn't document this very well, but I think that we spent about $20 on paint, stain and polyurethane. All in all, a pretty cheap project, and certainly a lot cheaper than buying night-stands at a place like Art Van (where we got our amazing, but very expensive bed).

So that's about it, our night-stands. We're thrilled to have them, and we both had so much fun making them that we're already onto the next project! I won't keep you guys in the dark this time though, I'll go ahead and tell you that we're using another Ana White design to make a kitchen table for ourselves, since we uh, still don't have one. So stay tuned for that!

Painted, stained and assembled with matching drawer-knobs.
And don't they look beautiful with our anniversary art hanging over them?

So what have you guys been working on lately? Any cool DIY projects? I'd love to hear all about them in the comments!

And P.S. Go check out and both amazing blogs, very inspiring and well worth the read!

1 comment:

  1. They turned out great Caryn!! I love the color you painted them!