Plywood Open Nightstand

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Free woodworking plans to build simple nightstands out of plywood. Features a drawer and open shelving. You can build 2 nightstands out of 1 sheet of 4' x 8' plywood plus 3 quarter sheets for the drawer and back.

This is a relatively easy piece of bedroom furniture you can build with tools most DIY'ers have. Made from real plywood (since you choose your own wood) and not particle board like most furniture seems to be these days.


Dimensions: 22-1/2"W x 26"H x 19"

What You'll Need


The following material list will make 2 nightstands.
  • (1) 3/4" 4' x 8' sheet of plywood or 4 2' x 8' quarter sheets
  • (1) 1/2" 2' x 4' quarter sheet of plywood
  • (2) 1/4" 2' x 4' sheets of plywood
  • (86) 1-1/4" coarse thread Maxi-Loc pocket hole screws
  • (6) 1-1/4" tapered head wood screws
  • (4) 1" round head wood screws
  • (2) pairs of drawer slides
  • (28) feet of 3/4" veneer edgebanding
  • Staples, brads or 3/4" wood screws to attach the back
  • Wood glue
  • Assorted sandpaper
  • Stain/finish or primer paint


  • Drill and assorted bits
  • Circular saw with guide, track saw or table saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • Iron (for edgebanding)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Sanding block or finish sander
  • Painting/staining supplies
Make sure you understand how to use all the tools properly and follow all safety precautions.

Cut List

  • (4) 25-1/4" x 17-1/4" 3/4" Plywood Sides
  • (2) 22-1/2" x 19" 3/4" Plywood Tops
  • (2) 20" x 16-1/2" 3/4" Plywood Bottoms
  • (2) 20" x 4-1/2" 3/4" Plywood Bases
  • (2) 19-3/4" x 6" 3/4" Plywood Drawer Fronts
  • (6) 20" x ~4" 3/4" Plywood Stretchers
  • (4) 14-3/4" x 5" 1/2" Plywood Drawer Box Sides
  • (4) 17-1/2" x 5" 1/2" Plywood Drawer Box Front/Backs
  • (2) 25-1/4" x 21-1/2" 1/4" Plywood Backs
  • (2) 18" x 14-1/4" 1/4" Plywood Drawer Bottoms

Cut Plan

3/4" Plywood

The main elements of the nightstand are made out of 3/4" plywood. You'll need 2 quarter sheets per nightstand or 1 full sheet to make two nightstands.

Note: Only one dimension given for stretchers. The length is the important measurement for the stretchers. You can make them any width that is easiest for you as long as they're at least 3" wide. Since I don't have a tablesaw to cut my plywood with, I usually cut the stretchers longer than necessary with my circular saw and guide and cut them to finished length with my miter saw once I'm ready to attach them after measuring the working cabinet.

Full Sheet

Quarter Sheets

The cut plan below is for one nightstand. If you're making two you'll need to duplicate the cuts on the following 2 2' x 4' sheets for a total of 4 sheets. The formaldehyde freem PureBond 3/4 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft. Cherry Plywood 1703 from Home Depot is a good choice and they're currently eligible for free shipping.

1/2" Plywood

You'll need one sheet of 1/2" plywood to make the drawer boxes for both nightstands. A good choice for the drawer boxes is PureBond 1/2 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft. Maple Plywood.

1/4" Plywood

You'll need one quarter sheet of 1/4" plywood for the back and drawer bottom. Two if you're making two nightstands. Since part of the back will be seen through the open shelf it's important for the 1/4" plywood to match the species of the 3/4" plywood. You can use PureBond 1/4 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft. Cherry Plywood.

Step 1

Apply veneer edgebanding to the top of the Base and drill pocket holes as shown.  Place the Bottom piece upside down on a flat work surface so you can attach the Base to it. Make sure the Base is also upside down so that the veneered edge is touching the work surface. Use wood glue and 1-1/4" coarse head screws to attach the Bottom to the Base through the pocket holes. Make sure the pieces line up and are square.

Step 2

Apply veneer edgebanding to the front edges of both Side pieces then attach one side at a time to the Base/Bottom piece from the previous step using 1-1/4" screws and glue. The bottom of the Side should be even with the bottom of the Base and the edge with the edgebanding should be on the same side as the base as well. Make sure everything goes together square.

Step 3

Make sure all three stretchers are the correct length to keep the nightstand square. Attach veneer edgebanding to one of the long edges of 2 of the stretchers. Drill 4 pocket holes in each stretcher.

Attach two of the three stretchers. One to the top front (with edgebanding out) and one on the back top (no edgebanding) as shown. 

Step 4

Attach the 1/4" plywood Back to the back of the nightstand. You can use staples, 5/8" - 3/4" brads or 3/4" wood screws. If you screw the back on make sure to drill pilot holes and countersink holes first to avoid splitting the plywood sides.

Step 5

Cut the Drawer Front so that it fits in between the 2 Sides and the top Stretcher with about a 1/8" gap all around after applying veneer edgebanding along each edge of the Drawer Front. Measure the height of the Drawer Front and add 1/4" to it. That's the distance you need to screw the remaining Stretcher from the top/front Stretcher. Apply veneer edgebanding to the front of it and drill 4 pocket holes on the side facing the top stretcher.

Step 6

Build the Drawer Boxes. The measurements assume side mounted drawer slides that require a 1/2" space between the drawer box and side of the nightstand. You'll need to cut a 1/4" rabbet on the bottom of all the drawer side pieces to accept the drawer bottom. The easiest way to do this is if you have a router table. If you don't use can use a circular saw set at 1/4" depth.

When you're done with the drawer box, attach the drawer slides to the sides of the cabinet and the drawer box according to the specifications of the slide.

Step 7

Wrap all four edges of the top with veneer edgebanding. Drill pocket holes on the top of the Sides and the back Stretcher to attach the Top to the nightstand from underneath using 1-1/4" pocket screws. Use 1-1/4 wood screws countersunk into the front Stretcher. The back and the sides should have a 1/2" overhang. The front should over hang 1".

Step 8

Insert the drawer box into the drawer slides and place a strip of double sided tape on the front of the drawer box. Position the drawer front on the drawer box leaving an even gap all around. Press the Drawer Front into the tape to temporarily hold it in place.  Carefully pull out the drawer by pulling on the drawer box from underneath and use 2 1" round head wood screws to attach the drawer box to the drawer front from inside the drawer box.  Once secured drill the holes for your drawer pull and install.

Step 9

Prepare your nightstands for finishing by filling in any holes with wood filler, sanding and then removing all sanding dust. Prime and paint or stain and polyurethane how you'd like.

1 comment :

  1. Thank you. Looking for plans for a nightstand for my Granddaughter.