Thursday, August 1, 2013

Making A nightstand: Guest Post by Home Decor by Eva

Hello there! My name is Eva Stephen (owner: I am absolutely honored to be writing a contribution as a guest for Tales of a Trophy wife. Sharing my thoughts to Tara’s readers is indeed a pleasure. I hope you will enjoy my handy yet crafty DIY woodworking. Here it goes, T!

DIY Woodworking: Making a Nightstand
Wood is the most pervasive building material around.  It’s used to make buildings, for art, and for the most functional things in our lives from shelves to doors to tables.  The material is beautiful, sturdy and can be very simple to work with.  Wood also reminds us of the living breathing thing it used to be, and daily inspires creation of something it’s never been before.  Today we are going to make a nightstand because it’s a simple project to start with, yet you can get really creative in the design and execution.  This project is designed to help you get started with wood working and make it clear just how easy it can be when inspiration strikes!

Wood nails (if you don’t have than visit Wickes to see a great collection)
Sand paper – both fine and for raw wood
Hammer (or Hatchet) can be found at Clas Ohlson online store.
Need a new mattress or duvet to go with you fabulous nightstands? Check out the selection at Shop4Furniture.

How To:
The Local Hardware Store or Lumber Company
1.       To save money ask a staff person where the broken or unsellable pile of wood is.  Hardware stores and lumber companies inevitably have an area where damaged wood is saved and sold for very cheap.  If it’s a small hardware store the pile will be smaller, if it’s a lumber company I’ve seen massive amounts of this damaged wood to choose from.  I chose a beautiful Cedar plank and a painted thinner plank that they charged me $5 for.  This is a normal price for a damaged piece of wood, you get incredible deals.

2.       Figure out the dimensions you will need for the different pieces of the nightstand after settling on a design.  Measure this out on the lumber, and use a pencil to mark the wood with a notch.  Ask the lumber staff to cut the wood down for you.  Usually for only a couple pieces they will waive the charge for cutting.  I had them cut the Cedar into 12 inch pieces for the two shelves, one 26 inch piece for the back, and 26 inches for the legs made from the painted wood.  Base your dimensions on how much space you have around your bed, and what you fancy for a design to be the most functional for you.
3.       You’ll find all the other materials you need at the hardware store. 
At Home

1.        Always sand raw wood before you start the project.  Use Raw Wood Sandpaper to start with.  Focus on the areas that may have damages and could give splinters.  Sand those down really well, and then give the rest of the raw wood a once over.  Use your Fine Sandpaper to then go over everything again.  Always sand with the grain of the wood.

2.       Some of my wood pieces had some damages on them.  Strategically place these on the underside of the shelves for example.  I also used a piece that had a really beautiful wood knot for the top shelf to show off the character.

3.       The following picture is the shape we’re going for.  I find it’s much easier, especially as a beginner, to have someone lend you a hand for this part.  We’re going to attach the back to the top shelf.  Place one of the 12 inch pieces perpendiculars to the ground.  Have your helper hold the back parallel to the ground with the shelf at the top of the back piece.  Set the nail with your thumb and pointer finger at the base of the nail on the wood.  The most important thing is to drive the nail in straight.  If you start off or if the nail goes crooked, start over right away by pulling the nail out.  Use the hammer to strike the head of the nail firmly, but not so hard you swing and miss.  Safety first!  Drive two nails in evenly spaced apart for the first shelf.  Repeat for the lower shelf.

4.       The back and shelves should now be firmly attached.  Now we’re going to attach the two side pieces, one on each side.  They need to be spaced toward the front otherwise the nightstand will be off balance.  The more toward the front the planks are, the better balanced the night stand will be.  I thought this struck a balance between the design I wanted and structural integrity.  Drive in two nails per shelf on the side pieces using the same technique as before.
5.       You can see that even with the same size pieces there are multiple formations you can make!  This is a his and hers set.  The original design is good for me because I like to have a lamp at the bedside and I have room for books underneath.  The other design is great for holding more books because it’s a little more sturdy, but it can’t hold a lamp unless it’s tall and skinny.  I also added some neighborhood flowers in old beer bottles and canning jars which is a nice colorful touch!


  1. Wow! This is so nice and useful. I was really looking forward for a creative woody project for this. Using the damaged wood is a very smart move. But wanted to ask, where will I get these from? Im sure wont be an easy job to get a hold on these !
    Good job!
    Love Jessica x


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