Nightstands are a must. A place to store your books, some chapstick, and charge your phone while you rest at night. Everyone needs a nightstand and they’re an easy way to add some new design to your space.
Our guest bedroom has bold colors, lots of brass, and a patterned feature wall. Since everything else in the room was going to make a statement, we needed something to be simple. Simple nightstands were the perfect option. And the floating design makes them a bit more modern and gives you the feeling that they are built-in like a hotel.
So are you ready for an easy project? A project that you can complete from start to finish in a day? Are you ready to give your bedroom a facelift with a clean and simple design that would look great in most rooms? Yes? Then let’s stop talking and let’s start DIYing!
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What You’ll Need
How to make floating nightstands
Step 1: Cut your wood
Cut your 1x10x8 into 4 – 17″ boards and 4 – 5.5″ boards.
Step 2: mark studs
Bring your 17″ boards up to the room that the nightstands will live. Use your stud finder to locate if there are studs where you would like to hang your night stands. Even if you can only hit one stud, that’s better than none.
- If there are studs, mark your 17″ boards where they will hit the studs. Pre-drill for pocket holes in these locations.
- If there are no studs, drill 2-3 pocket holes evenly across your boards.
Step 3: pre-drill
Pre-drill 2 pocket holes using your Kreg Jig on one long side of your 5.5×9.25 boards. Note, the boards are 9.25″ wide, not 10″. If you aren’t sure why, check out our wood sizing and selection guide.
Pre-drill the four corners of the bottom of your nightstand (a 17″ board) using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your screws.
Then, using a drill bit that is larger than the head of your screws, drill over these holes, but only 1/8-1/4″ deep. This will countersink the screws so that you will not see them when looking at the nightstand head-on.
Make sure the larger side of the hole is on the same side as your pocket holes. This will be the bottom of the bottom.
optional step 4: add an outlet
Measure the back of your outlet extension cord to determine what size hole you will need to cut. You can either measure this out on the top of your nightstand (one of the 17″ boards), or you can measure it on a piece of paper/cardboard and cut that out to use as a guide.
If you opt for the paper/cardboard option, you can easily visualize and position where you want the outlet to be placed. However, you choose to do it, mark where you want to cut on the top of your nightstand.
Cut the hole for your outlet cover. Start by drilling holes in each of the corners with a drill bit that is slightly larger than your jigsaw blade. This will give you a spot to insert your jigsaw blade so that you can cut along your lines.
Note: If you tape along where you want to cut, it will help serve as a guide and prevent splintering of the wood.
Step 5: sand, stain, and seal
Sand all of your boards using 80-220 grit sandpaper
Note: If you want an even smoother finish, you can continue sanding using high grit sandpaper. Start with the lower grit and then sand with a higher grit and then another higher grit. The higher the grit, the smoother the finish will be. Make sure to start with 80-120 before moving onto higher grits.
Stain or paint your nightstands. You can also paint and stain after assembling, but it is easier to get all the corners if you stain before.
If you want to fill your pocket holes with wood putty, stain after you assemble. We strategically place our pocket holes so they will be seen from minimal places so that we don’t have to fill them in.
Seal your nightstands by following the instructions on your polyurethane can.
Step 6: assemble
Attach the top of the nightstand to either side using the pocket holes that you pre-drilled in step 3. Be sure that all of the pocket holes are on the inside of the nightstand so that they are not easily visible.
If you are adding the built-in charger, determine where you want the extension cord to run out. We decided the bottom back corner to minimize visibility. Use a drill bit that is larger than the extension cord to drill a hole. You will place the cord through this hole when you install the charger.
Attach the bottom of the nightstand to either side by screwing into the holes you created in step 4. The larger side of the hole should be facing outward so that the head of the screw can sink into it.
Insert your outlet box into the hole that you cut and weave the cord through the hole that you cut.
Step 7: hang your nightstands
Determine where you would like the nightstands on the wall. As a general rule, your nightstands should be 2-6″ higher than the top of your mattress.
You might look at our pictures and be thinking, um you didn’t follow the rule you just gave about nightstand height. Don’t worry, we will. We are planning to make a new bed frame to match the rest of the room and it will be lower than the current bed.
- If you have studs, drill into the studs using the pocket holes you pre-drilled in step 2. Place a level on top to keep things level.
- If you don’t have studs, hold your nightstand up to your wall where you would like it to be placed and mark the wall where the pocket holes are. Place a level on top to ensure everything is straight. Pre-drill your wall and insert your drywall anchors (make sure to select drywall anchors that will support the weight of the nightstand plus whatever you want to place on or in the nightstand). Put your nightstand against the wall and screw it into the wall.
Now that you have 2 awesome floating nightstands, don’t forget to send us some pictures. We would love to see what you created!
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