DIY Desk or Nightstand – Free Woodworking Plans

Today I am sharing the free woodworking plans for the side tables of the desk.  I designed this part of the desk to be very multi-functional!  I am using it as part of my desk system, but these babies also double as nightstands.  Nightstands with hidden storage… Can I get an Amen?? Here it is with my desk!

DIY Desk System

Free Woodworking Plans - Desk DIY

Free Woodworking Plans

I shared the first part of this desk with you guys a few weeks ago, and you can see that HERE.  It has been really exciting for me to “need” a desk space.  When we started this little blog 6 years ago I never thought I would need a large desk to store a bunch of stuff, but here we are.  Makes me thankful.

So… Let’s get to it!  As always, you can download the FREE set of plans for this project HERE or the button below!  We have an awesome friend named Jay of Jay’s Custom Creations.  He puts all of our original ideas and plans into printable plans for you guys!  Go check him out and give him some Shanty love!

Print Free Plans - DIY Nightstand

As always, I would call this a very simple and easy build!  I have broken it down for you, but let me know if you have any questions at all!

The box of this little table uses hardwood plywood.  I chose to use Purebond Plywood for mine!  Purebond is our favorite product to use when plywood is part of a build.  It looks like expensive hardwood at a fraction of the cost.  It’s made here in the USA and it’s formaldehyde-free making it safe to work with!  You can find it at the Home Depot.  We always have the guys there cut it down for us to make it easier to get into the car.

Home Depot cut wood

The first step on these tables is to build the box.  I used my Kreg Jig for this part.  I made 3/4″ pocket holes on my top and bottom pieces.

Kreg Jig K5 Model

I used a pencil to mark where the bottom board would line up on a side piece and added a line of Gorilla Wood Glue before attaching the bottom piece.

Building a nightstand

I used my Kreg Right Angle Clamp to hold the bottom board in place while attaching with 1.25″ pocket hole screws.  I love this clamp!  It’s like having an extra arm around!

Pocket Holes on base of nightstand

I attached my top board the same way.  Make sure it’s flush with the edge of the side pieces.

Kreg Jig Right Angle Clamp

And you have a box!

Box of Nightstand

I added the shelf piece next.  This part is optional and you can line it up inside the table wherever you want to fit your own storage needs.  I used 3/4″ pocket holes and 1.25″ pocket hole screws for this part as well.

Shelf of the nightstand

I attached a piece of 1×2 on the front of the shelf using my Ryobi AirStrike brad nailer and wood glue.  This covers the rough edge of the plywood.

Ryobi AirStrike Brad Nailer

Now to trim this bad boy!  Simple.  I used whitewood for all of my trim pieces.  We have noted the cuts in the plans, but I really like to measure this part as I go.  Sometimes you may be of a very tiny bit, and that will be most evident when adding trim.  I used a line of wood glue under each board.

attach trim pieces

Then, I attached them using my brad nailer with 1.25″ brad nails.

Attaching Trim with Brad Nailer

I didn’t worry about the nail holes on this part.  I am going with a weathered wood look, and I actually love the look of the exposed nail holes.  You can fill yours if you wish… Just be sure to use stainable filler if you plan to stain.

I used my Kreg Jig again to put together the face frame of the table.   This part uses 3/4″ pocket holes and 1.25″ pocket hole screws as well.  You can see my Kreg face clamp hard at work here….

Kreg Jig Pocket Holes

Once I had the entire face frame assembled, I attached it to my ‘box’ using wood glue and my brad nailer.

DIY Desk or Nightstand

Time for the doors… AKA Mom’s  best friend…

You build the doors the same as the face frame using the Kreg Jig.  Once those frames are built, attach a piece of 1/4″ Purebond plywood to the back of the frame.  I used wood glue and 3/4″ staples with my AirStrike Stapler for this part.  Staples are a good option when using thin plywood like this.

Making a panel door

I kept the doors off for now, so I could stain them.  My final step was adding the side pieces of trim.  These are 1×4 cut with a 10 degree angle.  This is a very easy cut to make with a miter saw.  Just set the saw to cut a 10 degree miter cut and cut them according to the plan.  I added a line of wood glue on each piece….

wood glue side piece

I attached them using my brad nailer and 1.25″ brad nails.

how to build a nightstand

My final steps were adding the plywood to the back of the tables and planking the top.  I used Purebond for the back and attached it using my stapler and no glue.  I decided to plank the top of the table with the same measurements that the plan calls for.  I just broke those up into more cuts to give it a ‘planked’ look.  I LOVE IT.  You can see it here…

Planked Wood Table Top

Let’s talk about the stain!

I used one of my new fav stain combos for the finish!  I started by staining the whole thing with Varathane wood stain in Weathered Grey.  You can find this at Home Depot!  It only requires one coat and dries in an hour… Yes please!

Weathered Gray Wood Stain

I wanted mine to look a bit more distressed, so I used Rust-Oleum decorative glaze on top of the stain once it dried.  You just brush this stuff on and then wipe the excess off.  Work on one side at a time as it does dry pretty quickly.  You can also find this at Home Depot.

Rustoleum Decorative Glaze


I found my hardware at Home Depot as well.  These are the pulls and hinges I used for my tables.  Just use your drill to attach both… Easy peasy.  I also added a small magnet closure on the bottom of the inside of the table to catch the door as it closes.

Hardware from Home Depot

Here are a few more shots of the progress!

Free Woodworking Plans - Desk DIY

DIY Desk System

Free Woodworking Plans - Desk System

I can’t wait to share part 3 with you guys soon!  This is such a fun system that can be easily modified to fit your own space!

I would LOVE for you to PIN and share this plan with all your friends!  You guys are great and we appreciate you so much!



  1. Raymond Nagy on July 26, 2019 at 6:23 pm

    where are the plans at?

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  3. Jamie Haag on December 29, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I am trying to get the plans for the desk but when I click Here it just takes me back to the page that says free diy desk or nightstand plans and nothing about the desk pops up:( I have been searching all over for the desk plans and I can’t get them. Could you please post a link for just this desk?

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