Step by step tutorial and build plans for a simple DIY kids bedside table with a bookshelf that is perfect to store bedtime books!
It can be a struggle to get the perfect bedside table in a little kid’s room.
They don’t really need a nightstand with drawers because let’s face it, drawers can quickly turn into bottomless pits.
Table of Contents
The Kid’s bedside table idea
This is what the situation looked like in our kid’s room –
It was an old Ikea shelf (that had been through a few makeovers over the years too) with canvas bins.
I made a list of things we needed in that space and it was pretty short –
- Some toys
It was pretty obvious, it needed to be a bookshelf of sorts in the form of a nightstand!
This is what we ended up with. And it only cost about $6!!
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- Lumber per plans
- Miter Saw
- Kreg Jig
- 1 ¼″ pocket hole screws
- Brad nailer or 1 ¼″ finish nails and hammer
- Drill/ driver
- Kreg right angle clamp
- Wood glue
- Wood putty
How to build a kids nightstand
This is a very simple and easy project perfect for beginner woodworkers. All you need to know is to make the cuts and then assemble using pocket holes.
Check out my exclusive pocket hole course to learn EVERYTHING you need to know!
Step 1 – Make the cuts
- Make the cuts per the plans.
- Make pocket holes.
The material is ¾” thick, so the setting on the Kreg Jig will be ¾”.
Step 2 – Build the frame
- Attach the shelves to the sides using glue and pocket hole screws.
Make sure that the pocket holes for the sides are facing outwards. These need to be accessible to attach the top.
Step 3 – Add railing
- Attach the front rail using wood glue and pocket hole screws.
This railing supports the books. If you want, you can also attach it using wood glue and finish nails from the sides.
Step 4 – Add back
- Attach hardboard or ¼” plywood to the back between the two shelves for the book storage area using wood glue and a brad nailer or a hammer and finish nails.
Step 5 – Attach top
- Attach the top leaving 1″ overhang on the sides and front.
You don’t want overhang on the back so you can put it up against the wall. I originally added an overhang in the back and toys would keep falling through.
Step 6 – Finish
- Fill all the holes with wood putty and sand.
- Stain or prime and paint as you like.
If you are painting, be sure to refer to my guide on how to paint unfinished pine to get a lasting finish!
I painted the table white and added some colorful stripes to the top using masking tape and my giant hoard of oops paints. I mean who can pass up a 50 cent paint pot in a color you don’t have?
Step 7 – Install
This is important.
Attach an anti-tip strap the table. Or you can simply add a couple of screws through the back into the studs.
As the bookshelf fills with books, it can get front heavy and topple. This is why it is important to anchor it to the wall.
Grab the printable pdf plans for this bedside table here by clicking the button below.
UPDATE – 5 years later – it is still going strong! Here it is, in the kid’s new shared room!
It has totally solved the problem of clutter and the room looks so much neater! It even looks so amazing in the brand new painted kids room!
It took less than 30 minutes and $6 for me to build because I had most of the supplies and scrap wood to use but if you have to buy all the wood, it should still be under $15.
These are my favorite kind of projects – big impact, low cost 🙂