Woodworking is my therapy… most days. I recently opened up about this on Instagram, but turning my therapeutic hobby into a business has been so amazing. But, it’s not often I get to build something nowadays without a looming deadline. So, this summer while I was on my break from my full time job, I decided to work on a project for me – a therapy project. Something to remind me why I started sharing my therapeutic hobby to begin with… and from that was born a set of floating nightstands with live edge drawers for our new apartment.
How To Build Floating Nightstands With Live Edge Drawers
This project post includes affiliate links that help support DIY Huntress. For my full disclosure policy, please click here.
Want to see this build in action? Check out the YouTube tutorial & please subscribe to my channel!
I am on this slow and steady process of turning the bedroom space in our new apartment into a cozy, homey space. I started a few weeks ago with a custom headboard (which, I’m low-key obsessed with)… and now it was time to focus on adding some nightstands. Since we have a storage bed, I knew we needed something that could hang on the wall. But, we also needed something with storage (because you can never have enough storage).
So, in walks in the idea to make a floating nightstand and give the drawer some pizazz (if that’s even still a word anyone uses anymore). In fact, I saw this live edge nightstand on Walmart’s website, and it totally inspired me to create something similar, but lose the resin pour and leave the void open as a handle instead.
I’m so stoked on this build! Here’s how I got it done.
What I Used:
(1) Live Edge Slab *
(1) 1 x 8 x 12′ Walnut Board *
(1) 1 x 5 x 6′ Poplar Boards *
(1) 1 x 6 x 4′ Poplar Board *
5/8″ Dowel (Optional)
Hangman French Cleat Hanger
(use code “DIYHUNTRESS15″ for 15% off)
1 ½” Wood Screws
1 ¼” Pocket Hole Screws
1 ¼” Brad Nails & Pin Nails
* For 1 Nightstand
Top @ 12 x 18 ½” **
Bottom @ 12 x 18 ½” **
(2) Sides @ 8 ½ x 12 **
Back Panel @ 6 ½ x 16 ¾ *
Drawer Front @ 6 ½ x 16 ¾ *
Drawer Back @ 4 ½ x 15″
Drawer Sides @ 4 ½ x 9 ¾
Drawer Bottom @ 8 ¼ x 15″
* Drawer front & back panel measurements are preliminary measurements that were cut to exact size during the build. Always make sure to double check the measurements of your particular build before cutting your pieces to size.
** Indicates parts that are made from 2 boards being laminated together. Make sure to check out tutorial for more information before building.
1. First step for me was to break my material down into manageable parts. To do this, I cut my pieces close to their final size on my miter saw (I kept them a little long to trim later). At this point, I only focused on the pieces I was using for the nightstand assembly. We’ll focus on the back panel and drawer later.
2. My lumber was not milled, so I ran it through my planer until it was flat and smooth.
3. Next, I brought the pieces to my table saw and ripped off the edges to create straight, clean edges for glue up.
4. After the wood was prepped, I began to glue them into their panels (2 top panels, 2 bottom panels, 4 side panels).
5. After leaving the panels clamped overnight, I came back the next day and ran them back through my planer and cut them down to their final dimensions, making sure to add a mitered corner to any piece that will be assembled to create the nightstand box.
6. Next, I began to glue the pieces together to create my nightstand boxes. I did this by aligning the pieces with painter’s tape, and then glueing and clamping everything together.
7. Next, it was time to work on the back panel. I cut the panel with my miter saw and then attached it to the back of the nightstand using pocket holes screws and wood glue. I made sure to inset the panel into the nightstand enough for the french cleat system to fit.
8. Once the nightstand itself was assembled, it was time to build the drawer. I started by laminating two pieces of 1 x 8″ poplar together to create two drawer bottoms.
9. Next, I cut the pieces for my drawer box from 1 x 5″ poplar.
10. Once the drawers were cut, I assembled the drawer box using wood glue and screws that I countersunk into the wood. I then hid these screw openings with 5/8″ dowels and wood glue.
11. I then attached the bottom of the drawer inside the box using brad nails.
12. Next, I cut my live edge slabs to size to fit in the drawer box as drawer fronts.
13. I then temporarily attached the drawer front to the box using pin nails.
Next I pulled the drawer out, and then permanently attached the drawer front using wood screws from the inside of the drawer face.
14. Next, I installed some wooden drawer pulls to stop the drawer from tipping out when in use. I learned this technique from John Peters’ YouTube video!
15. At this point it was time for finishing! I first filled any holes with wood putty and then sanded the piece.
16. I then applied an oil-based wood finish.
17. After letting the nightstands dry overnight, I came back the next day and installed the hanging system. I opted for this really awesome french cleat system from Hangman Products that I screwed directly into the back of the nightstand.
18. I then installed the nightstand in our apartment by using the other half of the cleat system with a built-in level. SO EASY.
19. I then hung up the nightstands!
I am SO stoked with the way these nightstands turned out. They just have so much character and are so practical for our new space!
P.S. How awesome are these battery powered lamps!?
I hope you all loved this project as much as I did! If so, make sure to Pin It for later!
But, until next time friends! Happy DIY’ing!