DIY Reclaimed Pallet Wood Nightstand (West Elm Knockoff)

One of the reasons why I started building my own furniture was because I couldn’t afford to buy the pieces I was drooling over in the windows of stores (cue, “how much is that doggy in the window”, but sub “doggy” for “dresser”). That being said, I was pretty stoked when I was asked to join in on a knockoff furniture challenge with a slew of amazingly talented bloggers. Even cooler, our budget was less than $100. So, I made a replica of a $400 nightstand from reclaimed pallet wood and $40 in lumber. Even cooler, I partnered up with my amazing family at DAP Products to turn this vision into a budget-friendly reality!

How To Build A Reclaimed Pallet Wood Nightstand

west elm knockoff project

This project is sponsored by DAP Products.

P.S. There’s a YouTube video for this project! Check it out on my channel and subscribe for more videos!

If you have been following me since the beginning of time, you’ll know that I am obsessed with repurposing pallet wood. In fact, I learned most of my woodworking techniques on free wood from reclaimed pallets! If you can remember, my first YouTube tutorial was even a pallet project!

It’s been a while, but I have fallen back in love with pallet projects and the art of reclaiming used lumber. So much so, that I knocked off a $400 West Elm dresser utilizing a couple of pallets, scrap plywood, and $30 in lumber.

I think I did a pretty cool job. You be the judge!

West Elm:

west elm nightstand

DIY Huntress:

reclaimed pallet wood night stand

This is how I did it (and you can too)!

What You’ll Need:

DAP carpenter's wood glue

Table Saw
Miter Saw
Circular Saw (for pallets)
Planer (optional)
Pocket Hole Jig
Nail Gun
Doweling Jig (optional)
DAP Carpenter’s Glue
DAP Rapid Fuse
Wood Clamps
Carpenter’s Square
Tape Measurer
Danish Oil (Dark Walnut)
Spray Paint

Pallet Wood
(4) 2 x 4 x 8’ (cut to 1 x 1” square dowels)
(1) ½ Sheet ¾” Plywood
(1) ½ Sheet of ¼” Plywood
(1) Set 12” Drawer Slides
1 ¼” Pocket Hole Screws
2” Pocket Hole Screws

The Steps:

  1. First, I deconstructed my pallets. I like to use a circular saw to cut the ends away from the stringers. I then use a hammer to pry the pallet away from the center support. I prefer this method, because it means less de-nailing for me later.

Tip:Check out my Pallet Safety post on how to find the best pallets for crafting and building.

how to break down pallets

2. Once the pallets were deconstructed, I used a hammer to knock the remaining nails out of the wood. I made sure to be really thorough because I didn’t want any nails to get caught in the saw or planer later.

how to take nails out of pallet wood

3. After prepping the pallets, I ran them through the table saw to create two clean edges. I cut my pallets to 2” wide.

how to cut wood on a table saw

4. Next, I began the glue-up process. I did this by applying DAP’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue to the ends of the boards and then used clamps attach them.

how to create wood panels

how to join pallets togetherhow to do a glue up

I first glued up the following:

(4) Panels @ 13” wide (two side panels, one top, and one bottom)
(1) Drawer Panel at 19” tall and 24” wide
(1) Shelf Panel at 12 x 22 ½”

how to glue wood panels

5. Once dry, I then cut the panels to their final size.

how to cut pallet wood

(1) Top @ 13 x 24”
(1) Bottom @ 13 x 22 ½”
(2) Sides @ 13 x 18”
(1) Shelf @ 12 x 22 ½”
(1) Drawer Front @ 19 x 24”

how to trim wood on table saw

  1. After cutting the panels to size, I ran them through my surface planer to get all of the boards to ¾” thick. This was totally optional, but I love the way it revealed the hidden beauty of the boards!how to clean pallet woodhow to plane pallet wood

7. Once all of the panels were prepped, I drilled dowel holes into each board on the end in which they were to be connected (the only panel I did not drill into was the shelf). I used a doweling jig for this and set the depth of the jig to match the dowel.

Because the top and bottom panels were being drilled into at narrower widths, I used the dowels to mark the depth according to the needs of the boards.

how to measure wood dowels

how to drill straight holes for dowels

how to use doweling jig

8. After drilling the connections for the dowels, I used glue and clamps to glue the pieces together. I also used a carpenter’s square to make sure all everything was squared up.

how to join wood together

how to use wood dowels

how to square wood

how to clamp wood

9. Once the frame for the nightstand was assembled, I added the shelf at 19” from the bottom using wood glue, brad nails, and clamps. I also made space at the front of the shelf for the drawer front to fit in to.

how to join wood box

10. Once the main part of the stand was built, I created the drawer box at 12 x 21 ½” using ¾” scrap plywood, wood glue, and pocket holes.

kreg foreman pocket holes plywood

Tip: If you are looking to build this, the drawer box dimensions may differ based on the drawer slides you use, so create your box accordingly.

11. Next, I milled my 2×4 boards into 1″ x 1” square dowels to create the base. I cut them into the following dimensions:

(4) Legs @ 8”
(4) Short Sides @ 11”
(4) Long Sides @ 22”

how to cut 2x4 wood

how to mill wood on table saw

12. After milling the pieces for the base, I attached them to the legs using 2” pocket hole screws and wood glue.

how to drill pocket holeshow to make a table base

13. I then patched and sanded the entire piece using DAP Plastic Wood X.

how to patch wood

14. Next, I painted the base with a metallic charcoal color and set it aside to dry and stained the nightstand using timber oil.

how to make wood look like metal

how to stain pallets

15. Once dry, I attached the base to the nightstand body by countersinking screws into the opening for the drawer box.

16. I then installed the drawer slides and the drawer box.

how to install drawer slides

how to install drawer slides

17. Once the drawer box was installed, I attached the face frame to the drawer using DAP Rapid Fuse to hold it in place, and then secured it using screws from the back.

how to install drawer front

how to attach drawer front to drawer

18. Totally optional, but I was hating the exposed plywood on the drawer box, and decided to install scraps from the 2×4 cut offs to hide them with brad nails and wood glue.

19. Lastly, I installed a ¼” back panel to the space behind the drawer box with DAP Rapid Fuse.

how to build a drawer

This project was a total labor of love this month, but I am SO happy with the way it turned out!

pallet wood project side table

It’s seriously amazing what you can make with free materials!

What do you think of my knockoff project? Want to save it for later? Pin It!

Guys… it is so possible to have what you want without having to break the bank to create it. Don’t believe me yet, check out some other incredible knockoff projects from some of my other blogging friends for more ideas!

Addicted 2 DIY: Farmhouse Console Table
RemodelaCasa: Dog Crate Side Table
Woodshop Diaries: Contemporary Shelf
The Inspired Workshop: Pottery Barn Dog Bed Knockoff
The Awesome Orange: Restoration Hardware Dining Table
Reality Daydream: Modern Circle Shelves
Not Just A Housewife: DIY Bench

Go check them all out – you won’t regret it!

In the meantime, see you all soon for another fun project!

This post is sponsored by DAP Products, Inc. All tastes in art work and product opinions are my own. For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Sam Raimondi

Sam is a full time psychologist and part time content creator from Long Island, New York.




  • Stacy Risenmay

    I love it better than the West Elm table! Gorgeous!!!

    • Sam

      Thank you so much, Stacy!

  • I absolutely love it, Sam! The stain brought out the grain of the pallet wood perfectly! I like yours better than the original version:)

    • Sam

      Thanks so much, Katie! Couldn’t have done it without you and this amazing challenge!

  • Karolyn Love

    You are one talented young lady!!! Beautiful job!

    • Sam

      You’re the best – thank you so much!

  • Angela

    Wow! That isn’t just a knock off or hack it’s identical to the West Elm one, amazing job x

    • Sam

      Thank you SO much!

  • Shaun

    You nailed this! Love what you’ve done with this project.

    • Sam

      Thank you so much!!

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