Tuesday, March 10

Nightstands Day 7 - Rolling X

Ready to tackle day 7 of our nightstand series? You can see the entire series here. Today's plan includes casters and a fun X-leg design. Because nightstands don't have to put you to sleep. They're actually a great way to add style to your room! This guys is both pretty and functional with room to stash a basket or books on the bottom shelf.

These plans are inspired by a nightstand I spotted in an issue of Better Homes & Gardens. It's so simple but makes a big statement.

image via Better Homes & Gardens magazine

Shopping List:
1  -  2x2  @  8'
1  -  2x12  @  4'
1  -  1x2  @  4'
4 casters
wood filler
wood glue
1 1/4" screws
2" screws
Kreg Jig with  2 1/2" pocket screws (optional)
finishing nails (optional)

Finished dimensions are 18" wide x 21" tall x 11 1/4" deep.

Remember to always double check your measurements before you cut. Use 1 1/4" screws unless otherwise indicated. Pre-drill your holes and countersink your screws. Always use glue before you screw the boards together (you don't have to let it dry first), I'm not going to list it in every step, but it's a good idea to glue everything! Be safe, and have fun!

Cut List:
(A)  2  -  2x2  @  21 1/8"   (long legs)
(B)  4  -  2x2  @  10 3/16"   (short legs)
(C)  2  -  2x12  @  18"   (bottom/top)
(D)  2  -  1x2  @  15"   (trim)

Start by cutting the ends of the long & short leg pieces (A & B). The top and bottom edges should all be cut at a 28 degree angle. The edges that sit at the center of B (when they are laid out as shown below) need to be cut at a 34 degree angle. It's a weird amount, but it works out right for the width and height of the nightstand.

The ends of the long legs need to be cut parallel (like this /=/).

The ends of the short legs need cut perpendicular-ish (like this /=\).

Assemble two short legs and one long leg to make an "x". There should be about 10 3/16" outside the legs and 8 3/8" inside the legs. Make sure the top and bottom ends are level (it might help to lay a board above and below the pieces to keep them lined up). Use a Kreg Jig or drill through the sides of the short legs into the long leg. Repeat to build another "x".

Attach the top & bottom boards (C) to the legs. The outside edges should be flush all around. Use a Kreg Jig or drill through the top & bottom into the legs with 2" screws.

Now you can attach the trim to the bottom. This is optional - it adds a little interest and keeps things on the shelf (handy if you'll be rolling it around at all). You could just do a piece at the back to prevent books from being pushed too far off the back edge, or skip it all together. You can cut the bottom edge of the trim at a 28 degree angle for a more seamless look, but you don't have to. Line the trim up flush with the angle of the legs and attach it by drilling through the legs into the ends of the trim pieces.

The building is done, now you just have to finish it! Start by filling any holes with wood filler. Let it dry, then sand it smooth (repeat if necessary). Then sand the whole table smooth for a great finished product (a good sanding can be the difference between looking professional vs. crafty). Then finish with any paint or stain and polyurethane you like. You can keep it neutral with a crisp white or moody gray, or add punch to your room with a bright accent color like kelly green or deep red.

Follow the instructions with your casters to attach one at each corner of the bottom board.

Tuck a tall basket or your favorite reading material on the bottom shelf and call it a night.

Don't forget, we're working on a whole series of nightstand projects, and we still have 11 more days of DIY nightstands coming up!


  1. The 28 degree angle for the sides of a and b make it hang off the sides. Are you sure it was 28?

    1. I'm sorry, the top and bottom edges are 28 degrees but the ends of B that butt up against A need to be cut at 34 degrees. I totally skipped over that when I was writing the plans. So sorry about that! You should be able to shave a little more off those ends to get a better fit.