Bedroom Makeover: Nightstands

Guest Bedroom Makeover
Day 7: Nightstands (or "How to Make a Rolling Pallet Board Side Table")

**Note: This is part of a 12-step bedroom makeover series. Find the previous steps at the bottom of this post.**
Due to space constraints in the bedroom, I decided to DIY a custom-sized nightstand.
Due to budget constraints, that nightstand is made out of pallet boards (read: free!).
Due to technical constraints, you won't hear me weeping over how much I love the result.
(I know. Thank you, technical constraints.)
[Due to the overload of photos, click through for the full tutorial. Sorry for the hassle.]

Let me preface this by saying: I did this project in a morning. It's super easy. I enjoy working with pallet boards because they're so inherently flawed that it eases my anxiety about doing things perfectly; in fact, most measurements I did on this were totally eyeballed. Don't be afraid of a crack there or a gap here in your completed side table. It enhances the charm.
Take a wooden pallet and saw the top & bottom end boards right next to the middle 2x4. Then cut the 2x4s to free the boards from the pallet.
Do the same thing on another set of boards, so you end up with two pieces that look like this:
Cut them in half (doesn't have to be exact) lengthwise:
You should now have four of these edged pieces, all approximately the same size. Set aside.
Take the board ends that you pulled off your pallet earlier (you should have four) and measure how deep you want your side table to be. Cut them all.
That's all the cutting/sawing. Hooray!
[Move your project indoors if you live in a subarctic region or Utah in January. Either/or. Temps were hovering around 0'F for me, so I packed the party to my basement here.]
Fix or reinforce edge pieces as needed. I added at least a screw to all of mine; some of them required glue AND screws.
Take two edges pieces and screw the side of one of the four cut boards onto the bottom 2x4s (see photo below). This board will become half of the surface of the bottom of your side table. I know it's kind of a nuisance, but always pre-drill when screwing into pallet wood; it tends to split easily if you don't.
Take another board piece and screw (and glue if you want; I did) it to the two top 2x4s. This board is now half of the top surface of your side table. (I chose my favorite two boards to be the top - I just love the knots!)
Repeat these steps for your other edges pieces. You should have two table halves now.
Take some of your "odds & ends" pieces and cut them in half lengthwise. (Or break them with your bare hands, if the wood is weathered enough and you're too lazy to go find a suitable cutting device.) (Guilty.) Screw these to the under side of the top and bottom boards on one of your table halves; these will serve as the connecting pieces. Make sure the screws you're using here aren't too long or they will poke through.
Screw the other half of the table onto the connecting boards you just attached. Because pallet board widths can vary, make sure you attach your two widest boards first (for me, this was the top). I was then able to leave an appropriate-sized space between the bottom boards so my table wouldn't be squeewonky.
That's right. Squeewonky.
(Remember that tip I gave you about choosing appropriately sized screws? That was experience talking.)
Final step: Attach your casters. I had these oversized blue guys on-hand. I only did two screws on each caster because mine were so heavy duty to begin with. DeLISHiously heavy duty. 
And enjoy your new side table. I didn't even sand mine. Maybe I still will. But, let's be honest, I won't.
I love the raw texture and mismatched screws everywhere.
And also I love the ironic industrial-whimsy of those wheels.
Those wheels!
For me, the casters make the whole thing. They're completely unexpected and maybe awesome.
 My pet. My precious. Into the guest bedroom you go. Until I come and steal you for myself.
Come back for Day 8: Reading Lamps. I've had a change of plans since I posted the original mood board, which at first made me sad but now makes me glad. Check it out; you might think it's rad.
(I know what you're thinking. Dr. Seuss has nothing on me. You couldn't be more right. Tonight. Drink Sprite.)
(Wow. "Publish" already.)
Check out the previous steps to this bedroom makeover:
Day 2: Paint Walls
Beyond The Picket Fence

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  1. "maybe awesome" -they're pretty cool! I love the bright blue!

    1. Me tooooo! It's totally randomly unexpected, right? And you and I may be the only ones on the planet loving it, but at least we'll stand confidently on that side of the line. Because, hello, bright blue casters? Can't go wrong. :)

  2. How cool and so versatile! These could be used anywhere if you changed your mind and didn't want them in the bedroom one day! LOVE the wheels!

    Jenna @

    1. I had that same thought, Jenna. I think they might actually end up in the living room one day. I just hate to have those glorious wheels "wasted" in the depths of the basement...

  3. We sell pallets and my husband gets quite creative with pallets as well. His latest creation is this . He does all kinds of things with them.

    I like your rolling cart idea as well. I may have to get him to make some of those too.

    1. I checked out that desk, Crystal. Nice! So great to have a workspace customized just for you...and, hello, when it's out of pallets, that means it's free. Hooray for free.

  4. Anonymous3/25/2013

    Very clever and your night table looks beautiful too! I've got this linked to my DIY nightstands post as well today, nice job!

  5. Having a Unique Bedroom nightstand or bedside table is pretty important. I chose to have large nightstands, mostly because I took out our dresser, incorporated it into the closet, and they hold a lot of stuff.

  6. Room has turned into an expansion of our identity, intrigues and values. After entering, one would likely notice the absence of any music bunch, meagerly clad female model, or undoubtedly, any Additional resources decoration at all on our walls.On the opposite side of room lies my unwinding region, usually alluded to as a bed.


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  8. I also make nightstand in my bedroom just like this as it beautify the level of my room and I just love to have Miter saw. I am amazed by using this.

  9. Great piece of content after reading all this I'm feeling so overwhleming that I've gain some sort of knowledge from this page. Keep up the good work!! Thank YOU!
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