End Table / Night Stand


After building the Murphy Bed for the guest bedroom (craft room) I realized that if anyone wants to sleep on it, they will need a night stand to set things on. The challenge is that the space next to the bed is very limited, about 14″ (35cm). It’s unlikely that any store-bought night stand will fit the space.

murphy bed


The space on the other side of the bed is even narrower! I think I will just add a small shelf on the side of the bed cabinet.

murphy bed2


Custom shelves?

My first idea was to make a series of built-in shelves in the corner, all the way to the top of the cabinet,  with a lower shelf extending out to serve as a night stand.  The problem with highly custom units like that is that nobody else will want to build it besides me. (Unless you happen to have a Murphy bed built into a space exactly the same as mine!) Not great video and useless plans.

WWMM end table

Instead I chose to make a small-space nightstand that will be practical for a lot of people. Not only that, you might want to build it for use as an end table in just about any room. I think night stands usually come in pairs, right?

My wife picked out the knobs and we chose to paint it all white to fit in the playful color theme of the craft room.


I built the framework using 1.5″ (38mm) wide solid pine boards. These are very inexpensive purchases at the home center. The panels, drawers, shelf and top are all made with 3/4″ (19mm) plywood. The bottoms of the drawers are 1/4″ hardboard.

Joinery and tapered legs

I joined most of the unit together using my Kreg pocket hole jig and pocket screws. This is where you can get as fancy as you like or challenge your skills with any number of joints. I work very fast because of my tight schedule and pocket screws are indispensable.

I added some tapers to the bottoms of the legs using my MicroDial tapering jig. If you don’t make a lot of tapers, save some money by making your own tapering jig. Microjig’s product works great though, and will give you quick, accurate, and repeatable tapers.


Assemble one side completely, then slide the shelf in as you attach the opposite side. Don’t forget the shelf! Once the framework is all assembled, it will be impossible to get it in.



Drawers can be intimidating to make, so I designed these to be easy. They are just simple boxes: Plywood butt-jointed together with glue and nails. If the face isn’t perfectly square to the opening it won’t show because the drawers are set back from the face of the cabinet. The trick to making drawers is to not worry about making their lengths to any exact measurement. Just make them deep enough to slide in comfortably and glue in a stop block somewhere in the back. The will close to the perfect spot every time.


Making drawers slide easily

To make the drawers slide easily, sand the runners and the undersides of the drawers as smooth as you can using 220 grit sandpaper. Apply paste wax to all surfaces and polish it out. The drawers will slide like glass! I used homemade past wax made by Linn at Darbin Orvar. She makes it using linseed oil and beeswax. Please check it out on her web site and support another small business by buying a jar!


 Free plans




  1. Why did you use glue with the pocket hole screws? Nobody on the internet does that! Of course if you hadn’t the table probably would have fallen apart by next week since pocket hole screws are utter crap. However, the paint might have held it together.

    • Please don’t be a rude troll. In case you thought you were adding a helpful comment, adding glue to a pocket hole in furniture not intended to be disassembled is not an common practice by furniture makers (even on the Internet). That said, any joint joined with screws will be weaker by design than mortise and tenon. This table is not going to take a beating. Pocket hole joinery will work just fine. This is a great little table design.

  2. Steve – maybe for the side next to the door, put a small shelf just inside the murphy case.
    Something just enough to put like eyeglasses or a wristwatch on.

    I think any shelf on the outside, will constantly get run into going in and out of the room

  3. Steve nice project . Maybe Ted should realize we all do not have the time to make mortise and tenon joints and pocket hole joinery works just fine .

  4. Why not use the pocket holes to hold the shelf in? I wagered my wife that you didn’t think of it
    and she contends it wasn’t needed. Who is right? THanks for the plans have 2 under construction
    as I type.

  5. Thank you for sharing this table design. This is the style I have been looking for to fit in a 10×10 bedroom. The table needs to be 2 feet deep and only 14 inches wide. This will be a great weekend project.

  6. When attaching the two sides together around 3:13 of the video, how did you get to the other pocket holes for the rails, etc? I’m trying to think if I have a small screw driver that will fit. Thanks.

  7. I was wondering how you fit your drill/driver for the pocket hole for the shelf/rails around 3:13 in the video? I don’t think I have the tools to fit that in.

  8. Thank you for the plans and the easy to follow video. I’m a 49 year old woman trying to learn a new hobby and I am very proud of the final product. This is the first piece of furniture I have ever made and it looks great. Thank you very much.

  9. Just wanted to say thank you very much for the plans and the video. I am a 49 year old woman trying to learn woodworking and must say I am very proud of my first piece of furniture. Your plans are easy to follow and I just replayed sections of the video as I went along. I made the table out of pine and am so confident I think I will try again in cherry wood. Thanks again, I love my new hobby and will try more of your plans.

  10. 1. is there a stop for the drawers, to keep them from pulling all the way out?

    2. i’m new at this so i’m wondering is you could give me the “total” size if the materiel I would need to buy. like what size sheet of plywood would be enough for the project…etc

    3. and what type of paint would i need.

    thanks in advance for your help


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