Modern Cutout Nightstand

build your own modern nightstands
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Simple clean lines and lots of storage.  This modern cutout nightstand matches our modern cutout headboard and chunky leg platform bed - so you can upgrade your bedroom with nice furniture on a budget.  Free step by step plans including full diagrams, shopping and cut lists.

Reader submitted photo by Erin One Project at a Time

modern bedroom west elm knockoff

modern cutout nightstand dimensions
Overall Dimensions are shown above. Composition is shown above. I took special care to ensure that all visible exterior materials were of the same species, so you can purchase hardwood plywood and stain it for a modern wood nightstand. Oh, and I took special care to get two nightstands out of 1 sheet of plywood.


Shopping List

Shopping List for 2 Nightstands

  • 1 – Sheet of 3/4″ MDF (for painting) or A1 Hardwood Plywood (for staining)
  • 1 – Sheet of 1/4″ plywood 
  • 2 – 1×10, 8′ Length
  • 2 – 1x2s, 8′ Length
  • 4 – 16″ Drawer Slides with standard 1/2 clearance on sides (corner mount works best)
  • Wood Filler
  • 2″ Screws
  • 1 1/4″ Nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Finishing Supplies
Cut List


  • 4 – 1×18 @ 20″ (Top and Bottom)
  • 4 – 1×18 @ 21″ (Sides)
  • 1 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 20 x 22 1/2″ (Back)
  • 4 – 1×2 @ 16 1/2″ (Cleats)
  • 4 – 1×2 @ 14 1/2″ (Side Footer)
  • 4 – 1×2 @ 18″ (Front and Back Footer)



  • 8 – 1×10 @ 15 3/4″ (Drawer Sides)
  • 4 – 1×10 @ 15 7/8 (Drawer Backs)
  • 4 – 1/4″ Plywood @ 15 3/4″ x 17 3/8″ (Drawer Bottoms)
  • 4 – 1×11 (see plywood cut layout) @ 18 3/8″ (Drawer Faces)
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Power Sander


Step 1

Have the nice man (or lady) at your orange or blue store cut your plywood as shown above into strips.

Step 2

Build the box as shown above. Check for square.

Step 3

Attach the back with 1 1/4″ nails and glue.

Step 4

Mark the bottom of the boxes 1 3/4″ in on the corners as shown above. Measurements given are to the outside of the box and do not include the back of the nightstand. Attach the cleats as shown above using 1 1/4″ screws or nails and glue.

Step 5

Step 6

Attach the footer front and back as shown above. Use glue and 2″ screws or nails.

Step 7

Build the drawer box as shown above. Use 2″ screws and glue, or pocket hole screws from the outside.

Step 8

Tack the drawer bottom to the drawer box as shown above. Use glue and 1 1/4″ nails. Don’t worry, we will use the corner mount drawer slides to keep the bottoms in place.

Step 9

Cut out the drawer faces as shown above. Mark the insides of the drawer faces 1/2″ in from the sides. Line these marks up with the drawer sides and nail to the drawer sides (or use a pocket hole to screw the face on from the outsides of the sides of the drawer box). Leave a 1/2″ gap on the bottom of the drawer to the bottom of the drawer face.

Step 10

Fill all of your holes with wood filler and let dry. Sand as needed. Vacuum with a soft bristled brush. Prime and paint, or stain as desired. Attach the drawers with the drawer slides to the sides of the nightstand. Attach the bottom drawer first, using the bottom of the nightstand as a guide, then attach the top drawer.


Mickelle (not verified)

Mon, 06/21/2010 - 19:39

Love it! I've been dying for a new bedstand for a while... hope I can talk the hubby into helping me get my feet wet with his powertools.

I think the west elm link is misdirecting, btw.

L. (not verified)

Mon, 06/21/2010 - 22:15

I just started reading your blog and it's awesome! I was just wondering what software do you use for drawings..?

W!ll!iam (not verified)

Tue, 06/22/2010 - 00:51

would love to know what software you use also, as i live in australia and always need to convert from inchs to mm, and all of our wood is in mm not in 2x1 3x1 4x1 etc. (will need to rework the very nice angle chair as my legs were 42mm^2 instead of 2x2 which sadly made the top which is 18inch^2 not fit the 15inch sides)

Darla (not verified)

Tue, 06/22/2010 - 03:28

Oh wow! I'm in the middle of two other projects (until next week, when it will be three...) so naturally, I want to build these NOW. Is this something that would stand in for a file cabinet? It almost looks even a little bigger.

Twinmommy2boys (not verified)

Tue, 06/22/2010 - 07:04

I could NEVER live where you live. I would die for sure! I like it dark when it's supposed to be dark and light when it's supposed to be light and I don't do freezing cold well. I mean what do you do when it's dark all the time? How would my kids burn off all there extra energy?

With that said love the side tables. I'm currently needing new ones, but these don't fit with my decor.

Jane @ The Bor… (not verified)

Tue, 06/22/2010 - 07:19

oh my gosh! I was just drawing up my own plans to make a knock-off modern nightstand like I saw in the West Elm catalog. . . it's like you read my mind. :) I'm still going to make my own version, which is slightly different - but if it doesn't work I'll resort to your plans. :) Thanks!

orange sugar (not verified)

Tue, 06/22/2010 - 08:57

Ana has stated previously that she uses google sketchup for her plans.

I see a cutout headboard in the that a future plan?

Allie (not verified)

Tue, 06/22/2010 - 17:34

I am SOOOO excited about this! I love modern design and am SO happy to see some more modern pieces on the site! Thanks again Ana for a great design!!!! Keep up the good work cuz we really do appreciate you!

Bedroom Makeov… (not verified)

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 03:59

[...] at West Elm.  I sketched plans for building it, but then Ana at Knock-Off Wood read my mind, and posted plans for a similar nightstand.  We used her instructions, with modifications.  It was a hell of a ride, but that’s a [...]


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James (not verified)

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 08:00

Been looking for something to use as storage for my comic book collection that would look nice in one of our rooms so we can free up the closet in our spare room to make room for baby stuff as that will be the new nursery. This design is perfect, with just a little tweaking to some of the measurements (need to add 1/2 inch to the drawer height to accommodate a bagged and boarded comic book). Width and depth on the drawers are perfect size for two full rows of comics (w/ bags & boards) and one night-stand will knock out two full long-boxes (cardboard comics storage boxes). Thanks for the plans! Your site rocks!


Mon, 04/12/2021 - 14:45

I am currently working on these nightstands.--------FYI you need 1 1x2x10 and 1 1x2x8ft, not 2 1x2x8. ( No matter how you cut them, you will be short)