DIY Side Table

We are excited to share with everyone our first official blog post and project!  Well, not the first DIY we’ve ever done, just the first one to be documented on the internet for all the world to (hopefully) enjoy!  The inspiration for this project came from an heirloom dresser that is in our daughter’s room.  It was the white dresser that my mom had when she was a kid, bright blue dresser that I grew up with, and now the light pink dresser that our girl will keep until she can pass it down.  K.C. had finished it for her a few months ago and then she decided she need an end table to match where she could put her water cup at night…and a clock, because she’s learning to tell time and has insisted that we get her one!

Since we weren’t necessarily planning for this project to be posted to the blog when it first began, we didn’t get as many photos throughout the process.  Hopefully future projects will have more pictures to help you see each step.

Ok, let’s get started!

Here’s what we used:

  • (1) 1 x 2 – 8 ft long
  • (1) 1 x 3 – 8 ft long
  • (2) 2 x 2 – 8 ft long
  • Miter Saw
  • Table Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Kreg Jig Jr Pocket Hole Kit
  • 1 1/4″ Pocket Hole Screws
  • Porter Cable Cordless Drill
  • Titebond Wood Glue
  • Quick Grip Clamps
  • Hammer
  • Finishing Nails
  • Palm Sander with 120 Grit Paper
  • Primer and Paint

Cut List:

  • 4 – 2 x 2 @ 26″ each (legs)
  • 4 – 1 x 3 @ 7 1/2″ each (aprons)
  • 5 – 1 x 3 @ 12 1/2 each (top)
  • 6 – 1 x 2 @ 9 3/8 w/ 1 ripped down to 1/2″ thick (top of bottom shelf)
  • 2 – 1 x 2 @ 7 1/2″ (shelf support)
  • 2 – 1 x 2 @ 8″ (shelf support)



Note: There is extra lumber shown in the photo.  Actual amount needed for the project is shown in the list above.


After everything is cut, sand all of the wood with the palm sander before beginning assembly.  Once everything is good and smooth, pocket holes can be drilled.  If you’re wondering how to do that step, follow the directions included in the Kreg Jig kit.  Next, assembly of all of the pieces begins.  We recommend gluing together all of the joints as you go, connecting the first two legs and apron to start. The quick grip clamp isn’t 100% necessary, but is very helpful for holding the pieces together while you place the pocket hole screws.  After the apron and legs are assembled, the bottom shelf support can be added.  Then you repeat the same process for all four sides.


This shows how the pocket holes should look from the underside when completely finished.

Now that the main frame is done, set it aside and move onto the top of the table and bottom shelf.  For the top, take the five cut pieces of 1 x 3 and drill the pocket holes.  Then arrange them into a square, glue them together, and clamp (if you have them.) After that you can go ahead and place the screws in the pocket holes.   The top will need to sit overnight to allow the glue to completely set.  For the bottom shelf, we did not use pocket holes due to the lack of thickness necessary.  If you ended up using a thicker board, you could add them for strength.  This is a part where you really probably should have clamps, especially if your boards aren’t thick enough to add pocket holes.  But basically you are going to repeat the same process for the bottom shelf as the top piece.

After the top and bottom shelf have completely set, you’ll want to sand them again to even up the joints.  At this point you can decide whether or not you want the top of your side table to have any sort of design.  Since we were trying to match the design of the existing dresser, we just free handed it and cut it out with the jigsaw.  It’s not perfect, but it looks pretty close to what we were going for.

Almost ready to attach! Go ahead and drill two more vertical pocket holes on each apron.  Be careful when placing the screws so you don’t drill through the top of your table if you are using an impact drill.  The bottom shelf is a little more simple.  You can attach it with some finishing nails, no pocket holes necessary.  Now you’re ready to finish how you please!  We decided to paint ours since it was made to match the dresser, which we had previously refurbished.  You could also choose to stain it instead of paint.  We used a basic white primer, pink interior paint, white self-leveling cabinet paint for the top (though you can just use regular paint), and finished with a metallic gold around the edge of the top piece.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product along with the heirloom dresser.


This is the dresser we had previously restored and was the model in which the side table plans were based.

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