Build 2 DIY Floating Nightstands in Less Than an Hour


Hi, I'm Zoe

My mission is to teach you to confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.

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August 6, 2019
Zoe Hunt




<4 Hours



Nightstands are a must. A place to store your books, some chapstick, and charge your phone while you rest at night. Everyone needs a nightstand and they’re an easy way to add some new design to your space.

Our guest bedroom has bold colors, lots of brass, and a patterned feature wall. Since everything else in the room was going to make a statement, we needed something to be simple.

Simple nightstands were the perfect option. And the floating design makes them a bit more modern and gives you the feeling that they are built-in like a hotel.

If you like the floating design, check out our DIY platform bed with built-in floating nightstands.

Want to DIY buy don\'t know where to start? Click here to grab your free guide!

So are you ready for an easy project? A project that you can complete from start to finish in a day? Are you ready to give your bedroom a facelift with a clean and simple design that would look great in most rooms? Yes? Then let’s stop talking and let’s start DIYing!

built 2 floating nightstands in an hour

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)!


What You’ll Need

How to make floating nightstands

New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!

Step 1: Cut your wood

Cut your 1x10x8 into 4 – 17″ boards and 4 – 5.5″ boards. 

Step 2: mark studs

Bring your 17″ boards up to the room that the nightstands will live. Use your stud finder to locate if there are studs where you would like to hang your night stands. Even if you can only hit one stud, that’s better than none.

  • If there are studs, mark your 17″ boards where they will hit the studs. Pre-drill for pocket holes in these locations.
  • If there are no studs, drill 2-3 pocket holes evenly across your boards.

Step 3: pre-drill

Drill 2 pocket holes using your Kreg Jig on one long side of your 5.5×9.25 boards. Note, the boards are 9.25″ wide, not 10″. If you aren’t sure why, check out our wood sizing and selection guide.

Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.

Pre-drill the four corners of the bottom of your nightstand (a 17″ board) using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your screws.

Then, using a drill bit that is larger than the head of your screws, drill over these holes, but only 1/8-1/4″ deep. This will countersink the screws so that you will not see them when looking at the nightstand head-on.

Make sure the larger side of the hole is on the same side as your pocket holes. This will be the bottom of the bottom.

Free download wood sizing cheatsheet

optional step 4: add an outlet

Measure the back of your outlet extension cord to determine what size hole you will need to cut. You can either measure this out on the top of your nightstand (one of the 17″ boards), or you can measure it on a piece of paper/cardboard and cut that out to use as a guide.

If you opt for the paper/cardboard option, you can easily visualize and position where you want the outlet to be placed. However, you choose to do it, mark where you want to cut on the top of your nightstand.

determining placement for built-in outlet on top of floating nightstand

Cut the hole for your outlet cover. Start by drilling holes in each of the corners with a drill bit that is slightly larger than your jigsaw blade. This will give you a spot to insert your jigsaw blade so that you can cut along your lines.

using a jigsaw to cut a rectangle out of wood

Note: If you tape along where you want to cut, it will help serve as a guide and prevent splintering of the wood.

Step 5: sand, stain, and seal

Sand all of your boards using 80-220 grit sandpaper

Note: If you want an even smoother finish, you can continue sanding using high grit sandpaper. Start with the lower grit and then sand with a higher grit and then another higher grit. The higher the grit, the smoother the finish will be. Make sure to start with 80-120 before moving onto higher grits.

Stain or paint your nightstands. You can also paint and stain after assembling, but it is easier to get all the corners if you stain before.

If you want to fill your pocket holes with wood putty, stain after you assemble. We strategically place our pocket holes so they will be seen from minimal places so that we don’t have to fill them in.

Seal your nightstands by following the instructions on your polyurethane can.

Step 6: assemble

Attach the top of the nightstand to either side using the pocket holes that you pre-drilled in step 3. Be sure that all of the pocket holes are on the inside of the nightstand so that they are not easily visible.

cutting a hole in floating nightstand to install built-in charger

If you are adding the built-in charger, determine where you want the extension cord to run out. We decided the bottom back corner to minimize visibility. Use a drill bit that is larger than the extension cord to drill a hole. You will place the cord through this hole when you install the charger.

Attach the bottom of the nightstand to either side by screwing into the holes you created in step 4. The larger side of the hole should be facing outward so that the head of the screw can sink into it.

assembling floating nightstand into a box

Insert your outlet box into the hole that you cut and weave the cord through the hole that you cut.

Step 7: hang your nightstands

Determine where you would like the nightstands on the wall. As a general rule, your nightstands should be 2-6″ higher than the top of your mattress.

You might look at our pictures and be thinking, um you didn’t follow the rule you just gave about nightstand height. Don’t worry, we will. We are planning to make a new bed frame to match the rest of the room and it will be lower than the current bed.

  • If you have studs, drill into the studs using the pocket holes you pre-drilled in step 2. Place a level on top to keep things level.
  • If you don’t have studs, hold your nightstand up to your wall where you would like it to be placed and mark the wall where the pocket holes are. Place a level on top to ensure everything is straight. Pre-drill your wall and insert your drywall anchors (make sure to select drywall anchors that will support the weight of the nightstand plus whatever you want to place on or in the nightstand). Put your nightstand against the wall and screw it into the wall.

Now that you have 2 awesome floating nightstands, don’t forget to send us some pictures. We would love to see what you created!

Not building this right now? Pin the images below to save this post for later.

diy floating nightstand with built-in USB charger
wood floating nightstand in blue bedroom next to bed
top view of DIY floating nightstand showing built-in charger

More bedroom DIYs: DIY Platform Bed with Built-In Nightstands | DIY Canopy Bed Plans | DIY Wood Headboard | DIY Nightstand Plans | Roundup: 16 DIY Nightstand Plans Ideas

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  1. Kaitlin says:

    I love the way these look! How many & where do you use the different sizes of Kreg screws? You have both listed in the to-buy but then I didn’t see them mentioned in the steps. Thanks!

  2. James says:

    I love these nightstands!!! Where did you purchase the lamp that is attached to the wall?

  3. Molly says:

    Hi Zoe! Is that a cord cover for the lamp cord? If so, where did you get it?? Thanks!!

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