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DIY Narrow Side Table Plans

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If you’re looking for a narrow side table, look no further! With its transitional design, this beautiful DIY end table is the perfect addition to nearly any space. 

DIY narrow side table text overlay on image of Dark Walnut narrow end table

Alright, let’s start DIYing! 

Recommended Tools: 

  • Circular Saw or Table Saw 
  • Miter Saw 
  • Drill 
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig 
  • Nail Gun 

What You’ll Need:

  • ¾” plywood (we used oak. If you are just building one table, you can get a 2×4 project panel. If you want to build the larger sister table as well, you can build both from a 4×8 sheet)
  • (1) – 1x2x4 (we used red oak) 
  • (4) – 2x2x3
  • (2) – 9/16 x 3/4 x 8 oak edge (you’ll find this next to the other oak boards) 
  • 1.25” nails 
  • 1.25” Kreg screws (if using oak, you’ll want both the hardwood and softwood ones)
  • Wood glue 

Cut List:

Prefer printable plans complete with visual cut lists and 3D renderings? Grab your printable side table plans HERE.

The following cut list serves as a guide. Your actual dimensions may differ from what we have listed. Measuring and cutting throughout a project is often more accurate than making all the cuts upfront. 

The final dimensions for this DIY side table are approximately 15”W x 23”D x 24”H. If you are looking for something a little larger, be sure to check out our matching DIY end table with a drawer!

For What?Board TypeQuantitySize (inches)
Legs2×2423.25
Top¾” plywood114 x 22
Shelf¾” plywood111 x 22
Shelf Frame1×2219

Trim is not included in the cut list.

How to Make a Narrow Side Table 

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

STEP 1: MAKE YOUR CUTS 

Make your cuts according to the cut list above. 

After cutting the legs to size, we cut a taper on two sides of each leg using our DIY taper leg jig. We set our saw at 5 degrees and adjusted the jig so that the taper went approximately 5” up on the legs. 

DIY taper leg jig for miter saw

STEP 2: DRILL POCKET HOLES 

Using the ¾” settings, drill pocket holes into the following boards:

  • (2) on each end of the 1×2 
  • (6-8) on each long side of the shelf, making sure to place a pocket hole in each corner approximately .75” from the end so that they can screw into the legs

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

STEP 3: INSTALL THE SHELF 

Mark 6” from the top of each of the legs. This is where the top of the shelf will fall. 

Use glue and 1.25” screws to install the shelf. 

If you are using oak, be sure to use the hardwood screws whenever you screw into the legs.

installing plywood shelf with pocket holes

STEP 4: INSTALL THE SHELF FRAME 

The table won’t be terribly sturdy just yet, so we’ll add a 1×2 frame to the sides of the shelves. 

Start by securing the 1×2 to the plywood shelf using 1.25” softwood Kreg screws. The top of the 1×2 should be flush with the top of the plywood. Since plywood isn’t exactly ¾” thick, the 1×2 might extend slightly below the bottom of the plywood. 

Next, secure the 1x2s to the legs using 1.25” Kreg screws. 

STEP 5: ATTACH THE TOP 

Start by adding a layer of wood glue to the top of each of the legs. 

Position the top so that it’s flush with the outside corners of each of the legs. Use (2) 1.25” nails in each leg to secure the top. 

nailing plywood top onto side table frame
This photo is of the larger nightstand in the set. The top is attached the same way.

STEP 6: ADD THE TRIM 

The trim will be cut at a 45-degree bevel on both ends to give us pretty mitered corners. The trim will wrap around the top and around the shelf. 

Start with the front pieces, then install the sides, and finally install the back pieces. We find it easiest to cut and install each piece individually instead of trying to figure out the exact sizes all upfront. 

To install, apply glue to the back of the trim and then secure with 1.25” nails. 

nailing trim around DIY end table frame
This photo is of the larger nightstand in the set. The trim is attached the same way.

STEP 7: STAIN OR PAINT 

DIY narrow end table before staining

We stained our table with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. Check out our free guide to getting a professional stain finish

Once dry, we sealed it with 2 coats of polyurethane in a satin finish. We chose polyurethane to give the color some more depth and an amber hue.

DIY narrow end side table finished with Dark Walnut stain and polyurethane

There you have it! Now you know how to build your very own narrow end table. Don’t forget to check out the plans for the matching side table that fits great between two couches!

Grab your narrow side table printable plans here.

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