8 Nightstands You Don't Need to Buy

Bedside storage is a must. Where else would you set a glass of water, nightly reading, phone, and alarm clock before settling in for slumber? And in a room so personal as your bedroom, don't limit yourself to picking up a nightstand completes the matching set of your bedframe and dresser. Any other number of furnishings can do the job—and for a fraction of the price tag you'd find at a department store. So get creative. From repurposing household items to working with elements found in nature, here are eight ideas for structures to sub in for the traditional bedside table.

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  1. Piece Together a Pallet


    Wood pallets are practically a DIY darling, as their shape and size makes them incredibly well-suited for a number of creative projects. Here, two tall bedside tables use two full pallets each to build the planked sides as well as pieces of third as the top and a couple of handy shelves.


  2. Find Yourself Stumped


    Nothing says cozy quite like a rustic bedside table straight from nature. Functional with or without the iron legs, a generous slice of tree trunk gets new life a bedside repository. Just smooth out the surface with fine-grit sandpaper, then use a product like wood juice to coax out the natural variations in the grain.


  3. Climb the Ladder


    Bring your bedside table to new heights with a unique laddered frame. You can build the ladder from scratch or, if you're lucky, you can spruce up a vintage ladder with a fresh coat of paint. A drawer for bedside essentials is perched about halfway up, with rungs offering added real estate to use creatively.


  4. Expose Some Metal


    If you're partial to the trendy industrial interior design, these side tables might strike a chord. Plated slotted angles make a sturdy frame that easily supports a sanded pine top. With the right tools and materials, any intermediate DIYer can make these tables in an afternoon.


  5. Retool a Stool


    Want a no-work project? Pull up a wooden stool as a bedside table for functional storage space guised as shabby chic flair. And since a stool is a departure from the expected nightstand, anything goes; rustic handiwork or a bare finish can yield equally beautiful results.


  6. Pull Up a Chair


    With a little creative thinking, spare seating can hold more than just warm bodies. Flank your bed with a pair, and you'll have two more repurposed options for setting nighttime essentials. And whether your bedroom decor is classic, contemporary or somewhere in between, there's a style of chair to match.


  7. Turn the Table


    Unpack your bags and stay awhile with a bedside table inspired by a luggage rack at a bed and breakfast. No drilling, sanding, or sawing here: "Building" this table is as simple as placing a vintage suitcase on a stand. To go the extra mile, you can add a glass top for added protection.


  8. Free Up the Floor


    If floor space is at a premium, you may want to look to your walls for relief. A set of floating end tables (even just floating shelves) can be hung in arm's reach for any height of bed. Bonus: The raised placement makes it harder for the dust bunnies to hide.


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