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Bedside table with books in the inner part of the table for looks


This unique and functional D.I.Y. nightstand is perfect for a guest room and sure to impress any visitors. It’s a multipurpose piece created from an affordable timber panel and dowel. The best approach is to countersink the holes from the best side of the panel, so it becomes the outside face, then fill and sand so they practically disappear.

Tip: Another option for this project is to create two side tables and stack them as a bookcase or display unit.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.


1Mark and cut timber and dowel

Mark up a 1800mm x 300mm timber panel 395mm in from either end to cut the side pieces with a mitre saw. Cut a 410mm piece as the top. Cut a 25mm dowel piece to 375mm long.
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: You can arrange to have the pieces cut in-store if you prefer.
Pair of hands using a mitre saw to cut a panel of timber

2Connect side pieces with dowel

Mark the sides 150mm in from the edges and up from the base to drill with a countersinking bit. Install 40mm screws to protrude by 3mm. Pre-drill into dowel endgrain with a 3mm bit, apply adhesive, position it between the sides with the screws in the holes, and secure.
Close up of a hole being drilled into the endgrain of a dowel

3Countersink holes in the tabletop

On the top piece, use a combination square to mark a line 9mm in from the ends to countersink holes 30mm from the edges and at the centre. Position the top flush with the sides to pre-drill the upper edges of the sides with a 3mm bit.
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Mark the top so it repositions over the same holes.
A rectangular panel of timber being drilled with holes into the edges

4Stick, secure and ensure it is straight

Apply adhesive to the upper edges of the sides, then secure the top through the centre holes with 40mm screws. Use a combination square to check the sides are straight, then hold with 450mm clamps, securing the remaining screws. Wipe away excess adhesive with a damp cloth and leave to dry.
Two panels of timber attached by a dowel, with glue being applied to the edges

5Sand over and fill holes

Sand over the screws with 180-grit abrasive paper to remove any breakout from the countersinking. Use a scraper to smooth filler into the holes and leave to dry.
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Choose a tinted filler to match the timber.
Close up of a hand using a scraper to fill drill holes in a timber table with filler

6Sand excess filler, wipe clean and apply varnish

Sand all over with 180-grit abrasive paper to remove excess filler and round over the cuts to match the factory edges. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth. Apply two coats of furniture oil with a cloth, leaving to dry thoroughly after each coat.
Close up of a hand holding a sanding block with abrasive paper wrapped around it, in front of a timber table

7Keep in mind…

  • Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask when using cutting tools and sanding.
  • When using power tools, always wear the recommended safety gear.
  • If stacking two or more pieces, anchor securely using fixings suitable for your wall type.
  • Some products are not available at all Bunnings stores, but may be ordered.
  • *Timbers and wall linings vary by region; contact your local store for further information.

8Looking for more D.I.Y. inspiration?

Check out our decorative hook rack for your bedroom.



Photo Credit: Natasha Dickins

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.