Inexpensive Nightstand Ideas

While a nightstand provides a handy table-like addition to the bedroom, purchasing one designed to go with the bedroom furniture may not be an option.

While a nightstand provides a handy table-like addition to the bedroom, purchasing one designed to go with the bedroom furniture may not be an option. Instead of searching for a perfectly matching piece of furniture, make your own nightstand by repurposing other items that are approximately the same height as the top of your mattress. Choose objects that match the style of the room as a whole, or paint the pieces to blend in with the bedroom decor.

Garden-Worthy Gear

A sturdy plant stand with a wide top provides enough space to store a glass of water or a narrow table lamp and a favorite book for bedtime reading. Choose a clean plant stand that is difficult to knock over, such as wire-based stand with four legs, to avoid an unpleasant surprise as you reach over at night. Select a stand with a top that closely matches the height of the bed to make reaching and grabbing less awkward. A tall urn or plant pot with a glass top turns into a bedside nightstand with little effort. Place a few weights in the bottom of the pot to prevent the setup from tipping. If you do not have a glass tabletop handy, flip the urn or pot over and use it upside-down instead, provided the bottom surface is flat.

Casual Cases

A nightstand fitting of your personal interests adds an eclectic look to the room's decor. If you enjoy travel or vintage goods, a stack of vintage hard-leather suitcases doubles as a nightstand with plenty of interior storage. Secure the top of one case to the bottom of another, if desired, with hot glue or strips of hook-and-loop tape, either of which can be removed, but hold the cases steady. An antique flat-topped travel can be used in place of multiple suitcases. If live music or playing in bands is your passion, a small road case typically used to house band gear and cables serves as durable night stand -- bonus points for a band name stenciled onto the case. If the case has wheels or casters, secure them with drink coasters beneath each wheel, or push the wheel locks down to prevent movement, if the casters have locks.

Rethinking Tables and Chairs

Furniture designed for sitting, such as a short bench or storage ottoman that has an inner tray, doubles as a nightstand in a pinch. If using a storage ottoman, take the cushy top off so the tray becomes the nightstand top. Stash extra blankets or pillows inside the ottoman. Inexpensive side tables, such as the type with a round top and three removable legs, become nightstands simply by covering them with a decorative cloth fitting of the room's decor: indigo fabric or sari cloth for a room decked out in jewel tones, for instance.

Flea Market Finds

Random repurposed objects from a flea market or yard sale are sometimes perfect for that unusual nightstand for an eclectic bedroom -- just keep the height of your mattress in mind as you shop, and carry a tape measure along with you. Wooden wine crates or vintage food crates become bedside stands that can be left plain or painted to suit the room. Plastic snap-together building blocks create a playful nightstand for a child's room, or for the young at heart; cover the top in flat rather than nubby thin blocks to create a smooth nightstand surface. A small tool chest with drawers serves as masculine nightstand with space inside to stash reading materials.

About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Landlordology, SFGate and others.