Mid Century Modern

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DIY Atomic Nightstands with Hairpin Legs

So now the bed is complete, our next project was to build a pair of mid century modern inspired nightstands. Originally, I was going to buy a pair of nightstands. I wanted a pair of Paul McCobb nightstands that matched my dresser. I looked all possible sources, but could never find one within my budget. I saw an eBay listing for about $2,300 – WTF?! I only paid $10 for a matching McCobb dresser!!! I started to gather ideas to design my dream nightstands – something cute, functional and easy to build. I like designing my own furniture – there are endless possibilities!

Her Side

Her Side

My plan was to use the leftover oak plywood sheet from the bed project. When I bought the 4’ x 8’ sheet at a local hardware store, I had them cut into pieces. For legs, I used a set of vintage hairpin legs I already had. Each nightstand would have a storage space with a door and a separate storage area for books and/or knick-knacks. Surprisingly, building the nightstands was harder than building the bed. The measurements had to be super precise – unlike the bed, 1/16 of an inch difference made a difference! I measured twice, but still cut twice (if not more)… The hardest part was fitting and attaching the doors. No matter what I did, the doors were crooked. It was hard to evenly space the doors top and bottom without leaving too much/less gaps. I was so frustrated that I even thought of just gluing it onto the body.

His Side

His Side

We stained the body with the same color as the bed. We wanted the doors to be something different, so we bought a colored stain called “Mandarin Orange.” We thought the color would tie into the color of the wall application. The color of the doors didn’t really turn out as we wanted it to be though. It looks more red than orange… After attaching the knobs, the color didn’t bother me too much. I am happy that now I have a pair of matching nightstands that fit our needs – and they are one of a kind no one else has 🙂

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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “DIY Atomic Nightstands with Hairpin Legs”

  1. Natalie @ Chadwell Chronicleson 20 Oct 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Love these! Do you have detailed instructions on how to make them? I would love to try to create these and I saw you had detailed instructions for the bed, so I thought I’d ask. =) Great job!

  2. adminon 10 Dec 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Thank you, Natalie – unfortunatelly, I don’t have detailed instructions for these. I didn’t even take pictures while I was making them… Sorry 🙁

  3. Justinon 21 Apr 2011 at 3:54 pm

    So I’m thinking of making the bed you put up and these nightstands and while I know you don’t have detailed instructions (i can figure them out) do you have measurements by chance?

    I was guestimating 15″ height from base to top with an extra 4″ hairpin legs. Maybe 22″ wide and 18″ deep?

    BTW, either way, with our without measurements, the projects are beautiful.

  4. adminon 21 Apr 2011 at 8:23 pm

    You are close 🙂 It is 13 1/2″ high with 5 3/4″ legs (19 1/4″ total), 22″ wide and 14″ deep. The door is 12″ x 12″.

  5. Justinon 22 Apr 2011 at 10:06 am

    So close!

    Thanks so much. I’ll post pix when I get mine done. Think i’ll start off with wooden legs for both and then upgrade to hairpin legs after a bit. They are beautiful, but pricey!

  6. adminon 23 Apr 2011 at 9:40 pm

    You may try finding legs on eBay. I think I paid about $60 for this set (eight legs) – it was much cheaper than buying the brand new ones.

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