On the Side

Gardening and renovations are just a few of the hobbies that K and I enjoy. It can sometimes be difficult to prioritize which hobby we want to do, we have so many. Among them (some of which I have already noted) is fishing, biking, exploring the backcountry, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, etc. One of my newest hobbies is woodwork. Yes, I have done set building in the past with theatre, but now I am really getting into furniture and carving.

As you may have noticed, if you read our blog regularly, is that I have been adding more of my projects on the blog. They don’t always relate to our garden, but definitely relate to us building our dream home and life. It started a few years ago with the book shelves. Now it is planters in the yard, shelves for the dogs leashes, and recently side tables for our guest bedroom. If I think I can build it, why not try!

The side tables for the bedroom were, as usual, a mix of side tables that I had seen in magazines or on Pinterest. The room itself will be under construction at some point this year. One wall needs to be properly dry-walled, we will move the carpet from our bedroom to the guest room, and it needs to be re-painted. In the mean-time, to make it look a little more welcoming for our guests, I decided that the mis-matched side tables needed to be replaced with a matching set.

As it was a whim to make them, I had to check to see if I had enough wood to do the build or if I would need to stock up. Luckily, with some creativity, I had enough wood to get the tables built. I started with the measurements in the room. I wanted the tables to be snug on either side of the bed, with plenty of space for our guests to put their belongings. I decided on 23″ square. This leaves a little space on each side of the bed, but is otherwise a wall-to-bed fit.


I started with the frames, which I used 2×2 for. I wanted to include a shelf for our guests to store items, or to use to store extra blankets and pillows for easy access. The height on the frame is 22 1/4″, with the shelf at 14″. Because the guest room is in the basement, I wanted it to be lighter with a pop of colour, so I painted the frame white.


Next, I cut the top boards and the shelf boards so that I could stain them. I decided on a cabernet stain. I liked the rich, deep red colour, and that the beautiful grain in the wood could still be seen. I used 1×12 boards for the top. I had hoped to use the same boards for the shelf, but didn’t have enough, so I ended up using a plethora of scraps to fill the shelf. It ended up giving a bit of a unique look to the shelves.


Once I had everything painted and stained, I started assembling the shelf and the top. As you can see from the photos, I used pocket holes for every aspect of these tables. It made for a solid table and no visible screws or nails. I did a quick fit of the boards to make sure everything was correct and didn’t need adjusting before screwing into place.

The tops were done first. The drill wouldn’t fit into the spaces I needed if I started with the shelves. I had used a 1×3 as a brace for the middle of the top boards as it was 2 separate boards. I didn’t want any flex in the middle of the table. I clamped the boards into place and quickly screwed it all together.


Next, I used some scrap wood to create a temporary support for the shelf boards. I needed to flip the table upside-down, so I needed something that would support the boards while I screwed them into place. I unfortunately did not get photos of putting the shelf into place, only the final result.

Last, but certainly not least, I placed them in the room. I love how they look, and will eventually paint it so that the colouring of the room better fits the tables. Overall, it was a great weekend project that turned out beautifully.


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