Your bedside table is more than just a surface to hold your alarm clock – it’s an opportunity to express your style and personality. With some creative thinking and budget-friendly DIY, you can transform your bedside into a beautiful and functional space. Here are 11 thrifty ideas to inspire your next bedside table makeover.

Repurpose Everyday Items

One person’s trash is another’s treasure! Before buying new furniture, take a look around your home and garage for hidden gems. Everyday items like crates, ladders, and suitcases can become unique bedside tables with a little imagination.

Vintage Suitcases

Put those old travel bags to use beside your bed. Stack two vintage suitcases on top of each other for a layered look. Fill them with books, blankets or decor items. Prop the lids open to use as display shelves. Add wheels to the bottom suitcase so you can easily move your makeshift table around.

Wooden Crates

Wooden crates make excellent rustic bedside tables, especially when stacked or turned on their sides. Stencil patterns or words on the crates for a shabby chic look. Distress the wood with sandpaper for an antique feel. Attach casters to the bottom of a large crate to create a rolling bedside table.


Lean an old wooden ladder against the wall next to your bed for an industrial bedside option. Hang a basket from one of the rungs to hold small items like books and remotes. Decorate the rest of the ladder with photos, art and lights. Place a stool or crate next to the bottom for extra surface space.

Makeovers Using Paint

With nothing more than paint, stencils and decorative hardware, you can transform tired furniture into trendy bedside tables on a budget. Try these creative DIY makeovers:

Stenciled Nightstand

Jazz up a plain wooden nightstand with a bold stenciled design. Use painter’s tape to create geometric shapes or patterns. Paint inside the shapes with colorful acrylic craft paint. Finish it off with new hardware for knobs or pulls. This is an easy way to get a custom designer look.

Ombre Side Table

Apply ombre paint techniques to a plain side table or dresser to create subtle gradient colors. Start with a white or light gray base coat. Paint the top drawer a darker shade, gradually getting lighter as you move down the piece. This works great for a serene bedroom motif.

Faux Marble

Faux marble is super trendy and surprisingly easy to DIY. Start with a gloss white paint base coat on a thrifted table. Use acrylic paint pens in gray and white to draw abstract squiggly lines all over the surface. Blend the edges for a smooth gradient. Seal with polyurethane for a sleek high-end look.

Get Creative with Storage

Bedside tables aren’t just decorative – they need to hold your essentials within arm’s reach. Make the most of your space with clever storage solutions:

Drawer Organizers

Install small drawer organizers vertically to maximize storage in nightstands. Use them to neatly store electronics, books, skincare and more. Label the dividers or color code them to stay organized.

Hanging Baskets

Attaching a wire basket with command hooks is an easy way to add extra storage next to your bed. Toss in things you use before bed like remotes, headphones or books. Opt for a concealed basket behind a shutter door for a hidden look.

Charging Station

Incorporate a charging station into your bedside table to keep devices powered up. Use an upright organizer with multiple outlets and USB ports. Feed the cords through holes in the back of a drawer. Shut the drawer to keep cords hidden and tidy.

Upcycle Unusual Items

For a bedside table that’s guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind, upcycle an unconventional item. From furniture to dishware, anything goes! Here are some out-of-the-box ideas:

Old TV Console

Turned an old TV console into a roomy bedside table with built-in shelves and drawers. Remove the back panel and refinish or paint the exterior. Add new knobs and legs if needed. The depth is perfect for storing extra bedding.

Architectural Salvage

Give your bedside an antique architectural element like a carved corbel, column, or ornament. Pair with a wall-mounted floating shelf. This creates a decorative perch for lamps and decorative items.

Wheelbarrow Planter

An old metal wheelbarrow makes a cute planted bedside table. Fill with potting soil and succulents or trailing vines. The wheelbarrow shape has nice defined edges to set items on. Optional: attach legs to raise to nightstand height.

Minimalist Bedside Style

If you want to pare down clutter, a minimalist bedside approach may be best. Focus on the basics like lighting, a spot for a book, and an uncluttered surface.

Floating Shelves

Install floating shelves in place of a traditional nightstand. This gives you space for a lamp, book, and alarm clock without visual clutter. Attach multiple shelves at staggered heights for a layered look.

Slim Table Lamps

Swap out a bulky table lamp for something slim and geometric. Midcentury modern or contemporary styles work well to save space. Go for a sleek metal finish like brass, copper or black.

Neutral Palette

Stick to a simple neutral color palette of white, black, wood tones and metallics. This creates a calming, uncluttered look. Add pops of color sparingly with bedding, art or a houseplant.

Kids & Teens Bedside Tables

Making over a kid’s bedside area can help teach organization and responsibility. Have fun getting creative with these youthful ideas:

Picture Ledges

Use wall-mounted picture ledges to display books and favorite objects. Stagger floating ledges at different heights for a whimsical feel. Paint the ledges bright colors to match your child’s style.

Chalkboard Surfaces

Incorporate chalkboard paint into a DIY bedside table or wall above the bed. Kids can chalk up this surface with art, messages or to-do lists. Use chalk marker to draw patterns or shapes.

Woven Baskets

In lieu of drawers, use fabric bins and baskets for concealed bedside storage. This makes cleanup quick and easy. Label the bins to keep categories like books, toys and clothing organized.

Rustic & Farmhouse Bedside Tables

The rustic charm of distressed wood, galvanized metal and vintage finds make a cozy farmhouse or cabin motif.

Repurposed Window Shutters

Hang an old window shutter on the wall above your bedside as an instant shelf, complete with hooks. You can also lean the shutters against the wall as a rustic headboard.

Galvanized Bucket

An old galvanized bucket or tin milking pail doubles as a charming farmhouse bedside stand. Flip it upside down and attach a round piece of wood with hairpin legs. Set your lamp on top of the wooden “lid”.

Wood Slice Stool

Cut a cross section slab of log to use as a natural end table or stool by the bed. Sand the edges smooth and apply polyurethane. Add felt pads to the bottom to protect floors.

Bedside Tables for Small Spaces

If you’re tight on space, look for bedside tables that are slim, compact and multi-functional:

Tiered Hanging Shelves

Mount a set of hanging wall shelves vertically. This maximizes storage while taking up minimal floor space. Use for books, plants and bedside essentials.

Nesting Tables

Nesting tables (stacked tables that slide out) are perfect for small spaces. Store them together when not in use. Pull them out separately for two surfaces beside the bed.

Wall-mounted Drop-Leaf

Attach a drop-leaf table to the wall next to your bed. Fold it up when you need access to the wall or floor space. Lower the table top when you need a surface. Mount low for a bedside or higher as a floating desk.

DIY Concrete Bedside Tables

Concrete is an affordable material that can easily be molded into a custom bedside table.

Form & Pour Method

Build a simple wooden mold, seal the inside and clamp it securely. Mix concrete and pour it inside the form. Once dried, remove the mold. Finish the concrete table with sanding and sealing treatments. Add hairpin legs.

Concrete Canvas

For a less messy project, create the tabletop using concrete canvas material. Just wet it to activate the concrete and shape it over a frame. The canvas cures into a concrete slab within 24 hours. Remove from the frame and attach legs.

Textured Molds

For decorative appeal, press objects into wet concrete to imprint patterns and textures. Try rubber stamps, plastic doilies, mesh, leaves or seashells. Remove the molds after curing. Seal and protect the surface.

Display Collections Bedside

Your bedside is prime display space for treasured collections and meaningful memorabilia:


Frame keepsakes or small objects in a shadowbox hung above your nightstand. Try pressed flowers, ticket stubs, jewelry and photos. Illuminate with tiny battery-operated lights.

Meaningful Books

Fill your bedside table drawer with books that inspire you. Display a couple favorites standing upright for decor. Choose books with special meaning or that you turn to again and again.

Sentimental Finds

Keep special treasures in a beautiful box or dish on your nightstand’s surface. Display things like sea glass from vacations, childhood memorabilia, love notes or stones with inspirational words.

Incorporate Greenery

Plants look lovely beside the bed and boost mood with natural ambience.

Hanging Terrariums

Suspend mini terrariums beside your bedside for an airy feel. Use wire and invisible thread to hang glass bubbles or orbs with air plants inside. The green hue is soothing.

Trailing Vines

Let vines cascade over the edges of floating shelves or wall-mounted nightstands. Philodendrons, pothos and English ivy trail beautifully. Keep them in planters attached to the back/bottom.

Tiny Terrariums

Tiny glass terrariums containing moss, air plants or succulents make great tabletop accents. Look for apothecary jars, geometric terrariums and glass bubbles to complement your decor. The green hues create a serene ambiance.

Bedside Table Styling Tips

Pull your bedside space together with these styling tricks:

  • Stick to one or two color schemes for a cohesive look. A neutral palette is easy to build upon.
  • Incorporate natural textures like wood grain, wicker, marble or concrete for organic warmth.
  • Anchor with substantial table lamps, artwork or plants for visual weight.
  • Edit clutter ruthlessly so just your essentials and decorative favorites remain.
  • Coordinate your bedding with accents on the nightstand like pillows, throws or ceramicware.
  • Create mini vignettes by grouping complementary decorative items together.
  • Add personalized accents like monogrammed dishes, vintage photographs or meaningful books.


With a little creativity, it’s easy to transform ordinary bedside tables into personal showpieces that express your unique style. The options are endless, whether you favor minimalism, eclectic collections or handmade charm. Experiment and have fun crafting a bedside haven with these budget-friendly ideas to inspire sweet dreams.