Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chinoiserie Inspired Bamboo Nightstands

This week, we finished our bamboo project ... nightstands! Ever since we made the grasscloth + nailhead feature wall, I've wanted simple, open nightstands that wouldn't hide too much of the nailhead.

I've been playing around with a few options, but once I found the Skubb drawer at Ikea and thick bamboo on clearance at a local craft store, I was excited to get started! The plan included, a simple top that was built to fit around the drawer with bamboo legs for the base.


This project is a perfect example of how David and I work together ... he loved the idea of a box built to fit a fabric drawer, but the bamboo legs, not so much. I saw the bamboo and instantly thought they'd be perfect for legs (painted of course...) because they're different from standard lumber, add detail and cheap! David saw them and recognized that hollow = more difficult to attach and work with. 

David wasn't sure, but as usual, he was up to the challenge! We made our way to checkout ... $10 total for both nightstand bases!

Lets get started! 

First, below are the basic materials that we used to make the nightstands. Read on to see how we did it! 


After drawing up a plan, we made a box to fit around the drawer out of MDF. Prior to assembling the box we painted the inside while it was easy to access. 

First, we worked on the bamboo. We looked at the sections before we cut and for the most part, they were pretty straight. Prior to attaching them, we rotated them so that it would look as straight as possible.

Since they were hollow, we would need to put something inside so that the legs could securely attach to the top. After a little trial and error, we came up with cutting an insert out of a 2x2. Since all of the bamboo is different, we dipped the ends in paint as a guide and then cut it out with the jigsaw.

We then drilled through the 2x2 to insert a dowel rod (long enough to fit through the MDF as well). Prior to installing the dowel rod we put Gorilla Glue on the rod so that it would be extra strong. 

Then we inserted the entire piece into the bamboo leg using Gorilla Glue again. Finally, we inserted the leg into the top, using, you guessed it, Gorilla Glue. We decided to use Gorilla Glue because it is strong and expands into crevices once dry. 

I also drew a little diagram cutting through the nightstand to help explain. 


For the X on the bottom, we measured, and marked where they would go. Drilled a large hole, and then widened it to fit the curve of the bamboo with a cutting attachment on the dremel. The top piece of the X sits in the bottom, so we cut the bottom piece a little so it would sit. Finally, we used more Gorilla Glue to secure it. We used clamps throughout, so that it would bond tightly.

Since we were using something organic, a lot of pieces had to be custom fit to the shape of the bamboo.  Those steps could have been eliminated if we used pre cut lumber. Clearly we like to challenge ourselves ... sometimes yes, but actually we didn't know it would require this much customization when we started. I'm so glad that it turned out like I had envisioned in the end!

After it was built, I thought it looked a little skimpy/cheap at the top ... We used a little left over molding (cut at 45s and attached it with Epoxy) to add a little extra dimension and visual weight on top. Plus it's perfect so that things don't roll off of it! 

Prior to painting, we filled any cracks in the bamboo with wood filler and once dry, sanded. 

I primed it with Zinsser Cover Stain (two coats) and finished it with Sherwin Williams Pro Classic, Alabaster (two coats). 

Now onto my favorite part - the drawers! We used the Skubb drawer from Ikea with a fabric wrapped 1/8" piece of luan. First we measured and drilled where we wanted the panel to attach to the drawer. I wrapped it like the Rast dresser. Then I cut and sewed a loop on the front for the pull, and went through the pre-drilled holes with upholstery thread and a long needle (about 4 times per section). 



We decided to make the drawer fit snuggly so that it wouldn't fall out easily. I LOVE the organization that's included! It took about 30 seconds to put together too - since the organization is sewn into place. Also, it's soft on the bottom, so I don't have to worry about it scuffing the paint.


You can see the detail of the attached panel a little better in the photo below. 


A few week's ago we installed the guest room chandelier in our room. I love the soft light that it puts off. 


This the best straight on shot I can get since it's tight in front of the bed ... maybe I'll get a wide angle lens soon (any suggestions for a Nikon?) 


Love the added detail that the molding adds. I think it really helps to dress up the MDF. 

I picked up a candle from Target's fabulous selection (so many great one's to choose from!) Target is SO good recently! 



We could also put a basket on the bottom if we need extra storage, but for now we're good! Also, to hide the lamp wire, I used painter's tape to secure it on the back and then run it down the far leg. I've also seen a few tables using little 3M wire hooks too.


I swapped the organic chevron duvet for a lighter weight white coverlet for the summer (from TJ Maxx).

Cost Breakdown + Sources:

MDF: Habitat ReStore (left over from open shelving unit)
Bamboo: Beverly's (local craft store) $3 for each 8' pole (3 total), .50 small bamboo (2 total)
Zinsser Cover Stain Primer: Home Depot
Sherwin William Pro Classic Paint Alabaster
Skubb Storage Drawers: Ikea, $8 each
Fabric: World Market kitchen towel $4
Coral Striped Runner: Target

I had the paint and glue on hand so the total cost of the new parts was $30 or $15 each!

This is the last project for the bedroom, since we started redoing it in March, so I'll be giving a little tour of the projects soon!

29 comments:

  1. Bamboo is so hard to work with. You knocked this one out and it looks amazing again. I would love these tables for my bedroom ;)

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    1. Agreed, bamboo is one of the harder things that we've worked with ... probably an easier project next, ha! :)

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  2. I just love them! Love the details, the drawers, the bamboo...all of it! Beautiful! I have been hunting for bamboo to use to reface a dresser but am having no luck! I'm going to have to keep searching...xo Kristin

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    1. Thanks so much Kristin! :) There is more of the smaller .50 bamboo, let me know if you want me to pick some up for you! (not sure about shipping price, but I could check ...)

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  3. This might just be one of my favorite projects yet. Love it!

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    1. Thanks so much Elizabeth! Definitely one of my favorites too!!:)

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  4. LOVE these! They turned out so great, so creative!

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  5. Totally agree about Target! Every time i go in there lately i think "Target is Killing it!"

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    1. Yes! Target is killing it recently! (and my bank account, ha!)

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  6. These are so great! I think that if you really wanted them to be super fancy you could get a custom piece of glass cut from lowes and insert it between the molding on top. That way it would be flush (no more rolling prevention though) but it would sort of glimmer from a distance.

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    1. Hi Tiffany! Glass on top would be a great idea, a little extra glamor is always good!!

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  7. This is SO SO impressive, Sarah! I love the whole piece and that amazing bedroom. You are so talented!

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    1. Hi Kelly! Thanks SO much!! :) The design came together quickly for the bedroom, but it's definitely my favorite room in the house right now!

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  8. Wow! I'm impressed. I would snatch up those tables in a hot second if they were in a store. It's great that your husband is willing to go with your vision even when he's not sure.

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    1. Hi Lisa! Thank so much!! :) David is always willing to go along with my crazy plans! #grateful

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  9. This is just stunning Sarah!! Using a drawer and then finding some bamboo to make the legs is so inventive. I just love how it turned out. Pinning now!

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  10. What a cute little night stand! Love it!! Also adore the white striped pillows! where did you find them?
    ~Lisa

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    1. Hi Lisa! I DIYd the pillows, check out this post for more info (around the close ups of the pillows) http://sarahmdorseydesigns.blogspot.com/2013/06/diy-coral-upholstered-headboard-with.html The white with the mint border is an Ikea sham with a painted border.

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  11. gosh, you kill it every time! what a team you are!

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  12. You guys are so very talented and I admire how hard core DIYers you are! I also love the color palette - very fresh and unique.

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  13. What a cool idea! You and that David are so darned clever :)

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  14. Sarah, it turned out great. I thought of you when I saw this really cool sea horse made out of branches. I thought of all your extra driftwood. I tried to copy and paste it, but, i couldn't. If you go to my Pinterest page and look at coastal crafts it's there. I think you will really like and could do it. I want to try it, but they didn't give step by step directions. I think it's just glued. Let me know if you like it.
    Erin

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  15. I absolutely love bamboo and the look of the entire room is incredible. You've done an amazing job!

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  16. that seriously looks amazing.. and not just the night stand.. everything about the room is gorgeous.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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