Door & Picket Fence Nightstand – I "Picked It" from the Trash

My best friend from elementary school will be flying in today from New York. I have a sweet little retreat all made up for her in our guest room. I promise to post pictures of the whole room in the near future (when the sun – and sons – cooperate with me.)
Our guest room is full of discarded treasures: a rebuilt curbside chair, an upholstered bench, a full size bed, and a little curved desk. But, one of the focal pieces in the guest room is a night stand made from a discarded door and leftover picket fence pieces.

 Isn’t it fabulous?!

So, here is the tutorial for you. I hope you will excuse my first attempt at using Google Sketch Up. These sketches should give you a pretty good idea how to construct the night stand.

I started by cutting two boards for the shelves. They were cut to the width of the door and the depth of the picket fence sections.

I cut two cleats out of 2″ x 4″ boards (shown in green).

And screwed them to the door (purple circles), making sure that the top of the cleats were level with the top of the horizontal cross boards on the picket fence.

I braced the picket fence pieces to the door using L-brackets.

I laid the two shelves on top of the cleats and cross boards. And drove screws down to hold it in place (purple circles).

Next, I cut some face boards (shown in aqua below) to the same width as the nightstand front.

I used finish nails to nail them to the front, then added some decorative moulding to the face boards.

I used wood putty to fill all the screw and nail holes, and caulk to smooth the seams of the moulding (see here for more details on caulking and filling nail holes.)

Then I painted the nightstand white and accessorized it. I’m still deciding whether I should distress and glaze the nightstand. Feel free to give me your opinion. I am all ears.

Here is my door & picket fence nightstand, all ready for our first guest since re-decorating the guest room.

Glass knob and door plate was purchased at NoFo in Raleigh.
If you are ever in the Raleigh, NC area, you MUST eat at NoFo,
then shop upstairs after your meal. 
Some books written by my favorite author, Diane Chamberlain.
A goodwill lamp and a picture of my niece who lives too far away!*

*(bold comment solely for the purpose of guilting my sister into moving closer.)
Fresh towels and my Country Living magazines.

All beautified and ready for our visitor!

Sharing with the CSI Project White Challenge:



  1. Tru@TRU TALES FEATS says:

    I can't wait to see the rest of the room. I love the nightstand. You have such wonderful ideas and I have bookmarked more than one. Keep up the good work!

  2. this is charming i also can not wait to see rest of room

  3. Mandy [Mandy's Yellow Corner] says:

    This is the most creative thing I've ever seen! LOVE the fence posts – totally makes the piece in my mind. :]

    I would love to feature the chair that you linked to Love Me 2 Times on my blog on Wednesday! Would you be ok with that?

  4. Such a cute idea! Love the doorknob!
    I'm a new follower!

  5. very cool!

  6. Lori @ Nitty Gritty Pretty says:

    So beautiful and unique!

  7. Cozy.Cottage.Cute. says:

    I am in love with that doorknob!

    I love the picket fence / door combo. Very crafty indeed.


  8. It's so nice too see something transformed from nothing, great!
    have a nice day

  9. Julie~MyBellaHome says:

    That is absolutely brilliant, you go girl! Love it!

  10. That is so cool! The door knob and keyhole with key make it just that much more unique.

  11. I love it – and the door knob makes just the right touch. I never heard of Google Sketch Up before so thanks for using it :0)

  12. Sharon@thisthriftyhouse says:

    Wow–You are so amazing!! I love this SO MUCH!!

  13. Rhiannon says:

    o-m-g! sooo cute and that door knob just is the perfect touch!

  14. Christine says:

    Unique and very sweet all at once, nice job…

  15. Paige (Final Clothes-Out) says:

    I'm so impressed! I can't wait until we live in a house (instead of a condo) so I'll have a garage and a yard for using actual tools.

  16. I am completely crazy about this. I'm showing my husband… I have ten thumbs for projects like this, but I can help!

  17. Joy @ Thrifty Parsonage Living says:

    Very cute and creative idea. I love the door knob, it reminds me of the house I grew up in.

  18. Anette Willemine says:

    You are so creative! Thank you for sharing your ideas. I love them. :o)
    This is my first visit on your beautiful blog, and I would love to follow it in the future!

    From Norway with love,
    Anette Willemine

  19. It looks fantastic:)))
    Hugs, Biljana

  20. Green Gracie Home says:

    that is such a wonderful idea! I love how fresh it looks with the door and that pickets. Thanks for stopping by and leaving me sweet comments as well. Bev

  21. You are ever so clever and creative on this one….I love the tutorial, very user friendly. I am having a before and after party going on now, would love for you to join in. Also, every Friday I have a garage salen thrift party you may be interested in. Hope to see you soon. Debbie

  22. Thanks for linking up to the Mad Skills party!

  23. Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust says:

    This is beautiful. AND you did a great job of explaining it!

    Warmly, Michelle

  24. Thank you so much for linking up, and I do look forward to more of your projects. Debbie

  25. Pieced Pastimes says:

    I just found your blog via 'The DIY Show OFF' and have become a follower. This door/night stand is such a wonderful idea. My favorite part is how you left the skeleton key in the hole. Look forward to reading your future posts.

  26. Brandi Nell says:

    OMG – you are awesome! Found you from TheDiyShowOff. Love your work! Can't wait to see more :)

    Come and see me some time over at

    Brandi Nell

  27. Wow! This turned out great! Lovin' the door knob detail!

  28. says:

    Wow that was quite a project. Love how it turned out. Nice.

  29. Michelle L. says:

    Hi, Brittany – just saw your closet nook on DIY Showoff – loved it – and this one is just as cool! I am so excited to find your blog, what amazing tutorials you put together. I'm so impressed and I love your sense of style. Now I must go see all the other stuff you have been doing…

  30. This is such a cute and creative idea. I love it and look forward to seeing the rest of the room. And I am in love with the door knob!!! :)

  31. Aubrey@My Forever House says:

    This is such a cute idea! I especially love how you have the key hanging out of the lock. Such a welcoming retreat for your guests!

  32. Victoria says:

    Wowsers…that is just beyond amazing!!! Absolutely gorgeous! I'll have to show this to my MIL, my FIL recently made a headboard out of an antique door they had.

  33. That is adorable!

  34. This is over the top! I have never seen this done and just love the unexpected, great job!

  35. Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys says:

    I love that idea!!

  36. So fun! Very creative.

  37. Erin@likegrandmas says:

    Great illustrations(for us directionally prone folk)and I love this idea, that door knob is to die for!

  38. THis was great…so glad you shared again. Anytime….would you just mind adding my link, button, whatever saying you are joining my party. Thanks so much.

  39. ale balanzario says:

    Ah, great project to do,

  40. Madigan at madiganmade says:

    Wow, you are handy! Thanks for the visit and encouraging words this week for me! I will need to check out more of your blog for inspiration! I'll use a powersaw someday!
    This is a fabulous post with great diagrams. New follower!

  41. Elizabeth (blue clear sky) says:

    That is one cute table. I love the vintage knob and key. I'm sure any guest would love to use the room.

  42. Desiree Guy says:

    How ADORABLE!! I love that you posted detailed plans on how to make our own! Thank you:-))

  43. Pretty Handy indeed! Love the few posts I've seen so far. And, I've got to check out google sketch up.

  44. Thank you so much for linking up to I am having a Stash-Busting September party. Check the blog for details soon…

  45. Great results! La

  46. says:

    Wow, it's fabulous! great job.
    enjoy your visit with your friend!

  47. That is adorable. And the glass doorknob and key are a nice touch.

  48. says:

    That turned out great, love old doors! What a tutorial, I wish I had your computer skills.

  49. ★All Thingz Related★ says:

    Looks GREAT! Sorry it took me so long to get over here to see it! Thanks for sharing your project at Anything Related! ~Bridgette

  50. Blessed Mommy of 2 says:

    Wow, that is just stunning!

  51. Its So Very Cheri says:

    That is adorable but I must say I LOVE that door knob and key.

    I am visiting from the CSI project. I am numbers 86,87,88, and 89.

    Cheri from and

  52. {northern cottage} says:

    aren't you just the cutest? I LOVE the sparkly doorknob and key component – it MAKES it!


    I just wanted to tell you that your piece inspired a piece my Dad and I did for a local charity auction, using salvaged materials. I linked back to your post here when I blogged about it.
    Thank you for sharing! Beautiful work!



  1. […] from an awesome blog called Pretty Handy Girl.  It was exactly the spark we needed to make our hall […]

  2. […] Handy Girl made this sweet nightstand out of a door which inspired a friend of mine who asked me to make one for her. […]

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