How to Decoupage a Nightstand

Add punchy patterned fabric to a nightstand for a fun and colorful furniture piece that's all your own.

bedroom with lamp, nightstand, pillows, books

Nightstands often play a major role in storage but do little to elevate a bedroom's style or personality. But with a little bit of fabric and glue, you can make a stunning furniture piece perfect for holding a reading lamp and other bedside necessities. This DIY furniture project is easy to make and, if you use an old table, it is fairly inexpensive—you should have most of the materials already on hand! Take a look at our step-by-step instructions below and create a custom nightstand that reflects your personal style.

What You Need

  • Nightstand or side table
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Fabric
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Paintbrush
  • Decoupage medium, such as Mod Podge

Step 1: Prep Nightstand

drilling side table

With a drill, remove legs from the base of the nightstand and clean up the surface of the table as needed. It's OK to have scratches on the top, bottom, and sides of the table, since those will be covered with fabric. However, fix any paint scratches on the edges of the table and the front of the drawer. It is much harder to paint the table's edges once the fabric has been applied. 

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Step 2: Find Center

measuring side table

Keep the table flipped upside-down and use a pencil and measuring tape to mark the center of the bottom of the table. This mark will eventually be covered by fabric, so make it as dark as you'd like. 

Step 3: Cut Fabric

measuring fabric

When purchasing your fabric yardage, use a tape measure to wrap around the table, from the center of the underside and around the sides until you meet your initial mark. You'll want about 6 additional inches of fabric to account for edges and any user error.

Once you have your fabric, measure the width of your table and transfer your measurements to the fabric. Cut a length of fabric about two inches wider than the width of your table surface. It's important to leave the extra inch around all sides for a clean finish on the edges.

Editor's Tip: A lightweight fabric works best with this technique.

Step 4: Staple Fabric

stapler

Lay the fabric on the underside of the table, with the top of the fabric facing down. Line the edge of the fabric up with the center mark you made. Using a staple gun, secure the fabric along the center line, stopping at the edges.

Table how-to stapler

Fold the excess fabric on the edges in so that the seam lines up with the edge of the table. Staple at the corners to secure.

Step 5: Apply Decoupage Medium

DIY Side table

Once you have stapled the fabric in place, paint the exposed half of the table with Mod Podge, as well as inside the folded edge of the fabric. With your fingers, run a crease along the folded edges so they stay slightly secured during the next step. 

Step 6: Secure Fabric

DIY Side table

Once you have painted one half of the bottom of the table, pull the fabric taught over the decoupage medium and press firmly to smooth the fabric out. The fabric should now have the right side facing out. Be sure to fold the edges of fabric in to line up with the edge of the table. 

Step 7: Wrap Fabric

DIY Side table

Continue in this fashion as you wrap around the side, top, and opposite side of the table until you return to the bottom of the table. As you go, make sure the fabric edges are being pulled tight and snug around the corners. 

Step 8: Cut Excess Fabric

DIY Side table

When you get back to the bottom of the table and have applied the decoupage medium and pressed the fabric down, you should have some excess fabric that overlaps the seam at your initial starting point. Cut the excess so that it is roughly two inches longer than the starting point.

DIY Side table

Apply decoupage medium to the final uncovered area as well as the back of the excess fabric. Fold the excess fabric under to create a seam that aligns with your starting point.

Click for more decoupage home decor projects.

Step 9: Staple Seam

DIY Side table

Once the seam is pressed flat and lined up to your starting edge, secure with a few staples. Since this is the bottom of the table, you may staple along the edges, as well, if needed to keep the fabric pressed crisp. 

Step 10: Dry and Finish

DIY Side table

Press firmly around all edges of the table to ensure the fabric is on smoothly, and let dry per manufacturer's recommendation. Once the Mod Podge is dry, reattach the legs.

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