Build Your Own Bedroom Chest

Build your own bedroom chest not only to save money, but to have a unique piece of furniture that will look and fit precisely the way you want it. You can build an elaborate chest out of pest-repellant cedar, economical specialty plywood or a combination of hardwood veneers. Finish this useful bedroom furniture with paint to match your bedroom or stain and varnish it. Either way, this welcome addition to the bedroom can be used to store bedroom linens for guests, or be used as a place to store coverlets and pillows when retiring for the night.

Easy and Affordable

If you are planning to paint your bedroom chest, purchase one ¾-inch sheet of either AA, AB or AC Douglas Fir plywood. It is assumed that you will use the A side as the good side for the outside and it will be painted to hide imperfections ( of which there should not be many). Alternately, you can use Walnut, Oak or Cherry plywood for your project, but keep in mind that these woods will cost more, and it would be a shame not to stain and varnish them. Whichever you choose, cut your sheet of plywood into the following pieces making sure to leave a 1" allowance to compensate for the mitered edges you will create to fit these pieces together. These miters will facilitate the fitting of your bedroom chest "box" structure.

  • 2 pieces 24x36-inch plywood for the top and bottom, allowing for a slight overhang
  • 2 pieces 17x15-inch plywood for the end pieces
  • 2 pieces 31x15-inch plywood for the front and back

Once pieces are cut to size, assemble with miter edges on end, front and back pieces to form an open box. If mitered joint are too complicated, feel free to use butt joints. Use glue, and either nails and screws, to assemble an open box. Allow to dry overnight and attach the bottom which will protrude equally around sides, front and back. The top can be attached with either a set of hinges or a continuous piano hinge. It too, will protrude, matching the bottom piece.

To install either the hinge set or piano hinge, set the lid of the box in place, centered and upside down. With a pencil, mark the holes of the hinge. Drill pilot holes into your markings and then affix the hinge in place and drive home the screws to secure the hinge into the top. Next, attach the hinge set or continuous hinge to the back of the box. All screws should be countersunk. Set nails with a nail set, fill holes with wood putty, and sand all surfaces to a smooth finish.


As mentioned earlier, your bedroom chest can be painted or finished with varnish and stained. If you are using Douglas Fir plywood, it is easier and more attractive to paint your bedroom chest. However, the option still remains to stain and varnish it. Both will provide an attractive finish to your own homemade piece of furniture.