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DIY Interior Design Lifestyle

condo life: $3 nightstands


 When Justin and I first moved into our condo we picked up a few discarded wine boxes at the LCBO for a dollar a piece, unsure of what exactly we’d do with them. For the last year they’ve sat stacked next to our bed as a nightstand placeholder until we could afford those we really wanted. Though they were unfinished, their rough and tumbleness began to grow on me. When operation get-bedroom-finished came into full swing not long ago, I decided they could stick around (dang budget) but they needed to step it up. Enter: stain. After two quick coats (and three days of air drying on the balcony), I brought them in and couldn’t believe the immediate difference. The result feels rustic and well-loved, bringing about an immediate sense of warmth. Extra bonus: you would never even guess that the entire project cost a mere three dollars (plus a can of stain, which I happened to have on hand). I think I’ll keep them around, for a while at least.

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78 Comments

  • Reply
    Anna (My Design Ethos)
    April 12, 2012 at 5:11 am

    These look gorgeous! You would pay top dollar for something like this at a fancy store :)

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      April 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm

      Thank you!! I like to think so :)

  • Reply
    Stacey
    April 12, 2012 at 5:22 am

    I wasn’t going to comment because I don’t want to seem like a stalker (Ha) but these are so lovely! I love the colour they’ve turned into, what wood is it underneath? So much better than before! xx

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      April 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      haha heck no! Comment away! They make my day :)

      I’m pretty sure the wood is pine (or maple? I’m not a wood expert unfortunately!).

      • Reply
        cntryangel51
        February 22, 2013 at 8:58 pm

        its pine

  • Reply
    Shannon8foot6
    April 12, 2012 at 5:42 am

    This looks so great! Definitely keepers!!!!!

  • Reply
    Gaby
    April 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

    What? Amazing! Love the look (and the cost!) ;)

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      April 12, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      The cost is the best part if you ask me :)

  • Reply
    Brittany @ My. Daily. Randomness.
    April 12, 2012 at 7:56 am

    They look lovely! From what I can see the dark stain really makes it pop it your light bedroom. I don’t know how you convinced the LCBO to part ways with those boxes… I might have to go see what I can find!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      April 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm

      Go to the LCBO warehouse! I went to the one on Freeland st. in Toronto. They don’t always have them, but they sell them for a dollar a piece in the lobby. I’ve been told the best day to score is on Tuesdays

  • Reply
    Ranu R. (@lanuchan)
    April 12, 2012 at 8:48 am

    Gorgeous! Such a great low-priced solution and the stain really makes an incredible difference. Keeping this in my DIY arsenal!

  • Reply
    tinajo
    April 12, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Looks really nice, well done! :-)

  • Reply
    livesimplybyannie
    April 12, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Love it!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    April 12, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Beautiful!!! Simple, timeless and affordable – Go you!!

  • Reply
    houseofearnest
    April 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

    wow! These look so great! Nice job!!

  • Reply
    HRCK the Herald
    April 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

    This is a really brilliant idea– I WILL be recreating this!

  • Reply
    The Embellished Nest
    April 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Wow, this is so, so beautiful!

  • Reply
    The Urban Slant (@juliarosinus)
    April 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

    I love this look! I definitely need to find some old wine crates and do this!

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    April 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Oh man they look awesome! That stain really makes them look cool:)
    ~Jennifer

  • Reply
    Tobe | Because It's Awesome
    April 12, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Ummm..brillz! LOVE it! And so perfectly styled :)

  • Reply
    Style Theories
    April 12, 2012 at 10:57 am

    i love this with the dark stain! great find!

  • Reply
    sarah o'brien
    April 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I love it!

  • Reply
    Caileigh Kyle
    April 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I will definitely be hunting down some old wine boxes to do this with! Great post! :)

    http://twoofakindblog.blogspot.ca/

  • Reply
    Haute
    April 12, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    You have a magical touch! They look absolutely stunning and not at all like a $3 nightstand!! Intact, they look nicer than most really expensive plan old boring nightstands. Great job! I may steal this idea if I never decide to redecorate!! :)

    • Reply
      Haute
      April 12, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Stupid auto correct :S *Infact and *ever
      …currently blushing…

  • Reply
    Victoria@VictoryPaper
    April 12, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    well done! i can’t wait to see the rest!

  • Reply
    JEN RAMOS
    April 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    one word BRILLIANT…why didnt i think of this?
    http://www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Jacquelyn
    April 12, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    Thank you all for your sweet comments! You sure do know how to make a girl feel special (or her nightstands, at the very least!)

  • Reply
    andrea
    April 12, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    these look fantastic jacquelyn!

  • Reply
    Brighton Keller
    April 12, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    ah ha!! This is brilliant!!! Love it!

  • Reply
    kat @ dot dot dash
    April 13, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Such a fabulously simple idea! x kat

  • Reply
    ihartyoga
    April 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Genius! It looks rustically beautiful and expensive might I add.

  • Reply
    Leah // Freutcake
    April 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Holy cow you are so talented! I love this look…and so does Jason. He happened to be walking by my computer as I was looking at it! :)

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      April 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      haha amazing!
      Thanks Leah!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    April 16, 2012 at 5:09 am

    These are beautiful, what a fantastic idea!

    Andrea x

  • Reply
    Ashley
    April 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Gorgeous! I’m looking to do something similar with a table I have, this color exactly! Could you tell me what stain you used? Color and brand? Beautiful work, keep it up! :) Thanks!!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      April 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Hey Ashley! Sorry for the delay
      I used a Minwax stain and the colour is called Jacobean
      Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    rick
    April 16, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    i too love the stain color, please let us know what you used!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      April 18, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Rick! It’s a minwax stain called Jacobean

  • Reply
    Brooke Ratzlaff
    April 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    What a great idea! Nice styling also!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    April 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Love it!!! Looks so beautiful and pulled together. Love seeing your home :)

  • Reply
    Kee
    October 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    These are awesome! What is an LCBO though?

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      February 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Wow – do I get the worst blogger in the world card for only seeing this question now? Better late than never, yes?? The LCBO is the liquor control board of Ontario. The government controls our liquor sales in Ontario and it’s the only place to (legally) buy alcohol!

  • Reply
    Ellie
    November 2, 2012 at 1:26 am

    Did you use a high gloss poly afterwards or is the Jacobean mini wax a 2 in 1? I love the shine on those! Can you please explain your stain process? 1coat? Did you brush it on and then wipe it down? I’m a staining newbie! :)

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      November 4, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Ellie!

      I used the 2 in 1. I brushed it on and wiped it down. I did two coats (letting the first one dry before applying the second). I might suggest using some sort of sealant afterwards. The stain has definitely faded (though it’s probably only noticeable to my nit-picky self) and I might add another coat whenever I get a spare moment.

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Jessica
    January 27, 2013 at 8:07 am

    What an amazing idea! Do you suggest I go to a package store & ask them if they have any of these boxes I could have?

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      February 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      It’s definitely worth a shot!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Kami
    February 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    These are wonderful!!!! I wanna do this but need to know how tall this is. If you don’t mind telling me how many inches tall?

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  • Reply
    Louise
    July 18, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I love this! Do you mind telling me of the dimensions of each of the crates? I’m trying to recreate this and I loved the height of yours.

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  • Reply
    Ashley @ musingsandoats
    March 11, 2014 at 10:47 am

    These are beautiful! I really want to snag these for our bedroom :) Do you mind if I feature/link back to this project on my blog? I just love it!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      March 11, 2014 at 11:22 am

      Absolutely!!

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  • Reply
    Ashley @ musingsandoats
    March 14, 2014 at 3:52 am

    Thanks! By the way, I was pretty excited when I came across your blog :) I am loving it!

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      March 14, 2014 at 8:53 am

      Thanks Ashley!!

  • Reply
    Paigerella
    March 14, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Gorgeous. I just love the look of a dark stain. Well done.

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn
      March 17, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you!!

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  • Reply
    west furniture revival
    March 24, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    great idea, looks so cute, i would love to feature it , if that would be ok please let me know
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  • Reply
    Sam
    December 14, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Love the idea. What size wine crates did you end up using?? Can’t find wine crates in store due to popularity but purchasing them online and all I see are dimensions.

  • Reply
    April Rutherford
    April 20, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I was google searching “unique end tables” and typed “nightstand” instead. I’m so glad, because I found these and love them. I’m going to make some if I can find these crates, if not I’m going to build some. I’ll link back to you if I blog about them, if that okay. So glad I found your site!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Ryan
    February 18, 2016 at 10:20 am

    I love this project! But a bit of critiscism… The materials for this are well over $3
    The stain alone is $8, a clear coat is $10
    And if you don’t get the boxes for free they can rang from $10-$30 a piece.

    I am making mine into end tables with black pipe legs, then filling the boxes with cork and covering it with glass.

    • Reply
      Jacquelyn Clark
      February 18, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Hey Ryan! I had the stain on hand, I didn’t add a clear coat, and the boxes are $1 a piece at the LCBO (though they get scooped up very quickly so you have to act fast!)

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