before & after: cheese box nightstands

Everyone has his or her own opinion about nightstands. Some people reject the idea of any nightstand without hidden storage, while others gravitate toward slim stools, floating shelves or sculptural blocks — perhaps to prevent clutter or because they prefer the minimalist look. Personally, I can see the value of both sides, but I daresay this inventive repurposing of old cheese boxes from Alice Ko might satisfy both camps. The rustic worn-wood box looks elegant and minimal beside the bed but also provides a place to tuck things away. I haven’t come across many of these boxes, but this project has inspired me to keep a look out and snag one if I see it. Nice work, Alice! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

See the how-to after the jump . . .

Time: 30 minutes

Cost: $137 for two nightstands ($55 each for cheese boxes; $15 for castors; $12 for nuts, bolts and washers)

Basic Steps: Turn the cheese box upside down and position the three castors where you want them to be. Use a pencil to mark where you’ll drill the holes. Use the right sized bit to drill the holes, then fasten the castors to the cheese box with the bolts. Turn the box over carefully and place the washers over the bolts. Fasten the nuts to each of the bolts, and you’re done!

My advice is to drill pilot holes into the bottom of the cheese box first to get a sense of how thick the wood is before going out to get nuts, bolts and washers. We had to go back to the store and return the bolts we initially got because they were too short. — Alice

  1. Ellen says:

    Looks great! You could also attach stubby legs in bronze or pewter, if your floors and/or room are not suitable for rolling furniture. I will keep my eyes open for one of these!

  2. Brian says:

    Love this idea!! Not crazy about the wheels (could run away on a wood floor), but legs like Ellen mention would work out nice.

  3. Janice says:

    i love this idea.

    just need to dust off the cheese box i got at a yardsale over a decade ago.

    thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Zoe says:

    I am CRAZY for boxes! This is a great excuse to keep a few around :)
    Always looking for those!

  5. Where have I been? I have never seen cheese boxes before! I am now on the hunt for one. Love them as nightstands.

  6. Amy says:

    Great idea! I love this. You could always put a wheel lock on the casters if you were worried about it rolling away.

  7. Thank you for featuring my project! I found that I have no problems with the box rolling away. But if you have uneven floors I could see it could be a problem. Attaching little legs would also work great!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Really great idea…. !!!

  9. Hank Lane says:

    Very creative. Never worry about what others think. They didn’t buy the materials and don’t have the vision you have. Continue to surround yourself with those of like talents, and you will continue to grow into a. Crafting superstar. I wish you the very best. One crafting book that stands out above all the rest is, THE SAVAGE STUDIO, found on Amazon. This is a must read craft book.

  10. Will says:

    found some of these a while ago for $5, they are new from a cheese outlet (this is Wisconsin) and you have given me a push to get them out and use them

  11. Fantastic idea, they look super rustic, in a really good way!

  12. Botny says:

    such a great and stylish way to recycle!! love this!

  13. Maria says:

    Lovely! Did you stain the wood somehow to give it a special finish?

  14. queenie says:

    Looks amazing! Don’t know much about cheese boxes, but I’m curious, does the “cheesy” smell not linger on them?

  15. Those are great, I love a round nightstand!

  16. Isabelle says:

    Best place to get cheese boxes it from a friendly purveyor of fine cheeses. I used to have a ton of them which I used for storage. They come in a lower size also (easier to get) and with tall mid-century legs attached make perfect night stands, end tables and plant stands.

  17. julia says:

    i like this look a lot! it would work well for toys too

  18. This is brilliant -and beautiful! I have a penchant for putting wheels on things, though, so it’s perfect as far as I’m concerned!!

  19. @Maria: I didn’t stain the boxes at all. It’s their natural aged patina. @Queenie: No they don’t smell! Initially I had the same concern but fortunately they didn’t have a cheesy odour.

  20. These are great – even for living room or study. Thanks!

  21. Wheels make things so much better!

  22. Susan says:

    I love these old Shaker cheeseboxes….found 3 recently at an estate sale for next to nothing. I use them for storage as well as displaying shells. The boxes have such great patina. Clever idea for nightstands and I love anything on wheels. Nice job! You can still buy these new (E. B. Frye and Sons, Wilton, NH) but they are expensive!

  23. Tricia says:

    Lovely! This is a little off topic, but what is the yellow wall color? A good yellow is hard to find. Thanks!

  24. What a great idea for a nightstand! And I love the look, too – it would fit in perfectly with my home decor.

  25. What a clever idea. Love the castors!

  26. Catherine Moreau says:

    I have a question, I keep seeing these yellow flowers everywhere. What are they? I adore them!

  27. Jo Kin says:

    I love the wheels, forget the legs like Ellen mentioned, apparently this is what you wanted and its great.

  28. John Hawley says:

    Cool idea for cheese boxes. See the “FurniturebyAnnJay” shop on Etsy for an extension on this idea. REALLY COOL!!


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