I was trying to build something with Drizzle but I couldn’t figure out how to actually create tables in my SQLite database. Here are the docs I wish I’d had that would have saved me an hour of Googling things.

Create a new Node project

If you don’t already have one, create a new Node project.

Terminal window
# create a folder
mkdir my-drizzle-project
cd my-drizzle-project/
# initialize
npm init -y
git init
# install the required deps
npm i drizzle-orm better-sqlite3
npm i -D @types/better-sqlite3 @types/node drizzle-kit ts-node typescript

Update package.json

In package.json, make the highlighted changes. More on the command prefixed with db: later in this tutorial.

"engines": {
"node": ">=20.6.0"
"type": "module",
"name": "drizzle-sqlite-basic-example",
"version": "1.0.0",
"description": "",
"main": "index.js",
"scripts": {
"db:studio": "drizzle-kit studio",
"build": "npx tsc",
"dev": "node --env-file=.env --watch --loader ts-node/esm index.ts",
"test": "echo \"Error: no test specified\" && exit 1"
"author": "Jason Lengstorf <jason@learnwithjason.dev>",
"license": "ISC",
"dependencies": {
"better-sqlite3": "^9.4.1",
"drizzle-orm": "^0.29.3"
"devDependencies": {
"@types/better-sqlite3": "^7.6.9",
"@types/node": "^20.11.19",
"drizzle-kit": "^0.20.14",
"ts-node": "^10.9.2",
"typescript": "^5.3.3"

Add tsconfig.json

You can use any TypeScript setup you prefer, but here’s the one I tested with.

"compilerOptions": {
"strict": true,
"target": "ESNext",
"module": "NodeNext",
"esModuleInterop": true,
"forceConsistentCasingInFileNames": true,
"skipLibCheck": true

Create a Drizzle config file

import type { Config } from 'drizzle-kit';
export default {
schema: './db/schema.ts',
out: './db/migrations',
driver: 'better-sqlite',
dbCredentials: {
url: './db/demo.db',
} satisfies Config;

Create a SQLite database schema

Your schema can define any tables you need for your app. Here’s what mine looks like:

import { integer, text, sqliteTable } from 'drizzle-orm/sqlite-core';
export const users = sqliteTable('users', {
id: integer('id', { mode: 'number' }).primaryKey({ autoIncrement: true }),
name: text('name'),
export const ideas = sqliteTable('ideas', {
id: integer('id', { mode: 'number' }).primaryKey({ autoIncrement: true }),
text: text('text'),
status: text('status', { enum: ['approved', 'rejected', 'pending'] }),
creator: integer('creator_id').references(() => users.id),
export type User = typeof users.$inferSelect;
export type NewUser = typeof users.$inferInsert;
export type Idea = typeof ideas.$inferSelect;
export type NewIdea = typeof ideas.$inferInsert;

Create the SQLite database tables from your Drizzle schema

Right now, the schema is defined but the tables haven’t been created in the SQLite database yet.

This is where I got stuck. I tried to run my app, but I kept getting a SqliteError: no such table: users error. I couldn’t find any reference to how to actually create the database tables in the Drizzle docs.

After searching around, I figured out two ways to get the SQLite tables created using Drizzle:

  1. Generate a migration (the SQL query to create the tables as defined in your schema), which can be applied manually, using Drizzle’s migrate helper, or with third-party tools — this is a production-friendly approach
  2. Push the schema changes directly, which is exactly what I was looking for to set up my local database and is what I’ll cover in this tutorial.

Both generating migrations and pushing schemas can be done using Drizzle’s CLI helper, Drizzle Kit.

Push the SQLite database changes using Drizzle Kit

For prototyping, local dev, or initializing a new database, the push command will use the defined schema to update the database — which, in our case, will create the missing tables.

Terminal window
npx drizzle-kit push:sqlite

View the SQLite database in Drizzle Studio

To verify that the tables were created, you can use Drizzle Studio, which gives you a browser-based interface for viewing and working with your SQLite data.

Terminal window
npm run db:studio

This runs drizzle-kit studio under the hood and will start up Drizzle Studio at https://local.drizzle.studio/.

Drizzle Studio screenshot showing the tables created in this tutorial

Drizzle Studio showing the newly created SQLite tables

Test CRUD in SQLite using Drizzle ORM

Now the tables exist, you can actually insert and select data from the database.

To try this out, create index.ts at the root of the project and add the following:

import { drizzle } from 'drizzle-orm/better-sqlite3';
import Database from 'better-sqlite3';
import {
type NewIdea,
type NewUser,
type User,
} from './db/schema.js';
import { eq } from 'drizzle-orm';
const sqlite = new Database('./db/demo.db');
const db = drizzle(sqlite);
// inserts a new user and returns the newly created entry
async function addUser(user: NewUser): Promise<User> {
return (await db.insert(users).values(user).returning()).at(0)!;
async function addIdea(idea: NewIdea): void {
await db.insert(ideas).values(idea);
// joins the ideas and users tables to select ideas with creator name
async function getIdeas() {
return await db
id: ideas.id,
text: ideas.text,
status: ideas.status,
creator: users.name, // <= use the creator's name instead of ID
.leftJoin(users, eq(ideas.creator, users.id));
const user = await addUser({ name: 'Jason Lengstorf' });
await addIdea({
text: 'Learn how ORMs work',
status: 'pending',
creator: user.id, // <= use the new user's ID as the creator
const allIdeas = await getIdeas();

After saving this, start the dev server by running npm run dev and you’ll see output similar to the following:

Terminal window
npm run dev
> drizzle-sqlite-basic-example@1.0.0 dev
> node --env-file=.env --watch --loader ts-node/esm index.ts
(node:82803) ExperimentalWarning: Watch mode is an experimental feature and might change at any time
(Use `node --trace-warnings ...` to show where the warning was created)
(node:82808) ExperimentalWarning: `--experimental-loader` may be removed in the future; instead use `register()`:
--import 'data:text/javascript,import { register } from "node:module"; import { pathToFileURL } from "node:url"; register("ts-node/esm", pathToFileURL("./"));'
(Use `node --trace-warnings ...` to show where the warning was created)
id: 1,
text: 'Learn how ORMs work',
status: 'pending',
creator: 'Jason Lengstorf'
Completed running 'index.ts'

This creates both a user and an idea, then does a partial select to create a combined view of the idea and user.

If you’re like me and this is your first time using Drizzle and SQLite: congratulations! You just created and interacted with a database in a Node and TypeScript project, and you’re ready to build your data-powered app.

Happy building!