Brook Laundry Basket Dresser - 4 Tall and Lengthwise

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 10:41
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How to build laundry basket dressers! Clean up your laundry room with these simple laundry basket dressers made from a single sheet of plywood.

Life is too short to spend hours each day on laundry.

Judging from the interest in the original Laundry Basket Dressers, I think you all agree. Anything we can do to clean up the dirty laundry process is more time we could be spending tickling our kids, making the perfect chocolate chip cookies, or sneaking off to the garage to build something!
The Laundry Basket Dressers have done so well in my own home, taking what was a mountain - no exaggeration here - of dirty laundry right in our entryway to sorted and stack baskets neatly put in there place.  My sister uses the Laundry Basket Dressers as the primary clothing storage system in her home.  Like I said, more time for tickling the kiddos.

Different Size

Many of you have modified the original Laundry Basket Dressers to fit your needs and space better.  When my friend Brooke wrote saying she had altered the plans for a taller but deeper storage system, I couldn't thank her enough for letting us share plans.

Easy to Build

You'll love that each of these storage pieces is made from a single sheet of plywood.  The cutting is easy - I've even included a layout - and it's just a matter of some screws, nails, and pretty paint!
Tell me, how much tickle time do you think these Laundry Basket Dressers would create in your home?

More Photos and Details

And for more photos and details, and the before shot, make sure you stop over and visit Brook.  You'll be inspired!!!
Dimensions are shown above. Sized for 24 x 16 baskets - measure yours before building!!!


Shopping List

1 - Sheet 3/4" plywood or MDF 2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long 2" screws or 1 1/4" pocket hole screws 1 1/4" finish nails Glue Paint 4 Laundry Baskets, 16" x 24" (I use the cheapo Sterilite ones but measure and make sure the baskets you buy will fit)

Cut List

3/4" plywood cut as follows and shown in cutting diagram: Back: 17 1/2" x 48" Sides (2): 25" x 48" Top & Bottom (2): 19" x 25" 8 - 1x2 @ 24" (it's okay if they are a tiny bit short to get all the cuts on the same boards)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
General Instructions

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Step 1

Okeedok! Here we go. Just start at one end of the plywood, measure in 17 1/2" and make a straight line and cut. Then measure in 25", mark a line and cut. Repeat two more times. From the last 25" strip, cut into two pieces 19" wide for the top and bottom. Because the saw blade takes up space when cutting, you cannot just mark all cuts and have at it. You must measure, cut, then measure, cut and so on. If you have a hardware store that will make these cuts for you, by all means, beg and plead. It's much easier to carry the pieces than a full sheet of 3/4".

Step 2

Get the two sides out and determine what side is uglier, and what edge is ugliest. Or shall we say less attractive. Anyway, make a mark down the edge 3/4" as shown in diagram. This will be the backs side. Do this on both sides.

Step 3

Now mark each side down as shown in the diagram. Make sure you make at least two marks so your cleats go on nice and square. Apply glue to back edge of cleats, and nail down with 1 1/4" nails. Note that the two sides are done in mirror.

Step 4

Just to illustrate the mirror requirement. If you make two the same ... you'll be making two Laundry Basket Dressers, which might not be a bad thing at all!!

Step 5

Step 6

And the last step is to just add the tops. This should be pretty easy, just keep your outside edges flush and use glue. And that's it! How simple is that?

Finishing Instructions
Preparation Instructions
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. 

It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.


Brook@BeingBrook (not verified)

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 22:24

The B,C,D,E are the first letter of each of my kids names! We use the laundry dressers for clean laundry. Each person has a basket for their clean clothes and then one for towels and one for sheets. The kids each have an additional basket for their mudroom type items and things they leave strewn about the house. Our laundry room comes in from the garage so it's our mudroom too.

I have three baskets on top of the washer/dryer for dirty laundry.

momof08 (not verified)

Sun, 06/17/2012 - 10:12


Love it especially since I also have 8 kids, I have decided that all my older kids will be doing their OWN laundry, I'm tired of having all the laundry piled in huge heaps on the laundry room floor. I am going out today, with my list of materials, and build these. Can't wait to see how they turn out!


Fri, 03/02/2012 - 03:39

I am further to this forum, so immediately beg an enchanting confusion:)

How scads pairs of shoes do you have?

How much do you accept new shoes?

Amuse especially women to observe on this topic.

RhettJimmy (not verified)

Fri, 03/02/2012 - 23:05

Why buy the 1"x2"s? Your cutting diagram shows a 10"x25" piece of scrap that could be ripped into 8 - 1"x3/4" pieces that would already be the right length! I'm going to be building a few of these after my wife sees your design... ;-)

Sergey (not verified)

Sun, 03/04/2012 - 20:00

Laundry room sounds like a risk for water spillage.
Maybe small legs like 1/4'' will allow for some ventilation down there.
On the other hand the dirt will start getting under the dresser.
What will happen if water gets under those dressers, will it soak and warp the wood?


Mon, 03/05/2012 - 05:26

You can throw some little wheels on the bottom if you want for a bit of a lift, then you could pull the laundry dressers out to sweep. I believe the original plans did have wheels. I made it without, b/c I don't need it to roll, but I believe a lot of people did add them and it's fantastic.

Brook @ BeingBrook (not verified)

Mon, 03/05/2012 - 15:05

I used AC Plywood. If you were worried about water spillage then you could put the dressers on wheels. We had a dresser in that spot before and it was always really dusty underneath and the kids would lose things and we'd have to move the whole dresser so we just set the dressers on the ground.