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.



Sat, 04/14/2012 - 19:18

my own fault for not double checking, but the dimesions used in the drawings are for a SEVENTEEN by 24 basket, not a 16 x 24... learned this the hardway after adding 1 inch to the back and tops to fit my 17 inch basket. only afterwards when it doesnt fit did i bother actually thinking about the math...

just a heads up

on a side note... first time using a circular saw and a kreg jig,. and everything worked and went together awesomely!

luckily the too big dresser will be easy to fix with another set of 1x2's, which i already have because i bought the material to make 2 of them!

Brook @ BeingBrook (not verified)

Wed, 04/25/2012 - 16:47

I used the Sterilite 1.5 Bushel baskets and they are 17" at the widest point. Laundry baskets are hard to measure since they curve outward towards the middle. So glad you got the plan to work for your basket.

redflyer (not verified)

Sun, 04/15/2012 - 06:33

Sometimes storage for toys costs a small fortune. This is a great way to do that, rather then putting name tags on the front you could put pictures of the toys that belong in that bin to help your kids learn to clean up after themselves.

craftytammie (not verified)

Sat, 04/28/2012 - 10:34

i am so glad to read that this is for 17 inch baskets, because my husband cut all the pieces and i hadn't checked our baskets yet!! ours are the sterlite baskets from target, and the tag says they are 17 1/4". phew.

Jaime Ramsey (not verified)

Fri, 05/04/2012 - 07:55

I'm obsessed with laundry baskets! I use them for everything. I've even gone so far as to buy the really nice, heavy duty ones. And they must match! I've been saying for years now that I need to build some sort of "dresser" for them. And here it is! Can't wait to get started! Thank you!

Tara Hines (not verified)

Tue, 06/19/2012 - 12:11

My dad and I just built two of these, and I love them. However, Look the plans over when attaching your rungs-- plans say to attach the last rung at 39" from the top, but this puts the basket an entire inch different than the others are spaced, and it would actually rest on the floor of the dresser instead of the rung. We attached at 38" from the top, and they are fairly evenly spaced this way (within 1/4"). Just look over the plans, make your marks, and then decide for yourself.

I used plywood and bought some 3/4" wide molding to put around the front so the raw plywood edge doesn't show. For about $5, it really dresses them up and makes them look higher quality/more finished.

Thank you so much for the plans-- normally I would see something like this and then try to recreate it, which takes a lot more time. It was great having all that work already done for me!

Arijoy (not verified)

Wed, 09/26/2012 - 05:31

I love this! And plan on making it soon. How difficult would it be to add a door and maybe drawers on the bottom for height?