DIY Dresser from 2x4s

diy dresser
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DIY dresser free tutorial with no drawer slides! This plan uses basic lumber, no plywood, and is easy to build. The boxes fit in the openings. Free step by step plans with diagrams and shopping and cut list from Ana-White.com

Dressers can be so expensive, or cheaply made.

Have you considered DIYing your own dresser? This drawer dresser features six large cubbies, with ample storage for it all.  


This easy to build design can be used as a changing table, or add decorative handles or knobs to make it fit a style preference.  

More DIY Dresser Ideas

If you are looking for more DIY dresser ideas, we have many free dresser plans.  Here's one of my favorites if you are looking for a very simple DIY option:

DIY Dresser Plan

Dimensions
diy dresser
Dimensions shown in diagram

Preparation

Shopping List
  • 8 - 2x4 @ 8 feet long
  • 3 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 3 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 - 1x4 @ 3 feet long
  • 2 - 1x6 @ 8 feet long
  • 24 feet of 1x10 boards or other boards for drawer boxes
  • 1 - 1x12 @ 8 feet long
Cut List

FACE FRAMES

  • 4 - 2x4 @ 31"
  • 4 - 2x2 @ 43-1/2"
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 43-1/2
  • 4 - 2x2 @ 11-1/2"

REMAINDER OF CABINET

  • 10 - 2x4 @ 16-1/2" (should be equal in length to the width of three 1x6s (see step 6)
  • 8 - 1x2 @ 16-1/2" (drawer guides)
  • 6 - 1x6 @ 29-1/2"
  • 4 - 1x2 @ 16-1/2" (cut to fit)
  • 2 - 1x4 @ 16-1/2" (cut to fit)

DRAWERS

  • 6 - 1x10 @ 12-1/4"
  • 12- 1x10 @ 17"
  • 6 - 1/4" plywood @ 17-3/4" x 13-1/4"
  • 6 - 1x12 @ 13-1/4"

TOP

  • 6 - 2x4 @ 47-1/2"
  • 2 - 2x4 @ 21"

Cutting Instructions

This plan is designed to work with standard lumber dimensions as follows:

  • 2x4 - 1-1/2" x 3-1/2"
  • 1x12 - 3/4" x 11-1/4"
  • 1x6 - 3/4" x 5-1/2"

If your lumber differs in dimensions, you will need to modify the plan.

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Miter Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
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!

Instructions

Step 1

Build the face frames for front and back.  It is very important that the face frames be identical to keep the drawers from sliding cockeyed.

TIP: You may wish to drill 1-1/2" pocket holes facing up on the inside of the project for attaching the top in later steps.

Step 2

Attach the two frames together with 2x4 boards.  The drawers will run along the top of these boards.

Make SURE your face frames are direcltly in line with each other.

Step 3

Add 1x2s on top of 2x4s to guide the drawers as they slide.  Make sure the 1x2s are square to the front face frame.  Screw these down with just 2 screws so they can be easily adjusted if needed.

Step 4

Build the drawer boxes to fit - 1/4" less in width and height than the openings to allow an 1/8" gap on all sides of the drawer.

Step 5

Once you are happy with the drawers, attach 1x6s to side panels.

Step 6

Trim side panels with 1x2s and 1x4s to keep the look consistent.

Step 7

Build top seperately with pocket holes and attach to top.

Add 1/4" plywood to back if desired.

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.
Comments - Click to Display Comments

Comments

carongirls

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 17:23

I really really love this!  I have been wanting to make a dresser for sometime now but all the plans were to difficult or required a small fortune in wood.  This is pefect.

Bige

Sat, 05/09/2015 - 12:42

I'm building the drawers now. The back measure is not adding up. The fronts are 13 1/4. The sides are 3/4 thick. So the backs should be 11 3/4 not 12 1/4? What am I missing?

pattiemelt

Thu, 08/24/2017 - 08:38

I love this dresser. It is exactly what I was thinking of buying/building for the house I am looking at to buy. I would much rather build it so I am glad I found this post. I am thinking of using 3/4" prefinished T&G hardwood flooring for the drawer fronts, sides & maybe the top. We'll see how it goes.

AhmaNaz

Tue, 07/05/2022 - 13:16

Clarifying question: For the face frame is it only the front that needs the 11.5 inch 2x2?The cut list only called for 4.