Mid Height 4 Drawer Dresser with Open Bottom Shelf - Cabin Collection

open bottom dresser plans
| Print this plan

Build your own dresser with simple DIY plans! 

We love this dresser with its large open bottom shelf for baskets or bins, or larger belongings, two roomy drawers, and two smaller drawers at top.  The overall height is still useable as a storage surface, but the footprint is compact to fit in smaller rooms.

This is a free step by step woodworking plan with detailed diagrams, shopping and cut lists and lots of reader submitted photos from Ana-White.com


Photo By MOLLIEPAYNE  Build by Patrick 

I really love how this dresser turned out!  

And now some tips from Patrick ...
If your drawer fronts are 7 1/4 inches wide and you want a 1/8th inch gap around the front, cut a wood spacer block 7 1/2 inches long and use it to get perfect drawer spaces. This keeps you from having to measure every time. Measuring offers chances to make mistakes. This ensures the same gap every time.
Just move the block over and you get the same space.

Pine 2x2's are very soft so I put pocket holes on 2 sides of the board. Both the back and bottom have pocket holes for added strength.


Don't Forget!

PS - Don't forget to enter today to win a $100 Home Depot Card from PureBond!  Wouldn't this project be pretty PureBond plywood?  Remember, the giveaway is happening every single weekday in January, and you can enter every day for more chances to win!
dresser dimensions
Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List
  • 1 –sheet of 3/4 plywood, cut into 15 ¾” wide strips
  • 1 – sheet of ¼” plywood for back and drawer bottoms
  • 2 – 1x8 @ 6 feet long
  • 4 – 1x6 @ 8 feet long
  • 6 – 1x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 5 – 2x2 @ 8 feet long
  • 1 – 1x3 @ 4 feet long
  • 4 – 16” drawer slides, euro style bottom corner mount
  • 4 knobs or pulls
Common Materials
1 1/4 inch finish nails
2 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
Cut List
  • 2 – ¾” plywood @ 15 ¾” x 26 ¼”
  • 4 – 1x2 @ 15 ¾”
  • 4 – 1x2 @ 23 ¼”
  • 4 – 2x2 @ 40 ¼”
  • 2 – 2x2 @ 15 ¾”
  • 4 – 2x2 @ 40”
  • 1 – ¾” plywood @ 15 ¾” 40”
  • 6- 1x2 @ 40”
  • 2 – 1x2 @ 7 ½”
  • 1 – ¾” plywood @ 15 ¾” x 9”
  • 1 – ¾” plywood @ 15 ¾” x 41 ½”
  • 2 – 1x2 @ 15 ¾”
  • 1 – 1x2 @ 44 ½”
  • 1 – 1x3 @ 44 ½”
  • Cut drawers to fit
Cutting Instructions

NOTE: This plan is designed for 1x8 boards measuring 7 ¼” wide for perfect fitting drawer faces. If your 1x8 boards differ in width, you will need to adjust the plan. This plan gives 1/8” gaps around drawer faces.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
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!


Step 1

Attach legs with 1 ¼” pocket hole screws through predrilled holes. You will need to make two of ends.

Step 2

Now simply attach legs. Do this on both sides.

Step 3

Attach bottom shelf side. Do this on both sides.

Step 4

Now it's taking shape! Attach side to side as shown above.

Step 5

Step 6

Trim between drawers.

Step 7

Divider between smaller top drawers.

Step 8

This board gives you something to hang your drawer slides too.

Step 9

Build the top first, then attach to dresser top, 1" overhang on front and sides.

Step 10

Build drawers to fit, 1" smaller than overall opening.  Here is a good video showing the steps to sizing and installing drawers

Step 11

Install drawers into boxes with slides. Remember, we still have the faces to put on, so inset drawers 3/4" from front of dresser.

Step 12

Attach drawer faces with 1 1/4" finish nails, with an even gap around all sides. Remember to mark location of pulls or handles to avoid nails where you will later drill holes for hardware.

Step 13

I like to attach the back after drawers so it's easy to reach in and work on the slides.

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.



Mon, 01/09/2012 - 13:31

Wow! You have perfect timing on this one! I was just going to start trying to figure out how to make your other open bottom dresser just using a face frame to avoid all the weight caused by the "box"
I love the block Patrick used to ensure the correct spacing for the drawer, that's exactly what I did for my nightstands!

Guest (not verified)

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 13:47

Ready to build but unfortunately the PDF is not working. Looks like a great chest.


Mon, 01/09/2012 - 13:48

Ana, Can you add detail to the cut list like you have on the other posts so we know what each piece is for. This really helps me when I'm modifying a plan.
Thanks! :) So excited to get started!

Brett (not verified)

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 14:22

This is awesome! I want to try and make this for our baby's room. Two questions:

1. What type of wood do you suggest using?
2. What color is the stain that you used? I love it!

In reply to by Brett (not verified)


Mon, 01/09/2012 - 15:06

This was made from white pine and I used an ebony stain. I didn't even seal the wood first. I just sanded it down to 150 grit and applied the stain. Pine tends to blotch so a lot of folks like to use a sealer or shellac to keep it from blotching so bad. That definitely works but I kind of like the blotchy rough look. Have fun!


Mon, 01/09/2012 - 17:48

This just what I was looking for! I think I will modify a little and try for some beadboard fronts. Anybody have any tips on that? I need a router.


Mon, 01/09/2012 - 18:56

How wide could I make this dresser before things start sagging? Would using vertical braces in the rear be necessary, if at all? A third leg to support in the middle? Is the drawer size determined by the weight the drawer slides can hold? I would like to maintain the design with single drawers across the bottom, but make the piece maybe a foot wider. Thanks.


Tue, 01/10/2012 - 07:24

There are pretty good tools on the web for figuring out what you can get away with. I like this one for the name: http://www.woodbin.com/calcs/sagulator.htm

As a practical matter, wider drawers have a tendency to bind. Wider dressers tend to use a center support member and put drawers side by side to avoid this problem.


Tue, 01/10/2012 - 20:30

Now that you mention it, I would probably be better off building two dressers and placing them side by side. I have a tiny bedroom and about a nine foot wall. I want to build my dressers to fit as a wall unit. Small enough to get in and out of the room in pieces and fit together to look like one wall of storage.


Tue, 01/10/2012 - 08:39

This piece is REALLY beautiful. I love the brick wall behind it in the photo too.. great effect :) Great job! I love this community of builders.


Tue, 01/10/2012 - 19:50

Where's the best place to buy drawer slides? It seems like I can never find the right size at Blue or Orange. And what does "Euro Style" mean?

In reply to by molliepayne


Tue, 01/10/2012 - 20:45

I was just researching online last night. I found www.gliderite.com. They sell nice slides with ball-bearings and heavy weight loads, I prefer the ball bearings over the plastic wheels that run inside the tracks. You can buy them in contractor packs with ten pairs, perfect for a dresser project. They are around $40 for ten pairs of 16" gliders with 100 lb. weight loads + shipping. They also have the cheapest drawer knobs/pulls I have found!!

I'm planning two dressers, so I put a set of 10 slides and (2) 10-packs of oil rubbed bronze bin pulls in my cart and it came to $72, plus $20 shipping. I'm going to go price the slides at Lowes before I purchase these, online it looked like Lowes couldn't touch the price for the weight load. The drawer slides are pricey to ship, it looks like the $20 shipping fee is unavoidable, that's why I'm going to check out Lowes before I buy.

Gliderite also operates on ebay (that's how I found them), but it is slightly cheaper to order direct. Also found another great ebay shop for knobs and pulls, the hardwarehunter. Great prices.

And you got me on the euro slider thing.


Tue, 01/10/2012 - 20:34

I've found the best selection and pricing at Rockler. They are mostly an online seller, but you may be able to find a partner store in your area so that you don't have to pay shipping. In the Ann Arbor, Michigan area Electric Tool is the partner store I use.

A Euro Style slide typically means that it is designed to fit a 32mm system. In the 32mm system cabinets come in a finite range of well-defined depths, with holds of known size in known location. Euro Style hardware will be designed to mount in those holes, making it faster and easier to install in your cabinets.


Tue, 01/10/2012 - 20:58

I find that the cheaper ones that mount on the side and bottom at the same time work the best. I used the real fancy expensive full extension drawer slides for my last dresser project. They have too much play in my opinion. The even gap is impossible to maintain because of sagging like Clay said.

So I use the 6 dollar slides. As long as the drawer bottom is sturdy and can handle the weight, the slides will support it. I shoot for a 1/16 inch gap around my drawer fronts like the picture above. I wouldn't have been able to do that using full extension slides. I didn't even use slides for the top 2 drawers. Square dowels were used and I routed grooves in the boxes to fit in to them. So the dresser above in the picture only has slides on the two bottom drawers. That's 12 dollars in total cost for drawer slides and they have no problem holding any heavy weight.

Mollie (not verified)

Fri, 01/13/2012 - 13:12

I guess I should have been more clear in my question - do you use 14 inch drawer slides or 16 inch ones? I can't find 15 inch ones anywhere!


Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:58

So I made my drawers. Nailed the bottoms on. went to use the euro slides and the seams were RIGHT where the mounting holes were. This was my first project. (probably a dumb idea) SO I exchanged the slides for full extension slides. and thats when I really started noticing I was in trouble. My drawers were 1/8th ish too wide. I have been fiddling with getting them in right ever since. I now have 3 mounted but... The right side on all of them doesnt close all the way. Any tips or do I burn it and start over? Something has to be out of square... I don't know.


Wed, 01/11/2012 - 06:28

For a dresser you don't actually need a metal drawer glide. If you build your dresser with support rails under each drawer, and the drawer is a close fit within the box, you don't need any glides at all. If left unfinished the drawers will glide easily in and out, probably better than they would on a mechanical glide.

Mathias Wandel also has a good web page on a couple of different ways to make your own drawer slides at http://woodgears.ca/drawers/index.html His site is a wealth of useful information, including plans for building your own shop machinery. I recently use his softwood drawer slot on a hardwood rail, and was very pleased with the results. It's probably one of the most elegant drawer mechanisms I've seen.

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 04/05/2012 - 15:02

I've heard that if you have a pine drawer gliding on a pine support, it won't work very well. Do you think that with enough supports, it would be fine? The reason I'm asking is that I'm having a terribly difficult time getting the bottom-style slides to fit and I don't have enough clearance for side-mounting slides. So, I'm thinking about just having the drawers sit freely, or perhaps putting some of those furniture-sliding pads on the drawer. I just don't know what to do!

Patrick (not verified)

Thu, 04/05/2012 - 16:46

I had no problem with pine on pine but the drawers are pretty small and don't hold a lot of weight. I wouldn't try it with bigger drawers. The two bottom drawers have slides on them.


Fri, 03/02/2012 - 07:34

I would love this as a 30" bathroom vanity base. An suggestions on how to modify it to support the weight of the sink top?

AScherrer (not verified)

Sat, 06/30/2012 - 03:58

I'm getting an error when trying to download the PDF plans for this project.