Small Dresser with Open Bottom Shelf - Cabin Collection

Submitted by Ana White on Mon, 01/09/2012 - 10:52
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Build your own dresser with simple DIY plans! Inspired by Pottery Barn Kids Camp Dresser, this dresser features two small and two large drawers and a large open bottom shelf.


Special thanks today to Patrick for building this dresser from this plan.

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!
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 – 15” 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.

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.
Help Improve This Plan

We apologize if there was an error in this plan. Please help us out and report any errors here.


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.