DIY Plans to Build a Plain Dresser

An Easy to Build Piece of Furniture!

When I first started woodworking, the first two projects I took on were dressers for my kids. I was (and still am) so proud of those pieces because I worked so hard to build each of my kiddos a piece of furniture that will last a lifetime! I’m proud to say that after six years, the dressers still look like I just built them!

At any rate, today I’m sharing free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser that can be finished however you choose! A plain dresser is never just “plain”, is it? They can be painted or stained, maybe even “dressed up” with fancy hardware or wood cutouts! This dresser is the perfect blank canvas!

This plan can also be used to create a DIY built in dresser by adding plain bookcases to the sides and a wall-mounted cabinet or shelf at the top!

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Copy

Materials:

  • 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws
  • 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws
  • 1-1/4″ brad nails
  • Edge banding, if desired (<– affiliate link!)
  • 4 sets of 12″ drawer slides
  • 4 sets of cabinet pulls
  • Finishing supplies

Lumber:

  • 2 – 1×2 at 8′
  • 2 – 2×2 at 8′
  • 1 sheet of 3/4″ plywood
  • 1 half sheet of 3/4″ plywood

Cut List:

  • 4 – 2×2 at 33-1/4″ – Legs
  • 4 – 1×2 at 13″ – Side Frames
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 13″ x 29-3/4″ – Side Panels
  • 2 – 2×2 at 31″ – Back Frame & Front Stretcher
  • 4 – 1×2 at 31″ – Back Frame & Front Stretchers
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 29″ x 31″ – Back Panel
  • 1 – 1×2 at 8-1/2″ – Drawer Divider
  • 1 – 1×2 at 13″ – Drawer Slide Support
  • 1 – 3/4″ plywood at 16-1/2″ x 35″ – Top
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 10-1/2″ x 12-5/8″ – Upper Drawer Bottoms
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 10-1/2″ x 28-1/2″ – Lower Drawer Bottoms
  • 8 – 3/4″ plywood at 7″ x 10-1/2″ – Drawer Sides
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 7″ x 14-1/8″ – Upper Drawer Front & Back
  • 4 – 3/4″ plywood at 7″ x 30″ – Lower Drawer Front & Back
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 8-1/4″ x 14-7/8″ – Upper Drawer Fronts
  • 2 – 3/4″ plywood at 9-1/4″ x 30-3/4″ – Lower Drawer Fronts

Free DIY Woodworking Plans to Build a Plain Chest

Click on the drawings for a larger view!

Edit:

Cut diagram for plywood –

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser Cut Diagram

Step One

Edge banding will be applied to the exposed edges of the plywood before assembly.

Cut the pieces for the legs, the side frames, and the side panels. Drill pocket holes as shown, then assemble using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Orient the pocket holes on the frame pieces so they face out accordingly and won’t have to be filled!

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Sides

Step Two

Cut the pieces for the back frame and panel. Drill pocket holes as shown, then assemble using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Orient the pocket holes on the frame pieces so they face out accordingly. Attach to the legs using 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws through the top frame piece, and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws through the lower frame piece.

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Back 1free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Back 2

Step Three

Cut the pieces for the front stretchers and drill pocket holes in each end. Secure the 2×2 stretcher to the top of the legs as shown (with the pocket holes facing up) using glue and 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws. Secure the remaining 1×2 stretchers to the legs (with the pocket holes facing down) using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Stretchers

Step Four

Cut the pieces for the drawer divider and drawer slide support, and drill pocket holes in each end. Attach to the stretchers as shown (centered on the 2×2 stretcher and the upper 1×2 stretcher) using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Upper Drawer Dividers

Step Five

Cut the piece for the top. Position the top so that 1/2″ overhangs the front and sides, then secure using 1-1/4″ brad nails.

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Top

Step Six

Cut the pieces for the drawers. Drill pocket holes in each end of the side pieces, as well as all four edges of the bottom pieces. Assemble as shown using glue and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. Install the drawer slides according to the manufacturer’s instructions. For an easy tutorial on installing drawer slides, click here. Make any necessary adjustments.

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Drawer BS

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Drawer FB

Step Seven

Cut the pieces for the drawer fronts. For an easy tutorial on installing drawer fronts, click here. Install the cabinet hardware.

free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser_Drawer Fronts

Finish as desired!

This is a very easy project using the free DIY woodworking plans to build a plain dresser. Got a project you’ve completed using my plans? Share photos with me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com or designsbystudioc {at} gmail {dot} com. I would love to feature your build on DbSC!

Originally posted 2013-07-17 08:00:23.

6 Comments

  • Carissa Ashby Rasmussen says:

    what was your approximate cost for the supplies for this project? trying to decide if i should do it!

    • CherTexter says:

      Hello, there! What I usually do is go to the website of one of the bog-box home improvement stores where I will purchase my lumber and price it. Lumber costs vary by area and for this plan, the lumber only would cost me roughly $60 plus the drawer slides (which I do not already have on hand) at $40 (I buy mine from Rockler where they are cheapest!). Glue, screws, brad nails, edge banding, cabinet pulls, and finishing supplies will be added in if you do not already have these on hand. I hope this helps and please do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions! Good luck with your build and if you do build it, please share photos! I would love to see it!!

  • Ashley says:

    Hello Cher, how are you? I hope you’re doing well.

    I’m interested in building this dresser/chest of drawers however have 2 concerns.

    I do not own a kreg jig and will not be able to make pocket holes. Will this dresser still hold up without the pocket holes? If yes, what is your recommendation for the wisest alternative to pocket holes?

    Secondly, the lumber list is so simple! I’m excited lol. I plan on having the wood cut at home depot, however, because it’s so many cuts, I’m worried they may mess up even 1/4″. Are there any precautions to take when asking a hardware store to do so many cuts from on sheet of plywood?

    Blessings,
    Ashley

    • CherTexter says:

      Hello, Ashley! It is so exciting that you are building this dresser! With the way the dresser is drawn it may be difficult to construct it without a pocket hole jig but it can be done. It can be assembled with countersunk 2-1/2″ screws – the screws will be driven through the legs into the stretchers, panels, and framing pieces. The drawers can be assembled with brad nails. It should be pretty easy that way, though if you are in the market for a pocket hole jig, Home Depot has the Kreg Jig Mini for $20 (If you buy it, you will need a clamp in addition).

      I find that Home Depot is pretty accurate when cutting plywood. I usually have them cut it in half so I can fit it in my car and never have a problem!

      Good luck with the build and if you have any further questions, please ask!

  • […] Free diy woodworking plans to build a plain dresser […]

  • […] Build this simple dresser using these free step-by-step woodworking plans. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.