I’ve been looking for a bedroom dresser for awhile now. Initially I was thinking a MCM vintage piece, but I couldn’t seem to find one that fit the aesthetic of my bedroom. What I wanted was something a little more light hearted and unique. I decided to create a custom dresser, using some affordable pieces from Ikea and one of my favorite companies, Pretty Pegs, a shop dedicated to helping people upgrade and personalize their Ikea furniture. With a little DIY effort, I’ve created a dresser with loads of personality and lots of functionality! Read below for the tutorial!
What you’ll need:
I choose the Ikea MALM dresser because of it’s minimal look and it’s low price. The Theodor legs from Pretty Pegs give the dresser some sturdiness and the gold lends a bit of glam. I found the 5-inch wooden circle plaques for the pulls from Hobby Lobby, but aren’t available online, so you can find similar here.
After assembling the dresser, I worked on creating the pulls. I used 4 5-inch wooden plaque circles. The groove around the edges give it the perfect grip, while leaving the front sleek. First I cut them in half using a bandsaw, measuring and cutting out a one inch gap down the center. This way when the pulls were installed, they would still create the illusion of a circle shape, instead of appearing oval.
After cutting them in two, I stained the pulls using Minwax’s English Chestnut wood stain, and sealed them using my favorite one-two punch for sealing wood; two coats of Zinsser Universal Sanding Sealer, and two coats of Minwax Policrylic finish.
After they dried completely I attached them to the dresser. I measured and marked the center of the drawer front, and then from the inside drilled two pilot hills an inch from center on each side, and three quarters of an inch down from the top of the drawer. I inserted my screws until they just broke the surface on the front side of the dresser. Next I lined up the center of my drawer with the center of my pull, and gently pressed the two together. This left indentions on the back of the pull, right where I needed to drill a shallow pilot hole on the back side. When drilling the pilot holes on the back of the pull, I made sure not to drill so deep that it came out the other side. With the pilot holes in place, it was easy to drive the rest of the screw through both the dresser and the pull. If you’ve carefully measured and lined everything up, they should sit perfectly centered one over the next.
The last step was to attach the legs to the dresser. The base of the MALM dresser is completely open on the back, which meant we needed to add a support to the backside in order to have something solid to screw the legs in to. Tim was a dear and cut a couple pieces of pine boards for me in the right size so that the board sat flush with the bottom of the rest of the dresser. If you don’t have access to a table saw, you may be able to have someone help you at Home Depot or Lowe’s using their indoor saw.
To apply, we first used wood glue, then shot a couple nails with an air nailer to keep everything in place. Next we clamped everything down and let it sit for 24 hours until everything was solid.
Once the frame was set, it was as easy as screwing the legs in place using the hardware that Pretty Pegs included with the legs. We flipped the dresser over, and voila! It was finished, and we absolutely love it!
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! And a big thanks to Pretty Pegs for sponsoring this project!
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