DIY basket drawer unit

DIY dresser with basket drawers, photo

My brother and I custom built this unit. I couldn’t find the right piece of furniture that had small drawers and deep drawers. I found these Branäs baskets at Ikea, but Ikea doesn’t make a unit like this to hold them. So, I drew up the plans to build this shelf unit. (This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a small commission. You can read my full disclosure here.)

How to make a dresser for basket drawers

  • 8 Ikea Branäs baskets

  • finish nails

  • small tacks or staple gun staples

  • ¾-inch-thick pieces of wood (inches):

    • top: 28 ¼ x 15
    • sides (2): 40 x 14
    • small shelves (6): 13 x 14
    • middle: 36 ¾ x 14
    • bottom shelf: 26 ¾ x 14
    • kick plates (2): 2 ½ x 26 ¾
  • ⅛-inch-thick piece of wood:

    • back: 28 x 37 ½
  • drill and drill bit

  • table saw or circular saw

  • ruler or tape measure

  • staple gun (optional)

  • hammer or nail gun

  • sand paper or palm sander

Sketch of the basket shelf unit

1. Cut all the pieces of wood to the right sizes. (See supply list above.)

Open area before shelf is inserted, photo

2. Before assembling, drill holes for the shelf pins: The top three drawer openings are 7 inches tall. Measure 7 ¾ inches down on the inside of each side/middle piece (to accommodate the thickness of the shelf) and mark it. Drill two holes just below the 7 ¾ mark and insert shelf pins into the holes. These will hold each of the shelves. Repeat twice on each side/middle piece (for a total of three small shelves on each side).

3. Assemble the outside frame (top, sides, bottom shelf). We used a nail gun, which sped up the process.

4. Measure and mark the center position and insert the middle piece. Attach with nails.

5. Nail the front kick plate into place, about ¾ inches back from the side pieces. Then nail the back kick plate into place along the back of the unit. (The back piece isn’t really a kick plate. It’s there merely for support.)

Inserting the shelf, photo

6. Insert the small shelves.

Shelf inserted, photo

7. They should be a snug fit. Sand the sides of the shelves down if the fit is too tight.

Back piece attached, photo

8. Using small tacks or a staple gun, attach the back piece. It should sit about ⅛-inch inside the edge of the unit.

Finished basket drawer unit, photo

9. Finally, fill all the nail holes with wood filler, then sand smooth when it dries. I was going to paint it, but decided to leave it as-is because the wood matched the baskets so well. I plan to protect the wood with Briwax— my dad highly recommends it.

Crafty Nest DIY basket drawer unit Pinterest image

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