Home How-To How to Build an Ikea Dresser (and Remain Sane)

How to Build an Ikea Dresser (and Remain Sane)

How to Build an Ikea Dresser (and Remain Sane)
how to build an ikea dresser
Behold! Assembly success.

In a weak moment, I was lured by the siren song of Ikea, by the promise of attractive, low-cost furniture flaunting itself (assembled, no less) in an endless maze of options and distractions.  I succumbed, packed a parcel of patience and a PB and J, and headed to the ferry for my all-day, off-island excursion to lovely Renton, Washington, home to Seattle’s Ikea.

Why the need to leave the bucolic bliss of  island life for the tangled mess of Seattle’s traffic and congestion? Ah grasshopper, that is a question I still ask myself today. At that moment, I was a wee bit delusional, thinking if I bought two dressers for my kitchen nook, I could repurpose them as attractive storage units for the times I actually wanted to enjoy the room for its intended use. That is, by stuffing any and all things littering the table into awaiting drawers, I could stake a claim on the bare surface as a nice place to a eat a meal. Imagine that.

By mid-maze, my blood sugar was low, and I felt my body lumbering, and teetering toward the folds of a futon sofa. And then, the waft of Swedish meatballs gave me the will to push on. Just a few more steps and lingonberries would be on my lips and gravy on my plate.  Satiated, and still determined determined to find the dresser of my organizational dreams, I pressed on. 

Not intending to make this story as convoluted and lengthy as the shopping aisles of Ikea, let me just say, I found my dandy dresser and his name was Hemnes.

Back on the island in the time it takes to fly cross-country, I stared at the two boxes, and thought, “A trip to Ikea, and furniture assembly should not take place on the same day. I’ll get a good night’s sleep.” The next morning the sun was out, the pups available for consultation, and the meatballs a distant digestive memory.

After making the first dresser, I felt some good had to come out of this entire exercise, so I made a video when I assembled the second dresser. So hopefully, my experience and how-to guide will keep you somewhat sane should you decide you too may need a dresser from Ikea, an assembled one.

Tom Demonstrates How to Build an Ikea Dresser

My eating nook before my laptop, books and papers annexed the room.
Look, a clear surface! I won’t tell you how long that lasted. 😉


  1. Congratulations, Tom! Your eating nook and newly-finished office look just great! The eating nook is more than great – it’s perfect with the warm colours and those lovely windows! I’m sure it felt great to declutter. I’ve spent the last week going through every room in my house with that in mind, and yesterday took a hatchback Matrix packed to the gunnels with “stuff” to Value Village. And now that I’ve got started, there’s no stopping me. Your video on how to make Ikea furniture was deceptively encouraging. 🙂 I’ve been known to put Ikea furniture together two or three times before getting it right. Am I wrong, or have you acquired a second dog?

    • Hi Sandra, hopefully, I can keep up my momentum. As for pups around here, Buddy is still my only wingman. I’m not sure if I should get another dog. I loved having Boz and Gracie as a pair of heart struck lovers and/or grumpy honeymooners, but now I’m waiting to see how Buddy feels about being here, that is, am I enough playmate for him. He’s really active so I’ll play it by ear. Thanks for asking and for dropping by. cheers Tom…and Buddy

  2. Alas, don’t have 22 minutes to spare to watch the video, at this time, however, the finished product is beautiful. You obviously have excellent taste in interior (and probably exterior) design also!

    • Sorry about the 22 minutes, Carolyn. I edited it down and down, but this is about as short as I could make it. Guess that speaks to just how “simple” it is to assemble. 😉

  3. Wonderful instructions. Love the pristine look. Always love to have a neat and orderly place. Now, the trick needed is how not be weakened to let the clutter start creeping back in.

    V and the Furry Gang

    PS: Is there a doggy treat draw for Buddy in the dresser?

    • Why yes there is a stash of dog treats in there for Buddy, one of which he is all too aware. The clutter is making inroads again, but I will remedy that today!

  4. Your nook is such a lovely place, especially with the sun pouring through the beautiful windows. I’m so much looking forward to spring and summer. They will be your first with Buddy – I’m sure many adventures are ahead!

    • Thanks Stephanie, it is one of my favorite spots in the house. Buddy has his bed under the table, and sometimes on top of the table if I don’t pay attention.

  5. Great post Tom, the whole thing was very compelling, which is quite something given the subject. You are funny! So funny. 😄

    And I want to say I admire your dedication keeping up this great blog all these years. An epic little corner of the internet, in my estimation.

    I wonder if you have ever considered entertaining contemplating the idea of one day perhaps thinking about pondering hosting a pie making class at your place a la Kate McDermott? Maybe charging a tad less per head than Ms. Art of Pie does, but it would still be cool. And your legions of mostly female fans would surely sign up to hang out in the farmhouse they’ve become so familiar with by now…

    • Hi Forrest, thanks for compliment, though Buddy does not laugh at my jokes, not yet anyway. As for the pie class, I like that idea. My edited life would be unedited and fully visible, yikes! 😉
      Let me ponder that indeed.


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