Patrick's Beach Cottage Dresser

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 05/27/2011 - 10:23
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A beach cottage style dresser featuring four drawers and a narrower profile. Built by Patrick, you can read the brag post here.

Special thanks to Patrick for sharing his dresser with us. After so many of you requested plans, I'm so very grateful that I am able to share this simple dresser plan with you!

Patrick used 2x3s for the legs of his dresser (and you certainly can too) but I choose to use 2x2s just because 2x3s are not readily available to everyone. This change means that your dresser will be narrower, and you will need narrower drawer slides. I'm able to find 12" drawer slides at The Home Depot here in Alaska.

You will want the cheapo white drawer slides, the ones that cup the bottom side corners of your drawers. Reason being these drawer slides hold the bottom plywood on the drawer boxes. Make sure you visit Patrick's Brag Post here for more information on the finish and some tips on installing drawer slides.

Thanks again Patrick! Really appreciate your generosity and time!

Dimensions are shown above.


Shopping List

4 - sets of 12" drawer slides
8 - knobs or handles
2 - 2x2 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x12 @ 10 feet long
1 - 1/4" plywood @ full sheet
3 - 1x3 @ 8 feet long
3 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long
3 - 1x6 @ 8 feet long
1 - 1x8 @ 12 feet long

Common Materials
3 inch screws
3/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch finish nails
120 grit sandpaper
wood conditioner
paint brush
Cut List

2 - 1x12 @ 35 1/2"
2 - 1x3 @ 11 1/2" (Cut to width of your 1x12 boards)
2 - 1x2 @ 11 1/2" (Cut to width of your 1x12 boards)
4 - 2x2 @ 39"
4 - 1x3 @ 31"
4 - 1x2 @ 31"
1 - 1/4" Plywood @ 35 1/2" x 34"
1 - 1x2 @ 36"
1 - 1x12 @ 36"
1 - 1x3 @ 36"

8 - 1x6 @ 28 1/2"
8 - 1x6 @ 12 1/2"
4 - 1/4" Plywood @ 30" x 12 1/2"
4 - 1x8 @ 30 3/4"

Cutting Instructions

It is very important that your 1x8s measure 7 1/4" wide. If they do not, you will need to rip the 1x8s down to this size - otherwise, your drawer faces will not fit right.

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander
Drill Bit Set
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

Use 1 1/4" finish nails and glue to attach the trim to the sides. The 1x3 goes on the bottom, 1x2 on the top. Build two of these.

Step 2

The the sides, attach legs. Use either 3" screws countersunk or Kreg Jig as shown above (set for 3/4" stock, using 1 1/4" pocket hole screws). Do this on both sides.

Step 3

Once the sides are built, attach 1x3s as shown above. All are flush to the outsides. Cut out a decorative pattern from the bottom front 1x3 (shown with arch shape) using jigsaw.

Step 4

Now attach 1x2 stiles - be very careful here. You must leave 7 1/2" between the stiles so your drawer faces will fit just right.

Step 5

Step 6

Top. If you have a Kreg Jig, build your top as shown above using pocket holes, and then attach to the top of the dresser. If you do not have a Kreg Jig, attach supports as shown in this diagram and then use 1 1/4" finish nails and glue to attach top pieces. Overhang on front and sides is 1".

Step 7

Build drawer boxes as shown above. Tack plywood to bottom. Once drawer boxes are built, use drawer slides to install drawers in the dresser. Remember, the drawer faces sits inset, so you will need to install the drawers 3/4" in from the face of the dresser (see below).

Step 8

Will all drawers installed, lay dresser on it's back. Place drawer faces on drawer boxes, centering so an even gap of approximately 1/8" is on all sides of the drawer faces. Attach with a few 1 1/4" finish nails and glue. Be considerate of your hardware location when you nail.

Once drawer faces are on, pull the drawers out and attach from insides with 1 1/4" fasteners. Add hardware.

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.



Fri, 05/27/2011 - 10:40

I can't say thank you enough for posting this! We just found out that my teenage stepson will be moving in with us in about 2 weeks and his room desperately needed a dresser and this one is perfect. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

Nick (not verified)

Sat, 05/28/2011 - 05:05

The entire thing is great,but maybe I am missing it how does the draws work?? did you have side sliders or a center slide?? I am just guessing it is center slides.Keep up your great work,I will be back to see more of your things.Thank you Nick


Sat, 05/28/2011 - 05:50


The inside walls of the dresser need to be flat as possible in order to install your drawer slides. I used full extention slides but like Ana said, if your'e tacking the drawer bottoms on underneath, then you need to get the economy drawer slides because they will hold the bottoms on better. Also once your drawer boxes are in place, a good trick to getting the drawer fronts even on all 4 sides is to use shims in between the gaps. This instructional video is how I installed the drawer boxes.


Sun, 05/29/2011 - 17:18

Patrick how would you install slides on this dresser? (its the before pic but also the best pic I have for how close the drawers are...)…
its tight to its sides but has a recess past the face.
it currently is using this kind of "slide" but it breaks easily and is hard for my son to open.…


Sun, 05/29/2011 - 21:28


Remember that the drawer box and the drawer face are 2 separate pieces. When you see the front of the dresser, you are looking at the drawer face and that is the part that is tight like you said. Behind that is the drawer box which is an inch shorter in length to leave that 1/2 inch on either side like clay mentioned.


Mon, 05/30/2011 - 05:17

They definitely carry the accuride glides. They also charge considerably more than Rockler does. You'll more than make up your shipping costs by ordering from Rockler.

You can probably make those drawers slide more smoothly by removing that plastic guide. I've dealt with the hateful things myself, and don't like them.

1n4001 (not verified)

Mon, 10/08/2012 - 05:32

There are ~322" of 1x6 needed but only 288" in the 3 1x6's. Unless the OP meant to request 1x6 @ 10' the directions should be updated to reflect:
4 - 1x6 @ 8'

If you're using a kreg jig and pocket holes you'll only need:
2 - 1x2
2 - 1x3

Also, if you're doing the above you can skip the 3" wood screws too.

Guest (not verified)

Fri, 12/30/2011 - 21:27

Euro mount slides are available at Harbor Freight stores really cheap


Tue, 04/17/2012 - 07:51

I am adding to my to do list! My boys share a room now, but separating them this summer and will need another dresser... think this one will be perfect, thanks for sharing the plans!

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