Brook Laundry Basket Dresser - 4 Tall and Lengthwise

Submitted by Ana White on Thu, 03/01/2012 - 10:41
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How to build laundry basket dressers! Clean up your laundry room with these simple laundry basket dressers made from a single sheet of plywood.

Life is too short to spend hours each day on laundry.

Judging from the interest in the original Laundry Basket Dressers, I think you all agree. Anything we can do to clean up the dirty laundry process is more time we could be spending tickling our kids, making the perfect chocolate chip cookies, or sneaking off to the garage to build something!
The Laundry Basket Dressers have done so well in my own home, taking what was a mountain - no exaggeration here - of dirty laundry right in our entryway to sorted and stack baskets neatly put in there place.  My sister uses the Laundry Basket Dressers as the primary clothing storage system in her home.  Like I said, more time for tickling the kiddos.

Different Size

Many of you have modified the original Laundry Basket Dressers to fit your needs and space better.  When my friend Brooke wrote saying she had altered the plans for a taller but deeper storage system, I couldn't thank her enough for letting us share plans.

Easy to Build

You'll love that each of these storage pieces is made from a single sheet of plywood.  The cutting is easy - I've even included a layout - and it's just a matter of some screws, nails, and pretty paint!
Tell me, how much tickle time do you think these Laundry Basket Dressers would create in your home?

More Photos and Details

And for more photos and details, and the before shot, make sure you stop over and visit Brook.  You'll be inspired!!!
Dimensions are shown above. Sized for 24 x 16 baskets - measure yours before building!!!


Shopping List

1 - Sheet 3/4" plywood or MDF 2 - 1x2 @ 8 feet long 2" screws or 1 1/4" pocket hole screws 1 1/4" finish nails Glue Paint 4 Laundry Baskets, 16" x 24" (I use the cheapo Sterilite ones but measure and make sure the baskets you buy will fit)

Cut List

3/4" plywood cut as follows and shown in cutting diagram: Back: 17 1/2" x 48" Sides (2): 25" x 48" Top & Bottom (2): 19" x 25" 8 - 1x2 @ 24" (it's okay if they are a tiny bit short to get all the cuts on the same boards)

Tape Measure
Speed Square
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
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

Okeedok! Here we go. Just start at one end of the plywood, measure in 17 1/2" and make a straight line and cut. Then measure in 25", mark a line and cut. Repeat two more times. From the last 25" strip, cut into two pieces 19" wide for the top and bottom. Because the saw blade takes up space when cutting, you cannot just mark all cuts and have at it. You must measure, cut, then measure, cut and so on. If you have a hardware store that will make these cuts for you, by all means, beg and plead. It's much easier to carry the pieces than a full sheet of 3/4".

Step 2

Get the two sides out and determine what side is uglier, and what edge is ugliest. Or shall we say less attractive. Anyway, make a mark down the edge 3/4" as shown in diagram. This will be the backs side. Do this on both sides.

Step 3

Now mark each side down as shown in the diagram. Make sure you make at least two marks so your cleats go on nice and square. Apply glue to back edge of cleats, and nail down with 1 1/4" nails. Note that the two sides are done in mirror.

Step 4

Just to illustrate the mirror requirement. If you make two the same ... you'll be making two Laundry Basket Dressers, which might not be a bad thing at all!!

Step 5

Step 6

And the last step is to just add the tops. This should be pretty easy, just keep your outside edges flush and use glue. And that's it! How simple is that?

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.



Thu, 03/01/2012 - 11:42

I just might have to build these for my recycling... my town is not on single stream so many bins are needed!

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 12:10

Every time I see these, my thought is "But do they have issues once the baskets are heavy with tons of clothes?" Anybody know?

Becca W (not verified)

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 12:27

We made the original basket dresser with 3 drawers for one of our sons. We have had it about a year, and have had no problems with it! Our boys have moved it around, stuffed it with clothes (and toys!), and even climbed on it some. It has held up really well. We are considering making a few more for the laundry room :)

Guest (not verified)

Wed, 04/11/2012 - 19:00

Using 3/4 inch plywood with a full thickness backing this should be plenty sturdy. If your going to be using it for extremely heavy stuff for some reason you could line the inside of the back edge where it connects to the sides with a full length 1x1 for stability. But that would most likely be way overkill for this sort of project. The MDF wood is PLENTY strong on its own. Make sure any connected point is both glued and nailed/screwed.


Thu, 03/01/2012 - 12:40

Wish I had room to build more of these! Love the 4 by plans!

I made the orignal one with 3 baskets and have had all three baskets overfilled and stuffed some more full of laundry and have never had any problems.


Thu, 03/01/2012 - 16:31

Sadly I spent the afternoon pining over these and price-checking the baskets to fit in them and measuring my space to figure out how I can make it work, instead of actually folding the laundry that is currently in baskets all over my family room ;)

These are awesome though - I am motivated to make it work!!

Guest (not verified)

Thu, 03/01/2012 - 21:36

Love this! Question. What do the B, C and other tags stand for??
I have a system now for clean, dirty, whites, colors. Is it something similar?

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