How to DIY A Crate Dresser [Easy Tutorial]


There is no person in this world (at least I am not familiar with them) who doesn’t like additional storage in the house.

Regardless of its purpose, there is no such thing as too much space for all sorts of things, which is why a crate dresser DIY is something you should try.

Having a suitable dresser in the room can be life-saving, especially when you have kids, and you spend a lot of time just collecting toys or their clothes. Let’s dive into how to DIY a crate dresser.

Black and Orange Plastic Container on Brown Wooden Crate

However, the budget can’t always keep up, and nowadays, more of us are looking at how to build a dresser rather than buying one.

So, for those who like building stuff while saving money, making something like a crate dresser DIY sounds exciting!  Today I am presenting plans for a dresser – a functional solution with the capacity of holding a bunch of things in it.

If you are the kind of person who likes to add character to the living space (and you like totally customizable DIY projects), then this crate dresser DIY is for you!  Check out this crate dresser DIY with six big storage crates you can use to store a variety of things.

This guide is all about showing you how to DIY this amazing, and above all, useful piece of furniture.

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Why DIY a Crate Dresser?

Why DIY a Crate Dresser?

As some of you might know, a crate can be described as a kind of container, usually wooden. Typically, people use them to store all sorts of items. The crates have a self-supporting structure.

This is great for those who are thinking about making a dresser that is a good fit for any bedroom. Or, they want to build a dresser customized for any other room in the house.

The best thing about crate dresser DIY is that beginners have absolutely no trouble working with them.

This means that an easy DIY dresser guide such as this shouldn’t be complicated to follow, even if this is your first DIY project.  Besides, if you ever want to transform your DIY crate dresser, there are numerous ways you can transform it beyond its intended use.

As I previously mentioned, the demand for storage is unending, and having options is always welcome, especially large furniture pieces that are usually expensive to buy.

The offer you get from the market can even seem like a rip-off, so cheap DIY dresser ideas like this one can be way better, yet not lack in quality or design.

What to know before getting started!

DIY in the garden. Crate renovation project. Close up on hands

There are a few general tips I would like to share with you, especially if you are inexperienced with the tools, and you plan on using them.

First of all, make sure to double-check if you have all the tools and all the materials needed for the crate dresser for DIY.

When I made my first project, I didn’t know how to use all the tools. But I was lucky enough to have a friend whom I could ask.

Nowadays, there are so many tutorials and guides (just like this one), so it can be useful to check some of them out along with the user manuals.  Also, when using the materials, make sure you read the descriptions.

Aesthetics require a detail-oriented approach when making a DIY project, and crater dresser DIY is no exception. 

If you already have an idea of how to adjust this particular DIY crate dresser, you should think about DIY dresser ideas beforehand. Otherwise, you might face difficulties while building it.

Last but not least, safety should always be your top priority, so wear gloves and protective glasses while cutting, assembling, and painting materials.

Tools Required

crate dresser diy

These are the tools I used for building my crate dresser DIY project.

If you already have some tools that are of a different brand – that is fine too.

You can use them as well, the goal is to get the best cheap dresser there is, and the tool list required for this crate dresser DIY is:

Materials needed for DIY Crate Dresser

Note that these are materials for DIY rustic dresser plans for completing the DIY rustic dresser project. Perfect to make your own wooden crate if you’re a DIY wood lover.

If you wish to make some adjustments, make sure you go through the list and adjust the materials accordingly.

Cut list for Crate Dresser DIY

Cut list for Crate Dresser DIY

When considering plans on how to make a dresser, it is important to know how to properly cut the materials. The cut list for the crate dresser DIY from this guide is as follows:

From the plywood (dimensions: 4ft x 8ft 3/4in) I made:

  •  2 plywood parts of  61  ½ in x 13in dimensions
  •  1 plywood part of 63in x 13in dimensions
  •  2 plywood parts of 28 ¾ in x 13in dimensions
  • 4 plywood parts of 9in x 12 ¾ in dimensions

From the boards (dimensions 1in x 3in) I made:

  • 3 board parts of 64 ½ in dimensions
  •  6 board parts of 13 ¾ in dimensions.

From the boards (dimensions 1in x ½ in) I made: 6 board parts of the 11in. 

Cutting Instructions

Cutting Instructions

From the boards (1in x 3in):

  • 3 board parts of 64 ½ in dimensions have to be cut under the angle of 45° on both sides. This means that the measure from one long point to the other should be 64 ½ in)
  • 6 board parts of 13 ¾ in dimensions – Here, only one end of the board parts has to be cut under the angle of 45°. So the measure from the long point to the straight cut should be 13 ¾ in.


Instructions, crate dresser diy

All of the things I mentioned before are mostly the prep work for actually building a crate dresser DIY, rather than doing the dresser DIY makeover.

I strongly recommend to pre-sand the wood after you cut it.

And of course, always double-check if the tools are working properly and if you have prepared everything you need beforehand.

Step 1 – Measure twice, cut once

Of course, this first step requires that you follow the cut list from the previous section. Use the measuring tape.

If needed, mark all of the spaces you need to cut through.

Also, I would really recommend that you sand the wood immediately after cutting. Mark the drill holes too.  

Step 2 – Make the frame

Now, once you finish cutting, you need to assemble the frame for your future crate dresser DIY piece.

The one thing I want to point out here is that when joining plywood, you should use not only pocket screws but also wood glue to strengthen all the joint spots. 

Step 3 – The dividers

Adding the dividers is the next thing to do when you finish assembling the frame.

Once you get the base unit done, take the 1in x 3in boards and attach them.

Here you can use 1 ½ in nails to attach the boards properly, and you can also add the wood glue here to make sure that all the joints are extra safe.

Step 4 – Attach, nail, and repeat

The same process from step 3 is repeated on the sides. Take as many 1 ½ in nails you think you need and start attaching.

Then add the ½ in pieces, attach, nail, and add some wood glue if necessary. 

Step 5 – Adding the drawers

Although the crates are there, you still need to do a bit of DIY dresser drawers fine-tuning. You need a bit of sanding, staining, or, if preferred painting, each crate separately before adding them to the assembled frame.

Finishing Instructions

Finishing Instructions, diy crate dresser

Tip Nr.1: Fill the nail holes before painting

To make sure you have a smooth surface before putting wood stain (or paint if you are considering DIY painted dresser in another color), use the wood filler (here is the one I used).

Note that once you put the filler, it will become white when dried, so you’d need to sand the surface again before staining or painting your crate dresser DIY.

Tip Nr.2; You can add a back panel

When I was looking at the designs for dressers, I didn’t need back paneling mine since it goes against the wall.

However, you can always add a panel on the back if you find it necessary.

Tip Nr.3: Legs and casters 

One of the things that many people overlook when doing DIY dressers in general (especially larger ones) is the fact that they would eventually need to clean beneath them.

And the funny thing is that when you are actually the one building the dresser and not buying one, you can add legs to the dresser. Or why not casters in my case, which makes it so much easier for moving and cleaning.

Add casters to the bottom so you can easily move the rack out to sweep underneath. 

Tip Nr.4 Chalk paint tip 

Do you know how some people explain chalk paint as ”no prep” paint?

Well, it is true that it is easier to use it and that it will take to any type of surface you put it on.

But as I mentioned above – if you want to get a nice and smooth surface that will be nice and evenly painted, you need to prefill the cracks and holes and put some effort into sanding. 

There are many variations you can use when it comes to the color and style of your crate dresser DIY.

You can transform a dresser with grey paint, you can wall paper a dresser, or if you want to put it in your little girl’s room, you can even make a pink ombre dresser.

Final thoughts

When you have several crates of a large size at home, and lack of storage space on sight, making a crate dresser DIY project is practically inevitable.

The storage solution I used for this guide is rustic, yet chick, and the great thing is that it is sturdy and perfect for an average family budget. How did you like this DIY A Crate Dresser? Let me know in the comments!

If you are interested in making sturdier and larger crates, you can find some great ideas here.


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