Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Handbuilt Bedroom, pt. 3 ~ The Dresser!

Today is my son’s birthday—the one I am creating “The Handbuilt Bedroom” for (see part 1 here and part 2 here).  His birthday pie has been started, and all that’s left to do now is to clean the kitchen—but I thought I’d rather blog about his bedroom instead!

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 5

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I sold everything out of his bedroom in one fell swoop!  The dresser, the desk, the chair, the bed, AND all the bedding…gone.

The boy was living out of boxes and sleeping on an air mattress.

So despite the fact that I’ve only built simple pieces like tables and benches, it became necessary for me to jump into something more complicated—like a chest of drawers (or dresser, whatever you’d like to call it)!

We had already planned out furniture placement in his room, and the chest had to fit on this little short wall next to the window.

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom dresser before

Naturally I turned to Ana White for plans, but didn’t find anything that exactly suited mine—and my son’s—requirements for style and size.  So I altered the Wide Cabin Dresser plans to make a narrow cabin dresser instead.  Almost like I knew what I was doing! 

This is the completed frame of the dresser…

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 1

And this is the first drawer!  I was so excited.  I installed the slides and it all worked perfectly.

Call it “beginner’s luck.”

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 2

And that’s because it took ages to get the next three drawers to work.  Ugh.  Turns out I hadn’t been careful enough in selecting straight boards for the drawer boxes.  A word to the wise—when purchasing your boards, lay several down on the floor next to each other and see how the straight those edges are.  It helps!  But I didn’t do that for this project.

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 3

With the help of a few several well-placed washers, I was able to get everything shimmied around until the drawers opened and closed without falling off the tracks.  It was loads of fun. There is a reason Ana tells you not to attempt drawers as a beginner project.  But hey, you have to start somewhere.

Here’s my cruddy cell-phone picture of the dresser after I put on the drawer fronts (which is a two-person job) and painted and stained it.  The color was a little too bright for me, so I glazed over everything with black stain.

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 4

I “reverse stenciled” the numbers on the drawer fronts—meaning I stained the front first, then applied vinyl words before I pained over it.  I chose to stain the top and the bottom shelf because they’ll get the most abuse, and I think stained pieces handle it better!

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 9

I bought two of these baskets from Amazon for the bottom.  Someday I may “age” them a little, but that’s not today.  And the idea is to make tags for them that say “five” and “six” to continue with the number theme.

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 8

This dresser is oh-so-far from perfect.  The top drawer has a tendency to stick, for one thing…but it is keeping my son’s clothes off the floor (mostly), and let’s be honest…isn’t that all we’re really asking a dresser to do??

Red Hen Home Handbuilt Bedroom Dresser 6

This is not the first time I’ve painted a red, numbered chest of drawers, I remembered!  You can see the other one here.
This project has been featured at The DIY Show Off, Elizabeth & Co., and My Repurposed Life.
Linking up here:
The Scoop! Elizabeth & Co.
My Repurposed Life Thrifty Décor Chick
Friday Remodelaholic Common Ground
Sawdust Throwdown Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Beyond the Picket Fence Coastal Charm
Knick of Time
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
From My Front Porch to Yours All Star Block Party
A Little Knick Knack



Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Great job, Korrie! I love it! I like the numbered drawers and I'm glad you explained what "reverse stenicling" is because I was like "Huh?". : ) I'll have to give that a try.

Jaime Costiglio said...

Korrie I just saw your brag post over at Ana's - this dresser is exceptional! You've really outdone yourself this time and the finish is perfect. I too struggle with getting the drawers all lined up perfectly but it's still well worth the DIY savings.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Holy cow, that's awesome! Next thing you know you'll be building a house! Love the color and the stencil too. But mostly I'm just blown away that you are building your own furniture!

Cassie Bustamante said...

WOW! i am totally impressed... looks awesome and you freaking built it!

Unknown said...

Wow you are good! What a great job - I never could have figured out a whole dresser much less drawer slides LOL

Unknown said...

It not only looks great, Korrie, you made it! Wow!

ANNE said...

I'm impressed, drawers are difficult!! Great job, love the paint treatment and the numbers look fabulous!!

Full Circle Creations said...

Great job Korrie! Drawers are hard but you did it. Now for next time, you'll have a better idea what to do. It all just takes time and practice. Keep up the amazing work!

Homeroad said...

Wow Korrie! I can't believe you built a chest of drawers! Holy cow that is awesome and it looks so great!

Twice Nice said...

You are becoming one fantastic builder! I'm so impressed. The dresser is a sweet design with the basket area on the bottom. Great job!

Rachel said...

I am speechless and in awe of you Korrie!! Well done!!! I am so impressed! Well done! You should be quite pleased with yourself.

P.S. I have store bought dressers where drawers stick. I think they are supposed to have at least one drawer stick so yours is perfect!

Chris at Red Gate Farm said...

I am just amazed by what you can do with wood! This would be a fabulous project if you had just painted it but to build it too... wow!

Now I'm off to read #2 because I think I missed it.


Unknown said...

A hand made dresser???!!!!! You say WHAT????? Seriously girlfriend, you are rockin' the skills. I am so impressed. Like I said before, its been such a fun ride to have been following your blog way before you blossomed into this amazing furniture builder. Really neat stuff. You should be patting yourself on the back. Bravo!

Unknown said...

You just amaze me, LOL! The dresser is wonderful and you should pat yourself on the back!!

TheMoonAndMe said...

That is so beautiful! I'm not sure I have the patience to build an entire custom dresser. But I should, because I love this one!

Bliss said...



Sarah {The Student Knitter} said...

wow that looks fantastic! Can you tell me what tools you used for this project? My husband is convinced we can't build furniture because we "don't have the right tools" but I'm pretty convinced we'd be just fine with just the addition of a Kreg Jig. :)

Miss Charming said...

Of course you built a chest of drawers from scratch! So awesome, Korrie. I love how this turned out!

Donna Wilkes said...

Boy, you must have mad saw skills to attempt a dresser. It turned out unique and wonderful. So impressed!

My Repurposed Life said...

amazing build! I have built (and modified) from plans one time. I would rather wing it. You did a wonderful job!!! I like that it doesn't look brand new. ;)
catching you!

Susan Wymola said...

Omg! You built this dresser! Amazing! Great paint job too, but You Made This!