How to Build an Extra Wide Simple Dresser

How to Build an Extra Wide Simple Dresser (knockoff PBK Kendall Dresser)Today, we’ve teamed up with the amazingly talented Ana White to share how we built this extra wide simple dresser. This may look familiar, you know, the ridiculous expensive Pottery Barn Kids Kendall dresser that is oh-so cute (but not so much the price tag–$900…ouch)!  We met Ana at Haven two years ago and have remained friends ever since. She is the sweetest most humble lady I know. And her husband, Jacob is a charm too. He’s been at Haven both years and Jon and him hit it off immediately. I mean they both love to do the same stuff, fish, hunt, and build stuff! Jon loves talking with Jacob to get a glimpse of what it’s like to hunt and fish in Alaska. It’s his dream, and one day maybe we will just get to visit them out in Alaska (and maybe our boys can play together since they will only be a few months apart)!

We have wanted to work together for a while, and when Jon and I started brainstorming ideas for the nursery I knew that this was the perfect time to work together. When I emailed Ana and told her our exciting news her first response back was “I had a feeling you were pregnant at Haven, but kept it to myself”! I had a feeling that there would be a few people who would catch on, and Ana was definitely one of them. Jon’s goal for this nursery project of our was to make ALL the furniture. I had to talk him off the ledge and remind him that it probably was best to buy the crib. It killed him to not make the crib (since they look relatively easy to put together). Luckily, his parents came to our rescue and bought the crib for us. I will add that the whole time he was putting together our Pottery Barn Kids Kendall Crib (the whole 10 minutes it took him) he kept saying how easy this would have been to build, and then I reminded him that it would have taken him hours if not days to actually build this crib from scratch. He smiled at me–I knew he knew I was right. He just wouldn’t admit it. Surprisingly the dresser did not take as long as we both thought it would take. We knocked out the frame together in one day and over the course of a week Jon worked on the drawers, painting the dresser, and then putting it all together. We work on projects whenever we have free time, an hour here two hours there…

Head on over to Ana White to get the free plans for the Extra Wide Simple Dresser.

Cut List:

2 – 3/4” PureBond Hardwood plywood @ 15-1/2” x 26-1/4” (side panels)

4 – 2×2 @ 31-1/4” (legs)

2 – 2×2 @ 49-1/2” ( top back support and front bottom support)

3 – 2×4 @ 49-1/2” (back supports) I used 1x4s here because I used rear mount sockets for the drawer slides

3 – 1×2 @ 49-1/2” (front trim)

4 – 1×2 @ 7-1/2” (front trim between drawers vertically)

1 – 2×2 @ 15-1/2” (bottom support) If you used 1x4s on back, this board must be 3/4” longer in length


Plan uses 1×6 for drawer boxes and 1×8 for drawer faces


1 – 3/4”  PureBond Hardwood plywood @ 15-1/2” x 54-1/2” (49 – 1/2″ for finished sides for staining)

1 – 1×2 @ 54-1/2”

1 – 1×3 @ 54-1/2”

2 – 1×3 @ 15- 1/2″ (for sides) I did this so in the future I can sand it down and stain the top

BACK:  PureBond Hardwood plywood 52-1/2” x 26-1/4”

kendall Dresser Construction 1

First up, we created the sides for the dresser. Jon cut the wood (although you can have your local hardware store do this for you), and then marked out where he wanted me to drill the pocket holes using our Kreg Jig and RYOBI drill (space out the pocket holes evenly across the sides and along the top).

kendall Dresser Construction 2The plans don’t call for it, but whenever Jon builds anything he almost always uses wood glue. So he lathered up a nice coat of wood glue to each side of the 3/4″ panel before I secured the legs using 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws (make sure the side panel is flush to the inside of legs when secured).

Kendall Dresser Construction 3

Next up, secure the back pieces of wood to the sides of the dresser. To give the rear mount sockets a little extra room, Ana recommended using 1×4’s instead of the 2×4’s to keep them flush to the back. Jon attached a 2×2 on top and drilled 1-1/2″ pocket holes with 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws. Since we used rear mount sockets for the drawers we used 1×4’s  for the three other back supports drilling a 3/4″ pocket holes and attached with 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws. In hindsight, we should of used 1×6’s for the two middle back supports because our rear mount drawer sockets did not completely sit on the board.

kendall dresser construction 4

Next up, add the front boards. Jon found it helpful to create a jig using a piece of scrap wood so that he knew each row was exactly spaced. Once again we drilled 1-1/2″ pocket holes with 2-1/2″ pocket hole screws for the bottom 2×2. The top three pieces we drilled 3/4″ pocket holes and used 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

kendall dresser construction 5

Next up, Jon attached the 1×2 vertical dividers putting the pocket holes on the back of the dividers to hide the pocket holes. He set the kreg jig at 1-1/2 depth and the drill bit at 4″ and attached it with 1-1/4 screws. He made a 16″ jig for the top drawers and 24-3/8″ jig for the bottom drawers to guarantee he had the correct spacing for the drawers.

kendall dresser construction 6

Now, it’s drawer time! You’ll want to build 3 small drawers and 4 larger drawers. Jon cut the wood to size, glued the sides, and used our RYOBI AirStrike Cordless Brand Nailer to secure the wood together. The drawers can be put together using pocket holes and screws and then nailing the bottom board to the boxes. *Note, each drawer should be built to fit the openings, there should be no variance between drawer openings.

Kendall Dresser Construction 8

Then he cut the drawer faces to leave an 1/8″ gap on all sides. He did not install the drawers yet because he wanted to paint everything before installing the drawers.

kendall dresser construction 7

Next up, Jon took a break from building and gave the dresser frame a good sanding. He also rounded out the edges of the legs to prevent the wood chipping if the dresser is ever moved without being picked up.

Kendall Dresser Construction 9

Next up, Jon created the top of the dresser. He made a frame around one large piece of 3/4″ plywood at 49-1/2 x 15-1/2″. Make the frame with a 1×2 on the back and 1x3s around the other sides using. Jon attached the frame using 3/4″ pocket holes and 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.

(not pictured) before he painted the dresser he added the back panel on to the dresser using 1″ nails to secure the back board.

Kendall Dresser Construction 10

Jon primed all the pieces and parts to the dresser (not pictured) then before spraying the wood with the final coat of paint he measured out and centered the holes for the knobs. He kept the knobs separate from the drawer while painting and then installed them later on.

Kendall Dresser Construction 11

Jon brought the dresser outside and began to start the prep work. This was the first time we used the HomeRight Finish Max HVLP sprayer. Any time you are trying something new always test on a piece of scrap wood to make sure its working correctly. After reading a few tutorials, including this great tutorial from Gail at My Repurposed Life, we knew that straining the paint with cheese cloth was the way to go.

Also, a tip that Jon wanted me to share is to number the backs of your drawer face frames. He numbered them (on the back) right by the holes he drilled for the knobs and then placed a small piece of painters tape on the back of each of them. Since some of the backs of the drawer faces will be exposed when you open the drawer it’s a good idea to paint most of the back of the face frame.

Kendall Dresser PAINTING

Once Jon had everything prepped it was time to paint. He has a heavy duty industrial HVLP paint sprayer and was really interested in trying out this smaller version. Hands down he was impressed. He said he will never paint anything again without the Finish Max, and on top of that it hardly used ANY paint. We chose to go with a bright white satin eggshell paint by BEHR. After just a few light coats the dresser was dried and he moved it back into the garage for the final installment.

kendall dresser construction 12

Next up, Jon added the drawer slides to each of the drawers. He drilled pilot holes first, and then manually screwed in each screw. The screws were tiny and brittle and he didn’t want to break them by using a drill.

kendall dresser construction 13

Jon found that in order to inset the rear mount sockets into the middle part of the dresser for the bottom drawers he needed to modify them to fit in flush. Using his RYOBI JobPlus Multi-Tool he was able to get the job done.

For the other drawers, he attached the drawer slide directly to the side of the cabinet. Use caution when drilling the sides of the cabinet to make sure you don’t drill through the sides of the cabinet.

Next, Jon attached the knobs to the face frames before putting all the pieces together. Inset the screw into the face frame for the knob so it doesn’t interfere when you attach it to the drawer.

kendall dresser construction 14

Lastly, once he had all the drawer slides in place he inserted the drawers and  attached the face frames. Leaving 1/8″ gap on all sides. He used a paint stick as a his spacer and it worked out perfect. And there he is in all his glory. He built his son a dresser for his room.

Kendall Dresser

A timeless dresser that I’m sure will be with our son for many years. Who know’s maybe one day when our son is married and has a child it will be passed down to his child. Makes me tear up just thinking about it. Oh pregnancy hormones… go away!

Kendall Dresser

I’m in love with how the dresser turned out, and also in love with the rug in the nursery! It’s from Lamps Plus and its called  Resort Yala Blue Area rug. We love the wave/beachy feel it gives off. Kendall Dresser

As soon as Jon and our neighbor moved the dresser into the nursery I was busy putting away the bins of clothing, blankets, and towels I’ve been washing. Yes, I stored all the washed goods in bins and then transferred them over to his dresser. Kendall Dresser

Little by little the nursery is coming together. I keep joking that the baby hasn’t arrived yet because he knows that we are still busy preparing his bedroom!

Kendall DresserHere are the other tutorials from our nursery project:

shared at: My Repurposed Life

Disclaimer: We received the Purebond Hardwood Plywood and the HomeRight Paint Sprayer for free. We love the products and wouldn’t want any other product in our nursery. There are affiliate links in our post. As always all opinions are our own. 


  1. wow! Katie and Jon–that dresser is so beautiful, and will last for years and years, probably handed down for generations! I suggest that y’all write a little something on the bottom of one of the drawers… I always do that with things I might be held onto. I wrote a message on my daughter’s plywood sub floor before I laid her hardwood floors, I also wrote a message when I re-did my fireplace. I’m such a sentimental sap.

    So happy you love the Finish Max…. it’s my favorite ever! I think cleanup is a breeze, which makes me love it even more. Thanks for the shout out to MRL!

    LOVE this piece of furniture!


    • Awe thank you Gail for the sweet words. I love the idea about writing on the furniture. I think we need to do that ASAP! 🙂 Thank you again for answering all of our questions on the Finish Max. We can’t wait to build and paint more projects!

  2. You guys are so talented! I love how it came out. 🙂

  3. It’s simply stunning.

  4. Nice job. That dresser a little complicated, but you guys did great!

    • Thanks Jeff. Yes–the flush mount drawers are a little more complex than the average dresser. In the end we are so happy with how it turned out.

  5. Laura Adams says:

    I was just getting ready to draw up plans for a dresser when I thought, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I’d better head over to Anna:s site to see if she had anything. Your dresser is exactly what I am wanting. I recently discovered some 32-inch 2×2 poplar “turning blanks” at Home Depot, for $1.50 each. Poplar is considered a hardwood, but it is a soft one. Its perfect for furniture legs, like the ones on your dresser, and they’re nice, clear stock, and straight. Thanks for the inspiration, and congrats on the little one. Best. Thing. Ever.

    • Thanks Laura! So glad you went to Ana’s site for the plans. We love the dresser and hope you’ll love it too once you build it!

  6. Hi Katie. We are currently building this dresser and are wondering what pocketholes go on the 2×2 rear support that attaches to the top. We see that Jon made several along the bottom but cannot find what these are. Thanks!!

    • Vanessa, oops that was an oversight on my part. I meant to change the plans. If you already have the 2×2 set I set the Kreg Jig at 1 inch and the drill bit at 3-7/8 inch. So when you attach the top you will use the 1-1/4 inch screw. If I had the option to go back and change it I would use all the same board on the back (I used 1×4 except for the top board I used a 2×2) it would have made it so much easier to attach the top and just use a standard 3/4 inch pocket hole and a 1-1/4 inch screw. Let us know if you have any other questions. -Katie & Jon.

  7. Sherri says:

    Any chance you know the materials cost for this? Or maybe I missed it. Looks fab! Totally want to make this for one of my kids!

    • Hi Sherri, it cost us around $300; however, if you don’t use PureBond you could reduce the cost by $50+. Happy building!

  8. Nice job on rounding the edges of the legs. What tool did you use for that?

    • Micheal,

      Since I wanted to keep the square look but knock off the sharp edges because its in the baby’s room. I used my orbital sander and lightly rolled the sander around the edge with a high grit to soften the edge.


  9. Wow! Loved it! very beautiful!! did you used Purebond plywood for the legs as well?

    Stunning! 🙂

  10. I’m building this now! You guys did a fabulous job and I’m hoping mine turns out half as good…lol. I do have 2 questions.. I’m struggling with those vertical drawer dividers… Can you clarify the settings for the Kreg, I can’t seem to get it right as my 1 1/4 inch screws are not tight. How are you setting the bit at 4″? Thanks!!

    • Jenn,

      What I was saying if you measure back from the thick part of the drill bit to the collar it will be 4″. To make it easy just put the drill bit on the right side of the kreg and set the collar to the 1″ mark setting. Hope this helps. Can’t wait to see how your dresser turns out please send a pic.

  11. Katie, I love the dresser it is beautiful!!! I was thinking about building one for my daughter, and wanted to know how much it cost? Thank you…

  12. You plans should have more measurements. Actual demensions would help because a 2 X 2 is not actually 2 inches at all. This makes your cut list wrong which causes the rest of the measurement to be off as well. 2×2 in oak are a challange in itself. Mine turned out to be 1 3\8 x 1 3\8. Now I’m having trouble figuring out how to adjust the width of the ply to keep the demenisions the same.
    I could use the size over hang around the dresser top.
    As well as the actual size of the side with the “2×2” atached to the 15 1\2 ply.

  13. What type of wood did you use besides the plywood?

  14. Hi there, this looks great!
    We are also expecting our first this coming April!

    I’d like to build this, and also use it as the baby’s change table … do you feel that the height of this dresser (32″ 1/8) is good enough for that? Or should I maybe extend the height of those legs?

    PS, i’m 6’3″, and my G/F is 5’8″


    • Hi John, for the first few months we used the top as the changing table. I’m 5’1 so it was perfect for me but Jon who built this is 5’11 and it was a little short for him. You might want to make the changing table since it’s a few inches higher and it will make a big difference. We made the matching changing table too! You can find the tutorial here.

  15. Anthony P says:

    I thought your post was very instructional! I was able to use it as the basis for making mine. I made a few changes (Instead of using rear mounts for the drawers, I just used a 3″ section of 1×6 wood – I also used 1×6 for the back instead of 1×4 – I used 3 pocket screws to connect it to the back board). I couldn’t have done it without you guys! Great job!

    • Anthony glad to read you found this helpful! Send us a photo of your dresser! Did you paint it or stain it? We would love to see!

  16. Okay, I am almost finished building this, but I’m stuck at a spot. I am putting the verticle 1×2 dividers in, but having difficulty with the pocket holes. Okay now because the dividers are going verticle and we are putting them in the backside, the screws will go through 1.5 inch stock, which normally means you set the jig back 1 1/4 inches from the edge, bit at 4 1/4 inches, and you use 2 1/4 inch screws. But in your instructions it says to put bit at 4 inches and to use 1 1/4 inch screws. I did what your instructions says and the screw is too short to hit the 2nd piece of wood, and using a 2 1/4 inch screw would be too long. What am I missing here? I would really appreciate your advice/help here because I can’t move forward til I figure this out.


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