I can't imagine that someone hasn't built this before, but I can't find anything online resembling what I want to tackle. So I'm coming here for help. Sorry if this is a really basic build and doesn't belong here.

Idea: I want to take a standard 3 drawer dresser and make an open storage compartment to hide a laundry basket with a hinged door made of the disassembled drawer fronts. Here is the plan I have so far:

  1. remove the drawer slide components from inside the main compartment of the dresser body
  2. detach the face/front of the drawers from the drawers themselves
  3. attach all 3 drawer faces to each other as one panel (with some form of reinforcements on the inside)
  4. Attach this drawer face panel to the body of the open dresser as a "door." (Like a kitchen cabinet door, but with dresser drawer fronts.)
  5. open and close drawer face panel as a door to access laundry.

My questions/things I am nervous about:

  1. Do you think this is even possible, or did I just dream this up and it won't work?
  2. What type of hinges would I'd need for the door to stay supported from one side? I am worried about the weight of this drawer face "door." The dresser is solid wood, like 50 years old, so the drawer fronts are real wood and heavy.
  3. Is this something I could do on my own, with limited skills, but with access to the needed tools?

Thanks in advance! Will try to attach the photo I drew up with my idea.

mydrawing openeddresser fulldresser

  • Hi, welcome to StackExchange. This isn't too basic for us, no worries there. The reason I suspect you haven't seen any similar projects to what you're hoping to do is that the removal of the internal structures severely compromises the integrity of the carcass. This weakening could be bad enough that the finished project is too unstable to use, unless you take steps to counter the weakening. Do you have the chest of drawers you want to use as the starting point yet? The details of its construction will have to guide what you do (and even whether you should start, it may be too flimsy).
    – Graphus
    Apr 7 '21 at 6:42
  • Don't worry about the hinges BTW, it's not trivial to hang a heavy-ish door, but two hinges should have zero problem with the final weight. What you'll end end up with will not be heavier than many workshop cabinet doors (which have tools hung from them) and further than that, a lot of older houses had room doors hung from only 2 hinges.
    – Graphus
    Apr 7 '21 at 6:46
  • One last thing I just thought of, another thing that may not be easy is removing the fronts from the drawers, again depending on how they are put together. There are a number of construction methods (including dovetails) that may mean sawing them off is the only viable method.
    – Graphus
    Apr 7 '21 at 6:54
  • Thank you Graphus for your notes, appreciate the brainstorming! I was thinking about the stability of the structure also. To recycle what I have, I was thinking I could re-use the existing drawer support beams to reinforce the back of the dresser. Maybe crisscross them along the back from each side, add a few more if needed too? I don't anticipate the inside looking pretty, just supportive.
    – S Dei
    Apr 8 '21 at 3:16
  • 2
    If the carcass is built strongly enough, as older stuff is more likely to be than almost all modern furniture, this might work (might) but they do still rely on the front bracing structures for part of their structural integrity. I think we'd all want to see photos of the interior and rear so we can get an idea for ourselves. If it's not then a replacement back of beefy plywood — 1/2" or better for confidence — firmly attached would probably remove racking worries (as it can for example on a bookcase that has floating shelves).
    – Graphus
    Apr 8 '21 at 4:41

Have you thought of building your own "drawer fronts"? You could use one solid sheet of plywood and smaller sheets to create the look of drawers and molding to trim it out.this is just an example

  • I don't understand how the picture you show is made out of sheet goods.
    – jdv
    Apr 17 '21 at 12:59
  • This appears to be a simple restatement of what the OP wants to do, and doesn't really provide information on the how, which is what the OP is after.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 19 '21 at 17:17

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