IKEA MALM dresser hack

Today we’re going to show you how we used $35-per-dresser worth of hardware to upgraded a couple IKEA Malms that until recently, looked like this:

DIY Dresser Upgrade And now… it looks like this!

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

We were inspired by this discontinued West Elm Dresser to do knobs on the top row of drawers and pulls on the rest. If you want to check out the backstory and challenges we faced about hardware and dressers (riveting, I know) before I get to the actual tutorial, click here to read our last post.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This ended up being a really simple tutorial that you could definitely tackle on a weeknight after work with just a few tools. Below is what we used:

Materials

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Tools

We also ended up needing bolt cutters, a wrench, and a spare nut that fit onto our screw because we ran into a little snag with our screw length (more details on that later).

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The first thing you have to do it make a big mess of your room by emptying all your drawers. Just think of it as an opportunity to get rid of that Panic at the Disco t-shirt that’s been shoved in the back for years.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then you’ll need to measure your drawers and mark each spot to drill for your hardware. Double check your measurements because having a bunch of mistake-holes in your dresser is a good way to ruin it.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com For the pulls, we measured the width of the drawer front, then the width between the two holes in each pull. We subtracted the pull-width from the drawer-width and divided that number in two, which told us how far we needed to measure from each side of our drawer. We centered those marks vertically.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The knobs were easier. We just eyeballed what positioning looked good, made sure they were equally spaced width-wise from the outside edge of the drawer, and centered those vertically too.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We recommend placing your hardware on each drawer front where you’ve marked before you drill. This gives you a visual check of how you did. When you feel confident that your ability to do simple math has resulted in the correct placement of your hardware, it’s time to get out the drill.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com To pick the right bit size, you can hold your screw up to several different sized bits and pick one that is just a hair thicker than your screw.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com We really like using a drill guide (that little metal bar we’re drilling through) to help us drill straight down (instead of at an angle). If you’re nervous about drilling through perfectly good furniture, I highly recommend getting one of these little guys.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com After drilling, we did hit a bit of a snag. See, hardware will typically come with screws, and ours came with two different screw size options. But sadly, we had a Goldilocks moment and one was too long and one was too short, but neither was juuuust right.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This is a common issue to run into, so we’re going to share a little tip (so you can avoid going to Home Depot for the 10th time that day to pick up new screws).

Grab a set of bolt cutters and a nut that’s sized to fit your screw. Thread the nut onto the screw, then cut the too-long screw to  the length you need.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Cutting it will deform the threads slightly, but that’s where the nut comes in. Grab the nut with a wrench and use your screwdriver to back the screw out of the nut. As you rotate it off over the damaged threads, it will re-shape them back to normal and boom, you have a perfectly-sized screw!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com The next step is to simply attach your hardware with your screws. You can use a normal screwdriver or a powered screwdriver depending on what you have.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Then just add your drawers (I guess you can put your clothes back now too) and give yourself a high five because you’re done!

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com This project really was super easy, and it ended up only costing us $35 per dresser. In my book, that is WAY better than dishing out hundreds (or even thousands!) on something new.

West Elm copycat IKEA hack, DIY dresser upgrade using knobs and pulls - evanandkatelyn.com Before…

DIY Dresser Upgrade After!

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