Tag Archives | hardware

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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Knobs, pulls, and dressers, oh my!

Hey guys! If you know me, you know I can go a little overboard when I go into research-mode. Sometimes it makes sense, like researching everything thoroughly before we swapped out some plumbing or blew our own insulation. But sometimes, I’ll spend hours upon hours researching something really trivial, like knobs.

Real quick spoiler alert: if you wanna see how these dressers turned out, watch the video below! And read the full tutorial here.

It all started when the IKEA Malm dressers got recalled for a tipping hazard. We have two of these in our bedroom, and IKEA gave everyone the option of handing them over in exchange for a full refund.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

So I was like yay, an excuse a chance to upgrade our dresser AND get $200 back! I started an online hunt to find the perfect new dressers, with these requirements in mind:

  1. Something at least as large as our current eight-drawer double-Malm set up.
  2. Nicer quality than our current dressers (otherwise, why upgrade?)
  3. Within the price range we felt comfortable spending.  

Apparently, I am a very unreasonable person, because we didn’t find anything that met all three of those needs. We could find something that met 1 and 2, or 1 and 3, or 2 and 3, but nothing that made the clouds part and the dresser heavens sing.

So I had to accept that functionally-speaking, we really had no complaints about our Malms, and the day for a dresser upgrade was not this day. Womp.

But here’s where the story takes an upturn. I decided as a consolation prize, I’d upgrade our current dressers with some new hardware. This launched me down a knobs-and-pulls rabbit hole that posed some challenges because:

  1. I wanted to do a mix of knobs AND pulls, inspired by this West Elm dresser (which is sadly no longer available). This meant I couldn’t just buy eight of the same thing for our eight drawers: I had to find six pulls and four knobs, and they had to match.
  2. I wanted gold/brass hardware to match the gold deer head and gold art in our bedroom gallery wall. Plus, I think gold always warms up black (and I prefer a warmer black to a cooler black). Despite its growing trendiness lately, gold hardware still has a smaller selection online than other finishes.
  3. Hardware can get expensive (think $16 a pull and $8 a knob, on the mid-priced end) and the dressers themselves were only $100 each, so it seemed weird to spend tons of money on hardware.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Again, tons and tons of research was done (how are there so many knobs in the world??) but eventually I emerged victorious! I found these knobs and these pulls, did a big ol’ happy dance, and asked for them for Christmas (that’s a normal present to ask for… right?). Spoiler alert – I got em! So keep your eye out for a soon-to-be-posted tutorial on our dresser makeover.

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

In the end I’d say this is a win, even though I mayyyy have lost a little sleep (and several hours of my life) to researching bedroom furniture. So instead of having all that research go to waste, I’m sharing it at the end of the post here. Hopefully, it will prevent some of you from spending as much time as I did in Dresserville and Knobs-and-Pulls-City. Below are our final contenders, and I’ve included all the important information we compared.

Dressers we liked

West Elm Logan dresser in acorn
$899, 58″w x 18″d x 32″h, solid wood base + wood veneer finish

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

This one was so pretty and we really loved the warmth of the wood, plus the price seemed reasonable for something so nice, but it wasn’t as big as our old set up and we couldn’t afford to have less storage than before.

West Elm Logan 6-Drawer Dresser
$936, 58″w x 18″d x 32″h, solid wood base + wood veneer finish

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

Love the mix of wood and metal on this one! Price still wasn’t too bad, though same issue with storage – it just wasn’t quite big enough,

IKEA Hemnes 8-Drawer Dresser
$249, 63″w x 19 5/8″d x 37 3/8″h, particle board
Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

The price was right and the size was much better for this dresser, but we weren’t sure if we wanted to buy another IKEA dresser since we already had one we liked well enough. But if you’re looking for a large, inexpensive dresser, I love the lines and double top drawers on this one.

Munich 6 Drawer Double Dresser
$339, 59.29″w x16.5″d x32.75″h, particle board

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

This one gave us similar vibes as the West Elm Logan with the mix of metal and wood tones. As usual, same problem in that it wasn’t quite big enough for us, but we still think this is a great dresser that looks pricier than it is.

Hardware we liked

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

01. CB2 hex brushed brass drawer pull
$4.95 each. I LOVED the look of these, and generally I love hexagons, but we always end up choosing the geometric design so I wanted to try something different.

02. All Modern QMI cone novelty knob
$4.24 each. Good price and nice, tiny, and simple.

03. Liberty Artesia knob
$5.18 each. Really cool look, but in the end I wanted something with a bit of curve to balance the straight pulls.

04. Kohler Purist/Stillness cabinet knob
$12.30 each. The most classic design, but a little pricier.

Pulls we liked

Dresser and hardware inspiration - evanandkatelyn.com

01. Amerock Manor cup pull
$14.05 each (plus shipping). These were really cool and I love the look of a cup pull, but they were a little more than we wanted to spend since we needed six of them.

02. Skylight Bar Pull
$15.99 each. Again, a little pricey since we needed so many… but I love the way these look!

03. Hampton Collection bar pull
$7.95 each. Another pretty option, especially if you’re looking for a warmer toned gold.

04. Hickory Hardware Metropolis center bar pull
$7.84 each. Another solid option for a great price.

Hope this post helps someone else in their search for the perfect dresser/dresser upgrade!

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