Some DIYs are crazy easy (like thess: crate shelf, slab table, table runner and ladder towel holder), and some are a little more complicated. This one is one is more on the latter side, but all the individual ideas are simple. Check it out:
I’m actually only into Ikea hacks if they are really simple, cheap and fast because it doesn’t make sense to me to put hours (or days) of work into a piece of furniture that may not last too long. So when we started this project we thought that it was super simple and cheap, but full disclosure, it was kinda a lot of work and took more time, money (and troubleshooting) than we thought. I actually LOVE every idea here and I really like how it turned out but if I were to do it again I would use a vintage dresser, something more unique, or something that I already had because there are a lot of kitchen carts out there that cost less than this one ended up being. At the same time sometimes these DIY’s are more about the ideas that you get from them and less about actually following this exact recipe with these exact ingredients. I just don’t want you guys to think that ‘this is a fast, cheap dresser turned kitchen cart’ because it kinda wasn’t. But had it been an awesome vintage dresser that wasn’t being used, that was higher quality, I would totally do this. At the same time for readers sake (of the magazine as well as the blog) we wanted everything to be easily sourced and to choose something really simple to start with, so this Ikea dresser worked well for this purpose.
Here is what you will need:
-Organization Accessories: Towel Bar, Paper Towel Holder, Spice Racks (we ended up painting all of ours to look like brass with some gold spray paint). But just buy the simplest ones.
-Leather Belts: We used some large mens leather belts which can be purchased from your local goodwill or anywhere that sells cheap leather belts. I think we bought from H and M, go thrifting, folks.
-Brass Nuts and Bolts: You will use these to fasten the leather handles to the dressers
-Brass Casters – We bought like 10 options and of course went with these which were the most expensive castors at 11 a piece (we got them from Koontz Hardware in LA).
-Leather Hole Punch
-Drill and Drill Bit
-Screwdriver and Screws: to attach the accessories to the side of the unit
1. Prep a Dresser:
First of all you can either start with the Koppang 3 drawer dresser that we did from Ikea for $99.00 or source your own vintage dresser or reuse an old piece that you have. It is totally up to how large you want it to be, where you want to use it, and the style of dresser that you want to use. It’s just important that it is roughly waist-high so that you can use it as a work top if you want.
2. Replace the Handles:
We reused the pre drilled holes that were already in the dresser and swapped the knobs out for a leather pull that we made out of common brass nuts and bolts that can be found at your hardware store and an old mens leather belt. Here is how we did it:
Measure the distance between the two holes and then add a few inches onto that length. That will determine how long your total handle is. Once you have that number you will then add a couple more inches to each end of that length so that you can fold the belt over itself to create the clean edge at each end of the handle. Then using a hole punch you will pierce the ends of those belts where the holes will go.
We then used brass nuts and bolts to fasten the leather belt to the drawer front. We threaded the bolt through the drawer first then through the belt and then used a ball nut rather than a traditional nut so that we would have a clean rounded edge on the outside of the drawer. Ball nuts are the tits.
3. Add Casters
We wanted to add casters to this to make it completely mobile. Then you can pull it into your dining room when you need an extra bar, or you can roll it into your kitchen if you need some extra prep space.
We found our casters at our local hardware store for around $12.00 a piece, but the type that we used is made by Bassick and can be sourced online.
Do secure the caster to the dresser you will flip it over then drill a hole into each of the legs that is the same size as the T-nut (which is the hollow sleeve that the caster slides into) then you slide and snap each caster into place.
4. Add Accessories
You can go as mild or as wild as you want with the accessories for the side of your unit. We decided to get a few accessories for each side that made the piece a lot more useful. We got a couple small spice racks, a towel bar, and a paper towel holder. We grabbed all of these at our local hardware store as well. We didn’t really pay attention to color as we ended up spray painting everything with gold spray paint so that it looked uniform (and I mean you already know my love of all things brass)
We love this guy so much we actually use it in our studio kitchen and everyone comments on it.
And then you have to style it out for a shoot which takes 2 stylist, 2 assistants, a photographer and 2 photo assistant. Please enjoy my gif about it.
Meanwhile this is what the room around it looked like:
We were shooting both the crate shelf and this one at the same time and it was crazy.
Also yes, we laid down a roll of linoleum so it would look like a kitchen. Fakey-fakey.
So, here’s a finished shot.
Photos by David Tsay, styling by Scott Horne. Thanks, Brady for putting this bad boy together.