Recently I renovated my office desk. I made a huge red oak desktop. You can find how I built it here. I bought a FINNVARD Trestle with a shelf and had to find a drawer that would fit by height on the other side. ALEX Drawer unit seemed perfect for the occasion, but I couldn't settle for the standard look. I decided to upgrade the ALEX Drawer Unit so it would be in the same rustic style as my handmade desktop.
I have to admit; this was one of my most challenging projects so far since I didn't have a table saw to make rip cuts. I ended up using a circular saw and Kreg Jig Rip-Cut Circular Saw guide, and let me tell you, that was revolutionary. The main task in this project was to make drawers flush. After all, Ikea has a factory to make it all aligned, and it required a bit of extra measuring and patience.
This Alex drawer hack will transform your room!
What you need to upgrade Alex drawer
- Kreg Jig Rip-Cut Circular Saw guide
- Circular Saw
- Drill and drill bits
- Miter Saw (to make dado cut for the bottom of the drawer if you don't have a table saw)
How to make the upgrades for Alex drawer
- After you assemble a drawer unit as instructed, you need to make an exact copy of the front drawer units. I was hoping the size would match one of the store-bought planks, but it didn't happen. Top 2 drawers measure at 4," and three bottom drawers are 5 ¾". I hat to cut it to size and make a rip cut. Table saw would be perfect for rip cuts, but since I had only circular saw and miter saw, Kreg Jig guide came to rescue.
2. Sand it down very well, especially if you are using a circular saw as is in my case.
PIN FOR LATER>>>>>>>>>>
3. Drill holes in designed places. To make it exact, I used paper to see where to drill. I measured how deep the holes should go and put masking tape on my drill bits to get to a perfect depth and not to drill through. Keep in mind that holes are different sizes: few are made for dowels and others a bit smaller for screws.
4. Now is the tricky part. If you don't have the right tools for dado cut (cut that doesn't go all the way through and creates the space for the bottom of the drawer to fit into), you can use a miter saw. Measure the plank carefully where you need the cut and slightly take the miter saw down, creating a small dado cut. Be very careful not to cut it through.
5. If you got to this point, then you can pat yourself on the shoulder! The tough part is behind.
Now you need to stain your drawers to the desired color (or skip this step if you are going for a natural look). Here I stained my drawers to a Provincial finish to match the desktop. When you are finish staining, leave it to dry for as long as needed and finish assembling the drawer with Ikea instructions.
6. Add knobs for drawers to finish a rustic look. I got mine from the local hardware store for $1 each and didn't want to spend a fortune or wait for a delivery (When I need something I need it now ;D). I've seen some gorgeous brass pulls on amazon that would definitely bring these drawers to a new level. Also, these ones would look spectacular.
What do you think about this Ikea hack of Alex drawer upgrade? I absolutely love how it turned out and so proud of myself for finishing this project.
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What's your favorite Alex Drawer IKEA Hack? Comment below! I'd love to hear it!
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you like it, follow me on Instagram @ifonlyapril. I try to post in stories my progress with all the projects.
Here is the link to my YouTube Channel where I post videos about simple DIY decor and planning to make a video version of my office tour.