19 Creative Ways to Hack Your Ikea Malm Dresser

Get inspired with these clever Ikea Malm Dresser hacks that will turn an ordinary piece into a statement-worthy furniture item.

Ikea Malm dresser hacks

Ikea’s Malm Dresser has become a staple in many homes for its sleek design and affordable price tag. However, if you’re looking to add a unique touch to this popular furniture piece, then you’re in luck!

Like most Ikea furniture, the Malm dressers are known for its clean lines, which makes it easy to hack. So we’re exploring the world of Ikea Malm Dresser hacks — creative ways to transform and personalize your dresser into something truly one-of-a-kind. 

From simple paint jobs to intricate decoupage designs, these hacks will inspire you to unleash your inner DIY enthusiast and turn your Malm Dresser into a statement piece that reflects your individual style.

Ikea Malm Dresser Hacks

1 — Add leather pulls for a rustic yet modern appeal.

DIY Ikea hack dresser and prepping for guests - sugar and cloth
Photo by Sugar & Cloth

For an instant upgrade, add leather pulls. This is probably the quickest, easiest and cheapest of all the Ikea hack ideas, and our tutorial shows you an easy way to make your own drawer pulls. Choose different colors or patterns of leather to match your bedroom’s decor theme. 

2 — Or go gold.

Multiple Styles Semicircle Gold Handles Drawer Dresser Cupboard Pulls Kitchen Cabinet Pulls Modern Wardrobe Handle Knob Pull Hardware

This simple change of elegant gold brass hardware can instantly transform the dresser’s look, giving it a more high-end mid century modern luxurious feel (or even art deco depending on what you choose). Opt for unique shapes or vintage-inspired designs to add a touch of personality.

3 — Apply a patterned decal to the drawer fronts.

IKEA Malm Dresser Decal, Ikea Dresser Stickers, Malm Decal, Malm Contact Paper, Botanical Decal for Dresser Hack, Dresser Decals for Bedroom

Apply removable wallpaper on select drawer fronts as accent panels to create visual interest and introduce pattern or texture into the design scheme of your room.

4 — Transform it into a mid century cane furniture piece. 

Transform an IKEA Malm dresser into a mid century cane furniture piece.
Photo by Macy Alison

Elevate your home decor with a touch of natural elegance by transforming your Malm dresser into a stunning cane rattan masterpiece. This DIY project promises to infuse warmth, texture, and a touch of bohemian charm into your living space, turning a basic piece of furniture into a captivating focal point.

5 — Give it a coat of paint.

Before and After: This Sophisticated IKEA MALM Dresser Hack Only Cost $20
Photo by Life on Willow Creek

Add some color and visual interest to your dresser by painting the whole dresser. Or paint each drawer in varying shades of the same color, creating an ombré effect. This simple yet stunning technique will make your Malm dresser stand out from the crowd.

6 — Stencil a design.

scallop paint design for a diy ikea dresser
Photo by Lins Drabwell

Add a personal touch by applying stencils to the drawer fronts. This could range from intricate patterns to inspirational quotes. By using your creativity, you can turn your Malm dresser into a one-of-a-kind piece that tells a story.

7 — Make a frame.

Transform your Ikea dresser with a simple yet impactful hack — adding a custom base frame. This DIY project promises to effortlessly elevate the dresser’s aesthetics, giving it a distinctive look that seamlessly integrates with your decor style.

8 — Give it a modern black and white look with stick & peel vinyl.

The black and white monochromatic color palette is visually dramatic and modern. This Ikea hack achieves this look with an exacto knife and black contact paper. Instead of covering the drawers, apply the vinyl to the middle supports.

9 — Use wood moulding for a vintage look.

Ikea Malm Dresser Hack (Makeover
Photo by Blair Blogs

The easiest DIY projects are the ones that require no hammers and drills. And the biggest Ikea Malm hacks are the ones that alter the fronts. Luckily, this DIY idea is both of the above! This Malm 6-drawer dresser hack turns the modern drawer into a “vintage” drawer by simply gluing scalloped wainscot wall panel overlays to the front.

10 — Detail it with decorative bobbin balls.

Ikea Malm Dresser Hack {Bobbin Furniture Inspiration}
Photo by My Dear Irene

Make your dresser look way more expensive than it actually is with ornamental bobbin balls. Simply, paint and glue wood balls to get this bobbin furniture inspired look!

11 — Opt for a fluted design.

Get coveted fluted look without breaking the bank. This creative DIY project promises to transform your basic IKEA dresser into a stylish statement piece, adding depth and texture to your decor effortlessly by using round molding trim.

And you don’t have to stick with the natural wood look, there are many types and colors of molding trim (that are even peel and stick too)!

12 — Purchase pattern appliques.

Olympia Pattern Furniture Appliques, Fretwork Ornaments, Furniture Makeover, Malm Kits, Furniture Hardware, SKU:OLMA

Give your IKEA Malm dresser a touch of timeless elegance with this easy makeover hack, adding furniture appliqués. By incorporating these ornate details, you’ll effortlessly elevate the dresser’s aesthetic, creating a stunning focal point that exudes sophistication and charm in any room.

13 — Top with a faux marble finish. 

Give your Malm dresser an elegant upgrade by creating a faux marble finish using contact paper or paint. This hack will instantly add a touch of sophistication to any room. 

14 — Dress the corners.

Instead of drawer fronts, just focus on the corners by dressing it up with L-brackets. Even the most the smallest details can create a dramatic change.

15 — Install wood drawer pulls.

We showcased our leather pulls, but here is another pull idea using wooden plaque circles. We love the geometric design, and it can be stained or painted to your color of choice.

15 — Upgrade it with some legs.

Another Ikea Malm hack is to upgrade the dresser with some furniture legs. There are so many color options and styles. Want to go mid century? Opt for wood tapered legs. Want to go modern? Go for slim metal legs.

Keep in mind that the Malm drawers don’t have a bottom that sits on the ground. So you’ll need backside support to screw the legs into. But the fix is simple! All you need is to add a 1″ piece of plyboard (if you’re not already adding a base frame.)

Giving the Malm drawer chest additional heights makes a huge difference!

16 — Don’t forget about the inside.

HelloWall 17.71"x 78.7"Gold Wallpaper Peel and Stick Modern Geometric Wallpaper Gold Hexagon Contact Paper for Cabinets Removable Wall Paper Sticker Pull and Stick Vinyl Self Adhesive Drawer Liner DIY

Line the drawers with beautiful and complementary patterned paper. This small detail adds a delightful surprise every time you open a drawer and allows you to infuse your personality into the piece.

17 — Turn it into a work table.

White & Gold Office Reveal
Photo by Lust Living

Ikea Malm dressers are typically found in the bedroom, and all of the aforementioned Ikea hacks have been for the bedroom. However, these drawers can be used in a home office too! We love this Malm hack of placing 2 dressers at the end, and adding a wood top for a sleek work table.

18 — Create an extra large dresser.

Photo by Ikea Hackers

If you need extra storage, this Ikea dresser hack is for you! It puts together 2 Malm drawers. However, screwing in a wood wrap to the top and sides, will then make it appear as if you have 1 single dresser.

More Easy Ikea Hacks

With a little imagination and some DIY flair, you can turn your IKEA Malm dresser into a unique and personalized piece of furniture that perfectly complements your style. 

Love this Ikea dresser DIY? For more design ideas, check out some of our other hacks below —

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