Start with a dresser that is approximately 38 inches in height and has a flat surface large enough to accommodate both a changing pad and safety railings.
Check the suitability of the dresser before you make it a changing table. Remove any loose pieces, tighten all the screws and make sure the dresser is solid and sturdy. If the dresser is painted, purchase a lead paint test kit and test it prior to bringing it into your home. Lead paint test kits are available at any home improvement center and are very easy to use.
Place the changing pad into place and draw a pencil line around it. This will be the guide you use to secure the safety railing in place. A safety rail must fit snugly around the changing pad as a safety precaution.
Remove the drawers. Screw the crown molding or 1 x 4's into the top of the dresser from underneath, securing it around the perimeter you traced out in Step 3. Or, if you prefer, attach the safety rail to the outside edges of the dresser and use a thick towel when changing the baby rather, than a changing pad.
Fill the top drawers of the dresser changing table with diapers, baby wipes, diaper rash ointment and extra clothing. Keep them at hand as you'll need them often.