the old vanity in my kids’ bathroom
As you all should know by now, I recently gave my kids’ bathroom a renovation on a budget, and one of the biggest challenges of this reno was figuring out what to do with the old builder grade vanity. I hated the vanity, but my budget limitations made me consider keeping it and just altering it to look better. I considered painting it, updating the hardware, adding some faux feet, and installing new faucets. But that still just felt so blah to me. If I was going to spend some time and money changing the vanity, I wanted to make it something I LOVED! My goal with all of my makeovers is to bring a major transformation to the room creating a space I truly love for an affordable price. My goal is NEVER to create a room that’s just acceptable or slightly better than what was there. Altering the existing vanity would have made this slightly better than what was there, not something I LOVE.
Based on my boho modern design for this bathroom, I felt like a vanity like this (in a different color) would be something I love:
However, the $1275 price tag (and that’s on sale!) for this vanity was most of my entire budget for the whole bathroom reno! Yikes! Plus I wanted my vanity to be a different color, and I also wanted it to be a little shorter than the standard 60” length. I realized the only option that would fit my space, style and budget was to make a vanity myself from scratch. I couldn’t find a tutorial online for a double vanity that I liked so I made my own tutorial. Follow along to learn how you can make your own custom bath vanity for a fraction of the price! This cost me about $200 for materials!
elevation of vanity wall in bathroom
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS VANITY IS YOU CAN MAKE IT WORK IN ALMOST ANY STYLE BATHROOM
—RUSTIC, FARMHOUSE, TRADITIONAL, MODERN, BOHEMIAN, INDUSTRIAL—SIMPLY BY CHANGING
THE MATERIALS AND DETAILS.
important notes before you begin
- My vanity was designed to be used with vessel sinks which will sit on top of the countertop. I have made this vanity 30” tall because my countertop is 1 1/8” thick and my sinks are 5 1/4” tall, giving a total height of nearly 37”. If you are going to use drop-in sinks with this vanity then you will definitely want to adjust the overall height of your vanity in order for it to feel more ergonomically correct. Try 36” tall or whatever feels comfortable for you. (That’s the great thing about making your own vanity, you can customize it to what you like!) Also, if you’re using drop in sinks the top row of drawers in the vanity will not be usable because the sinks will be in the way. You can turn the top drawers into faux drawers with fixed in place drawer fronts.
- Note that the enclosed area of this vanity (where the drawers are) is 16 3/4” tall. I specifically made it this tall in order to fully enclose all of the plumbing so it’s not visible. Since everyones plumbing can vary, it’s a good idea to verify that 16 3/4” will conceal all of your plumbing (the bottom of the enclosed area is 13 1/4” from the floor). If not, you’ll want to adjust that dimension on your vanity.
- This tutorial is for a custom 56” long double vanity, but this can easily be turned into a standard 60” vanity by adjusting the length. You could also adjust the length to turn this into a single vanity (it would actually be an easier build 🙂 ).
- My countertop for this vanity is solid wood because that is what goes best with my design. I have not tried using this vanity with a very heavy countertop like marble or granite. I assume it would be sturdy enough to hold the weight, but if you are planning to use a stone countertop I suggest verifying it is able to hold the weight before installing an expensive countertop. Like I said, it should be fine but I’m just letting you know I haven’t tried it.
- I personally wanted plain front drawer panels to create a minimal modern look in the room, but you could easily add molding or reclaimed wood to the drawer fronts to change the style of the vanity. What I love about this vanity is you can make it work in almost any style bathroom—rustic, farmhouse, traditional, modern, bohemian, industrial—simply by changing the materials and details.
(8) 2” x 2” x 8’ boards
(1) 1” x 2” x 6’ board
(2) 1” x 6” x 10’ boards
(1) 1” x 6” x 6’ board
(1) 1” x 8” x 10’ board
(1) 4’ x 8’ sheet 3/4” thick plywood
(1) 4’ x 4’ sheet 1/4” thick plywood
4 sets of 14” drawer slides
4 drawer knobs or pulls
2 1/2” pocket hole screws
1 1/4” pocket hole screws
1 1/4” wood screws
1 1/4” nails
Primer/paint or stain
Miter or chop saw
(6) 2×2 @ 53” — long rails
(4) 2×2 @ 30” — legs
(10) 2×2 @ 19” — short rails and braces
(2) 2×2 @ 13 3/4” — stiles
(2) 1×2 @ 25 3/4” — mid-rails between drawers
(16) 1×6 @ 12 3/4” — drawer sides
(8) 1×6 @ 9 3/8” — drawer backs
(4) 1×6 @ 6” — drawer backs
(4) 1×8 @ 25 1/2” — drawer fronts
(1) 3/4” plywood @ 53” x 19” — lower shelf
(2) 3/4” plywood @ 13 3/4” x 19” — side panels
(4) 1/4” plywood @ 24 3/4” x 13 1/2” — drawer bottoms
back (with drawers removed)
The open back of this vanity leaves room for the plumbing.
step 1: ASSEMBLE BOTH SIDE PANELS
If you don’t do carpentry projects often, then let me begin by stating the following:
- All pocket holes drilled are made with a Kreg Jig and should be facing away from the visible side of the vanity.
- Test that the vanity is level as you go.
- Use your carpenter’s square to make sure all connections are at a 90 degree angle.
If your connections are not at a right angle or your rails are not level, then your vanity could end up lopsided and pieces may not fit together correctly… and no one wants a lopsided vanity 🙁 !
Use 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue to connect two of the 2”x2”x30” legs to the top 2”x2”x19” rail.
Then attach the plywood panel to the legs and top rail using 1 1/4” pocket screws and wood glue. Be sure to keep the plywood flush with the back face of all of the 2x2s. This will make the front face of the plywood recess 3/4” from the outside face of the 2x2s giving it a recessed panel look.
Now slide in the lower 2”x2”x19” rail and attach it to both legs (using 2 1/2” pocket screws) as well as the bottom of the plywood panel (using 1 1/4” pocket screws).
Next, attach a 2”x2”x19” rail with 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue exactly 3” from the bottom of each leg. This will be used to support the lower shelf.
Just a note here to say that after my messy kids started using their bathroom I discovered lots of trash, missing socks and lost clothes underneath this vanity (yes, my son is super messy!). I discovered it’s kinda hard to get everything out from under the vanity with only 3″ of clearance. In retrospect, I wish I had made the lower shelf a little higher so it would be easier to clean underneath it. So if you think this is something that will bother you then you may want to raise your shelf a little higher. If my kids weren’t so messy it wouldn’t be a problem!
Repeat all these steps again to make the other side panel.