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




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.
materials list

(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
Wood filler
Wood glue
Primer/paint or stain

tools list

Circular saw
Miter or chop saw
Jig saw
Kreg Jig
Electric sander
Nail gun
Carpenter’s square
Measuring tape
Safety glasses

cut list

(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.


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.


Use 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue to connect the side panels to each other by installing two 2”x2”x53” rails along the front and the back, keeping them both flush with the top of each side panel. Install two more 2”x2”x53” rails at the front and the back of the vanity at 15 1/4” from the top of the vanity. These long rails should align with the short rails below the plywood on each side panel.

Next, using 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue, add two more 2”x2”x53” rails which will support the bottom shelf. These should be 3” from the bottom of each leg and align with the lower rails on each side panel.

Using wood glue and 2 1/2” pocket screws, add a 2”x2”x13 3/4” stile to the front of your vanity between the top two 2”x2”x53” rails you installed. Make sure it is located at the exact midpoint of the long rails. Then add the other 2”x2”x13 3/4” stile to the back of your vanity between the top two 2”x2”x53” rails, again making sure it is at the midpoint of the long rails.

Now it’s time to add the 2”x2”x19” braces across the middle of the vanity. Still using 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue, align the first one with the middle set of 2×2”x53” rails as shown. So it should be 15 1/4” from the top of the vanity. This will help stabilize the whole vanity. Now install another 2”x2”x19” piece directly on top of that one. This piece is added so that the drawer slides can be mounted to it.

Now install the upper two 2”x2”x19” braces using 2 1/2” pocket screws and wood glue. The top one should align with the top of the vanity. The middle one should be located 6 1/2” from the top of the vanity. These braces are also needed for mounting the drawer slides and giving the whole vanity more stability.

Add corner gussets to the four corners of the vanity. I used leftover pieces of the 1”x8”x10’ board and cut them into triangles (make sure they are exactly 90 degrees). Use wood screws and glue to install them making sure they stay flush with the top of the vanity.


Install both 1”x2”x25 3/4” mid-rails on the front of the vanity using 1 1/4” pocket screws and wood glue as shown (the 1” side of the mid-rail should be facing the front of the vanity). Make sure each one is centered vertically as shown.


First, drill pocket holes along all four edges of the bottom side of the 53”x19” piece of plywood that will be used for the shelf. Making sure all pocket holes are facing down towards the floor, use 1 1/4” pocket screws and wood glue to connect the shelf to all four 2×2 supports keeping it all flush on the top.


First, take note that I made my drawers a custom “U” shape in order to get the maximum storage while also accounting for the plumbing under the sink. The notch in the middle of the drawer is there to avoid the drain pipe from the sink. A 6”x5 3/4” notch was enough to avoid the pipes in my vanity, but be sure to check what will work with the plumbing in your bathroom. You may need to have a larger opening or might be able to get by with a smaller opening. You can also just make standard rectangular drawers instead of doing a notch in the drawers if there’s enough room for you to avoid your the plumbing. A short 12” deep drawer still interfered with my plumbing so I decided to go with the “U” shaped drawers instead. Plus, I love the sectioned areas in the drawers! So organized! Also, like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, if you are going to be using drop-in sinks then the top two drawers will likely not be usable for you, so you’ll want to install just the front panels for those drawers creating “faux drawers”.

You should have four 24 3/4”x13 1/2” 1/4” thick plywood pieces. These will be the drawer bottoms. Use a jig saw to cut a 6”x5 3/4” notch out of the top center of each piece of plywood.

Use four 1”x6”x12 3/4” pieces, two 1”x6”x9 3/8” pieces, and one 1”x6”x6” piece to build the drawer sides as shown. Connect each piece with a nail gun and wood glue.

You should also have four 1”x8”x25 1/2” pieces of wood which will be the drawer fronts. Use a circular saw to trim off the long edge of each piece so you have a final dimension of 25 1/2”x6 1/4” for each one.

Now, attach the 25 1/2”x6 1/4” front panel of the drawer by inserting wood screws through the drawer front into the ends of the side pieces as shown. You’ll obviously want to countersink the screws so they are hidden. The bottom edge of your front drawer panel should sit 1/8” below the plywood bottom of your drawer.

Repeat these steps for the other three drawers.


Attach the drawer slides according to manufacturers instructions to each drawer as well as the end panels and braces in the middle of the vanity.

Now add the drawer pulls.

Install the finished drawers in the vanity and make sure everything works well.

step 7: FINISH IT

Fill any holes with wood filler, give it a good sanding, and then prime/paint/stain it to your desired color. I used SW Naval for my vanity.

I also recommend putting a few coats of clear poly on the inside of each drawer to help protect against spills.

step 8: install it

How you install this will depend on exactly what’s happening in your bathroom. Here’s what I did… I started by marking the studs on the wall behind the vanity. Then I set the vanity (with the drawers removed) exactly where I wanted it in the room. I have baseboards sitting on the floor of the bathroom behind the vanity so that kept my vanity from sitting flush against the wall. So I installed a long piece of scrap wood as a spacer between the wall and the top rail on the back of my vanity (the countertop will hide this spacer). Then I pre-drilled through the top rail of the vanity, the spacer, and into the stud in the wall. I then installed large long screws designated to hold a lot of weight through the rail, the spacer, and into the wall at each stud behind the vanity.

a screw connects the top back rail of the vanity to a spacer and a stud in the wall

close up view

And here’s the finished product!…

For more info on my DIY wood countertop I used with this vanity click here.

To see my complete bathroom makeover click here.

If anyone does happen to make this vanity then please let me know in the comments… I’d love to see photos!


  1. Avatar Alex Y

    I am Right in the middle of building this! Its coming out Awesome! I was wondering when you painted it, did you put a coats of clear poly over the paint? If you want to see the finished product just let me know where to post the pictures!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors


      Yes, I did use clear poly over the paint. And please post a link to pictures here in the comments when you’re done or you can put them on my Facebook page. Thanks!

  2. This is such a great tutorial! Thank you so much for sharing your process. With any luck, I hope to be able to tackle our bathroom project this summer.

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      No problem! Glad it was helpful!

  3. Avatar Alex

    Hi Do you have any Video Tutorials of you doing this?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      No, sorry I don’t.

      • Avatar Alex Y

        Also, is this easy to make this 52-53 inch’s vs 56?

        • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

          Yeah, you could easily make it 52-53″. That’s the great thing about DIY, you can customize it to what you want.

          • Avatar Alex Y

            Great! And where did you get the Drawer handles from?

          • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

            From Amazon.

  4. What tool/app do you use to create the mockups?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Hi, I use SketchUp.

  5. Avatar Courtney

    What paint color did you choose for the vanity?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Sherwin Williams Naval

  6. Avatar Tiffany

    Hi! Would love to know how long this process took. My husband is pretty handy but hes also short on time so I hate to ask for him to do a project. I looks amazing!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks Tiffany! Unfortunately, I can’t remember how long it took. Maybe a month? But that certainly wasn’t working on it everyday. If your husband is used to building things it will go faster for him. Also there were some steps it was nice to have someone help out just to hold/align things. It’s certainly a project you could just work on every weekend as you have time.

  7. Avatar Cha

    May I know what type of lumber did you use? Is using maple, poplar, pine or other hardwood
    be good?

    • Avatar Cha

      And may I know how many inches is your overhung of the vanity top?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      I used pine because it was the cheapest, but any of those would be good. Also the overhang on my vanity top is 3/4″. Hope that helps!

      • Avatar Kandice

        We did it! I will post pictures after we paint and put the top on. I have been struggling with color or stain for too long. It’s so difficult. I wanted to paint the vanity a white or a whitewash and stain the top which a birch butch block a dark walnut or espresso but it didn’t look so good together when I practiced on little scrap piece of each pine wood and butcher block. So now I am giving in and going to copy the colors you have. This is our first major woodworking project and it turned out so good, love it! I’m so nervous to paint it!
        Thank you for you awesome instructions, we had fun and I can’t wait to do more projects !

        • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

          That’s so great! So glad I inspired you, can’t wait to see the photos! Also a side note, I just finished painting some cabinets in my house and I used Benjamin Moore Advance paint for it and it worked really well for cabinets and furniture. I now realize that I wish I had used that paint on my vanity so I just wanted to suggest that to you.

  8. Avatar Willie Gaddis

    What are the cuts for the 60″ vanity I like the 56 but getting a double sink top is a challenge. Do you have the DIY plans for the 60″?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Hi, yes a 60″ vanity is a standard size and I made mine a custom size. But it should be pretty easy to change it to 60″. Just looking at it quickly, the cut list would be the same except everywhere it says 53″ change it to 57″. Good luck with your project!

  9. Avatar Jennifer Jones

    WOW- what an amazing tutorial!!!
    Do you have converted measurements for a 48 inch version to share, please?

  10. Avatar Shannon

    Hey, this build was super easy, even with having to change the dimensions a bit, so thank you!!! One question I have… the drawers in your picture seem to be flush with your frame, however, at 1X8 it seems like they’d need to be ripped down for that. Am I missing some? I’d really like the flush look. Any advise would be appreciated!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Sorry for my slow response! Yeah the drawers are flush with the frame. I ripped down the 1x8s to the size I needed. Glad the tutorial was helpful!

      • Avatar andres arias

        Thanks to this tutorial, i built a 36″ with granite top and marble sink – used walnut for the front end.


        • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

          Love it… it looks so good in walnut. Thanks so much for sharing!

  11. Avatar Maria Napolitano

    How would you test to see how much weight this could hold? I am interested in putting granite on top.

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      I would think that if you’re building everything out of solid wood it should be sturdy enough to support granite

      • Avatar andres arias

        i used this tutorial as reference for a 36″ with granite top , marble sink – been over 7 month, zero issues.

  12. Avatar Ian A

    Hey thanks for the tutorial, I’ve decided to build this as a 47” single vanity, and I’m halfway through on how to build out the drawers with the plumbing going right down the middle? Any tips?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Hi Ian, I made the drawers in a ‘U’ shape in order to have room for the plumbing in the middle. I left more room than I thought would be needed for the plumbing so there would be plenty of clearance between the drawer and pipes. If you can install some of the plumbing first then you’ll know exactly how big the drawers need to be so maybe that’s the better way to do it. Good luck!

    • Avatar Jennifer Jones

      Do you have the modified measurements for a 48 inch version you could share, please?

  13. Avatar Angela

    Thank you so much for the awesome direction…almost ready to paint and stain! IMG_0028.HEIC

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Glad it was helpful! I can’t see the photo you posted though.

  14. Avatar Kevin Z

    We could not find an off the shelf vanity to meet our needs and this one was exactly what I was looking for. Going to use your tutorial for a 48″ single vanity. Can’t wait to see how it will turn out. What program did you use for your diagrams/measurements?
    Thanks for sharing your plans!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      That’s great! Glad it perfectly fits what you want. Good luck with your project! …I used SketchUp to draw the diagrams.

  15. Avatar Reese

    WOW I love this!!! What a fantastic job!! Thank you so much for the plans!!!

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks! Glad it’s helpful for you!

  16. Avatar Cindy Best

    We are currently in the process of building this. Where did you get your baskets? I want to stick with a larger basket but need the right height.

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Hi Cindy,
      Happy to hear you’re making the vanity! I found the baskets at HomeGoods.

  17. Avatar Jason

    Where did you buy the material, more specifically the 2×2. I can only find pine.

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      I bought everything at Lowes and it was all pine.

      • Avatar Jason

        How does the pine hold up? Does it dent and nick easy. Thank you.

        • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

          No, it doesn’t dent or nick easily. It’s held up well.

          • Avatar Jason

            Lowe’s no longer sells 2×2. I can’t find it at any lumber yard either.

  18. what type of 2×2 are those ? “popular”? are they actual 2×2 or 1.5×1.5″. amazing DIY with all the measurement and pictures. Thank you so much for taking the time.

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks…They are 1.5″x1.5″

  19. Avatar Autumn

    What paint finish did you use? Flat, eggshell, satin…? Also, did you use a sealer after? One last question, how did you apply the paint to get a smooth finish?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Hi Autumn,
      I used a satin finish paint and then sealed it with clear poly. I used a high quality paint brush (by Purdy) to apply each layer and it left a nice smooth finish.

  20. Avatar Krystal

    Where did you get your sinks from ?

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Hi Krystal, I got them from Amazon, the brand was GotHobby. And we’ve been happy with them.

      • Avatar Renee

        What size sinks did you buy? This is the exact look I am going for in my bathroom. Do you have links for the sink and faucets you used?

        • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

          The sinks were 15″ square. I got both the sinks and faucets off Amazon and the ones I bought are no longer available, but if you search Amazon you can find similar items. Hope that helps!

  21. Avatar Amy

    What great step by step directions for this beautiful vanity! Thank you for sharing them! I’ve been looking for plans for a vanity exactly like this. You’re very thoughtful and good at what you do here. Thanks again!

  22. I Love this so much! I can’t wait to make it for my bathroom! I also love that you add notes and points to think about after the face. Very thoughtful.

  23. Avatar Amber

    This is an amazing tutorial. My husband and I can’t seem to agree on the vanity for our master and now I’m considering making it using these plans only increasing the length. I will let you know if we do!! It looks absolutely fab.

  24. Holy crap. If this isn’t the most perfect post of a DIY vanity that I actually can make and want, and actually came out stunning??! Kudos on this amazing post. This single homeowner on a budget thanks you!!

  25. Avatar Jessica

    This is the best DIY tutorial I have ever seen for a project like this!! The fact that you visually showed pocket holes and each step of the process is incredible. Don’t mind me… I am just going to look at every DIY post you have ever posted… haha

    • Avatar Stephanie @ Studio 36 Interiors

      Thanks… I’m a detail-oriented person!

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