DIY Open-Shelf Vanity

Anxious to tackle a DIY building project, this determined blogger crafted the perfect custom vanity for her beachy bathroom.

By | Updated Oct 29, 2015 12:40 PM

open shelf vanity opener

Not one to back down from a challenge, Wendi of H2O Bungalow decided that an open shelf bathroom vanity was a personal goal she just had to see through. With help from DIY-savvy friends and family, she accomplished her mission with this custom showstopping vanity. Here are her tips for crafting this stylish bathroom fixture. 


– Table Saw

– Jigsaw

– Kreg K4 Jig

– Kreg Jig Pocket Screws

– 2″ wood screws
– Drill

– C Clamps

 Kreg Jig Clamp

– Random Orbital Sander

– Squares – Combination Square

 Carpenter Square

– Pre-stain conditioner

– Stain

– Pencil
– Wood glue
– Wood filler



open shelf vanity step 2

After downloading the free plans, head to the store and buy straight boards. You can check if a board is straight by holding one end and looking down the side to the other end.  If its warped or bowed, put it back and get another piece. I used 2″ Kreg Jig Pocket Screws

 for the entire assembly. It was easy and they fit well. Label everything as you “rip” or cut your board. I went even further and listed 1 of 4, 2 of 4, etc. which was very helpful so I didn’t mix up vanity pieces and scrap wood.



open shelf vanity step 3

The Kreg K4 Jig

 makes joining two pieces of wood together really easy. You will never regret owning one! Now when I look at things, I actually imagine where the pocket holes should be placed and how I would put that item together—nerdy, but cool.



open shelf vanity step 4

When It finally came time to put the vanity together, I put all the pieces together in piles. We laid out the sides and it’s pieces before assembling. You’ll want to choose the best looking boards for the front of your vanity.



open shelf vanity step 5

Before you assemble your DIY open shelf vanity, check the height of your plumbing pipes and then check again that they clear the center shelf. It’s a lot easier to make little adjustments before they are installed! I speak from experience—we moved the pipes in the wall up 3 inches. I also highly recommend double-checking your measurements for your 6 slat supports before cutting them when your vanity is ready for them. Since the boards weren’t exactly 2×2 inches, they were a tiny bit off. The same goes for the last 3 top supports. I’ll mention again: Be sure your last 3 slats are not in the way of your sink drain pipes and faucets.



open shelf vanity step 6

This is our finished vanity base. All I had left to do was to cut out the notches for the front and back slats with the jigsaw which was pretty easy.



open shelf vanity step 7

I decided to put my finish on before installing the slats so I could get the sides of the shelve slats evenly. To prep it for the finish I filled in spots that needed it with wood filler and gave it a light sanding. I cheated on the slats and just sanded the areas that faced forward and the tops of the slats only. I used Minwax Wood Conditioner to prep the wood for the finish. I used Polyshades for the color. I love the color. The finish looked awful after the first coat and terrific after two coats. I think the trick is to brush it on and then wipe it off.



open shelf vanity step 8

We flipped the vanity upside down and drilled pilot holes along the bottom where we were attaching the shelf bars with 2″ screws. We installed the two outside shelf bars first. Using the clamp to hold them was very helpful. Next, we installed the center shelf bar. That left the two middle shelf bars, which we simply centered.


open shelf vanity step 9

Thanks, Wendi! For more inspiring ideas to make over your space, visit H20 Bungalow.