Give a small dresser new life by turning it into a DIY vanity, complete with skirt and mirror. The drawers hidden by the skirt hold a multitude of beauty or fashion items, and the overhanging vanity top makes using the vanity comfortable. Hang a light fixture on either side of the mirror to give you even light when applying your makeup.
- Small dresser
- Sheet of 1-inch thick hardwood
- Palm sander
- Sandpaper, 80-grit and 200-grit
- Clear varnish
- Construction adhesive
- Sewing machine
- Hook and loop closure
- Hot-glue sticks and gun
- Frameless mirror, 24-inch square
- Plywood, 36-inch square
Measure the length and width of the top of a dresser. Add 12 inches to the width measurement. Have a piece of 1-inch thick hardwood cut to these measurements. The lumber yard will usually make these cuts for free or a nominal fee. Use a palm sander and 80-grit sandpaper to sand the hardwood smooth and round the edges. Finish with 200-grit sandpaper. Wipe away any sawdust with a damp cloth.
Apply a thin layer of semi-gloss paint to the top and sides of the hardwood, using a paintbrush. Allow to dry, then apply a second coat. After the second coat dries, turn the wood upside down and paint the back side from the edges in 12 inches. Allow to dry. Apply a coat of clear varnish to the top and sides of the wood and allow to dry also.
Apply construction adhesive to the top of the dresser, then set the prepared hardwood on top of the adhesive, following the manufacturer's instructions. The 12 extra inches should hang over the front of the dresser, allowing space for your legs when sitting at the vanity.
Measure around the sides and front of the vanity top, and from the top to the floor. Cut a piece of fabric that's 2 inches wider than the measurement from the top to the floor, and twice as long as the distance around three sides of the vanity.
Press a 1/4-inch hem, and then a 1/2-inch hem on all four sides of the fabric. Sew these hems in place with a sewing machine, using a straight stitch.
Fold the first 1/2 inch of one short side of the fabric 3/4 inch over, forming an accordion-like pleat. Continue to make 1/2 pleats all the way across the top long edge of the fabric, pinning each in place. Sew across these pleats 1/4 inch from the top edge of the fabric. Sew another line across 1/4 inch down from the first, and a third 1/4 inch down from the second. The fabric should now resemble an open gathered skirt.
Cut a length of hook-and-loop closure to fit across the top of the vanity skirt. Attach the hook side of the closure to the skirt and the loop side around the sides of the vanity top, using hot glue. Press the hook and loop sides of the closure together to attach the skirt to the vanity.
Use a palm sander and 80-grit sandpaper to sand a 36-inch square of plywood. Finish with 200-grit sandpaper. Wipe away all sawdust with a damp cloth. Paint the plywood with two thin coats of paint, allowing to dry between coats. Finish with a coat of clear varnish and allow to dry. Set the mirror in the center of the plywood square and lightly draw a pencil line to mark the location. Attach picture-hanging apparatus to the back of the mirror.
Apply construction adhesive to the back of a 24-inch square frameless mirror, and press to the center of the painted plywood as directed by the manufacturer's instructions. Allow to dry.
Hang the mirror on the wall above the vanity.