A vanity is an excellent piece that can enhance any area for getting ready each day. The vanity offers storage for the items needed to get ready, the mirror to aid in applying products and styles to yourself, and the seating area for comfort. While the vanity stool may be seen as an afterthought, it is a very important part of this area. Buying a stool can be costly, but if you make it yourself, you can save a reasonable amount of money as well as put your own design into it.
Things You'll Need
- Table saw
- Sander and sandpaper
- Paint or stain for wood
- Paint brush
- Wood glue
- 4 table legs
Pick out the type of wood you would like to make your stool from. If it is going to be stained, a poplar or walnut wood would look nice, but if you plan to paint it, you can use medium-density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, pine or any other type of wood. Also pick out the style of table legs you would like your stool to have, bearing in mind that these will be cut to 17 inches or, for a higher seat, can go up to 24 inches.
Cut the seat to size. If you can make it out of a solid wood piece, that will work best, but if not, it can be glued up and then planed to be smooth and even. The seat should be 17 inches by 21 inches. If you are gluing pieces together, first make sure all edges on the sides that will be glued are square. Place wood glue on the edges and place the boards together. Once they are even, clamp them together and allow them to dry. Then plane the top edge until even and cut off any excess on the edges to square off the piece.
Use the router to round off the edges of the seat. Clamp down the board and line up the router against the board, cutting each edge. Be sure to use even strokes to make a finished edge.
Cut the side aprons, which will be two pieces 16½ inches long and two that are 20½ inches long. They should be 3 or 4 inches wide and 1 inch thick. If you would like any design cut into them, you can use the router to curve off the edges, or do a scroll work on the inside panel of the apron.
Use the table saw to cut the edges of the aprons at a 45-degree angle. These will then be matched up to form a picture-frame look. Place wood glue on the cut edges and clamp them together, and then let them dry. Use nails or screws as additional support going through both boards at each corner.
Attach a 1-by-4 wood piece to the inside of the apron. Use wood glue on the side and line it up to the side of the apron. Place it ¼ inch down from the upper edge of the apron. Clamp it and allow it to dry. Use nails through the side of the support board into the apron for additional support.
Connect the top of the stool to the aprons. Use the wood glue along the entire top edge of the apron rectangle. Place the top centered onto the apron rectangle. From the bottom, screw into the support boards and into the top until tight.
Make the support beams for inside the stool. These will be placed on each corner. Measure the inside corner to confirm the length needed; it should be approximately 8 inches. On each end, cut the edges at a 45-degree angle on the table saw. These edges will line up against the aprons of the stool in each corner.
Use wood glue along the edges of the 45-degree cuts and place against the aprons. Use nails to secure in place.
Place the cut table legs between the apron and the support beams in each corner. Place wood glue on the end of the table leg and use screws to connect the leg from the inside support beam.
Sand the entire piece until smooth. Wipe away any additional dust. Use the wood stain and paint brush with long even strokes, or paint the stool the color of your choice. Apply a second coat for good coverage. Add any additional designs or decorations you wish.