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Cheap DIY Bathroom Vanity Plans

Upgrade your bathroom on a budget with these DIY bathroom vanity plans.

The bathroom vanity can be a huge expense if you want to makeover your bathroom. But you can save lots of money if you make your own DIY vanity instead! Then you can make one of these cheap DIY vanity tops to complete your budget vanity.

We are remodeling our kids bathroom for only $100 this month as part of the $100 Room Challenge. With such a tight budget, I had no choice but to build a vanity.

Close up of the bathroom vanity built from inexpensive lumber for the budget bathroom remodel.

If you want to see how we are managing a full bathroom makeover with such a small budget, check out the bathroom makeover plan here.

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Plus I shared the week 2 update here and for week 3 I shared this easy board and batten wall DIY. And this week… the reveal in just 2 days!

Update: Our bathroom remodel is (mostly) done! You can check out the completed budget bathroom remodel here.

Bathroom vanity made from build plans made for a budget bathroom makeover.

How to save money on a bathroom vanity?

Even with a traditional vanity, the costs can really add up. As much as I love the mission style bathroom vanity and bottom drawer vanity that I built earlier, they just did not fit in the $100 budget.

So instead of a traditional vanity, I designed a beautiful open vanity that uses inexpensive lumber.

The design of this vanity is a show stopper! No one will even notice the things that were left out of the design to save on budget.

Looking into the small bathroom with the DIY open shelf bathroom vanity installed.

The first thing I did to save money was to eliminate drawers. Drawers are super useful and I rarely recommend not having as many as you can.

But a set of good drawer slides can cost at least $15. Plus you need additional lumber to create the drawer.

Instead of drawers, this bathroom vanity has a large open shelf. The shelf is a great place to organize things in bins or totes. And since it is open, it will help you stay minimal in the items you keep in the bathroom.

Close up of the open shelf with a side railing on the cheap bathroom vanity.

The open vanity design also saved money by eliminating cabinet doors. The doors are another big cost when building a vanity since you not only have to have lumber, but also hardware, for them.

Lastly, the open vanity also eliminated the need for wood for the sides and back. All these little things added up to lots of savings!

Side view of the tapered legs and decorative skirt on the DIY bathroom vanity.

Saving Money on Lumber

This beautiful bathroom vanity was designed to use only 2×4, 1×3 and 1×2 boards. All these boards can be purchased inexpensively at your local home improvement store.

To save my budget for our bathroom vanity build (since I only had $100 to spend), I opted to use up wood left over from our DIY fire pit with benches.

At the last minute I adjusted the fire pit design and eliminated the backs from the front 2 benches. This left me with a few 1×6 boards that have been taking up space in my shop for 6 months.

Small bathroom with vinyl floor that looks like marble and DIY bathroom vanity built on a budget.

I glued some of the 1×6 boards together to get the thickness needed for the 2x boards. Then I cut all them down to size with my table saw. I also ripped the remaining boards down on the table saw to the 1×3 and 1×2 size needed for the vanity.

But don’t worry, even if you don’t have lumber taking up space in your garage, these vanity plans are still cheap to make. You can still buy all the wood needed to build it for as low as $40.

Top down view of the open bathroom vanity with lower shelf made from left over wood.

Watch the Full YouTube Video

Vanity YouTube thumbnail with play button over the top.

Plus you can check out these DIY bathroom vanity ideas to update your bathroom on a budget for more ideas!

How to Build a Bathroom Vanity Cheap

Tools Needed:

Supplies:

  • Lumber
  • 2 1/2” pocket hole screws
  • 1 1/4” pocket hole screws
  • 1 1/4” brad nails
  • Wood glue
  • Sand paper

The completed vanity is 30″ tall, 21″ deep and just shy of 32″ wide. The printable PDF plans for the vanity are available to purchase in the shop. Click the button below for the new build plans!

Button to purchase the PDF printable plans for the DIY bathroom vanity.

Cut the Pieces

For the legs, cut (4) 30″ pieces from the 2x4s.

For the front & back skirts, cut (2) 25″ pieces from the 2x4s at a 5 degree angle so they are angling toward each other. The long edge of the boards should 25″.

For the side skirts, cut (2) 18″ pieces from the 2x4s.

Cutting the 2x4 piece on a miter saw at a 5 degree angle.

Using a tapered leg jig or a circular saw with a guide track, cut the legs so the top is the full 3 1/2″ wide of the board and the bottom is 7/8″ wide.

Cutting a tapered for the bathroom vanity legs on a table saw with a homemade tapered leg jig.

I have been using the simple tapered leg jig for many projects (like this modern coffee table and the fire pit benches). You can see how I built in in this tall nightstands build plans post.

From the 1×3 boards cut, (2) side skirt decor pieces at 18″ and (2) side shelf pieces at 18″. Then cut (2) 29″ pieces for the shelf front/back.

For the front skirt decor, cut a piece at least 25 1/2″ with a 5 degree angle on one end.

Also cut (9) slats for the shelf at 16 1/2″ long.

Cutting a 1x3 board on a miter saw with a speed square clamped to the table as a guide.

Finally, from the 1×2 boards cut (2) shelf rail pieces at 18″ and a shelf rail back at 29″.

Then for the decorative skirt, cut (1) piece for the front at at least 26″ and (2) side pieces at 18″.

Assemble the Vanity

Drill pocket holes set for 1 1/2″ thick material in the back of all the top skirt boards cut from the 2x4s.

Drilling pocket holes into the top skirt pieces with a Kreg jig.

Using wood glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws, attach the front/back skirt pieces between the legs.

The wider part of the skirt pieces will be on the bottom and the shorter side on the top. The top should be flush with the top of the legs.

Repeat with the back skirt piece and the other 2 legs.

Attaching the front skirt to the tapered legs.

Next, lay the 1×3 skirt decor piece in between the legs where it will go. Use a scrap of 1×2 to hold it level on the side that is already cut an an angle.

Leave a 1/2″ gap between the top skirt piece. Then draw a line where the angled cuts need to be. Cut the other side at the mark.

Add pocket holes set for 3/4″ thick material to both sides of this board and attach to the front of the vanity with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Repeat for the 1×2 front skirt decor piece.

Measuring the front skirt decor piece on the top of the assembled piece.

Attach the top side skirt piece to the top of the assemble front. The edges should be flush with the outside of the legs. Secure with wood glue and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws.

Then add the side skirt decor pieces leaving a 1/2″ gap between them. Secure with 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.

Repeat on the other side.

Attaching the side skirt and decor pieces to the front with pocket holes.

Finally secure the back by attaching all the side skirt pieces to the legs the same as you did for the front. Make sure to leave the 1/2″ gap between the pieces.

Attaching the assembled back of the bathroom vanity to the sides.

If you don’t want a shelf on your open vanity, you can sand and finish it now. I think it would look amazing as is with a large basin sink on top… ideas for the next house!

Add the Shelf

To attach the shelf and shelf rail without visible pocket holes, drill a pocket hole set for 1 1/2″ thick material on both ends of the bottom edge of the 1×3 shelf side pieces and 1×2 shelf rail pieces.

I realized this after already attaching the shelf so I had to attach the shelf rail with visible pocket holes and fill them later. But if you do as I say, you can eliminate this step!

Drilling a pocket hole on the edge of the 1x3 board with the Kreg jig 320.

Assemble the shelf by attaching the front pieces between the sides with wood glue and 1 1/4″ brad nails. Make sure to pay attention to where the pocket hole is so you do not put a nail through it.

Creating the box for the shelf pieces with 1x3 boards and a nail gun.

Then attach the slats on the inside. Attach the first slat so it is centered on the shelf front and flush with the bottom. Secure with wood glue and brad nails.

Then leave a 5/8″ gap on either side and attach the other 2 boards to either side. Continue until you have attached all 9 slats. The outer gap will be slightly larger than 5/8″ (which is why you want to start in the center and not on the edge).

Finish the shelf by attaching the back piece between the sides and flush with the slats. Again, be mindful of your pocket holes.

My shelf slats were cut only 15″ long so I could inset the shelf to make room behind it for the sink pipes that came up through the floor. If you have pipes in the floor, you can inset your shelf too. Just measure how far from the wall to the front of the pipe and adjust the shelf slats as needed to make room.

Finishing the bathroom vanity shelf assembly by attaching the 1x3 slats inside the frame.

Next build the shelf rail. I did this out of order so the photos may look off, but I fixed it in the printable plans with 3D drawings.

Drill 2 pocket holes set for 3/4″ thick material on either side of the shelf rail back piece. Then secure it to the side rail pieces (it will not be attached to the vanity yet like in my pictures).

Attaching the shelf rail to the back of the vanity.

Now it is time to attach the shelf rail to the vanity first, that way you can use the pocket hole drilled on the underside of the side pieces (if you do it after you do not have room to do it this way).

The shelf rail should be 1 1/2″ above the top of the shelf. I had to make my shelf 5″ up from the floor to accommodate the pipes, but you can put it where ever you want.

Center the shelf rail in between the legs and attach with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws and wood glue. The rails and shelf will be inset from the edge of the legs approximately 7/16″.

Then center the shelf below the shelf rail and attach.

Attaching the shelf to the legs of the open bathroom vanity using the pocket hole on the bottom corners.

Now your vanity is ready to sand and finish!

The completed bathroom vanity with bottom shelf before sanding and staining.

To save even more money, I finished my vanity with a custom mixed stain. I mixed a splash of darker stain in with Minwax Weathered Oak for this warm weathered look.

Then I sealed it with a rub-on polyurethane made by mixing equal parts oil finish (like tung oil or linseed oil), oil based polyurethane, and mineral spirits. This easy finish is applied with a rag.

Two or three coats of the homemade sealer should work to protect the wood from water in the bathroom. Also, don’t forget to seal the bottom of the feet to prevent water from wicking up them.

Picture of the finished DIY bathroom vanity with an open shelf and tapered legs.

And now we need to hurry and make the vanity top for our budget DIY bathroom vanity! The big reveal of this $100 bathroom makeover is in just 2 days!!!

Happy building!

-Kati with picture of blog author Kati

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