Thursday, October 3, 2013

DIY Apartment-Sized Vanity on a Budget

Hi everyone - welcome to my new space! I know it's been a long time - moving into my new apartment and starting junior year really wiped me out. I decided that I should make this return on a new platform - Blogger! I've been a Wordpress girl for a while, but I didn't like the lack of creative control the platform afforded me (without shelling out a whole lot of cash). As a former Web Design student, it felt a little stifling. I love the new look - the gorgeous new header and contact buttons are courtesy of Katherine from Of Corgis and Cocktails - aren't they just the cutest?

So here I am, this will definitely be my last move, and I'm happy to start this new (and hopefully more consistent) blogging chapter with a fun tutorial!

When I saw that the rooms in our apartment were going to have a little extra space to breathe, I decided that a fun DIY project was in order. After watching way too much Flea Market Flip (and being stunned by online price quotes), it became obvious what I had to do: make a vanity!

Vanities are super fun and can really help put a pep in your step in the morning. It makes you feel much better than schlepping your makeup into the bathroom every morning, and it adds such a nice, classy touch to your bedroom! This vanity was made with a lot of stuff I reclaimed from around the house, so for this, I think the out-of-pocket cost was under $50. I'll explain, but here's the basics of what you will need:

Small table (with drawer!) - color can be changed later, but if you have one you like already, then perfect!
Large oval mirror (thrift this!)
Small vanity tower
Chair or stool, cushion
Optional: mirror tray, jewelry tree, magnifying mirror

For me, it all began with a table. This was in my parents' dining room, and my mother helpfully donated it to the cause, along with this old chair from the basement. If you don't have delightful benefactors, consider cruising around for thrifty deals: my local Savers has a ton of small tables and chairs for under $10. This table began life as an ugly pea soup green:

But a simple coat of spray paint gave it a new candy apple red lease on life (I used Rustoleum American Accents in Apple). I can't believe how much a coat of spray paint can change a piece of furniture! Now it serves as a really bright focal point of the room.

I hunted a long time for the mirror, but I finally found one for $12 at a local Flea Market. Some more spray paint took it from an ugly tin color to brilliant, shiny gold. Because my place is a rental, I can't put nails in the wall. if you're in a similar situation, try picture wire and 2 Picture Hanging Command Hooks to hang up your mirror. The trick is to rest the bottom of it on the edge of the table. Et voila!

This mirror tray was at Savers (a local thrift store) for only $5! I think it gives the whole vanity a nice vintage feel. The IKEA spice rack turned out to be a great way to stash all my nail polish. If you can put nails in your wall, you could even get it flush against the wall next to the vanity!

I already had this jewelry tree; it was from Marshall's and I really adore it. If you have a ridiculous amount of necklaces like me, this is kind of necessary.

This tower is also old, but I know it's from Wal Mart. It's a nice way to keep my hair styling stuff and some other toiletries on hand.

This is probably the best part of the vanity! This $3 cutlery organizer makes all the difference. This way, I can keep my eye, face, and lip makeup separate - it's so much easier than the train case I was working out of before. Now, I'm ready in a snap!

So for me, the only out of pocket costs were:
$4 (spice rack) + $3 (cutlery organizer) + $7 (chair cushion) + $5 (mirror tray) + $10 (spray paint cans) + $12 (mirror) = $41!! If you have some of this stuff on hand already like I did, this could be just as cheap for you, and it really adds so much to a room!

(Do you spy the Bubby & Bean art print? It makes me smile every morning!)

Happy primping!


  1. yes! i needed this! there is the perfect little spot in our apartment for this. and it would also be an excuse to get more jewelry and wear makeup more often. ha! you rock.

  2. i love this vanity makeover! i made a vanity out of a wicker desk and spray painted a mirror. i just adore the bright red you painted the table.

    lindsey louise

  3. You must love red. :) I swear that color in general just scares me. I would never think to paint a piece of furniture red but this table really looks great!

    1. I really do! I'll show pictures of the whole room sometime, it's really embarrassing how red it is haha. Because I can't paint the walls, I wanted to make sure everything *popped* in a way! :)

  4. Very chic I love this!!! Thank you for posting!