An affordable IKEA dressing table (makeup vanity)

I was planning to surprise my girlfriend for a long time with a custom dressing table and I finally did it. This makeup vanity complies with all the requirements that, in my opinion, this kind of furniture should have:
• Storage space (as much as possible 🙂
• Mirror
• Illumination
• Not very pricey
• Handy (no need to stand to take anything)
• Movable (this is not a must, but is nice to have it)

Following this idea, and using IKEA web page a lot, I came up with a first design.

Make up vanity - design

But I realized that space at mirror sides was very “empty”, so I modified it to this.

Dressing table plan

Then, after buying all the items for the hack (at that moment I realized that the table bar had already the holes for 4 legs, so I changed that from the original design), I started to assemble them. This is a 3-step job:
• Standing structure
• Mirror and drawers
• Shelves

So, first things first, the standing (movable) structure:

I drilled out 6 holes in each drawer unit top. They are metallic, therefore be patient and use an appropriate drill bit. This part has to be built upside down; I started screwing the drilled tops to the table bar (it is very important that use washers here) and the adjustable legs.

Makeup vanity - attaching the legs

When tops and legs are screwed to the table is time to assemble the rest of the drawer castors. It is quite straight forward, just remember that the tops are in the bottom and vice versa.

Makeup vanity - the drawers

After this, standing structure is ready to put it down so it can support its weight itself. Then adapt the legs to the height of the castors (piece of advice, use a spirit level) and set up the drawers of the castors. As you can imagine this is a simple table with drawers that could be used for a plethora of purposes.

Makeup vanity - base

But this is a dressing table and it needs loads of space, so let’s add some additional drawers.Before assembling the mirror cabinet we will put a shelf with drawers screwed to the top of the table. First step would be drill out the shelf’s bottom along with the table and screw them together.

Dressing table - shelving unit

Assembling the rest of the shelf it is just a matter of following the instructions.

Dressing table - shelving unit done

As you can see in the picture, the shelf is 1 cm smaller than the table. I have no solution for it, I just leave 0,5cms of difference at each side.

Makeup vanity with plenty of storage

Next step, mirror. In this case, there is no problem if you want to assemble the cabinet first and then drill it out and screw it to the shelf.

Mirror attached

And we have arrived to the most delicate part, the side shelves. In this step the spirit level is absolutely mandatory. First thing is screw the small legs to each shelf. Then we screw the brackets (you can use 1 bracket per shelf but I found easier to level it with 2 brackets) to the cabinet and to the shelf. First you do the bottom ones and then the ones on top.

Makeup vanity with side shelving, plenty of storage and lights

Finally, we just need to light it up. IMHO, a double-sided tape LED strip is the most elegant solution. I bought them in IKEA but if you want “cool white” light you will need to search somewhere else.



2 drawer unit on castors, 102.510.45
1 table bar, 602.511.37
1 mirror cabinet, 802.051.68
1 Shelf with drawers, 201.928.28
1 LED strip set, 001.194.19
2 adjustable legs, 102.643.02
4 shelves, 502.185.58
8 brackets, 801.420.67
4 small legs, 101.777.67

~ Antonio Lopez.