This project is of a Vanity Mirror with Lights that was a fun project to make. These are very expensive to buy so I decided to make one. Hopefully if anybody decides to make one I can help you save time and money in doing so. It took me several trips to the hardware store to get all the supplies needed, which I don't mind doing. Basically this project is one flat MDF board for the top, and that is nailed to a frame. The frame is 1 inch by 4 inch. I cut circle holes and square holes, did sanding priming and painting. The wiring in this project is fairly simple to wire.
card board for proto type Free found
36 x 33 inch mdf board 5/8'' thick Free from my work, other wise 15.00$ get a 4 ft x 4ft and cut it
1'' x 4'' wood boards 12 ft total 10$
6 bulb vanity bar 22$
2- 4 bulb vanity bars 35$
electrical wiring 10 feet 10$
wire nuts for light wires 5$ couple boxes
3 plastic electrical boxes 3$
3 "L" bracket mounts 3$ you could uses two a box and get six
2 power plugs 2$ I used white could get black ones
1 dimmer switch 10$
three pronge plug free cut a cord from something else
light bulbs 40$ depends on the bulbs you uses....daylight
4 mirror clips 2$
spray paint 4$
1 1/2 inch drill bit
pre drill hole bit
Start with Vanity Bars
The first thing you wanna do is get the fixtures for the bulbs. You can choose which ever you like best which will determine your measurements for everything else.
I went with a 6 bulb vanity for the top and 4 bulb vanity strips for the sides. The center of the light bulbs are six inches apart. So for the 4 bulb vanity's I measure to make them even mount apart. I did my measurements on a prototype piece of card board. these vanity bars cost me 60 $ total.
When putting the vanity bars on the prototype I left 1 inch on the sides of them for where the 1 inch wood board frame is going to go, and marked where the vanity bars are gonna fit and marked where the holes for the light bulb fixtures will. and then cut the holes out of the cardboard prototype.
This made my top board demensions to be 36 x 33 inches.
Electrical Box Square Holes
You can choose how ever many outlets you want. on my project I am cutting three holes. One for switch in the center and two holes for the power plugs. I wanted these at the bottom I measure to make sure the electrical boxes would not interfere with the 1 inch frame board. the I marked the center of the front and traced an electrical box where I wanted the hole to be. Then I measure an even amount distance for the two holes for the power outlet plugs to go.
Measure twice cut once
The first cut your going to be making is cutting the frame. I cut a square peace of wood to the demensions of 36 x 33 inches. I layed the prototype down to make sure that was the same as the 36 x 33. I used a cicular saw and got it straight. otherwise could use a table saw to get the right size front board.
Then I traced the holes from the card board prototype onto the front wood just cut.
I used a cordless drill and a 1 1/2 inch drill bit to cut out the holes for the light bulb fixtures.
To cut out the square electrical boxes I drilled a hole in corners big enough to fit the blade of the jig saw to fit in. Then I used the jig saw to cut out the squares for the electrical box.
Then you need to cut the 4'' x 1'' board for the frame. i cut to pieces the length of 36'' for the top and bottom.
then cut 2 pieces 31'' for the sides.
to attach the frame you first need to pre mark the holes for where you are going to drill the holes for the nailing the top board to the frame. the frame board is 1'' so i measure in from the edge 1/2 inch and drew a line in from the edge. i marked holes three inches apart. before pre drilling the holes I glued the frame to the top board and put wieghts on it to hold it together. once the glued dryed i pre-drilled holes for the nails. Then nailed in the nails where i marked the pre-drilled holes
Sanding, Putting, Priming & Painting
After you have the frame connected you wanna cover up the nails with putty so are flush with the wood. also you wanna add wood putty where the wood connects to each and any other spots you feel need to be filled in. Then once it dries you need to sand everything down so it can be primed and painted.
You want to make sure you sand the vanity to make it look the best possible it can. I used a finishing sander with a fine grit paper. The better you sand the easier the primer will stick to the wood.
I used sandable spray primer. After I sanded it i clean off all the dust a wiped down the vanity before spaying the primer. Using the primer helps the paint stick better and last longer.
I used black spray paint for the final finish, it took me two cans. When i painted and primed i lifted the vantiy off the ground so that the paint didn't stick to card board underneath it. Also if you have the electrical boxes already mounted it would be a good idea to cover up the screw holes so paint doesn't get in them.
Mounting and Wiring Electrical
To mount the electrical boxes I used plastic boxes. You put them in the pre-cut holes so that the box is flush with top of the top board. I needed to use metal "L" brackets to mount theses to the back of the board. Then I mounted the vanity bar strips using screws.
To wire the vanity i started with a three prong plug. I cut off the end and had the three wires coming out. There is a blue green and brown.
Blue - nuetral
Green/yellow - ground
I connected these to the first plug. Then from the first plug I have wires going to the second plug, and from the second plug going to the switch. From the switch I have the vanity bars hooked up. I connected all the vanity bars together.
Attaching the mirror. I glued the mirror first and then I added four mirror clips to help secure it. The size of the mirror I used was 21 inches by 24 inches.
This was a fun project to make, learned a few things making this project. I hope if you choose to make a vanity mirror this can be helpful for you.