Published on August 4th, 2012 | by Jules Yap


Turn a Chest of Drawers into a Vanity Unit

Materials: “RAST”, wood placemat, meter tape, pencil, jigsaw, some scissors and a big mug

Description: I was looking for a vanity unit but at first everything was too deep and cost too much money. As RAST height and depth (70×62 cm) and price (29) were quite what I was looking for I decided to hack it.

To do this you’ll have to buy a RAST chest of drawers and a wooden placemat and you’ll need to use a precision saw, a jigsaw would be a lot better tho.

1: Build your RAST without putting the back side, and without the drawers inside (built them separately). Invert A with B. as the holes are at the same place it won’t be a problem.

2: Calculate the maximum height you need by measuring under the sink. report these measures on the side of the furniture to know where to cut the legs. Cut the legs to resize the height. Sand the cuts so that it would look better.

3: Calculate the center of the top. Center the RAST unit in front of your sink to see where you need to cut. Mark the cut 1cm larger than the pipe. Draw the lines and use a large mug to perfect the curving end. Then use the jigsaw to cut it out. Sand your cut. Check if everything is ok by putting RAST under the sink.

4: Once done put one of the drawer in the first raw upside down so you can mark the cut with a pencil by following the curve of the existing cut. Cut the drawer with the jigsaw following the mark. Sand the cut.

5: Take the wooden placemat and check the height to know where to cut. Cut it so it won’t be higher than the height of the back of the drawer itself. Nail the back of the drawer with the bottom using at least 2 of the provided nails.

6: Then staple the wooden placemat to the bottom of the drawer following the curve. This would provide your items to fall behind the vanity unit.

7: Put the other drawers in.

That’s it! You’ve got yourself the perfect vanity unit!

With this hack I gained a full drawer of supplementary storage compared to my previous vanity unit.

~ Kalinda Walker, EU

Updated: 11 October 2012.
Kalinda send in an almost finished photo of the vanity.
She adds, “I painted the chest of drawers and I added a plexiglass top to protect it from water…  

The main idea was to save money, because I just bought a flat, but also to have something really fitting the space I needed. In fact nothing on the market was small enough to fit.  

Once I painted it it really looked like it has always been there.”

NOTE: The Rast chest is untreated wood. To avoid water damage or mold, do treat it with the appropriate water resistant finish. ~ Jules

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

11 Responses to Turn a Chest of Drawers into a Vanity Unit

  1. Hello, I’m making this and I can’t figure out how to staple the placemats. Could you please explain or add the photo? Thanks

  2. Anonymous says:

    When deciding if you should say something, think to yourself:
    1. is it kind?
    2. it is necesarry?
    3. is it helpful?

    Most of the comments on sites like these don’t fall into any of these categories and don’t need to be posted! If you don’t like what someone else made, then just keep clicking until you find something you do! These are all just ideas to help others… If you have suggestions of how to make it better or “tips” to help another person use the idea… (like… use this kind of sealer/polyurethane versus lacquer etc…. or this brand of silicone caulk is superior to adhere this sinke, etc) then please post it! Otherwise, you are negative and and suck the energy and enthusiasm from others for NO REASON WHATSOEVER!!! If the shoe fits..

  3. Felix says:

    Not everyone throws around with water in their bathroom, and some even have windows to open while showering! People, start imagine!

    Kalinda, I congratulate you on constructing a solution fitting your needs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can’t we all just embrace ideas without smashing the crap out of them? This site is EXACTLY the place to share something like this. Also people can suggest alternate ideas as a working environment instead of trolling.

    That being said…. Neat! Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wow you made a cheap dresser shoved under a cheap sink look like a “vanity”. times are tough

    • Anonymous says:

      If it functions like a vanity it IS a vanity.
      Great inexpensive idea for renters too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Congratulations! You’ve read a newspaper, watched TV or went to a store within the last 4 years and realized that, yes, times ARE tough. And ideas like this, though obviously not to your exacting standards, are valid….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don’t use polyurethane!!! Geez.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and by all means whatever you do, don’t expect the above commenter to post an alternative to polyurethane, but rather just poo-poo your suggestion…..

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great idea and ingenuity, but it does look to me like a sink sitting on top of a chest of drawers, rather than a ‘vanity’. I would have hacked it and added legs to raise it up, and I would have sacrificed drawer space to have the sink sit lower in the Rast and look more intentional… actually I would have gone with a stand alone bowl sink that actually sits on top of the rast, thereby keeping drawer functionality to a maximum. Definitely make sure you protect the timber with some serious overcoating!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    What a deal!
    But please invest some money and time in some heavy duty polyurethane to protect the pine.

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