How To DIY A Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf

This old gal crawled under her bathroom vanity looking for toiletries one too many times. While renovating our 60's fixer upper one room at a time, both vanities were replaced but we never got around to organizing them so they function well.

Until now, thanks to this month's edition of the Power Tool Challenge. The theme is Home Improvement and I couldn't think of a better project to FINALLY tackle and today I'm sharing How To Build A Bathroom Vanity Sliding shelf.

DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

If you haven't heard of the Power Tool Challenge, it's a group of talented tool savvy, skill sharing female DIY bloggers who come together each month to empower our female readers to step out of their comfort zones and try simple projects they can make themselves using a power tool.

How To Build A Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf

As you can see in the photo below, now everything is organized and accessible with just one pull. Even my Friar Friar Pants On Fire OPI nail polish has a home.

Close up of DIY Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf

Pictured below was my feeble attempt at keeping the vanity organized. Using a dollar store paper towel holder for storing extra rolls of TP is great and using PVC Pipe on the doors to hold my blow dryer and flat iron is awesome.

But those stackable plastic drawers were not functional. First, they didn't hold much and second, there wasn't enough clearance under the pipes to stack them so they slid around the bottom of the vanity when attempting to extend the drawer.

Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf BEFORE

I prettied up the PVC holders by spray painting them in the color Aqua by Rust-oleum Satin Ultra Cover Finish.

PVC pipe mounted inside vanity door to hold hair appliances


Table Saw
Mitre Saw
Power Drill
1/4-inch Counter Sink Drill Bit
1/16-inch Pilot Hole Drill Bit
Robertson Drill Bit
Corner Clamps
X-Acto Knife
Heat Gun


White Melamine Particle Board
2" x 2" Lumber
Side Mount Drawer Slides
White Melamine Pre-glued Veneer Edging
1 1/4-inch Particle Board Screws
1-inch Wood Screws

DIY Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf Materials

Step 1 - Cutting the shelf board

Use a table saw to cut a sheet of white melamine particle board into the pieces needed to make the shelf. If you don't have a table saw you may be able to get your local home improvement store to cut the melamine for you.


Based on a 36-inch bathroom vanity with an inside width of 22 1/2-inches.
Base: 20 1/4" x 19 1/4"
Sides - 6 pieces: 4/12" x 24"

DIY Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf Measurements

Step 2 - Cutting the rails 

Using a miter saw, cut the front and back pieces 17 3/4-inches long. Cut two more 20-inches long for the side rails.

NOTE: Keep the off cuts as they will be used to make cubby dividers later.

Cutting the sides of the DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 3 - Drilling pilot holes for side rails

Use a corner clamp to hold the shelf and one side piece together and flip them upside down. Drill pilot holes for the screws with a 1/16-inch pilot hole bit on a power drill (as seen in the photo below).

Drilling pilot holes on base of DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 4 - Countersink holes 

Use a countersink bit on a power drill to countersink the pilot holes you just made. You want the screws to sit below the surface of the frame so not to catch on the vanity base or the slider hardware.

Countersink screw holes on DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 5 - Attaching side rails

Using a #8 1 1/4-inch particle board screws and a Robertson drill bit, attach the side to the base. Repeat the steps above for the opposite side and both the front and back pieces.

Assembling the DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 6 - Measuring the cubbies

  • Measure the width of the inside of the box.
  • Cut another of your 24-inch melamine pieces to that length (mine is 17 3/4-inches).
  • Divide the board into three and draw a line (my middle cubby is narrower than the other two).
  • Repeat Steps 3-5 on each line (see picture below).

Making cubbies for the DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 7 - Installing cubby dividers

Remember those off-cuts I mentioned above, use the two pieces that measure 4-inches. Line them up on the marks you made in the previous step and screw them in place (as in the picture below).

NOTE: for now ignore the two screws sticking up (pictured below).

Assembling the cubbies on the DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 8 - Installing middle divider

  • Going back to the previous picture, mark the center point of the middle cubby.
  • Repeat Steps 3-5 on the mark you drew and drill the screws in partially (as shown above).
  • Cut the last piece of 20-inch melamine to 14-inches as this will become the middle divider.
  • Line up the middle divider with your screws and attach the board.
  • Insert the divider inside the drawer (see photo below).
  • Attach the insert on the outer side of the shelf with a screw on the top and bottom.
  • Remember to follow Steps 3-5 first before screwing it together.

Attaching cubbie insert to DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 9 - Covering raw edges with veneer

Time to hide the ugly particle board edges with White Melamine Pre-glued Veneer Edging.

Melamine Edging for the DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

With an X-Acto knife, cut strips of the White Melamine Edging to fit each piece. Using a heat gun, adhere the strips to the particle board.

Note: after letting the strip cool a little, I used my finger to feel where there may not have been a good contact and repeated the process.

Attaching melamine strips to the DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 10 - Attaching sliding mechanism to drawer

  • Attach the sliding mechanism of the Side Mount Drawer Slide Hardware onto the bottom of each side of the drawer.
  • Be sure to place them towards the back of the drawer.
  • Using 1-inch wood screws attach them as seen in the picture below.

Attaching drawer slide hardware to DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf

Step 11 - Installing sliding hardware to vanity interior

  • Cut a piece of 2" x 2" lumber to fit both sides of the vanity. These become the spacers for the stationary part of the side mount drawer slides to be mounted onto. They allow the drawer to clear the door hinges (see picture below). 
  • Attach the stationary part of the drawer slide hardware onto the spacer taking extra care that they are mounted perfectly level on each side.

Attach stationary part of drawer slide hardware inside vanity

No need to worry about clearing the sink pipes now.

DIY Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf not extended

Here it is again with the drawer extended.  I can't tell you how much having this sliding shelf makes me happy.

DIY Vanity Sliding Shelf with drawer extended

Since I was in building and organizing mode, I made a divider for one the vanity drawers as well. I attached it with screws onto the back side of the drawer.

Bathroom Vanity DIY Drawer Divider

If you found my DIY Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf helpful, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

DIY Bathroom Vanity Sliding Shelf

Now it's time to see what my talented friends made for the Home Improvement Power Tool Challenge.

Power Tool Challenge Team projects

Please press the links below to be taken to each blogger's projects.

DIY Shutters Create And Babble
Industrial Paper Towel Holder by Virginia Seweet Pea
Blanket Ladder by Refresh Restyle
Cedar Hose Planter by Kim Six Fix
DIY Vanity Sliding Drawer by Interior Frugalista
How To Patch A Hole In Drywall by Designs By Studio C
Wall Mount Staghorn Fern by A Piece Of Rainbow
DIY Painted Stairs Makeover by Thrift Diving
DIY Modern Rustic Mirror by H2OBungalow

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