So, when we moved into the new house and I started creating my new daily routines within the new spaces, I found myself excited to use my vanity again. In the apartment, due to the small amount of space we had, it gradually became a catch-all for junk. I rarely used it to put on my make-up anymore. But the sunlight in the morning in our new bedroom was so glorious that I knew I needed to get back into using it, for the amazing lighting alone. Fortunately, there was a great little space for it, and it looks great in the room. For those of you unfamiliar, here's a photo of the vanity in the old apartment:
So cute! I bought it at Brimfield one year for about $70, I think. I love how dainty it is, but the dainty quality also means there isn't a lot of storage. Once I put all my makeup on/in it, plus a box of tissues and all my various accoutrements, it becomes cluttered and a lot less functional. So, I started thinking about how I could combat that issue while keeping it dainty and cute. Cue: Sorry Girls Inspo. The YouTube channel often features clever storage ideas and although I didn't copy any of their ideas exactly, I did take inspiration from them in one particular way: I tried to think creatively about the types of pieces that could become cute storage.
I started at Walmart and the Dollar Store, because as you know, I'm a total cheapskate. I wanted to keep this project as inexpensive as possible. My goal was to add storage to the side of the vanity for both the things that don't really fit in the drawer (like a box of tissues and my perfume bottles) and the things that I use on the daily, for quick and easy access. I figured little side baskets or buckets would be ideal. I wandered around what felt like every single aisle at Walmart and the Dollar Store before finding the final pieces.
I ended up buying:
3 small metal buckets from the "Back to School" aisle
1 wooden dowel from the craft aisle
1 gold chain from the jewelry section of the craft aisle
1 wooden silverware tray from the kitchen organization aisle
2 gold curtain rod hooks from the curtain aisle
1 gold decorative placemat from the kitchen/home decor aisle
I also had a can of gold matte spray paint and a bunch of C-hooks already at home as well as some screws and super glue.
I started by cutting the wooden dowel down to a length that was the same as the depth of the side of the vanity. I sanded down the cut edge and then spray painted the dowel. The metal buckets were bright yellow, so I spray painted the inside and outside of those next. I also painted the wooden tray and the C-hooks. The chain and curtain rod hooks were both already gold, so that worked out.
Once the paint had dried, I set about installing the storage pieces. On one side of the vanity I screwed the curtain rod hooks and added the dowel with the buckets hanging on it. On the other side, I screwed in two C-hooks. Then I attached the chain to the silverware tray using super glue and some picture-hanging triangle pieces that I already had. I cut the placemat down to fit inside the tray. I did this for two reasons:
1.) It looks really pretty
2.) It helped add a grippy, non-slip texture to the tray
Once the tray was all assembled, I just had to hang it from the C-hooks with the chains I'd attached. I've been using the vanity pretty much every single day since then and I love it. Everything is so accessible, but still looks glam and cute!
Don't you just LOVE the added texture the placemat gives the tray? I love it!
These buckets were bright sunshine yellow, but the matte gold paint gave them a touch more sophistication. And they're the perfect size for holding my make-up brushes, tweezers, etc.
The golds don't all match, but I don't really care all that much because there are enough elements that are different that it all seems to work. I've since moved the tissue box over to the wooden tray and put a clear tray in its place to hold my lipsticks. They are more organized this way. It's so nice to have everything so accessible!
The last step in putting together the vanity was replacing the chair. The wooden one in the picture above never worked, so I created a slip cover for it when it was in the old apartment. But the new space for the vanity is a little smaller, so I wanted a stool that could easily tuck under the vanity when not in use. For that, I did the world's easiest DIY, one that I saw on Pinterest time and time again. It's actually a super basic IKEA hack using a $7 stool. Yup. Seven bucks.
You can see the original in the upper right corner. It's a white metal base with a white plastic top. Sturdy and very inexpensive, but not exactly cute. I'd seen TONS of make-overs on Pinterest of this stool, so you can easily look them up, but here's the basic concept:
Step 1: Spray paint the legs.
Step 2: Cut out a piece of foam the size of the seat.
Step 3: Using fabric glue, attach the foam to the seat.
Step 4: Cover with fabric of your choice, using the fabric spray adhesive to attach to the underside of the seat.**
Step 5: Screw the legs into the seat per the IKEA instructions.
I made Step 4 slightly more complicated. Many of the versions you'll see of this upcycle involve really textured fabrics like faux fur. So, wrinkles in the fabric, or bunching aren't really problematic since the texture of the fabric hides most of that. But I wanted a velvet seat, which looks better when it's neater. So, for my version of Step 4, I cut out a circle of velvet about a 1/2 inch bigger than the foam. I then cut a strip of velvet about an inch wider than the side of the foam, and long enough to wrap around the entire circle of velvet. I then sewed the strip to the circle, essentially making a custom cover for the seat. It just looks a little neater overall. If you don't mind some pleats or wrinkles in your fabric, you don't have to take this extra step.
One thing I didn't do, but I might add in the future is some tufted buttons. You can see that the original stool has a bunch of holes in the plastic seat. So theoretically, you could use an upholstery needle to sew tufts into the cushion and add decorative buttons right through those holes. It could be really cute. When I bought the one stool, I figured, "I'm paying a shipping fee for one, so I may as well order a bunch." So, I have three more stools that I'm thinking of doing a similar make-over on for additional seating when we have people over. Since the stools are stackable, I could keep them in a corner and just pull them out as needed for parties and such. I'm thinking of keeping the gold legs, but using different fabrics and textures for the cushions. Let me know what you think- I'd probably keep them in the living room most of the time but they would also work for additional seating around the dining table. Leave a comment if you have an idea for what I could do. I have plenty of velvet to make all of them the same as the vanity or I could shop around for other fabrics, too. I'm undecided. Tell me what to do in the comments!
Thanks for reading!