Nothing tries your patience more than renovations with your spouse. My husband and I have been remodeling our 1870s house. We have only completed both bathrooms in 2 years. They take a lot of time (and money). I would never recommend renovating the most expensive rooms first. We had to because we didn’t have a bathtub. I like to tell people I haven’t taken a bath in 3 years. Only showers. Making a medicine cabinet should be easy.
So after completing the bathroom, I could not find a medicine cabinet that matched our bathroom. So why not make your own. It’ll be easy. 3 months later it’s done! We are busy people and haven’t completely moved back in to using the new bathroom, so no worries.
farmhouse medicine cabinet
We made this medicine cabinet from oak flooring we had demo’d and pulled up to put the tile down in the bathroom. I also found some bead board that had been used as shelving, that we converted into the back of the cabinet. The only thing we bought was the latch and the hinges (and a new saw and a router). We ended up having an extra door knob. So our expense was low and we made it like people did long ago, with materials they had (pretty much anyway).
What you’ll need
wood, cut to length, planed if need (wood should be the same thickness or close to it)
stain & varnish (optional)
wood sides will also be same length as the wood on the back, and the wood for the door.
Z door will need wood cut to length for the Z
You will need to determine the size you want the medicine cabinet to be. You will then need to have wood cut to those dimensions for the sides, top and bottom.
Once you have the top, bottom & sides cut and planed, you can assemble. Use a square to make sure they are square.
We used a nail gun with 1 1/2″ nails to connect the frame together. This allowed enough depth for the nail to go through and secure the pieces together.
Stain and put polyurethane on the frame. Do the same for the rest of the wood and allow it to dry.
Secure the wood onto the back of the medicine cabinet frame and nail/screw on. You can glue it too of necessary.
medicine cabinet door
Cut the wood for the Z pattern. This will give additional support for the cabinet door.
If you wish, use a router to join the boards together and glue them. Otherwise, connecting with the Z board, will give support. Ensure all the ends are stained.
Determine which way you want the door to swing. Because ours is so big we have one door swinging to the mirror we will someday install. If we had 2 doors, well that would have made it too easy to decide.
One dry, put the hinges on the door, then attach to the medicine cabinet. Add the door knob and latch. Make sure it latches and works.
Hanging medicine cabinet
This was the fun part. Our medicine cabinet was heavy. It took some maneuvering to support. We ended up grabbing a stud finder and marking where the studs were. He held it up while I drilled.
Once installed, we removed the marks from the studs on the wall and we were done.
Our door ended up not being square after all our measuring. It’s only a half inch off on one side. It is even on the hinge side, so I’m letting it slide. The house is 140+ years old, I’d be a little crooked too. To compensate we apparently hung it 1/8″ off as well. I don’t think anything will slide out. <sigh>
I would suggest making a smaller scale medicine cabinet. This one will hold all we could ever imagine.
What size medicine cabinet will you make?