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Make a New Medicine Cabinet with Just a Mirror and Some Scrap Wood

Create Your Own Functioning Medicine Cabinet

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The mirror is one of the main fixtures of your bathroom. The wrong size or style mirror can stick out like a sore thumb, throwing off the overall vibe of your space. 

With DIY ingenuity and a little elbow grease, you can create a medicine cabinet and mirror that conform to your space. This project is definitely for intermediate DIYers, but the end result is worth the effort!

DIY Medicine Cabinet to Upgrade Your Bathroom

Stefani (@homewithstefani) had almost finished a full bathroom makeover that included everything from installing a new toilet to DIYing a light fixture. The only thing left to do was refresh her outdated medicine cabinet, which had a mirror that was way too small for the space.

She wanted to create a beautiful medicine cabinet covered by a more modern mirror to complete her new bathroom. This fairly involved project was worth every ounce of time and effort. Just look at the before and after at the end of her video! And thanks to the power of Loctite® adhesive, this modern cabinet will stay sturdy for years to come

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To create your own medicine cabinet and mirror refresh, follow the directions below.

What You’ll Need:

  • ¾” plywood (scrap wood works great)
  • Screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • 1x4 lumber, enough to border your medicine cabinet plus extra if you create shelves
  • 1x2 lumber, enough to border your medicine cabinet
  • Mirror
  • Level
  • Hinges and hinge installation materials
  • Wood screws
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint


1. Remove your old medicine cabinet by unscrewing it from the studs in your wall. You may also need to score the old caulk with a knife to remove the cabinet.

2. Take measurements of the hole left behind. Measure the height and width, then take a quarter-inch off each measurement to ensure your new cabinet will fit nicely in the wall without having to squeeze.

3. Cut a piece of ¾” plywood (scrap works great!) according to your measurements. Take a moment to ensure it fits in the old cabinet’s space.

4. Return to your saw. Use 1x4 lumber to cut the top, bottom and side pieces that will form the border of your cabinet. Cut two shorter pieces for the top and bottom that run along the full border of your ¾” plywood. Then, subtract the width of your 1x4 lumber from the top and bottom to determine how long to cut your longer side pieces.

5. Once you have your plywood back and border pieces cut, measure the width of the back piece plus the width of the border pieces to determine how deep your cabinet will be. Make sure the cabinet will sit snugly in your wall based on this depth, rather than hanging out the front.

6. Back to the saw one last time! Use 1x2 lumber to cut trim that will frame your cabinet. Cut the corners at a 45-degree angle to form an elegant frame.

Optional: Stefani also returned to her 1x4 lumber to cut two shelves for the cabinet. Feel free to do the same!


7. Lay out your pieces and ensure everything is cut perfectly. Grab your Loctite® Power Grab® Ultimate in Crystal Clear and start assembling!

First, place the ¾” plywood down on a flat surface. Then put glue on the top of the board along one of the shorter edges. (Do not place glue on the side of the plywood! Only the top.) Place one of your shorter border pieces on the edge and secure in place. Using the adhesive, attach all sides in place except one of the longer edges. Don’t forget to glue your corners together!

8. Optional: If adding shelves, secure them with the adhesive now. Once three out of four sides and the shelves are secured, add glue to the plywood and side of the shelves and secure the final long side. If you are not adding shelves, skip this and secure the final long side.

9. At this point, your work should look like a box without a lid. Grab your 1x2 framing pieces and, using Loctite® Power Grab®, secure them to the top of the box to create a frame. Remember to put adhesive on your 45-degree corners, too!

10. Allow the cabinet to cure while you move on to the mirror.

11. Attach hinges to your mirror. This step can be tricky! For best results, we recommend starting Stefani’s video, above, at 8:19 and following her lead. If you used adhesive to secure your hinges, like Stefani, let it cure and return to your cabinet.

12. Move the completely cured cabinet to the bathroom where you plan to install it. Place Loctite® PL Premium Max along the studs in your wall and insert the cabinet (without any mirror) into the wall. Check that it is level and secure with wood screws.

13. Fill in any screw or nail holes with wood filler and sand the entire cabinet down with 220 grit sandpaper.

14. Paint the cabinet in the color of your choice. Stefani used leftover paint from the bathroom walls to create a cabinet that matched the room and blended in nicely. Let dry.

15. Have a partner hold the mirror up to the cabinet, placing the hinges where you intend to screw them down. Use a level to ensure your work is straight, then attach the mirror’s hinges to the wooden cabinet with extra long wood screws. Stefani used screws so long they went into the studs in her wall for extra security.

If the mirror is not closing properly, feel free to add a magnetic catch and stripe plate for extra security.

And with that, your DIY is done! Sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Stefani’s before and after was like night and day. How did your project turn out?

Products used

  • loctite pl premium max 9oz cartridge
    Loctite PL Premium Max

    Strongest bond to most materials. Ideal for any project where long term strength and durability are a must.

  • loctite power grab ultimate crystal clear 3oz tube
    Loctite Power Grab Ultimate Crystal Clear

    Works in all conditions and dries crystal clear

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