DIY Niche Shelves: Remodeling Old Bathroom Cabinets!

DIY Niche Shelves: Remodeling Old Bathroom Cabinets

DIY Niche Shelves: Remodeling Old Bathroom Cabinets

Turn your old medicine shelves into modern boho-style niche shelves! Easy DIY, bathroom mods, mod ideas!
Our medicine rack looks very outdated. It really occupies a visibly accessible space. 

There is no need to store rarely used medicines in this room. In fact, it's much better to have an open shelf unit that cleans up our little vanity top. And I love niche shelves! 

They are attractive, functional and fun to decorate at any time! In this tutorial, we'll show you how to remove an old medicine rack and turn that space into a tokonoma shelf. It is so easy and so worth it!

Materials and Tools

  • Wood and saw to cut wood: 1/2” or 3/8” thick plywood for the sides and back(if needed), 2x6s for the shelves, and 1x2s for the trim. You can use the photos as a guide to adjust the measurements to a niche. 
  • Wood screws, brad nails, a drill, and sand paper. 
  • Paint, water based polyurethane to protect the wood shelves

Step 1: remove medicine cabinet

It very easy to remove a medicine cabinet. Inside each medicine cabinet , you will see small screw holes on the sides where the cabinet is screwed onto the studs. 

Remove all screws and remove the case. You can donate your old medicine rack to places like Craigslist and Habitat for Humanity. When I put the closet outside before donating, one bird found it attractive. 

Step 2: Prepare the niche

Clean the niche and scrape off mud and globs on the drywall of the studs.
You can make a wall behind a niche shelf. We decided to clean the drywall on the back, finish it smoothly, paint it, build the sides with shelves, and finally add panels. 

Step 3: How to build a shelf between floors. 

In this case, we are building an open frame with two shelves. You can add backpieces as needed. Measure the depth of the niche and cut the sides of the plywood to a width that matches the depth of the niche. 

Again, cut the plywood to a length that matches the height and width of the niche. It`s a good idea to leave about 1/8” space on the top and to one side, because a super tight fit would be hard to assemble later.
Sand all the cut edges. Screw or nail the niche shelf frame together, and test the fit inside the niche. Make any adjustments if needed. Check the measurements of the shelves, and cut the shelves to fit inside the frame.
Next, paint the sides on the niche shelf white. You can also paint the wood shelves. 

If you want to leave the wood natural, you can use 3 coats of water based polyurethane to protect the wood from water, stain, etc.

Once the paint and finish are dry, screw the shelves into the frame and screw the frame into the wall studs. 

Step 4: Trim the niche shelf

As you can see, the edges of the drywall are cut and not very clean. 

The final step is to add 1x2 moldings around the niche shelves to make everything beautiful. 1x2 lumber was measured, cut, painted and nailed. 

It's a lot of fun to decorate the open shelves. In addition to the practical ones in the bathroom, you can add plants, flowers, potpourri, essential oil diffusers and candles to make your bathroom furniture feel fresh and cheerful!

I like it much more than the old medicine rack. The medicine can only be placed in a shoe box somewhere in the closet.