This DIY dressing table with a floating shelf and mirror uses copper pipes for the legs.
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Using a circular saw and a straightedge, cut the top (A) and bottom (B) to size (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram). On the bottom face of the top (A), carefully lay out the center points of the four 1/4-inch-deep holes that will house the upper ends of the legs (F) (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Turn the top over and lay out the center points of the four 1/4-inch-deep holes that will house the lower ends of the shelf supports (G). Lay out the four leg holes on the bottom (B).
A full sheet of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is very heavy. Take your project diagrams to your Lowe’s store, and ask a Lowe’s associate to cut the sheet into manageable pieces. Then bring these pieces home and trim them to the final size.
Cut the shelf (D) to size (Project Diagram, Cutting List, Cutting Diagram). On the bottom face of the shelf, carefully lay out the center points of the four 1/4-inch-deep holes that will house the upper ends of the shelf supports (G) (Project Diagram, Drawing 4).
Use an awl and a hammer to create a center point at the locations of the holes for the legs and shelf supports. (The tip of the Forstner bit can be difficult to see. The small hole from the awl makes it easy to position the bit tip for perfectly positioned holes.)
Mark the 1/4-inch drilling depth on the 1-1/8-inch Forstner bit using a piece of painter’s tape.
Drill the four 1/4-inch-deep leg “socket” holes in the bottom faces of the shelf (D) and the top (A). Flip the top panel over and drill the four shelf-support socket holes in the top face (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).
Remove the painter’s tape from the Forstner bit and drill the four 1-1/8-inch holes through the bottom panel (B).
Use a square as a guide to help you keep the drill bit perpendicular to the surface.
For the shelf (D), mark the hole center points 16 inches apart and drill 3/8-inch holes (Project Diagram, Drawing 4). Align a straightedge with the edges of the holes and draw the edges of the slot.
Use a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade to form the slot.
Cut the dividers (C) to size (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram) and sand all of the panels with 120-grit sandpaper.
Cutting the narrow dividers from a large MDF panel can be tricky without a table saw. Instead, use a scrap 1 x 4 pine board cut to length as a substitute for these parts.
Apply glue to only the bottom edges of the divider and clamp them in place between the top (A) and bottom (B) (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). The top later will be removed for painting and glued in position.
Drill countersunk pilot holes through the top and bottom and into the dividers. To allow room for the filler needed before painting the project, make the countersinks deep enough to seat the screw heads 1/16 inch below the surfaces of the top and bottom. Drive the screws.
Driving a screw into the edge of MDF will split the part if the pilot hole is too small or not drilled to full depth. Test the size of the pilot hole by drilling into the edge of a piece of scrap and driving a screw; using a slightly larger drill bit will reduce the chances of splitting the material.
To reinforce the mirror, cut the mirror back (E) to size (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram). Place the mirror face-down on your workbench and slip the back into position under the hanging clips on the back of the mirror. Flip the mirror over and trace the shape of the mirror on the bottom corners of the back (Project Diagram, Drawing 4).
Remove the mirror back and trim the shape with a jigsaw. Apply mirror adhesive to the back (E) and slip it under the hanging cleats. Set the assembly aside until the adhesive cures.
Remove the top from the main assembly and apply painter’s tape where the dividers will be glued to the top later. Apply primer and paint to the inside faces of the case.
Once the paint has dried, apply glue to the top edge of the dividers (C) and re-install the top. Fill the screw countersinks with wood filler. With the filler dry, sand it smooth. Prime and paint the main box assembly and the shelf.
The edges of the MDF parts soak up more paint than the faces, making it difficult to get an even finish. To seal the edges before painting, mix a half-and-half solution of woodworking glue and water. Brush the solution onto the edges and let it dry. Sand the edges smooth with fine sandpaper and proceed with painting.
Cut the legs (F) and shelf supports (G) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List and Cutting Diagram) from 1-inch copper pipe. Polish the parts with a fine sanding sponge to remove any marks and give them a uniform color.
Turn the main box assembly upside down on your workbench. Squeeze mirror adhesive into the leg sockets in the bottom face of the top (A). Slide the legs through the holes in the bottom (B) and into the sockets (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).
Polish four copper pipe caps with the sanding sponge. Squeeze a little mirror adhesive into the bottom corner of each cap and slide them onto the bottoms of the legs.
Carefully turn the assembly upright onto a flat surface. Apply construction adhesive to the sockets in the top (A) and insert the shelf supports (G). Apply construction adhesive to the sockets in the shelf (D) and position it on top of the supports. Let the adhesive cure.
Carry the dressing table to the intended location. Slide the reinforced mirror into the slot in the shelf (D) with the backing end down, letting it tip back slightly. The mirror backing panel will reinforce the glass at this angle.