Concealed Medicine Cabinets - Make Your Own

eldemilaNovember 14, 2010

I really want one of the concealed medicine cabinets, but can't justify the price to purchase through the company. I'm trying to find a flush mount medicine cabinet with European hinges so I can remove the front and replace it with a picture frame to fit over, eventually looking like the one from the company but at a lot cheaper price.

Has anyone made one? Does anyone have any suggestions on the most flush mount medicine cabinet they've seen, or bought, out there? I can only have a unit that's 3 1/2" deep and would like for it to sit flush against the wall no more than what's shown in the picture in the link below


Here is a link that might be useful:

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We're in the planning stages of doing a new bathroom and thinking through every little thing. I was thinking about medicine cabinets when it suddenly occurred to me - who needs one? Really, all we have in ours in dental floss, some sample size shampoo, and a bit of make-up which I never use. With a new bathroom we can just plan in adequate storage not including a medicine cabinet. That frees us up to just do mirrors. Freedom!

If that doesn't work for you, hopefully someone will know the answer to your actual question.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 7:04PM
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Actually, the home I'm moving from, both bathrooms don't have medicine cabinets. I have lots of space in both bathrooms and enough drawer space that we didn't need medicine cabinets.

Unfortunately, the master bathroom in the "new" house is REALLY tiny and though I plan on having as much space in the vanity as I have now, I also plan on utilizing the space to house towels and TP whereas now, I don't have to.

One could never have enough room, and while I don't like the look of a medicine cabinet, I though why not, if I can have one and no one know it's there because it looks like a piece of art, which I'd probably put up there anyhow, why not utilize the space both ways. Won't kill me if I don't have it, but if I can make one, I'd love to have one.

Best of luck with your planning - I'm still planning as well, but have already gutted out mine. Still have lots to buy before we have it put together in January - thank goodness for 2nd bathrooms!!!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 7:24PM
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"We're in the planning stages of doing a new bathroom and thinking through every little thing. I was thinking about medicine cabinets when it suddenly occurred to me - who needs one?"

Our last house had tons of storage in the master bath; the bath I'm using now (no master bath at present) has a tiny 'bath pantry', and because it's 2-steps away from the sink, a medicine cabinet. I haven't had a medicine cabinet in about 40 years, so it was pretty much a new thing for me...

And I LOVE it! No, it's not the most beautiful thing, but I was organized up front and decided that everything I use EVERY day would go in the medicine cabinet, and everything else would go into the pantry.

Turns out, it's really ever so much more convenient than vanity drawers. Sure it holds less. Less clutter. Less junk. Less 10-year-old potion that I haven't the heart to throw away because it made fabulous promises and cost a fortune...

If you can make it work, I'd do it...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 8:49PM
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debelli, did you ever make your own? i'm thinking the same thing now...any tips?

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 12:48AM
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Jimnyno, no I never did. I'm actually doing our bathroom right now. We gutted out to the studs and removed a set of studs, we had two sets back to back. I have only 3" of space to work with and figured if I could find a short depth cabinet in time I'd do it. The one I want is quite pricey, and then to remove the door, buy the frame and have it drilled for new hinges I didn't think it was worth to buy. If I'm able to do it later on, I'll just have it installed then. I'd like to put mine above the toilet and I'm not even sure if I'll have the room - there may be wiring in that area.

Hope you come up with something you can do - would love to see the end result if you can.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 7:31AM
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We built in a medicine cabinet in our last house- hubby had contractor plan for it during building stage so that there was a wide enough space/no wiring where we wanted to put it. We had a large mirror over the vanity, and placed the cabinet on the wall @ a 90 degree angle--worked out great to see back of hair/etc when door was open (we fronted it with a mirror).

Sorry, no pics, that was over 25 years ago, so no European hinges, he used a piano hinge to attach door to box.

We have planned for another one in our guest bath--so we've roughed in the area again- but this time as it backs on to the furnace room, we've allowed for a depth of 8 inches.

Alternatively, if you can't build a box and attach a door, you could use glass shelves attached on the wall. That's what I have in my Master bath at present, and it holds my 'pretty' make-up jars/brushes etc. (Interesting what you will put up when it's only temporary- like 15 years temporary LOL)

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:28AM
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debelli, you might look at the thread below. Scroll down to July 24th entry. folkman DIY'd a concealed cabinet. If you scroll farther down to the Jan 9, he makes some comments on how he did it.

Here is a link that might be useful: folkman's bathroom

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 8:46PM
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I'm thinking about making one myself too. Looked at Concealed cabinets and can't justify it too. I'm with you debelli the prices are crazy. I found this website that sells wood drawer . I thinking of buying this as the cabinet since you can customize the size then use folkman's suggest with the frame/hinges.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2011 at 10:59PM
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Well, I felt the same way about the cost, but by the time I needed it I just didn't want to mess with building one. So I bought it. I have to say that while I do think it's quite costly I absolutely love it and now that's it done, I'm glad I did.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Well, it looks like I'm getting a self-made concealed cabinet, not made by myself, but the guy who's remodeling the bathroom! He was SOOOOO excited when I showed him the idea and can't wait to do it. He's going to build it from scratch. It's going to be similar to the one Innovators has that's done in natural wood. I don't think he's going to do the outside frame. Will probably go with glass shelves, to have the glass cut will be around $7 a piece. I honestly thought that would cost more.

Really don't need a medicine cabinet as we will have enough space in the drawers, but so like the idea, and well, who CAN'T use more space!

Should be done early this week and will post pictures once done. I'm on a mission to find a frame now. Found something I can "live with" but hoping to find something that I love to put there. It's going to be centered over the new toilet. Back of toilet/tank measures 15 1/2" and the frame I bought is 16 1/2" wide x 21 h

This is the REALLY before:

I'll be posting some after it's roughed in, and when complete, so stay tuned!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2011 at 8:36PM
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I thought I was the only ever to do this. I have made them for the bathrooms of our last 3 houses. I use a very cheap (about $6.00) cabinet), set it flush with the wall, use a picture frame that covers the cabinet, and mount the frame to the stud beside the cabinet. I use regular hinges. Of course I remove the original mirror door and anchor the new frame using the original magnet on the cabinet and an washer on the rear of the picture frame. If you find my explanation confusing, or have any questions, let me know. The result is every bit as nice as the expensive ones. Actually, mine are nicer since I use quality frames.i

    Bookmark   March 20, 2011 at 10:37PM
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How ironic is it that there is a Concealed Cabinet ad on this page when I logged on!

Here's what was accomplished today with the cabinet. I had a really hard time finding something I liked to put up. My cabinet's going to be a bit bigger than what I first thought about having.

This is what I'm putting up

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 8:11PM
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thx Ken. I think I can even do that! well, almost - I'm sure to be asking dbf a few questions when I get stuck...

debelli - that is absolutely beautiful!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 1:12AM
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Thanks - here's the next set of pictures as progress is being made:

Trying it on for size!

Bought this piece to go with the cabinet - thinking about putting it over the door frame, or towel bar

Should be done today but still will need to be painted and then I'll order the shelves to go in it.

Stay tuned!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 2:23AM
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Can I actually just buy the regular recessed medicine cabinet that has framed mirror & just replace the mirror with some paintings?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 3:45AM
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1. Buy a large, framed mirror. Something about 2 feet wide by three feet high is good.

2. Build a 6" deep front-less box the size of the mirror; mirror the back. Recess this into your wall.

3. Put an electrical outlet in the box if you want to charge an electrical toothbrush or razor. Install glass shelving in box.

4. Attach the mirror to the box with hinges. Use a push-pull spring catch or concealed tab.

No one will see anything but a framed mirror on the wall above your sink. The lead carpenter on our house built these for us. We have one over each of our master bathroom pedestal sinks. The bathroom linen closet holds towels and larger items.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 5:22PM
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I want to build a medicine cabinet to use w/a great distressed wood oval mirror I bought. However, the width of the mirror frame is 29.5 inches wide which means that I will have to step aside when I open it because the vanity is only 24 inches deep. I will be using two of these cabinets/mirrors because its a dual vanity. Is this reasonable or is it too wide to be functional?

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 9:37PM
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Just stumbled across this thread while researching bathrooms. Debelli, did you post final pictures somewhere? I'd love to see them!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 1:14PM
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We're doing the same in our bathroom, so I'd love to see Debelli's final version, and others if they are out there.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Hi everyone, my name is David and I am the Co-Founder and CEO of I saw this thread and wanted to jump in because I see a lot of people commenting on the price of our products. I certainly don't begrudge anyone wanting to build their own cabinet, however, I wanted to take a moment to explain our pricing so that you understand why we charge what we do.

First, you should know that unlike most major medicine cabinet companies, our Concealed Cabinets are handmade from all wood here in North America, not mass manufactured by machines in Asia using plastic or sheet metal. Our picture frames are made of solid US grown hardwoods, like alder and poplar, and our cabinets feature nickel plated steel accents and thick beveled glass shelves. We use only quality materials because it is very important to us that we sell something that we would be (and are) proud to display in our own homes. In fact, many times our customers have written unsolicited to say how impressed they were with the quality of their Concealed Cabinet (you can view dozens of our customers' own words on our Customer Photos page at:

We also offer a full one year warranty where, in the unlikely event you have a problem, we will repair or replace your unit at no cost to you. Additionally, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee that allows you to return the unit for any reason within 14 days of receiving it for a full refund less only a 10% restocking fee to cover shipping costs. You can view our full return policy at this link:

We understand that our picture frame medicine cabinets can be perceived as pricey, but the truth is we're in a similar price range to Pottery Barn (who sells mass manufactured products) and we're far less expensive than the products sold by other popular medicine cabinet companies like Robern (who are also selling mass manufactured products). And this doesn't even take into account that we're selling a unique product, whereas they're all selling variations of the same mirrored medicine cabinets.

All that said, we understand that some people simply cannot afford our product, so for those who don't mind an imperfection or are a bit handy or crafty, we regularly have 'imperfect' units for sale at a greatly reduced price. If you're interested, you can see those at:

In closing, I would just like to say we have been in business, selling only our unique concealed medicine cabinets, for almost five years and in that time we've sold to thousands of homes, businesses, government agencies, and hospitals. We've also been featured on, in Real Simple magazine, in Country Almanac's 'Small Room Decorating' magazine, and on the DIY Network show 'Bathtastic!'. If you choose to spend your money with us, you will be supporting a small US based business and you will receive personalized service from either myself, my business partner, Brad, or our Operations Manager, Trevor.

If you have any questions, we can be reached at 818-786-0325 or by email at Thank you for your time.

Here is a link that might be useful: More customer photos like the one posted above

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 1:23AM
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I scoured the Internet for a cabinet that would work in the space we have in our bath... Like you, the options I would have considered were expensive, and not ideal for our space. (I was particularly enamored with Roburn)

So, we (my husband) is building one. We're having a mirrored front, because I love mirrors. It's not exactly concealed, because I wanted it to look like a cabinet, but you could do the same thing with a different frame on the front. It's turning out fantastic, and I'm glad he's building it, rather than compromising on something that wasn't exactly what we wanted.

Also, this is probably easy for me to say, since I am not the one building it... but it's not that hard. Of all the projects I've conjured out of thin air, this is one of the ones that's turning out exactly how I wanted it.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Recessed Cabinet

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 8:22AM
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I think the "Concealed Cabinet" product mentioned above looks great! I might consider this product for my redo that is in progress. I have my medicine area figured out, but there could be an option elsewhere. I really like that it is made in the US!! I love supporting local people and industry :)

    Bookmark   May 18, 2012 at 10:18AM
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I just purchased a Concealed Cabinet (coincidentally just posted this on another thread). It's not installed yet but I am very impressed with the quality and construction and can't wait to see it on the wall.

Even DH is impressed and he's a perfectionist, die-hard, difficult to please DIY'er who's great with hand tools and construction and whose work rivals any skilled contractor's (according to our building inspectors).

I was hesitant to spend the money but it was close to the cost of medicine cabinets at Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware and they didn't offer the cabinet as a hidden picture frame. I didn't need another mirror so this will work out great - planning on displaying 8 year old DD's artwork with some matting since it's primarily her bathroom.

Another option I would have liked is a large wall mirror with a hidden cabinet. DH could have built one but we're short on time and had to prioritize. I didn't want to delay drywall and his time is better spent on handling the expensive plumbing and electrical. Remodeling another bathroom next with even less storage. Does anyone know where I can find one of these?

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 2:31AM
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Just came across this old thread on medicine cabinets as we will be redoing our bathroom shortly. We have a 30 year old mirrored medicine cabinet already there - complete with a slot for razor blades inside! Unfortunately it is a little rusted and old looking (ugly) so I thought I would replace it but I had no idea medicine cabinets are so expensive. DH said he would sand and repaint it but I don't need a mirrored cabinet door as this is on a side wall and we already have the vanity mirror over the sink. I guess my question is has anyone modified an already existing medicine cabinet by adding a picture frame and how did it look when you were done? (I'm needing some confidence building on this project - or should I just bite the bullet and spend $300 on a medicine cabinet!)

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 10:57PM
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