Hairdresser who turned to DIY during furlough explains how she makes wardrobes for £200

When hairdresser Lauren Mcnab was furloughed last March, she never imagined she’d be doing DIY tutorials a year later – but the 29-year-old has completely turned her year around.

Now, she’s hoping to empower other women by showing them how to make their own furniture for a fraction of the price.

Lauren and her boyfriend Joshua, 30, live in a three-bedroom home in Leicestershire.

When they moved into their new home, the couple decided they wanted to have built-in wardrobes fitted in their bedroom - but were quoted £3,000 to have them installed last year.

So, after Lauren was placed on furlough – she decided to do it herself.

The 29-year-old had turned her hand to a number of projects in the past, including building a pergola, laying down carpets and fitting laminate flooring, and so she decided to rekindle for love for DIY and make the wardrobes herself.

Doing the work over three weekends, it cost Lauren just £266 – a fraction of the original price.

She shared photos of the finished result – two large white wardrobes – on Facebook, with her post racking up 14,000 likes and over 1,400 comments.

"They look fantastic...Where there's a will there's a way...Well done," one Facebook user commented.

Another person was so impressed by Lauren's DIY skills, they suggested she switch careers, adding: "You should take up joinery, you seem to have a flair for it, looks bloody amazing."

And another person said: "You've done a brilliant job and I love the way it has solved the off-centre chimney breast. Well done."

"I decided to have a go at building the wardrobes myself because the cost of having them professionally was so expensive, and a cost we couldn't afford at the time," Lauren told Jam Press.

"Not long before, my dad and I built a pergola in the garden.

“He was the brains of the operation, making the drawings and telling me what to buy, but we built it together and after seeing what we had accomplished I had the confidence to go it alone this time.”

Lauren managed to get the wardrobe doors from Facebook Marketplace for free from a woman who had ripped hers out and was desperate to get rid of them.

She then watched YouTube videos of people building wardrobes from scratch for inspiration and tips, before drawing up ideas for her own.

However, she admits the carefully-laid plan went out the window as soon as she started the project.

She said: "I just thought, 'let's build a basic frame and see where we end up.'

"I based the initial drawing on the size of the wardrobe doors and just went from there, calculating what materials I needed and what measurements.

"I started off by putting together a basic frame out of stud timber and fixing MDF panels that had been cut to size to the front to make a fascia.

"I then fixed it to the wall with brackets and strong screws and once the basic shape was there, I added the missing hinges to the doors and positioned them with help from my partner.

Hairdresser who turned to DIY during furlough explains how she makes wardrobes for £200

"After that, I re-evaluated what else they needed to look finished and so bought some pine mouldings, which I fixed on with nails and adhesive.

“Finally, I filled the holes and gaps with filler and sanded them down until smooth before finishing off with the paint.”

Lauren used a drill and impact driver, both of which were gifted to her by her grandad and dad, whom she credits for teaching her some epic DIY skills.

She said: "I owe everything I know to him [my dad], he's so talented, he can do anything!

"I also inherited a lot of tools from my grandad when he passed last April.

“Without the hand-me-downs of tools, I wouldn't have been able to complete the project.”

The said she plans on making a few minor adjustments in the future.

She said: "They're not perfect and I must have used about ten tubes of filler hiding my dodgy sawing skills but I'm a hairdresser by trade, not a carpenter."

Lauren has also been left blown away by the response the post received on Facebook and she hopes it will inspire other women to take on DIY.

She added: "The comments were so uplifting.

"I haven't posted anything before but as someone who has experienced sexism in the past, I wanted to empower other women.

“I was denied a higher paying role on a farm previously because 'I wasn't as strong as the men', although perfectly capable of the job in question!”

Breakdown of costs:

MDF from local timber merchant -£100

Timber from Wickes - £40

Filler from Wilkos - £1

Caulk from Wickes - £2

Screws from Ebay - £10

Handles from Amazon - £10

Paint from Frenchic Direct £26

Brackets from Wickes - £5

Hinges from Ebay - £20

Mouldings from Wickes - £52

Total spend: £266