30 IKEA Hacks Thatll Make You a DIY Convert


IKEAs knack for providing us with a never-ending arsenal of versatile furnishings at affordable price points makes the retailer a must-shop. But theres an added bonus: the DIY-friendly nature of those products. The simple Scandinavian style of everyones favorite pieces (were looking at you, Billy bookcase) is prime for customization.

From headboards and nightstands to outdoor furniture and dressers, theres more than enough fodder for hacks. If your favorite IKEA finds are looking a little tired, here are 30 ideas to help you reinvent them.

Painterly Stool

painted stools with faces
Photography by Kate Zaremba

Wallpaper designer and illustrator Kate Zaremba gave her two Frosta stools ($15 each!) literal facelifts by turning them into abstract portraits. In order to make the silhouettes of the figures really pop, she chose color combinations with higher contrast. Theres no special technique involvedsimply draw the main features of the face, such as the forehead, nose, mouth, and chin. One stool should take only 30 minutes to complete.

Mini Library

built in white bookcase
Photography by Elise Joseph

When design blogger Elise Joseph asked a millworker what a custom built-in bookcase would cost, he quoted her $3,000. So she decided to make it herself for just $500 by nailing five Billy bookcases to one another and securing them to 2-by-4s on the wall. To hide the spaces between the individual cases and the ceiling, she added a trim board.

Rainbow Credenza

rainbow credenza
Photography by Sugar & Cloth

Before assembling the doors of her Besta cabinet, Ashley Rose, the DIYer behind Sugar & Cloth, coated each front in spray paint, adding a clear shellac coat on top to seal the vibrant hues.

Colorful Console

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Photo Courtesy of IKEA

A simple green wood stain takes this Ivar cabinet to the next level. Add some sleek black pulls, mount your storage system to the wall, and voil: a piece that appears totally custom. If you want to kick it up a notch, paint the wall a similar shade of green. We have it on good authority from Scandinavian design pros that the monochrome look is the way to go.

Stenciled Drawers

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Photo by Wendys Wohnzimmer

Take it back to your elementary school days with a good old-fashioned stencil project. Wendy of Wendys Living Room has the right idea for updating a basic Malm dresser:She used a modeling paste to decorate the drawers with a 3-D motif, adding a coat of chalk paint at the end to emphasize the texture.

Floral Sofa

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Photo by Lana Red

Blogger Lana Red designed her own print and reupholstered her Ekebol sofa to create a pink botanical statement for her living room. If you cant go the bespoke route, not to worry. Companies like Bemz and Comfort Works make specialty covers for IKEA couches.

Floating Desk

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Photo Courtesy of The Crafted Life

This desk DIY from blogger The Crafted Life is ideal for small spaces lacking in floor space. Use Granhult brackets to craft a modular shelving unit (painted in the color of your choice for a fully custom workspace) to make the most of an empty wall. Vibrant books and baskets not mandatory but definitely encouraged.

Toy Cubbies

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Photo by Lily Glass for Oh Joy!

Trust Oh Joy! to come up with the most fun organization solution ever. With a bit of spray paint, Joy Cho turned mobile IKEA coffee tables into cheerful toy storage. Take a cue from Cho and paint yours in tonal hues to really pack a punch.

Makeshift Workspace

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Photo by Polly Wreford for IKEA

Who says you need to buy a proper desk for your workspace? Not Asa Dyberg. The IKEA stylist used a combination of drawer units, a pegboard, and a floating shelf to concoct this improvised home office. The best part is that you can reuse each piece individually, rather than be saddled with a clunky workstation that will eventually end up in your attic.

Headboard Alternative

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Photo Courtesy of a Pair and a Spare

A chic bed frame can be a splurge, but this DIY from A Pair and a Spare proves that bespoke on a budget can look just as stylish. To realize this IKEA bedroom hack, simply wrap one of the retailers cushy bench pillows in your favorite fabric and adhere it to the wall with leather straps. If you sleep on crisp white linens, use this opportunity to make a statementmaybe a bright orange print or bold stripes.

Dressers-Turned-Desk

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Photo Courtesy of Jones Design Company

If your files are constantly overflowing the drawers of your traditional desk, its time to think outside the box. Thats what Emily Lex of Jones Design Company did here, using three (!) Hemnes dressers and a wood IKEA countertop to make one giant workspace in her garage. Be sure to upgrade your dressers with custom pulls or knobs, tooDIYs are all about getting creative, right?

Balloon Lamp

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Courtesy of Husligheter

Filled with mini stuffed animals, this whimsical DIY from Husligheter is the ideal adornment for a little ones roomregular pendant lights have nothing on this fixture. Youll have to Google Translate the instructions, but trust us: Its worth it. Use any leftover leather scraps to update the pulls on an old dresser.

Graphic Bar Cart

Photo by Aaron Bengochea

Heres the stylish entertaining station you never knew you needed. The multipurpose piece can be used in a multitude of other waysa library on wheels, coffee cart, side tableand your choice of wallpaper prints means you can totally tailor this to the rooms color palette. Its a small-space dwellers best friend.

Statement Storage

Photo by Reform

You show us an IKEA cabinet system and well show you a front replacement that instantly transforms it into a luxe statement piece. Installing Copenhagen-based studio Reforms contemporary cabinet fronts is basically the easiest craft project ever. Opt for the Lines design to introduce some texture to your bathroom cupboards.

Book Organizer

Photo by Pierre Boggio for Atelier de Curiosite

What was once a standard Lack shelf is now the ultimate book nook. This gorgeous living room from Atelier de Curiosite features the unassuming shelf turned on its side, used to prop up a sofa cushiona genius way to free up the floor space a standard bookshelf would take over.

Built-In Shelving System

Photo by DESIGNSIXTYNINE

Can you spot the hack? Blogger Designsixtynine arranged a fleet of the ever-popular Billy bookcases in differing sizes in his living room, then coated them in a shade of deep gray so they blend right into the wall like custom built-ins. This trick is a handy way to keep bulky storage from overwhelming a small space.

Home Study

Photo by Nina Broberg via IKEA

No budget for a proper desk? Fake it till you make it. This DIY from Livet Hemma only requires a trestle and some thrifted books, making it a great solution for first apartment renters or college students on a budget. Scour garage sales and thrift stores for vibrant hardbacks to stack in an ombr formation for the other leg.

Floating Centerpieces

Photo by IKEA

Set the scene for your next dinner party with plenty of ethereal textures, like these net chandeliers. The tablescape idea (which comes straight from IKEA) is ideal for intimate outdoor weddings or special occasions where you want to go all out.

Woven Accent Piece

Photo by MICHAEL WILTBANK

Here, the popular bamboo fixture is reimagined as a sculptural accent just waiting to be plopped into your living room in lieu of a side table. With the simple addition of wood peg legs, it doubles as a low-sitting floor lamp.

Tiny Herb Garden

Photo by IKEA

Not much of a baker? Use this muffin tin as a handy mini garden instead. Either place it on a deep kitchen windowsill or your dining room table as a living centerpiece. Pro tip for the black thumb: Start with mint and chives, two hard-to-kill herbs.

Bohemian-Style Seat

Photo by Brittany Griffin

The original Stockholm 2017 chair in this Brit + Co DIY is unfortunately out of stock (consider yourself lucky if you nabbed one while they were available). But thanks to the fortuitous resurgence of rattan decor, IKEA still has plenty of woven seating that will work just as well. A little jersey cotton and yarn goes a long way in transforming this boho staple into a more colorful statement. Color-code the design to your hearts content or embrace a single hue.

Wall-Mounted Storage

Photo by TOMAS EKDAHL for IKEA

Stack four sets of Ivar cabinets side by side and mount them to the wall for this fun IKEA hack. Then go to town picking out a splashy wallpaper to cover the doorsor get creative and try your hand at a painted mural. Something simple like color-blocked abstract shapes is a great idea for a rookie.

Entryway Board

Photo by ICH DESIGNER

The secret to a tidy entrance is keeping everything you need where you can see it. Mail, reminders, and even a hanging basket for keys fit neatly on this DIY wall-mounted storage from Ich Designer. Youd never guess it used to be a slatted bed base.

Scandi-Chic Planter

Photo by TRENDENSER

If you only have a couple hours to DIY, turn your attention to revitalizing a tired old plant vessel. Blogger Trendenser proves the power of paint with this foolproof pot hack. A deep gray one will mimic the look of ber-trendy concrete.

Dream Vanity

Photo by SUPERFRONT

Superfront, a Swedish company that will help you hack your IKEA cabinet fronts, is here to cure your bathroom of its drab cupboard woes. Couple your new doors with an equally lustrous faucet for a vanity that exudes effortless elegance.

Artful Details

Photo by THE SWEETEST DIGS

Forget painting your framesgive the mats a fresh coat of color instead. The Sweetest Digs shares the how-to for this super-easy (yet super-impactful) DIY. All youll need are a few inserts in different bold hues. Wallpaper samples work perfectly.

Textured Planter

Take it back to your art-class days with this dressed-up planter project. Dust off your glue gun to get cracking on the fun upgrade, perfect for the plant parent looking to spruce up her fleet of greenery. Blogger Poppytalk shows us how its done.

Trendy Catchall

Photo by DIYS.COM

Paint transforms these basic coasters into one-of-a-kind trinket dishes. Whether you choose to use them as catchalls for your daintier jewelry or keep them as (much more exciting) table protectors is completely up to you.

Cozy Lighting

Photo by IVAN SOLIS for Design Love Fest

All you need to make over blah overhead lightingis some yarn. Design Love Fests high-contrast DIY is all about the details, which add subtle texture to an otherwise basic piece.

Floor Pouf

All you need is an hour and a few inexpensive cushion inserts for this plush seating. Get the how-to from Poppytalk, just in time for your next cocktail partya couple of these are great to have around for guests.

This article was originally published on March 4, 2016. It has been updated with new information.

See more hacks that inspire:
Use This IKEA Hack to Give Your Home a Retro Vibe
Unexpected IKEA Hacks for a Spring Party
11 Finds From IKEA That Were Made for Small Spaces