Make sure your home doesn't look like everyone else's by using some DIY know-how and hacks like these—and even more at IKEAhackers.net.
1. Coffee Table Hack
Want to buy a mid-century style table? Be prepared to shell out lots of dough—unless you’re willing to go the DIY route. To pull off this easy hack from Triple Max Tons, all you need is a LACK coffee table and tapered legs from eBay (if the legs don’t come with top plates, you can buy straight or angled—as they are in this hack—at Loews). Unscrew the old legs, install the tapered legs and top plates about an inch from the corners, and voila! Charming, fancy looking table at a reasonable price.
2. Bar Cart Hack
Bar carts are all the rage at the moment, and, like a nice mid-century coffee table, they can be really expensive. But all this hack from Blush and Jelly of the BYGEL utility cart (a mere $24.99) requires is some gold spray paint. Assemble the frame; spray it gold, waiting about 20 minutes between coats; let dry overnight, and add the remaining pieces. If you want to get even fancier, you can add a stemware rack.
3. Dresser Upgrade
Upgrading IKEA’s TARVA dresser is as easy as adding a few coats of paint and swapping out the hardware. Refinery29 has a tutorial.
4. Storage to Litter Box
Let’s face it: Litter boxes are gross, even if they have covers on them. This elegant hack of IKEA’s EXPEDIT shelving serves both as storage and as a hiding spot where kitty can do his business. A little mat in the entryway keeps litter from getting tracked on the floor.
5. DIY Standing Desk
Virginia Woolf did it. Ernest Hemingway did it. Now you, too, can have a standing desk without breaking the bank. (And if those celebrity endorsements aren’t enough for you, consider this: Science says sitting too much is bad for you.) This hack requires an EXPEDIT storage system, CAPITA legs, and a VIKA AMON table top.
6. Window Herb Garden
So what if you don’t have a backyard, or you’re too lazy for a real garden! You can still grow fresh herbs by employing this elegant solution. All you need is IKEA’s ORE shower curtain rod, FINTORP pots, GRUNDTAL S hooks, and some spray paint.
7. Side Table
Transform IKEA’s $30 PS2012 side table into a classy-looking statement piece by following this tutorial.
8. Lamp Hack
Get beachy by tying driftwood around IKEA’s HEMMA or JANUARI lamp bases. To make the base blend in, you can paint it beige-gray.
9. Mini Cork Board
Turn IKEA’s plain HEAT pot stands into fabric covered cork boards by breaking out your hot glue gun and following this simple tutorial.
This ambitious DIYer used a BILLY bookshelf (with substantial additions) to build an IKEA arcade game. Based on the tutorial, it wasn’t easy—but it is awesome.
To make this fun little shelf, you’ll need to buy an IKEA STATLIG board, an EKBY BJARNUM shelf holder, and some paracord and steel washers.
12. Doggy Food Bar
Is your dog a slob? Consider building this food station out of a FAKTUM kitchen cabinet, HARLIG door, and PATRULL cabinet lock. It serves as both a mess-proof eating station and a storage area for the pooch’s stuff.
13. Rast Hack
One super-hackable IKEA item is the RAST dresser. This hacker combined two RASTs into one big dresser, then painted it and added new hardware for a truly custom finish.
This hack—made from three RAST dressers (two for the piece itself, and one for extra parts)—uses metallic paint and a stainless steel sheet for an industrial look.
15. Wall-Mounted Charging Station
To charge your gadgets in one place, follow this hack, which cleverly uses three FORHOJA boxes to create a wall-mounted charging station that isn’t an eyesore.
16. Ice Chest
It’s just about garden party weather—so it’s the perfect time to look into doing this hack, which turns IKEA’s TARVA dresser into a cool looking cooler, for yourself.
17. Another Bar
Where the bar cart hack was simple, this BESTA hack (which also uses an Inreda mirrored glass shelf insert and Inreda shelves) is more complex—and pretty impressive.
18. Cocktail Ottoman
This hacker used fabric, batting, and spray paint to transform a VITTSJO nesting table into a beautiful ottoman.
19. Hamster Home
There are a number of ways to hack IKEA furniture for your pets—some of which we've already featured—but few are as cool as this elaborate hamster habitat made out of the 5x5 EXPEDIT.
20. Hidden Bookcase Door
Take the idea of a fort one step further by creating your very own hidden door. This hacker used two BILLY bookcases to get the job done.
A version of this story ran in 2016; it has been updated for 2021.