IKEA Kallax Shelf Hack: DIY Craft Table!

How many things do you think I can make out of IKEA Kallax cube shelves? The answer is, at least one more! I found three broken 2×2 IKEA Kallax cube shelves on OfferUp and decided I could give them a brand new life as a large DIY craft table with ample storage for my office. These shelves had definitely seen better days when I found them. The edgebanding was coming loose everywhere, and they just looked sad. 

I fixed them up and gave them a second chance with an IKEA hack that’s completely different than anything I’ve done before! I decided a while ago that I needed my own crafting space. If you are an avid crafter like I am, you know how much space all the supplies take up! Having everything spread out all over my kitchen table all the time just wasn’t working. I needed a large work surface and lots of storage space. And since I can’t have a dedicated craft room, I decided to do the next best thing. Let me show you how I made a modern DIY craft table out of these broken IKEA shelves.

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materials you will need for this dIY craft table iKEA Kallax Shelf Hack

Step by Step Instructions to Build a Beautiful DIY Craft Table

Make any repairs to the Kallax shelves as needed

The first thing I did was fix these IKEA Kallax shelves so they were in good enough condition to work with.  

Let’s start with the edges. I decided to use a Loctite product to re-stick the edgebanding down. This @loctiteglue Zero Second Power Grab works instantly and meant I didn’t need to use clamps, wood glue, or nails. It also dries clear, works on all surfaces (and can even bond two non-porous materials), and can be used on wet surfaces, and in all weather conditions! It was perfect for this job.  

There were stickers all over the shelves that had to be removed, so I scraped them off as gently as I could with a screwdriver. I wasn’t too worried about damaging the surface, since I was planning to redo it all anyway! 

Prep the shelves for painting

Then it was time to prep the shelves for paint! You may have heard me talk about this before, but just in case you’re new here I’m going to tell you what I think is the most important thing to do when refinishing IKEA furniture. You MUST sand it down before painting! IKEA furniture has a smooth and glossy finish, and paint doesn’t want to stick to it. When you sand it all down first you give the primer and paint a rough surface to grab onto, so you know your new paint job will last. 

I sanded down every surface on these shelves with my power sander and it will be worth the time spent! 

cut plywood for the bottom and top and add edgebanding

Then I cut two large pieces of plywood to make the bottom and top of the table. The bottom piece will create a stable base for it, and the top will give me some extra surface area to work on and pull the whole thing together as one piece of furniture. I added edgebanding to all the plywood edges to give them a finished look. Check out my edgebanding tutorial in my vanity post if you want the details on how to do this! 

Customizing the doors

I decided to put doors and drawers on some of the shelves to make them more functional as a crafting table space. For my previous IKEA Kallax hacks, I’ve built custom doors from scratch. This time I used the actual IKEA doors that go with this line of furniture, but I gave them a little facelift and made them look like custom doors.  

I used old doors and drawers that I already had and wasn’t using for anything else. I used my drill to take all the hinges and handles off and then I took the drawers completely apart too, so I could start fresh and turn them into something new! And then I got to work.

I decided to give the fronts a shaker-style look. This way they match the style of the other piece of IKEA Kallax furniture I hacked for the office, which was important because this table is going to live there too. I used 1×2 poplar boards that I cut to size with my miter saw. The long pieces went on the outside of the drawer fronts and the top and bottom pieces inside them to create the shaker look. 

To attach the boards to the doors and drawer fronts, I used the Loctite Power Grab again. When I’ve done facelifts on drawer fronts in the past, I have spent a long time dealing with glue, clamps, and nails, and I was just so tired of it. I knew there had to be a better way. This product worked so well and took just seconds to do the same job! Even better than liquid nails. I’m so impressed with it.

After I attached my boards I used my favorite wood filler to fill in all the seams.

I love that I got to give these doors and drawers a second chance! I put them all back together once the poplar boards were added.

Prime and Paint the DIY Craft Table

Then I primed the plywood pieces for the top and bottom of the table with a roller since they were just flat, easy surfaces, and I used my paint sprayer to paint the cube shelves, doors, and drawers. The sprayer made all those little nooks and crannies so much easier to get into. 

Then it was time to paint! Do you recognize this color from the other piece of office furniture I made? That’s right, it’s Blue Skies from Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines in a satin finish. I just love it so much. I applied it the same way as the primer: I used the roller for the top and bottom plywood pieces, and my paint sprayer for everything else.  

Assemble and add Wheels and Hardware

When the paint was dry, I put my custom craft table together. There are a few different options for how you could do this. You could put adjustable table legs on the bottom to make it a bit more permanently placed. Instead, I added castor wheels with my drill and some screws to the bottom piece to make it easy to move around. Then I screwed the shelves down onto the plywood: One on the end facing out, and the other two back-to-back right next to it. I like this format because it gives me so many storage options, and also looks interesting. I left some cubes open so I could put baskets for easy access to small items and crafting projects. There’s so much storage and available space, you guys!

To finish the table I put screws up through the shelving units and into the plywood top, from the bottom so that no screw holes would be visible. And then I added gold hardware. That’s it! I could not be happier with how this turned out! I think it’s one of my best ideas yet for an IKEA shelf hack, don’t you? These shelves were falling apart and now they have a whole new life as my DIY table. And it changes the look of the entire room. I just love it. I am so excited to use this as a dedicated space in a little nook for crafting, but it could have lots of other purposes too. Maybe a great desk? A kitchen island? A sewing table? What would you use this for? Tag me @designingparkside with your ideas! 

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