IKEA hacks - the 30 very best you definitely need to know

IKEA hacks mean you can update everything from Billy bookcases to Rast drawers, the easy way to take your furniture from lacklustre to look-at-me

Ikea hacks
(Image credit: mrs_macks_home)

Whether you want to be more sustainable, or you've got a renovation budget you need to stick to, the best IKEA hacks are an affordable and simple way to give a room fresh appeal without breaking the bank.

Not only are these easy DIY projects easy on your bank account, they also ensure your home boasts a chic style with a cool injection of personality that's unique to you. After all, nobody wants to have exactly the same furniture as all of the neighbours.

Elevating standard pieces with clever IKEA hacks has taken social media by storm, and there's plenty of inspiration to be had from Insta-worthy glow-ups.

We've picked out 30of the most stylish IKEA hacks you need to know below. Time to up your upcycling game...

1. Create a cool apothecary cabinet with this IKEA MOPPE hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @patirobins)

The unassuming mini MOPPE drawers are perfect IKEA hack fodder. Get creative like @patirobins and make a trendy vintage-style apothecary cabinet with four mini moppe drawers. 

Pati says:  'I trimmed the top row as I wanted the cabinet to look more rectangle , then glued the 4 cabinets using adhesive, framed it with wood, and then attached four hairpin legs . I also turned the drawers other way around so I was able to attach my own drawer pulls - giving it a library look. You could wax or stain it for a more retro feel.'

2. Go for gold with this glamorous IKEA HEMNES bedside table hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: Leoma Harper Interior Stylist @styletheclutter)

Inject a splash of glamour to your sleep sanctuary with this chic IKEA Hemnes bedside table hack by Leoma Harper, Interior Stylist of @styletheclutter/styletheclutter.com.

Leoma explains: 'During the first lockdown I was on an upcycle mission... These IKEA HEMNES bedside tables ended up being victim to this and now have a completely new look.

'The new aesthetic was created using primer, followed by two coats of the lovely Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash, some gold leafing on the drawer, and finished off with a new handle from Anthropologie. I love how a new piece of furniture has evolved through this spontaneous paint over.'

3. Be pretty and practical with this IKEA RUDSTA storage hack 

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @the_house_acc)

Robyn over @the_house_acc got creative with a RUDSTA cabinet with this easy IKEA hack that adds texture and on-trend fluting to the piece. 

'No painting, no messing, it took about 45 minutes and anyone can do it,' says Robyn. She used glass film from @glassfilmseurope to create the look.

Her top tip? 'I’ve used this glass film product quite a lot now and I find it so much easier to lay the film on wet, mark your cutting line with a pen, lift off and then carefully cut with scissors.'

4. Fashion a stylish WFH space with this IKEA INGO desk hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @mrs_macs_home)

Who'd have thought an IKEA desk hack could create such a stylish home office space? The £45 Ingo table has been transformed into a sleek desk perfect for a modern house by Ruth @mrs_macs_home.

She says: 'The INGO is actually a small dining table but also makes a great size desk. It’s also so easy to makeover as it’s made in untreated solid pine, so it's perfect for painting/staining etc.

'I painted the lower base and legs in Farrow & Ball Modern Eggshell in Railings and then lime waxed the top with Liberon liming wax.' 

5. Make a built-in shelving unit with this clever IKEA BILLY bookcase hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @mrs_macs_home)

Ruth of @mrs_macs_home is something of a whizz when it comes to IKEA hacks, and we love this clever BILLY bookcase update. 

'We first removed the skirting board so the units could go flush against the wall,' says Ruth. 'We had to raise the bookcases to accommodate the height of the skirting so attached adjustable kitchen plinth feet to each unit.

'Once all the units were in position and correct height , we glued and screwed the units together and anchored to wall. Then simply refitted the skirting board to finish.'

Just add books, glassware, oversized bottles, logs, rattan baskets and objet d'art for a super-chic modern rustic finish.

6.  Use an IKEA RAST drawers hack for an elevated nightstand

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @amdolcevita)

An IKEA RAST chest of drawers hack is so appealing as the plain pine unit is crying out for a lick of paint.

We love how Michelle of @amdolcevita transformed them into a cool, contemporary nightstand. She said: 'I'd been searching for stylish nightstands for our cottage master bedroom, but decided to take it upon myself to hack the ever-popular IKEA Rast drawers. I am so in love with them. The paint colour is Benjamin Moore's Pigeon Grey, and the brass pin pulls are from Martha Steward via Home Depot.'

7. Get a new media unit with a cool IKEA BESTA TV stand hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @baytakalthoum)

Take your IKEA BESTA TV stand to another level with a hip hack involving on-point cane.

Kalthoum of @baytkalthoum, describes how she turned her BESTA into a show piece, saying: 'For this IKEA hack, I kept the BESTA doors and had them cut in a geometrical way. I had to cover the sides that were cut with lipping for a seamless look.

'I then glued cane on the doors' back and added knobs on the front that I found in Zara Home.'

8. Design a hotel-smart bedroom with an IKEA HEMNES chest of drawers hack

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @mrs_macs_home)

Queen of covetable Ikea hacks @mrs_macs_home hit a home style run again with the IKEA HEMNES hack, transforming the drawers into a design-led bedroom piece. And, while it offers a high-end finish, it's super-simple and affordable.

Ruth says: 'I gave our old HEMNES drawers a makeover with paint and a change of handles.

'I used Zinsser ALLCOAT which is a paint and primer in one, and I applied with a mini foam roller to give a smooth finish.

'I found this pack of 12 brass cup handles on Amazon for just over £20 to complete the makeover.'

9. Pimp your IKEA STENSTORP kitchen island with this contemporary hack

Take one IKEA STENSTORP kitchen trolley, add some cool tiles and a pop of brass, et voila! An ultra-chic IKEA kitchen island hack.

Autumn of @autumnhacheydesign tiled the Ikea island with super-simple hex tiles from the local hardware store and finished with dark grout. Then she added a towel rod from @anthropologie to one of the sides. We love.

10. Overhaul your office with this IKEA Hack for Alex drawers

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @jyll_mackie)

We'd be really motivated to start work if our home office looked this. Instagrammer @jyll_mackie cleverly turned some IKEA ALEX drawers into a feed-worthy IKEA desk hack.

So how did she do this IKEA hack? Jyll says: 'I used two ALEX desk drawers as my base. I love the functionality of these drawers, especially with the drop file folder drawer but I’m not a big fan of the look. 

'I used a 2’x4’ piece of 1/4” hardboard and cut it down to cover each drawer. I cut strips of the same hardboard to create the “shaker” style front. I used construction adhesive and clamps to fasten these to the ALEX drawer fronts.

'I primed and painted the whole desk. Once dried I added hardware. I built my own desk top out of birch plywood but you could use the desktops from IKEA. The cost of hacking the actual drawers was less than $20 (hardboard + adhesive).' 

11. Transform an IKEA BILLY bookcase into a fabulous dressing table area

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @the_house_acc)

Feel like a film star every time you get ready with this ingenious IKEA Billy bookcase hack by Robyn @the_house_acc.

She used two BILLY Bookcases and two IKEA OXBERG glass doors to create the ultiamte Ikea hack, forming these dresser units. Robyn used Frenchic Paint's Black Jack for the doors before adding reeded adhesive film by @glassfilmseurope to create the on-trend fluted glass effect.  We're a little starry-eyed over this one. See exactly how she did the hack in her Stories highlights.

12. Elevate an IKEA PAX wardrobe with character-rich additions

Ikea hacks

(Image credit: @readmorehouse)

What do you do when the IKEA PAX wardrobe isn't quite grand enough for your bedroom? Elevate it with a an upscale IKEA hack, of course.

Clever duo Kevin and Sarah of @readmorehouse did just that. They explained: 'When faced with a no-closet master bedroom in our late-1800s Victorian Italianate home, we hacked the IKEA PAX system to create a character-filled, built-in wardrobe system that looks like it was always here. 

'We added crown moulding, baseboard, and wall trim to match the original profiles in the room, seamlessly blending the wardrobes into the architecture. Finally, oversized 18" brass pulls add a touch of modern Victorian luxury.'

13. Create a divine dressing room with an IKEA cabinet frame

Superfront ikea hacks

(Image credit: Superfront)

The concept of a dressing room is somewhat of a luxury, but a dressing room with a chic standing wardrobe is something from a higher design realm indeed. Superfront, a company who specializes in the ultimate upcycling of IKEA furniture with their designer door fronts, cabinetry, and hardware, have absolutely nailed this dressing room concept. It’s an IKEA cabinet frame (which by the way you have to purchase separately) with everything else - brass legs and all - supplied by Superfront. 

‘For a sophisticated and modern take on a dressing room look no further than Superfront’s Parallel collection in cloudy grey. Available in a multiple of sizes to fit a new or existing Ikea unit, Parallel looks great paired with some Pharmacy handles and Slender Low legs in brass for a chic design scheme The simple linear pattern will match a multitude of interior styles and help you create the dressing room of your dreams,’ says Monica Born, co-founder and CEO of Superfront. 

In the words of her majesty (that’s Madonna) we’re just ever so slightly ‘hung up’ on this dressing room wardrobe design. Visit superfront.com to make your perfect wardrobe design a reality. 

14. Create your own urban jungle, with this IKEA lantern hack  

Fancy turning your fingers green and dabbling with a bit of indoor gardening? Now you can, and all thanks to this, one of the more clever IKEA hacks. Take a £7 IKEA BORRBY lantern (or any IKEA lantern, for that matter) and transform it into a little indoor jungle for your home. It makes for a rather modern little greenhouse garden - a contemporary take, if you like. If your gardening doesn’t go well you can simply turn it back into a candle lantern, because c’est la vie! as they say. 

15. Dream up a stylish black sideboard 

Decorated in French Chic Paint’s ‘Blackjack’ colour, we really dig this dark and moody transformation. Taking two IKEA HELVIG cabinets, adjoining them, and then decorating them in a thick and juicy layer of French Chic’s ‘Blackjack’, Instagram influencer and DIY fiend @lifeatsophs has made a very elegant sideboard for her living room. The woven rush detailing is a really nice finishing touch, as are the elegant midas legs! 

16. The infamous IKEA MOPPE even has its own hack 

Not all hacks have to be on a big or grande scale. The MOPPE, an IKEA storage range staple, is perfectly petite, however, that doesn’t mean it’s able to hide from the wonderful world of design hackers! @harzbuez has upcycled the mini chest of drawers - perfect accoutrement for a table top or as desk storage drawers - with a splash of wood stain and some vintage farmhouse-style handles. The result? It’s gone from pale and interesting to vintage farmhouse in minutes. 

17. Inlay look detailing with lollipop sticks, on a MALM 

Lollipop sticks! It’s true. That’s how keen DIY’er @linsdrabwell has chosen to transform the look of her standard MALM drawers. ‘6 months of lollipop sticks. When we try a slightly unorthodox DIY project it’s always good to check in again and see whether it’s still looking great so here is my fabulous herringbone lollipop top as of yesterday, that I finished back in November. The best step I did on this was to finish it with a coat of Unibond PVA which gave the lollipop sticks a protective sealant, helped to secure them AND added a really soft depth of colour. Yay for lollipop sticks!’ Visit Lins’ Instagram for many more DIY tips and tricks, including a few IKEA pointers! 

18. Green dining, with this IKEA FINTORP rail hack 

@houseofharnasz ikea hacks

(Image credit: @houseofharnasz)

This is SO clever. Marketed by IKEA as a rail for your kitchen, Emily Harnasz has keenly and cleverly adapted the FINTORP into a wall hanging display - for herbs! - in her dining room. 

"We recently installed a herb wall to our kitchen dining area as a way to add interest and texture to the space, as well as being a practical way to store our herbs," Emily says. "Although, as much as we loved the look of it, unfortunately not all of the herbs survived being inside so we decided to add in a mixture of faux and real plants to give the wall some much needed longevity and fullness. Now we have a luscious collection of greenery that both looks good and is much easier to maintain".

Simply grab yourself a few FINTORP rails and recreate this easy-access indoor herb garden in your own kitchen or dining area at home. A brilliantly inexpensive way of adding flavor to the dinner table! 

19. FROSTA gets a handwoven finishing touch 

Have a little fun with the IKEA FROSTA stool, which comes in at a bargain £9, by adding your own hand crocheted hat! Now, this we love. Ok, it’s not groundbreaking designer chic, but it is super cool. It’s definitely more vagabond beach craft than granny chintz. The kind of wildcard find you bring back from a market stall in Greece, or see down the craft lanes of Old Town Pollenca. Not going away this year? Quelle surprise, neither are we. You can make it yourself, or you can buy them ‘off the shelf’ via the likes of Etsy marketplace. They fit right onto the FROSTA in just a few seconds. For inspiration you just need to take one quick look at Olga’s Instagram to realise that she is an absolute knitting fiend. Here, she’s turned a standard FROSTA stool into something really special. Fun for; kids rooms, flexible seating that can be dragged into play at dinner parties, outdoor garden soires when the sun is shining, and just sprucing up the kitchen table! And if anyone questions your daring style choice, just tell them that it’s boho chic sweetie! 

20. Hack BILLY the bookcase into a hallway nook for a unique storage and display option 

BILLY the bookcase is an IKEA superstar. You’ll find streams of IKEA hacks for BILLY, because it’s just that amenable. Here, Jen from @crack_the_shutters has turned the beloved BILLY design into a chic hallway storage and display cabinet. 

"Basically I'd been looking for a unit for our towels and linen for a while but was struggling to find something unique and the right size for the space we had - it has to be fairly shallow so normal linen cupboards didn't fit," Jen says. "I realised a Billy bookcase was the perfect depth so then it was just a matter of working out how to make it a bit more attractive. I love curves in decor so knew wanted to incorporate an arch and ribbing in it somewhere! This hack involved a Billy bookcase with Oxberg glass doors (£95), I then bought a piece of 6mm mdf for £17 and 9 pieces of ribbed mouldings (which I cut to size so got 18 pieces out of in total) for £50. The paint I already had left over - it’s Craig and Rose dried plaster and I bought 2 knurled brass T bar handles from Plank Hardware for £17 each. So total cost was £196. It was simply a case of cutting two arches in the mdf which I then glued to the glass on the top section of the doors. I cut the ribbed mouldings to size and then glued them to the bottom section, painted it all and added the handles! Amazing how a few changes can totally change the appearance of a piece of furniture for very little expense!" says Jen. 

Positioned right outside her bathroom, it’s the ideal size for towels and bathroom accoutrement, yet the top part of the display is perfect for displaying beautiful ceramics and vessels! Completed in a powder pink paint, and with a ribbing detail to the doors.

21 Stripes for a young adults bedroom 

A simple painterly stripe hacks these IVAR cabinets into the coolest bedroom cabinet a ‘tween’ could wish for! Sandra Baker has transformed these IVAR units into - not a sleek and subtle cabinetry hack - but a stand-out stripey scene which, frankly, we’re cooing over! Teens are notoriously tricky to decorate for. It’s a very fine line to walk between childish decor versus a serious aesthetic. 

‘I needed some budget storage for my daughter’s bedroom, and the IKEA Ivar cabinets were the perfect size for the space,' Sandra says. 'I used two for this project. The natural wood finish of the cabinets didn’t particularly work with my decor, and I wanted to liven them up a bit. I had to work with what I had available to me, as I did this during the first lockdown in 2020 when nowhere was open! I always find stripes particularly pleasing and I had lots of paint left over from previous projects (I used Farrow & Ball Wimborne White and Cinder Rose eggshell) which cemented the decision. I added legs (which I bought from Amazon) to the cabinets to give them extra height, and then painted the cabinets in Wimborne White. Once it was dry, I marked out equally sized stripes using Frog Tape and painted every other one in pink. I peeled the tape off while the pink paint was still slightly wet, to give a clean line. The whole thing took an afternoon - a nice, easy project!’, says Sandra. 

This decorating trick, which Sandra has executed to perfection against a smooth green hue backdrop, shows that the standard IVAR is so malleable that it can also be perfect for a teenager's space. Grab some masking tape, take and afternoon, and voila! 

22. Keep it loose, for the SODERHAMN footstool 

Bemz Design specializes in producing sumptuous (dare we say, luxurious?) covers for IKEA furniture. You just need to take one look at this stunning ochre sofa cover, and neutral toned SODERHAMN footstool cover to see what all the fuss is about. Check the Bemz website for full details and specs, but you can pretty much cover most IKEA furniture with a Bemz loose fit cover up.


ikea hacks using a billy bookcase

(Image credit: Elisha Kelly)

Who knew an IKEA BILLY bookcase hack could look so stylish? We love how Elisha of @ouraesthetic_abode has transformed the shelving unit into a modern display piece. 

Elisha says: ‘I started with two Ikea billy bookcases and then I framed around them using 2x4s. I then cut 1/4” birch plywood with an arch detail for each shelf and nailed this facing to the 2x4 frame. I used a shellac based primer first (BIN) and then Sherwin Williams Emerald paint in Urbane Bronze!’

Just add some books, plant pots and display items to create this super chic look. 


Ikea hack using FNISS waste bin

(Image credit: Victoria Kader)

Who’d have thought a trash can could look so good? Tori of @va_va_room has given her trash can an upgrade with this ingenious hack. 

All you need for this hack is an IKEA FNISS waste bin, a hot glue gun with 15-20 glue sticks, a staple gun and 8mm x 20m of natural jute twine. 

Using the IKEA FNISS waste bin, Tori stapled the first piece of natural jute twine onto the bottom of the bin before using a hot glue gun to stick the rest in a circular fashion going all the way to the top of the bin. 

'It's such a simple little hack but looks so good,' says Tori. 


Ikea hack using IKEA PAX wardrobe.

(Image credit: Charlotte Hugh)

Now this is clever. The hard work of Charlotte and Ben of @new.house.home has certainly paid off with this elegant built-in wardrobe. 

How did they do it, you ask? The couple brought together two IKEA PAX wardrobe frames with four GRIMO Doors and two BORGHAMN handles. Charlotte explains: ‘The first step was to build a plinth for each of the IKEA PAX wardrobes to stand on. The idea of this was to raise them up a bit, creating a more built in and elegant feel.’

‘We then used Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) around the edges and top of the wardrobe to box it in, using wooden battens hidden behind the MDF to hold it in place.’

‘After using more MDF to build the shelves in between the wardrobes, we corked and filled around the edges to make it look seamless with the walls.’

‘We then lightly sanded down the wardrobes, before priming them & the shelves. Finally, we painted the wardrobes and the entire room in Farrow & Ball Setting Plaster. We used Eggshell paint on the wardrobes and shelves to give it a slight shine, and then used Emulsion on the walls.’


Ikea hack using MYLLRA baby changing station

(Image credit: Lindsey Ferebee )

If getting the tool box out isn’t your thing, then look no further. Using the IKEA MYLLRA changing table, Lindsey of @bringmybooks has fashioned her own reading window nook without having to pick up a glue gun. 

Lindsey says: ‘We recently moved into the converted attic apartment of an 1880s Victorian home, and one of the coolest features are these dormer window nooks - but they are difficult to decorate! I knew I wanted a reading nook but we were having trouble finding a ready-made way to make one in such a unique space … enter the MYLLRA baby changing station from IKEA!’

‘We put it in one of the dormer windows, added a cushion we already had as well as pillows and throw blankets to create a cozy nook up top. For the pull out shelf I added some of my favourite hardcovers, and I can keep more throws and miscellaneous items in the drawers below! It’s been the perfect solution to our design dilemma.’


Ikea hack using KURA bed

(Image credit: Christine Mullan)

Having trouble getting your kids to go to bed? Not anymore! Christine of @architect_v_engineer used this clever IKEA bed hack to create a cool den for her son. 

‘We used an IKEA reversible KURA bed as the higher loft bed option. We pulled the bed out from the wall and added a plywood shelf behind it to allow for light and books.’

‘We then attached battens to create a secret den under the bed and took some of the battens up and over the top of the bed to create an angled canopy.’

‘As our son is only 5 we used IKEA TROFAST tiered storage to create stairs up to the bed. We added some carpet tiles for a bit of softness and made a simple balustrade to help him down.’

‘We tied everything together using chipboard with our old IKEA STUVA drawers and wardrobe.'


Ikea hack using IVAR cabinet

(Image credit: Phuong Ngo)

If you want to give your cabinet a snazzy makeover then look no further. This simple but effective hack will transform your IKEA IVAR cabinet. 

Lau over @living.bylau gave her IKEA IVAR cabinet an upgrade by adding some cool texture and a splash of pink, creating a classy finish. 

Lau glued wooden sticks onto the cabinet at a horizontal angle before coating it in Gamma’s Texel paint and adding furniture legs from Amazon. 

Just add some display pieces and ornaments to get a modern look. 


Ikea hack using HEMNES cabinet

(Image credit: Kelby Mayberry )

Fancy giving your shoe cabinet an uber contemporary upgrade? Now you can, all thanks to this super quick IKEA HEMNES hack fashioned by Kelby of @the.modberry.

Kelby says: ‘First we cut and pin nailed the lattice moulding onto the door faces for the trim. Then we cut the dowels to size and used the liquid nails to attach them to the doors. Once we attached everything, we sanded down the shoe cabinet with our orbital sander to roughen up the finish so the paint would stick.’

‘Then we put two coats of primer over everything and then painted over it with Black Onyx ColourPalace paint from Walmart and sealed it with two light coats of polycrylic. We then installed our new hardware onto the doors and put it into place!’ 

‘It was super easy and only took a couple of days!’ 


Ikea hack using METOD cabinet

(Image credit: Erik Åkerblom)

If you fancy giving your bathroom a makeover, now you can thanks to @eakerblom and @viccee, using their IKEA METOD cabinet hack. 

‘First we cut down on the depth by 3 or 4 inches so it would be the right fit for the bathroom. Then we added drawers using IKEA BODBYN fronts and cover panels. The piece between the cabinets and the countertop is not from IKEA, just added for a more built-in look.’

‘We then sanded down the cabinet before adding two coats of Jotun’s LADY Supreme Finish paint as we felt the grey gives a more harmonic feeling with the marble and brass.’  

What does IKEA hack mean?

IKEA hack means decorating IKEA furniture using Do-It-Yourself skills. The idea is fairly simple: a person buys a piece of furniture from IKEA and the changes, alters or decorates it using DIY hacks.

Whether it's a simple paint job or reconstructing the furniture altogether, DIY hacks allow you to give your IKEA furniture a simple upgrade. 

How do I hack IKEA Hemnes?

There are lots of ways you can hack IKEA Hemnes. 

Whether you change out the dresser knobs and replace them with more interesting designs, paint over the original colour or elevate the look by changing the panels, there are many ways to give your IKEA Hemnes a makeover. 

For more ideas and inspiration, scroll up and view some of the IKEA Hemnes hacks that have been shared with us. 

Is IKEA cheaper than DIY?

IKEA tends to be cheaper than DIY as it's possible to make the item you want using affordable IKEA parts rather than spending more on raw materials to make shelves or desks, for example. 

It does depend on how much you spend on your materials, but since IKEA does simple household items so well, your best option might be to invest in IKEA items and use DIY hacks until you get the look you want. 

Can you sit on IKEA Eket?

As the IKEA Eket is a small cube-shaped cabinet and can hold around 15lbs per shelf, it's probably best that you don't sit on it and use it for storing or displaying items instead. 

From storing shoes to stationary, there are lots of clever IKEA Eket hacks that you can use to create fashionable storage units.

Can you sit on IKEA Kallax?

As with the IKEA Eket, it might be best if you don't sit on the Kallax due to the maximum load per shelf being 13kg.

Why not use the Kallax shelving unit for book storage instead? Or place ornaments to create a feature in your home. 

How much weight can IKEA Besta hold?

The IKEA Besta frame can hold a maximum weight of 20kg per surface. For smaller frames such as the  60×40×64cm, 120×40×64cm and 60×40×38cm, the maximum hold is 20kg if placed on the floor. 

It's a good idea to always check the IKEA buying guide if you want to place a weighty item on top of any of their products.