This IKEA hack turns a $20 bamboo armrest into a stylish side table - and it's so easy anyone can do it

Comprised of a plant pot, a lazy Susan tray and a bamboo slatted armrest, this beautiful side table masters the organic modern style

A wicker chair next to a wooden side table decorated with an amber glass vase and magnolia flowers
(Image credit: Kerry Kellett (@klk.interiors))

We love big IKEA hacks as much as the next person, but sometimes you want a project that's easy enough to complete in a matter of hours and won't cost you an arm and a leg. If you're just starting your first foray into furniture hacks, we've got one for you that's super accessible and looks good in virtually any space.

This IKEA hack has been doing the rounds across Instagram for some time, but when we stumbled across this beautiful take by home renovator Kerry Kellett (@klk.interiors), we just had to share the genius DIY idea with the rest of the world. Made using a plant pot, a lazy Susan tray, and a bamboo slatted armrest (all courtesy of IKEA), this beautiful side table masters the organic modern style. All in all, the materials will cost you around $50, and you can wrap the project up in less than two hours. 

Ready to give it a try? Here, she explains the steps she took to make her elegant side table so you can replicate the look in your own home.

A side table being made with flexible wood around a pot

(Image credit: Kerry Kellett (@klk.interiors))

A lover of neutrals and a dab hand at DIY, Kerry wanted to create this elegant side table to nestle in the cozy corner of her living room. 'I had seen similar hacks online but not with the wood stain so I wanted to give this a try to fit in with the decor in our home,' she says. 

Full of wooden tones and natural textiles, Kerry's home is a beautiful example of the organic modern style, so the clean lines and slat-effect of this simple side table really compliment her space. 

To make the table, she used one large IKEA NYPON plant pot for the base, two IKEA RÖDEBY bamboo armrests to act as the wood veneer wrap, and a SNUDDA Lazy Susan as the tabletop. Together, the materials cost just $50. 

A woman's hand applying glue to the top of a grey pot

(Image credit: Kerry Kellett (@klk.interiors))

Once Kerry had purchased all the materials, it was time to put them together. 'Making sure the plant pot was stood the right way up, I applied a grab adhesive liberally around the outer edge,' she says. 'I wrapped the first armrest around the pot and then measured the remaining space. Using the second armrest I cut a piece to size and filled in the gap.'

One of the main challenges Kerry experienced was cutting the second armrest to fit perfectly in the gap. 'I have since seen people use a larger pot which may work out better,' she adds. The good news is that after applying the first armrest, the remaining space around the pot is small, so if you plan to keep your side table in a corner where this gap is out of sight you could get away without buying a second armrest. 

If you want to complete the job for an all-over wrap-around, however, you'll need to buy two. 'Getting the armrest to stay in place while it adheres can be tricky,' notes Kerry. 'I recommend using elastic or string and wrapping this around tightly to hold it.'

A side table being painted with a wood stain

(Image credit: Kerry Kellett (@klk.interiors))

Next, it was time to add the tabletop. To do this, you'll need to remove the base from the lazy Susan so you're left with just the tray. 'Flip the pot upside down so the base is at the top,' says Kerry. 'You then need to apply the grab adhesive to the base of the pot and place the top of the lazy Susan onto this.' It's a good idea to add some weight on top while it dries (Kerry placed a tin of paint on top of hers overnight).

Once dry, Kerry painted her side table with furniture wax to give the IKEA veneer a more rustic effect with a darker tone. 'I wanted to keep the wood effect so I chose to wax it with Frenchic Browning Wax,' she says. 'I applied this with a brush and used two coats to achieve the darker wood effect.' 

You can skip this step if you're happy with the lighter wood tone but for a more uniform look, we'd suggest using some type of stain on your IKEA furniture hack. If you want a bolder aesthetic, you could also paint your side table in a color of your choosing for a splash of vibrancy in your space. 

A wooden reed effect side table

(Image credit: Kerry Kellett (@klk.interiors))

Once dry, the table was complete! Paired with her wicker armchair and styled with some beautiful twisted candles, the small table looks seriously high-end. 

The great advantage of a weekend project like this is it can be adapted to suit your preferences, too. You could use a shorter pot with a wider circumference if you want a lower table with a larger base, or you could use a sheet of MDF cut to a size of your liking for the tabletop. We love asymmetrical shapes for a more contemporary style.

A wicker chair next to a wooden side table

(Image credit: Kerry Kellett (@klk.interiors))

We just can't get enough of the warm wood tones in Kerry's space which look so comforting paired with the gold accents around the room and the amber glass vase on top of her table. 'The wood effect compliments our interior style as we like to use natural textures throughout our home,' she says. 'It’s the perfect little side table to fit in our snug.'

Lilith Hudson
News Editor

Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.