Ikea Hack Attack! Making a Side Table

April 8, 2013

Ikea Hack Side Table

Why do Ikea Hacks always feel like cheating? There is almost a residual guilt that I feel when something so awesome comes from glorified trash. Not that Ikea makes trash, but that the materials to make this piece were quite literally about to be in the trash before I had an idea to make this table.

Like I mentioned last week, Connor and I have been in MAJOR spring cleaning mode. We have had two of these Ikea clothing hampers since we got married years ago:

FIRSTBEFORE-15And as you can see, it was doing a great job of holding my wrapping paper and other miscellaneous items. It kind of ended up being a catchall when we were moving in December – you know how that goes. Once I cleaned it out, we took the fabric hamper part off of the metal frame, and that is when I saw this little hunk of junk with new eyes for the first time. Suddenly, this throw away Ikea hamper had a new look – I had never noticed the perfect rectangular lines of the frame. Instantly, I visualized this frame with a little black spray paint and a beautifully stained piece of wood on top of it. Which is exactly what I did.

DSC_2082 DSC_2083 DSC_2084 DSC_2085I had some stain left over from the table that Connor made , so all I had to buy was a piece of wood and some black spray paint. I found a lovely, thick piece of wood at the hardware store and had the nice gentleman who worked there cut the wood to fit the frame. After a little sanding with some fine toothed paper, I put two coats of stain on top.

FIRSTBEFORE-15-2And then, we wait…

DSC_2080photo 3A little tequila soda with lemon helps to pass the time. While the stain finished drying, I spray painted the frame with my favorite, Rustoleum 2X Coverage. Lastly, simply drill some holes into the metal and use wood screws to fasten the wood down to the frame. I think some sort of wood glue or epoxy would suffice, also.

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I knew this project was a success when Connor gave me his enthusiastic seal of approval =) I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and I needed a little table by the front door to fill that empty corner space. Not bad for an Ikea Hack.

I would love to hear what you think!

89 thoughts on “Ikea Hack Attack! Making a Side Table

  1. Kacey

    Love! And once you score some of those vintage gym baskets you can put rolled up magazines or umbrellas, or…whatnot underneath!

  2. Anngela

    This is truly amazing–have seen tables almost identical for an arm’s price! 🙂 LOVE IT and will definitely attempt a few for myself, they are prefect for anywhere around the house!

  3. Leah

    that looks great, and I love the color of the stain! what are the dimensions you used to cut the top piece?

    1. thecleverbunny

      Leah~ I measured the metal piece to have the wood fit exactly. I believe the measurements were 15.5 inches on each side, making the wood a perfect square. But really, you would want to take your own measurements based on your own table base. =)

      1. mr. Mason

        I have gone to two hardware stores but all of the wooden boards top out at 12″ width. Where did you find ones wide enough for the 15.5 table?

        1. thecleverbunny

          I found (at Lowes) a special width piece of wood that was actually packaged in cellophane. I can’t recall which aisle it was in, but it was definitely indoor (non treated) wood.
          Sorry I couldn’t be more specific but I hope this helps.

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    1. thecleverbunny

      I just recently found out they don’t sell this hamper anymore! We have had these for several years. But with Ikea, they tend to recycle their trends pretty often – I hope there will be another version of this soon!

  9. goodafternoonanblog

    OMG this is so beautiful. I have to say, almost everytime I go to IKEA I end up daydreaming about what I could make out of parts of their furniture. It almost always sends me onto craigslist to see what people are listing. This is such a simple and great hack and makes for a very expensive looking piece of furniture. Well done!

    1. thecleverbunny

      Thank you so much for your sweet words! I am the same way with Ikea, only for me, it usually comes about a year later when I am “totally over” whatever item I bought from Ikea. This hamper was actually about to be in the trash when the idea struck!

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    1. thecleverbunny

      Hi Brian,

      Thank you! No, this table actually isn’t wobbly at all! I guess it would depend on the frame of each hamper though – if you have a bent frame, the table might end up being a little unstable.

      – Katy

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  18. Andrea

    Lots of explanation & nice pics of how lovely this looks but you skim over how you actually attached the wooden table top to the frame using screws. I have (& still use) one of these laundry hampers & looking at the frame I don’t think that this would be at all easy.

    1. katycartland@gmail.com Post author

      Good point! I would suggest finding a drill bit that is the right size and strength to drill new holes into the frame, if you decided to go that route. Then, you could use wood screws to reinforce the piece of wood onto the frame. Keep in mind that this will end up slightly altering the look of the table since the hardware will be showing. Not necessarily a bad thing! Maybe more of an industrial look?
      The way I did it is to use a wood glue to actually glue the piece of wood down to the frame. I was unable to get photos of this process, which is why it was “skimmed over”. You can find a wide array of glues at any hardware store that would work – just be sure to check the packaging to make sure that it adheres woods to the right kind of surface (in this case, metal). I hope this helps! Thanks for reading and for your input =)

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  20. Adriana

    Nice work! I am dreaming of the nice table one could make with the frame sideways. I am so bummed they don’t sell it any more!

    1. barbara

      hi from Italy! what a great idea!
      but..just a question..what’s the name of this ikea hamper stand? is it still for sale from Ikea? I can’t find it here in italy. thanks!

  21. Adriana

    Check Amazon.com for an assortment of hamper bases almost identical to the Ikea ones! I have my eye on a double hamper stand for use as a nightstand.

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    1. katycartland@gmail.com Post author

      I love hearing that! How great! I would love to see a photo and/or share it on the blog! Thank you for reading and glad you found some inspiration here =)

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  34. Dani

    Hi! I also have an ikea laundry box which I was thinking about throwing away. But know – after seeing what you did – I will definitely give this ikea hack a try! It’s amazing!!! Cross fingers that it turns out as pretty as yours in the end! 😉

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  39. Kalpana

    Hi, great hack! I have a similar frame and am now inspired but I notice that the corners have this tiny raised bits of metal (such that they are stackable). How did you deal with these raised bits of metal? Or did you JUST use glue in the four corners, over the raised bits? I am wondering if four drops of wood glue will hold? Thanks in advance!

    1. katycartland@gmail.com Post author

      Thank you so much! Regarding the rasied bits: I actually didn’t do anything to them – the holes on my frame were not raised enough to cause enough of an issue to fix, but if they were I would have sanded them down with course sand paper – the metal is super soft since the frames are cheap, so I imagine it wouldn’t take much elbow grease to smooth them out! I only used a little wood glue- more than four drops but I definitely didn’t glop it on there. Hope this helps!

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