Materials: EXPEDIT Insert with 2 drawers, (2) 2-packs of adjustable BESTA Legs, INREDA storage with 4 compartments, ¾” plywood, edgebanding for plywood; tools> panel saw at your friendly local wood supplier (thanks Owl Hardwood) or saw with high quality plywood cutting blade, biscuit joiner borrowed from your woodworking friend (thanks Woody), (you could glue and nail as well although it will leave nail holes to be filled in), drill, glue
Description: My wife and I have been looking for a pair of side tables with finished backs since we moved into our house but haven’t found anything that exactly fit the bill (size and $$). I completed building an entertainment system for the new TV (no IKEA products were harmed in the making of it though) and we still had our older side tables without finished backs. I had done the entertainment system in a midcentury style and so stopped by the local IKEA to wander around (yes, I’m that guy) trying to find something to hack to work.
After not really finding any items that were instantly able to be used as side tables like we wanted I found the EXPEDIT inserts which were the right size AND had a finished back (wife happy). I figured that I could build a frame around them and add a little shelf in along with the drawers to end up with a nicely functioning table. As you can see by the pictures I went with a walnut veneer and had all the pieces cut to size at the local wood supplier with their panel saw (I modeled the table in SketchUp prior to going).
After that it was a matter of gluing and joining all the pieces together around the EXPEDIT drawer unit. I put 4 coats of water-based polyurethane on the wood and searched for some legs that worked. The BESTA legs are nice and shiny, the right height, and best of all, $10/pair.
I ended up having to cut a wood insert to fit into the legs to put a screw through to attach them to the bottom of the unit but overall they worked really nicely. The INREDA drawer inserts were modified to fit in the drawers by cutting the sides off after I found them on clearance for $3 each. So it ended up being a multi-hack in the end I guess.