Elevated iMac Monitor Shelf

Materials: Ikea table, and stackable Ikea shelves.

I was originally looking for a monitor stand for my iMac. My intent was to lift my iMac slightly off the desk so I could have just enough space for a keyboard, my laptop, or some papers. Another feature I was looking for was some front facing USB ports, since all iMacs have the USB ports on the rear of the monitor – makes using a USB hub almost a necessity. Upon browsing online it seemed like a decent monitor stand for my iMac was going to run me $60 – $80 for the bare minimum that I was looking for. I couldn’t justify spending that much for something that would provide so little in terms of functionality, additional storage, etc. During my search, I came across a posting on LifeHacker that pointed me to IkeaHackers and I discovered that a lot of people had been mixing and matching different pieces of Ikea furniture to help make their workspace more functional. At this point, I looked at my Ikea table (the one I use as a desk), and a set of shelves in my living room that I have been dying to get rid of. Instantly I was inspired to make the shelves into a raised monitor stand on top of the table. Here is the steps I took to achieve my finished result.

1) Clear off the table and shelves – this was a perfect excuse to clean all the dust off them and make them shine like new again.

2) Go to a hardware store and obtain something to use as spacers to place between the table top and the bottom shelf. I originally had 4″ PVC pipe in mind, but at the hardware store I saw that they had a stack of thick cardboard tubes from carpet rolls that they were giving away for free. Since my project didn’t involve liquids, the cardboard tube made sense since it is easy to cut in pieces with a common wood saw (and it was free instead of $7 per piece).

3) Cut the cardboard tube into 5 pieces to serve as legs for the shelf. (this could just as easily be feet from a sofa, wooden blocks, packs of printer paper, PVC pipe, or anything that is strong and stable.)

4) Place the first shelf upside down on the cardboard blocks.

5) Then place the black uprights of the shelf 2 rows high (be sure to use the wooden doweling in all the holes – otherwise bumping the table may cause everything to fall apart.)

6) After you have all the uprights in place, install the top shelf as normal across the top. By inverting the bottom shelf, it provides a nice space to fit a large flatscreen iMac, or any other monitor of your choice.

7) Optional – I wanted front facing USB ports, so I took a USB hum and stuck a piece of velcro on the back of it. I then stuck it to the bottom side of the bottom shelf off to the side so it almost disappears visually. Now it hides all the wires, and combined with the powerbar that I attached to the underside of the table, there are no visible wires hanging behind or beside the workstation.

As it sits next to my Ikea Jerker standing desk, it is a nice compliment to my home office. The rotating shelves of the Jerker serve nicely as printer stands that push away when not in use – providing even more effective working space when combined with my new workstation.

~ Dave, Calgary, Aberta, Canada