Materials: Expedit TV Storage Unit and 5 Lekman Boxes
Description: In addition to the IKEA items, I used the following:
-5 pieces of plywood cut to 13″ x 13″ squares -5 inexpensive wooden drawer knobs (purchased on ebay for about $0.50 each) -5 small cans of wood stain in varying shades -1 can of varnish to seal the stain – several tubes of heavy duty expoxy
Required tools (beyond those provided by IKEA):
– drill – paintbrushes
I loved all of the storage provided by the Expedit TV storage unit and loved the opportunity to use some of that storage for display (books, etc). However, since I live in a small apartment, covered storage is premium as it allows me to stuff and hide! I didn’t want to spend the extra money the doors or other covered storage options offered by IKEA for the Expedit cubes. I also wanted a way to tie the piece into my existing living room layout which includes a lot of wood and darker colors. I considered baskets but decided I wanted something more formal than baskets.
I went with the white Expedit to brighten the room up a bit, but didn’t want it to feel out of place. I decided to cover the fronts of the less expensive Lekman boxes with wood panels to hide the contents and tie the piece together with the rest of the room.
Best part of this was it was inexpensive option (even less so if you stain them all one color) and didn’t require lots of fancy tools which is good because I have the basics, and no room for fancy saws, work tables, etc.
1. Stain the plywood squares (which I asked the hardware store to cut for me). I used two coats on each. Let dry for at least 8 hours to ensure they are no longer sticky.
2. Apply 1 coat of clear varnish. I used a water based one that I had over the oil based stain and it worked fine. Let dry for 24 hours to ensure everything is totally dry.
3. Drill a hole in the center of each of the Lekmans at the height you’d like to have the knobs. Doing it separate from the wood allows you to use the hole as a guide for drilling the wood and just makes it easier.
4. Use (a lot of) the epoxy to attach the plywood to the front of each Lekman. It took more glue than I’d anticipated (repeat trips to the store). Let dry 24 hours with some weight on them. I put them with the plywood to the ground and piled books inside.
5. Once the epoxy has dried, using the drill, extend the hole drilled into the plastic through the plywood. Attach knobs.
Voila. Simple. Inexpensive. Easy to do with limited space and tools. And I think it gives the whole piece a much more finished look.