How to: Cover a cut up shelf

Materials: as-is table top + leftover blind slats

Description: This is more of a tip for hackers than an actual hack. I have been reading lots of the hacks on this website and have used some ideas in small projects.

Today I bought a small tabletop in the Ikea As-Is dept. I wanted to cut it down and use a pieces as a shelf in an open-front built-in cabinet I have. I used my table saw to cut it to size, leaving me with two strips of honeycombed ‘IKEA-wood’ I could use as shelves.

What to do about the open area on the back edges of the two shelves I have just created? I can see the cardboard honeycombing inside. I plan to leave this shelf in place for years to come, and don’t want any hungry cardboard-munching vermin to take up residence, so I’d like to close it up. And I’d like to be able to use both pieces I’ve just created, rather than cannibalize the one to get an edging for the other.

I had previously bought a set of Ikea wood blinds. If you are familiar with them, they are made to fit floor-to-ceiling windows. If you need them for a standard window, you simply remove as many slats as needed to create a custom length.

My leftover slats were a perfect color match and near-perfect width to cover the open back of my new shelves! If you don’t have leftover slats yourself, likely you can find someone who does via local email lists. Or perhaps Ikea sells extra slats as replacement parts?

I simply used wood glue to attach the necessary lengths of slats, which are made of thin, smooth wood much like the veneer edging on the uncut edges of my tabletop/shelves. Mine overhang an infinitesimal bit on the bottom edge (the width of the slat being minutely more than the thickness of the shelf), which could easily be fixed with sandpaper or a file.

The photo above shows what the formerly open area of the shelf looks like with the slat glued in place. You can hardly tell it was cut open at all. The first photo shows the same shelf from the side; you can see the slight overhang to the right of the shelf and scraps of cut slats lying on the floor beside it.

~ Lori J., California