Box sofa … the IKEA Karlstad version

box sofa ikea karlstad hack

DIY your version of the gorgeous Autoban box sofa

Two of the things I love most in this world are modern design and cats.

My cats have destroyed furniture in the past so when it was time for a new sofa I was determined to outwit them by finding a modern sofa they could not use as a scratching post.

In my search I came across the ‘box sofa’ by Autoban. Perfect but at $7K, way beyond my budget.

Autoban Box Sofa

Source: Autoban

Then, I got the idea to make my own. My starting point was a KARLSTAD sofa, as I felt it had the right shape and size for it.

IKEA Karlstad sofa 3 seat

KARLSTAD 3 seat sofa |

Box sofa inspired IKEA hack

Using birch plywood I bought at Home Depot, I made a box that would fit snugly around the IKEA KARLSTAD sofa.

frame for karlstad

I constructed the boxes to be 1/4 inch wider. The plywood is 3/4 inch birch. The measurements — outer edges — are:

  • Height = 20″
  • Depth = 36″
  • Width = 82″

For the sofa surround, I cut the mitered edges with a table saw then glued and nailed them. The bottom edges butt against the frame and hold it all steady.

The weight is evenly distributed and with six legs I’ve had no problems with bowing.

frame for KARLSTAD

After completing the box, I finished the edges with 1/2 inch wood trim and stained it walnut. I had some red paint and used it on the bottom just for fun.


Next, I finished it with three coats of polyurethane.

Lastly, I screwed on the legs. I bought the legs online — not IKEA. And slotted the KARLSTAD sofa into the frame.

It fits the KARLSTAD like a glove and the cats are foiled … for now.

KARLSTAD box sofa IKEA hack

I made two boxes for two sofas. I just love it.

KARLSTAD is fairly sturdy. The frame just surrounds it. All of the stress remains on the sofa. I’ve had these sofas for about 18 months and see practically no change in the structure since I made it.

~ by Susannah Koger, United States

Post updated on Aug 14, 2019 to display missing images and relevant info.

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