Wallpaper for IKEA ELGA wardrobe doors & 3 little easy hacks

There are really four little projects in my bedroom, none of them particularly difficult and all spotted elsewhere and applied.


  • For wardrobe: Elga wardrobe, wallpaper, matte Mod Podge
  • For Billy bedside storage: Billy bookcase, Olsbo doors, wallpaper, Liksidig, Jansjo
  • For Ribba clothes hanger: Ribba picture ledge, Grundtal bar, Grundtal hooks
  • For lampshade: Fansta lampshade, wallpaper, PVA glue
IKEA ELGA wardrobe hack with wallpaper

First, and probably most dramatic, is the IKEA Elga wardrobe makeover. Our master bedroom is really quite small and we needed as much storage space for our clothes as we could squeeze in – the Elga was the best fit. However we couldn’t agree on colour and finish. I wanted as much light as possible in the room so was inclined towards a white carcass and 3 mirror doors.

Husband on the other hand had no interest in seeing himself endlessly reflected and neither of us liked the Aneboda doors. So in the end the Engan doors with black carcass and one mirror door was our only possible compromise. As I’d suspected, it overshadowed our little room but as we were shortly to have no. 2 baby I didn’t feel up to doing anything about it for a while. Then while browsing Ikeahackers one day I came across this post and was inspired!

IKEA ELGA wardrobe with ENGAN doors
IKEA ELGA wardrobe hack with wallpaper
IKEA ELGA wardrobe hack with wallpaper

IKEA ELGA wardrobe hack with wallpaper covering

I found wallpaper at Homebase that was a perfect colour and style match for our walls and room…and it just happened to be in their value range at just under £5 a roll.

I cleaned the Engan doors thoroughly to get rid of any dust and grease. Then, using a Stanley knife, I cut 7 sections of wallpaper to fit the 6 inset panels of the 2 Engan doors plus one trial run (leaving them slightly smaller all round as wallpaper stretches when wet).

Next I Mod Podge-ed the back of the wallpaper with a sponge applicator and let it rest for a few minutes then did a trial run applying the paper to the underside of one of the wardrobe shelves. Good job I did as I made a complete mess of it!

First time I’d ever done anything with wallpaper and I didn’t know about smoothing out the bubbles. If you’re thinking of doing this have a look on the internet for advice as I don’t think I’m quite an expert on it yet! For what it’s worth, I used a dry mini paint-roller fitted with the sponge applicator as my smoothing tool and it worked for me. I also found that the smaller bubbles vanished by the time the paper had dried and luckily all 6 panels are now completely bubble-free.

Bedside table with BILLY

Next projects in the Borrowed Bedroom grand plan were a lampshade, a gently vamped-up Billy as a bedside table-bookcase and a Ribba/Grundtal storage solution for half-worn clothes.

BILLY bedside table hack

Next job in our Borrowed Bedroom was replacing the low and dark Engan bedside units that we had bought to match our Elga wardrobe with white Billy bookcases, very little actual hacking here. These are the 40 wide, 202 tall Billys.

I left the back off – firstly for aesthetic effect to show our paint colour through the shelves and secondly because the only power point in that part of the room is behind the Billy on my side of the bed. This way I can access it whenever I need to. Leaving the back off compromises the stability quite a lot so we’ve fixed it to the wall with the brackets provided and, if we find it’s still not strong enough in a week or two, we’ll add brackets under the middle fixed shelf too.

I put solid Olsbo half-doors on the bottom and a glass mini-Olsbo door on the top, inside which I taped the same wallpaper as on the decoupaged Elga to create a theme and hide the contents.

We found the ‘bedside table’ shelf too high and awkward to reach from the bed, also our iPhone charger cords are a bit too short to reach properly from the power point so I screwed in a Liksidig napkin holder to the bed-side of each Billy (thanks to this post for the inspiration). I popped a cable drop next to each to hold the charger cables when not in use and now I have my iPad and phone next to me, he has his Kindle and phone.


Last move was to replace our former touch table lamps with Jansjo clamp lamps, we were worried that the touch lamps were a fire hazard as the shelf above them was getting very hot. The Jansjo lights are great as they’re nice bright spotlights for reading but can be angled differently to create mood lighting. Getting rid of the table-top lamps means there’s more usable space now too.

Wall shelf with clothes rail

wall shelf with clothes rail

The Borrowed Bedroom story continues with a crafty 2-in-1 combining clothing storage and picture rail. Our room isn’t quite big enough for either an armchair or a towel horse, both classic solutions to the problem of clothes in limbo between wardrobe and laundry-basket. Everybody has this problem so I’m amazed how few decent solutions there are, especially for people with little space to spare. Yet again the internet came to my rescue and this provided the perfect solution.

The only space in our room is a metre-wide inset between the chimney breast and the window. I cut the ends off a longer Ribba with a hacksaw (slow but no power-tools in this house!) – making sure to keep the pre-drilled holes centred. Then husband screwed in an 80cm Grundtal rail to the underside of the Ribba, drilled some holes in the wall, screwed the Ribba to the wall, hung some Grundtal hooks on the rail and that was it!

Much neater and it takes a surprising amount of clothes.

Wallpaper a lampshade

wallpaper decoupage on lampshade

The last, least hacked and smallest project in the Borrowed Bedroom.

I had quite a bit of wallpaper left over after decoupage-ing our Elga wardrobe and was feeling, quite frankly, a little decoupage-happy and generally pleased with myself. I was eyeing up possibilities around the house when I came across this decoupage lampshade.

The plain Fansta lampshade in our bedroom was the perfect candidate for a makeover and would match my lovely new wardrobe. The Fansta is no longer available but the Jara looks pretty similar. I used watered-down PVA (I’d run out of Mod Podge) but I don’t recommend it, I found it a messy, awkward job and the paper just wouldn’t sit right.

The stretching of the paper when wet was impossible to gauge and working inside something with rounded sides was a pain. It looks fine but doesn’t stand up to really close scrutiny! If I ever do it again I’ll either use something like Pritt Stick or simply tape down one side of the paper to the shade then curve it around the inside and tape down the other side.

Regarding measuring and cutting the wallpaper, I just cut a rectangle off the roll that was quite a bit larger than the shade top-to-bottom then slowly rolled the shade from one side of the paper to the other and drew a pencil line above and below as I rolled. No photos of this I’m afraid, I was far too involved to remember to take any! Then I cut along the pencilled lines and wrapped it around the outside of the shade, trimming and trying it inside the shade as I went til it fit perfectly inside. If it helps, left flat the final paper is banana-shaped.

A couple of annoying things:

1 . You want the pattern to face out of course but the wallpaper will have been rolled the ‘wrong’ way, it takes a bit of flattening out and counter-rolling and a lot of steady patience to make it unfold out inside the shade without creases.
2. As mentioned earlier the paper stretches when wet so the actual measurements are almost impossible to get right. My finished shade has a few little air bubbles and the paper doesn’t quite go to the edges all the way around which is fine in daylight but as the pattern is visible through the shade when lit it’s not as professional a finish as I would like.

But it’s so pretty!

~ by Ioana