How to hack a bar cabinet from IKEA HEMNES (with hidden door slides)

ikea bar cabinet hack

The IKEA HEMNES wardrobe was perfect for our conversion into a bar cabinet. While the IKEA Hemnes wardrobe is primarily designed as a clothing storage solution, we felt it could potentially be repurposed as a drinks cabinet with some modifications. Furthermore, we didn’t need it anymore.

Off the bat, it has lots of room for bottles and glassware. The drawers beneath were good for towels, bottle openers, coasters, napkins and other drinking paraphernalia.

However, what we didn’t like were the doors and how we would seem to be peering into a closet while we mixed our drinks. So we knew we need to make a few changes to the HEMNES.

Hacking the IKEA HEMNES wardrobe into a bar cabinet


  • HEMNES wardrobe (discontinued. You can try this hack with the SUNDVIK instead)
  • Pocket door slides
  • Pine wood boards
  • Wood screws
IKEA HEMNES wardrobe

Converting the HEMNES doors into pocket doors

I made a trip to Lee Valley to pick up hidden door slides (pocket door slides) to replace the 90 degree hinges that were standard to the wardrobe from IKEA. Some whittling was required to make the hinges fit while allowing the doors to close and fit properly.

Add a shelf insert

With the doors sliding in, we were not able to insert shelves into the space in the usual way. Our work around was to build a shelf insert in some pine wood. We built the shelf in the shape of an “H”, with two fixed shelves on the top and bottom, and an adjustable shallow shelf in the middle. (We measured the space to fit our stemware.) The shelves are dadoed and glued but could be built any way you want. Lastly we stained it in Ebony to match the color of the HEMNES cabinet.

Wallpapering the back

The HEMNES wardrobe came with striped back. While we didn’t replace it, a new peel and stick wallpaper will do a lot to enhance the vibe of the bar cabinet.

The last step was to insert the “H” shelf and stock the bar cabinet. We also added a tray to catch any spills.

ikea bar cabinet hack

Hope you liked our IKEA bar cabinet hack. Sit back. Relax. And enjoy a cocktail.

Click to view more IKEA hacks on bars and drinks carts.