KALLAX Drawer Conversion

IKEA items used:
KALLAX Drawer Insert
2 x KALLAX extra shelves
1 x pack UTRUSTA

So I don’t know if this is a hack, maybe more of a modification…

After sadly and reluctantly waving goodbye to our Bestä Bürs DVD cabinets, we needed somewhere we could put the little bits and pieces that lived in there alongside the DVD’s (keys, wallets etc). We didn’t want a full sized LEKMAN, and didn’t really like the thought of the red miniature versions: they didn’t really match our theme. We did like the KALLAX drawer inserts, but didn’t really want to fill a whole space with one as we wanted to keep it fairly symmetrical. So, I decided to modify the insert into two separate drawer units, so we could have one each side. The KALLAX is also backlit so we wanted to obscure as little light as possible. I’ve already modified the KALLAX (it’s a 2×2 and a 2×4 joined) to lose the double thickness where they join for a cleaner look, but that was done last year and I don’t have any photos of the process!

So, I assembled the drawers and inserted the runners and lower drawer into position. I put a pencil line on the insert at each end of the drawer. I then removed the insert and drawer and laid the insert out flat on the floor and took a straight edge and drew a line all the way across.



I grabbed a nice sharp wood saw (the insert itself is thin hardboard so I needed it to be sharp so minimal effort would be required to cut) and cut carefully along the line. When it was fully cut, I reinserted them to make sure they fit and the drawers ran in and out as they should. I then followed instructions and fixed the insert in place. I repositioned one screw slightly lower down so as not to hit the screw securing the other side.


In order to cover the open drawers, I had planned on heading to my local timber merchants and having two white chipboard shelves made, but when in IKEA I had a chat with a staff member and managed to get two shelves from a damaged KALLAX for free: lovely job! I then headed to my shed and found 8 ‘L’ shaped brackets and attached 4 to the underside of each shelf with simple self-tapping screws (make sure the ones screwing into the shelf are short enough to NOT push through).





With those in place it’s time to fit the UTRUSTA ‘push open’ fitments. The reason for this is because we have decided not to fit the supplied handles and go for a flush finish. So I measured the thickness of the drawer front and marked this on the unit and made sure it was central (this is where we’ll be pressing the drawer from to open it). I fit the push mechanism and adjusted the end so the drawer sat flush with the KALLAX when closed.

I also took a piece of new UPVC window trim from my shed and cut to size to stick along the underside front edge to block the light coming through the gap between the shelf and top of drawer front: it makes it tidier and gives it more a feel of ‘how it’s supposed to be’.

To fill the holes where the knobs should have gone, I used a product called ‘Colourfill’. It’s white in colour and dries hard and is usually used in kitchens (worktop and pelmet joins). Although they are still visible, it’s noticeably reduced, and at first glance you don’t really notice it.

KALLAX drawer inserts modified to fill half a cube

KALLAX drawer inserts modified to fill half a cube

KALLAX drawer inserts modified to fill half a cube

KALLAX drawer inserts modified to fill half a cube

KALLAX drawer inserts modified to fill half a cube

KALLAX drawer inserts modified to fill half a cube

And there you have it. In order to open, you push the drawer in the middle and the same to close it. If I had an IKEA closer (it’s 120 miles away!) I’d purchase two packs of UTRUSTA and have them at each end of the drawer so you can push to open anywhere. But other than that, I’m happy with the ‘mod’!

~ Daniel Moore