This popular IKEA tray table is now double the fun

ikea tray table hack

This simple hack but I thought you guys may appreciate it. At its base it’s a simple tray swap for the IKEA tray table (GLADOM) to give it a midcentury vibe.

I bought the GLADOM as a nightstand, but replaced it a year later with an IKEA SELJE so I could have a drawer to stash things in. So, I thought the IKEA tray table could look great in the living room if I upgraded it just a little bit!

I designed a simple clip that can be 3D-printed that lets you reuse the original tray on the bottom of the frame, turning the GLADOM into a two-tier side table.

IKEA items used:
  • GLADOM tray table
  • SKALA tray (optional)
GLADOM tray table |
GLADOM tray table |
SKALA tray |
SKALA tray |
Other materials and tools:

IKEA tray table upgrade:

The IKEA GLADOM’s metal serving tray is not attached to the frame. You can easily replaced it with any other tray of an appropriate size of 44cm in diameter.

A wood tray is an easy upgrade to make the GLADOM design look midcentury chic. For example, the IKEA SKALA is a drop-in replacement that’s already a lot nicer than the standard metal tray.

IKEA tray table done!

(For my own version of this hack I bought a wood serving tray at a local kitchen supply store that was slightly larger at 45cm. To make it fit, I scored notches into the tray at the 4 corners with a Dremel, allowing the tray to fit into the GLADOM’s frame).

With a wood tray the IKEA tray table looks pretty great already. But to really finish it off you can add these 3D-printed clips I designed to mount the original tray to the GLADOM’s bottom frame.

If you have a 3D printer you can simply print 4 clips using the file on Thingiverse yourself.

If you do not have one, you can use an online service like 3DHubs to custom order the parts online.

Or you can look for a 3D printer near you. Many cities have MakerSpaces or FabLabs that have 3D printers which can be used for a small fee. Even public institutions like libraries are extending their services to include such machines. They’re a great resource for IKEA hackers to experiment with.

Either way, once you have the 4 clips you can mount them on the bottom cross of the frame, put the metal tray in place, and done!

Your standard IKEA tray table is now a glamorous midcentury-style table.

What was the hardest part of this hack?

Mustering up the courage to build the clip! It turned out to be very easy, about 15 minutes worth of measuring and designing. But I didn’t get around to it for weeks because I expected it to be really complicated. Turns out, it wasn’t.

I like using 3D-printed parts for IKEA hacking, it perfectly combines two of my hobbies. Until this hack I’d been using other people’s designs for my hacks, but this was the first part I designed myself.

What to pay special attention to?

If you need to Dremel your tray, don’t just freehand it like I did, but set it up properly. I half-assed it by hand and got lucky that most damage is hidden behind the frame.

Lots of people are surprised that they hadn’t thought about swapping out the tray on the GLADOM themselves. It seems so obvious in hindsight, but I haven’t seen anyone else do this yet.

Link to the 3D-printed clips are here.

~ by Guy Sie

Related: See more 3D-printed IKEA Hacks