Transforming the KALLAX to a movable magazine stand

kallax birkeland

We have a guest/library room with two BIRKELAND pieces and needed a matching magazine stand for our file holders.

BIRKELAND chest of drawers (discontinued) |

The plan was to hack the more streamlined KALLAX to match the design of the BIRKELAND.

The result is a matching movable magazine stand that also works as a “work area” or standing desk to read or to work on other projects.

kallax 2x2

KALLAX 2×2 shelving unit |

The hack has the following IKEA items:

Specially ordered items from Bauhaus/ Home Depot:

  • 4 corner moldings 
  • Plywood board approx 70  x 70 cm for bottom of the KALLAX unit
  • White board with white edges approximately 90 x 90 cm (check the size of trim, to make it fit) as the top plate
  • Paint stir-sticks from the paint department

DIY movable magazine stand

Fixing the top plate

First, I drilled a few screw holes in the KALLAX to attach the top plate.

predrilled holes

I drilled 4 holes (blue dots in drawing below) as close to the vertical wall as I could. (refer to 1)


The drawing above shows drill holes for one KALLAX unit

The two center holes (pink dots) have more or less no supporting material on the inside. So, I made the hole large enough for a screw head to come through on the inner side. (refer to 2)

Once I completed the drilling, I was ready to attach the top plate (white board).

I found it easiest to lay the top plate (white board) on the floor. Then, position the two KALLAX units (back to back) on the top plate.  

After that, I measured carefully so that the KALLAX units would end up at equal distances from the edge on all sides. (as evenly as possible).

There is a slight height difference between the vertical walls and the top and bottom panels. So I cut paint stir-sticks into approximately 5 cm long pieces, drilled a hole through the centre and placed them between the gap to compensate for the height difference.

After checking that all positions and levels were right, I screwed the KALLAX units to the top plate. I left as small a gap between the two back-to-back KALLAX units as possible.

Installing the bottom plate
bottom plate

Then I put the bottom plate (plywood) on top of the two KALLAX units and centered it the best I could.

I wanted the wheels to be as invisible as possible, so I positioned them as far inwards as I could. 

I pre-marked with an awl where the wheels would sit.

caster wheels

Then I pre-drilled with a small drill and screwed long screws through the wheel mount, plywood and into the KALLAX unit. 

By doing this, I got no visible screws on the inside shelf, and the same screws were used to hold the wheels in place as well as hold the assembly together.

The magazine stand is heavy with all of its content so I put 8 wheels to support the weight.

movable matching magazine stand IKEA KALLAX hack

The last thing was to glue and nail the moldings in place. This finishing touch gave the KALLAX the BIRKELAND style.

movable matching magazine stand IKEA KALLAX hack

And with the help of a friend, we turned it over as a finished product.

movable matching magazine stand IKEA KALLAX hack

It’s a pretty good match to our BIRKELAND pieces.

movable matching magazine stand IKEA KALLAX hack

~ by Tommy Leo