The Ultimate IKEA LACK RetroPie Table

I really like the idea of having a RetroPie arcade machine, but it would take up too much space. This approach — of adding a lift top — gives me the chance both to use the table as a regular play table for my son’s room.

And … when the top is lifted, we can play arcade games, watch a movie or listen to music.

Let’s take a look at how our RetroPie table works. First pictured here closed … as a plain boring table.

IKEA LACK RetroPie table hack - closed

Then, lift open for play time!

IKEA LACK RetroPie table hack - open

Related: Old wardrobe gets second life as a retro arcade machine

IKEA items used: 
Other materials and tools: 

IKEA LACK RetroPie Table instructions: 

1. Flip the table top over and cut the base with a utility knife.

Lack table back

2. Remove the paper mesh.

lack table mesh

3. After you’ve removed the mesh, stick the board you’ve cut out to the underside of the table top to create a stronger surface.

4. Then, print out the buttons layout.

buttons and joystick positions

5. Using the print out as a guide, cut the button holes on the table surface.

6. Reinforce the borders of the table with wood.

7. Mount buttons and joysticks.

mount buttons and joysticks

8. Place the lift-top mechanism.

9. Mount the second table board.

10. Wire electronics.

IKEA LACK RetroPie table hack

11. Mount the LED Projector.

IKEA LACK RetroPie table hack

12. Mount the bluetooth speaker.

Blue tooth speaker
bluetooth speaker

13. Add lights.

IKEA LACK RetroPie table hack

14. Enjoy!  

IKEA LACK RetroPie table hack

See the lift top mechanism in action.

IKEA LACK RetroPie table hack
Other useful information: 

The table top can be customized even further to include chess/backgammon stickers on top.

How long and how much did it cost? 

The initial assembly cost me one afternoon in terms of time. The total project cost would be around $300 including the projector, tables, speaker, and controls kit – all new.

What do you like most about the hack? 

It’s versatility. It remains very clean, even I like to call it “The Boring Table”, until you open it up and turn on the lights. Everything is neatly hidden and is hard to damage even in a kids room.

IKEA LACK RetroPie table hack
What was the hardest part about this hack? 

The RetroPie software itself, together with the electronics for turn on and off. The build itself was quite easy.

What to pay special attention to? 

All 3D Printed parts can be replaced with whatever we have in handy. The models are shared in the link as well.

Looking back, would you have done it differently? 

Not much. I would add a chromecast to the projector, so we can stream wirelessly.

And other thoughts/ comments that you have received about the hack. 

The overall feedback is great — everyone is astonished by the table.

See more of the IKEA LACK RetroPie table on my blog.

~ by Nikolay Avramov