Your kids will love this wardrobe with IKEA IVAR + HAY

Me and my wife have been looking for a kids wardrobe for quite a while. We wanted to bring some colors into the kids room of our — nearly one year old — daughter. 

However we did not want to go too kitschy/cliché/girly and were looking for a closet that will grow with our little one. Moreover our daughter should be able to use the wardrobe at some point in the not so far future on her own (which we will probably regret, when she is choosing the ice princess outfit the 7th day in a row 😉). 

Because I could not find something matching our idea, I decided to build one on my own. After some research I found some interesting IKEA IVAR kids wardrobes and decided to give it my own spin.

I had been eyeing the HAY boxes for quite a while, because I really like their colors and so decided to combine the IVAR cabinet with a HAY box compartment/base.

IKEA items used:

IVAR cabinet

Other materials and tools: 

Pine wood panel
HAY baskets/boxes (size M and S)
Wood legs
Primer
Sandpaper
Paint (jade green)
Saw (used a table saw but any other saw should also be sufficient)
Drill and Screws

DIY kids wardrobe with IKEA IVAR + HAY: 

1. Primer and paint-job

I painted all wood panel from the IVAR cabinet with primer and paint (sanding in-between) from both sides, before assembling it to prevent the wood warping. However I learned from another IVAR project, that this is not necessary and simply painting the assembled cabinet works perfectly fine and is much easier and faster.  

I really love the jade green color, but also how the wood grain is still visible despite the coat of primer and two coats of paint.

2. Assembly

After assembling the cabinet I am already quite happy with it. Next I made some detailed plans on how to assemble the box department with no screws being visible. 

After drawing a few iterations I landed on something similar to the one illustrated in the picture below.

The width of the wardrobe was perfect to fit four small HAY boxes, but when using medium boxes there would be a gap in the middle. Nevertheless I decided to combine the sizes, to be able to store small and large items, toys and clothes in them.

3. HAY Box compartment & wardrobe base

With a good plan, assembling the compartment was quite straight forward.

I recommend making the box slots roughly 2 cm higher than the boxes to prevent pinched kids fingers. Before I finally assembled the base I painted the wood, which is much easier than trying to get into all the corners when everything is assembled.

4. Finishing touches

Next I added some wooden legs. And then lastly built a simple wooden drawer (with a secret compartment – pssssst) to fill the gap in-between the larger HAY bins.

IKEA IVAR kids wardrobe with HAY colour crates
5. Details

Finally I added some fun details like a Snow White mirror (engraved “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the prettiest of them all”) on inside of one door. And some colorful knobs/hooks on the other closet door.

On the inside of the cabinet, I kept the top shelf and added a rod beneath to hang her pretty clothes. 

I am really really happy with the result and hope our little one likes it just as much. So far I am actually surprised how popular the wardrobe already is – seems to be every kids’ dream to have boxes they can pull out, empty and make a huge mess.

IKEA IVAR kids wardrobe with HAY colour crates

Follow me on Instagram @diy.furnitureprojects to view more ideas for kids rooms and others.

~ by Torben

More IKEA IVAR kids wardrobe ideas

The IVAR range is one of the most versatile pieces in IKEA’s stable. It is constructed out of untreated solid pine — intrinsically a blank canvas.

You can paint, oil or stain the IVAR shelving unit according to your preference. Best to sand the surfaces down before treating as raw pine can be rough to touch. And we don’t want splinters on little fingers.

ikea ivar shelving system
Photo: IKEA.com

#1 Open closet and kids room storage

Placing an IVAR system in the children’s room is a fantastic idea. Lots of storage space for toys, books and never-ending kids stuff. Add a rail across the IVAR for a simple kids clothes organizer. Hang shirts, dresses and often used clothing items on the BAGIS kids coat hangers for easy access.

clothes rail on IVAR

#2 DIY IKEA Kids wardrobe with drawers

An easy way to make an IVAR kids closet is to combine the IVAR chest of drawers with the cabinet.

Drawers are so useful for smaller item of clothings like socks, underwear and accessories which may end up as disorganized piles when stored on shelves. SKUBB boxes are the go-to solution for corralling clutter.

The higher shelves would be great for seasonal clothing.

Always secure the wardrobe to the wall with brackets.

(The IVAR chest of drawers may be discontinued in your area, and replaced with single drawers.) 

#3 Storage and desk combination

As your child grows, so can your IVAR wardrobe. Consider adding another set of IVAR cabinet-chest construction next to your current formation for more closet space. A desk between the two IVAR sets is also a fantastic idea.

See more kids room storage furniture hacks.