IKEA laundry hamper hack: From 2 to 3 sections

I like the aesthetic and breathability of a wicker laundry hamper, but I need to sort 3 types of clothing (colors, delicates, athletic wear) and I could only find hampers that sorted 2 types.

Taking two NATTGIBBA laundry baskets I was able to hack them together into a 3-section laundry hamper.

Here’s a “before-after” of the DIY laundry hamper.

DIY laundry hamper 3 sections with lid

Here’s what I did:

IKEA items used: 

Other materials and tools: 

How to DIY a 3-section laundry hamper: 

Start by assembling the sides of the frame. You will need all four side panels from one NATTGIBBA and just the two short side panels from the other NATTGIBBA.

To attach a short side to another short side, screw through a mending plate into the two top holes, then tie a loop of twine around the bottom pins. Then attach the short side to the long side as directed in the IKEA instructions.

mending plates hold sides together

Repeat with the other long, short, short panels.

Stand the frame up and tie one or two loops of twine around the bottom of the frame from front to back to help hold the shape.

The front and back will each consist of a long side panel plus a short side panel.

Next, lower both bottom panels into the frame – they will overlap in the middle. Tie loops of twine between the bottom panels and all four sides. The frame should stand up sturdily at this point.

Attach one lid as directed in the IKEA instructions; it will cover two thirds of the hamper.

To cover the rest of the hamper, place the other lid so it overlaps the first, and secure it with more loops of twine.

Related: Laundry room ideas: How to create a functional and stylish space

Attaching the fabric laundry bags

DIY laundry hamper 3 sections with lid

Now it’s time to attach the fabric laundry bags. Attach one bag as directed in the IKEA instructions, but only secure the ties in one corner. Fold the other bag so that one compartment is collapsed. Fit the remaining compartment into the open space in the frame, and secure it to the frame and the first bag using the ties and as many safety pins as you need. (I threaded some safety pins through the rattan to keep the bag from falling out.) The bags fold neatly over the top of the frame, hiding the mending plates.

And my DIY 3-section laundry hamper is done. The lid works too.

IKEA NATTGIBBA laundry bin hacked into 3 compartments

How long and how much did it cost?

1 hour, $115.

What do you like most about the hack?

It’s easy to disassemble. I could rebuild it as two ordinary NATTGIBBA laundry hampers if I ever want to.

What was the hardest part about this hack?

Threading the twine and safety pins through small openings in the rattan to secure everything without gluing or damaging the panels.

What to pay special attention to?

The mending plates should be as small as possible (I used 2″ long plates but 1″ would work better) and should be oriented along the short sides of the hamper to help the frame hold its shape.

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

IKEA NATTGIBBA laundry bin hacked into 3 compartments

If I was handy with a sewing machine, I would cut one of the fabric laundry bags in half and sew it to the other laundry bag, forming three neat compartments that I could secure by folding over the top of the frame, just like the regular NATTGIBBA.

~ by Scott