How to Repurpose a Changing Table into a Beautiful Kids’ Wardrobe

repurpose changing table
Photo Credit: Anne

Anne’s journey with the IKEA SMÅGÖRA changing table is a tale of finding a place for a piece of furniture the kids have outgrown.

Now more about the SMÅGÖRA changing table. This IKEA changing table, like a few others in the range, is designed to evolve as the child grows. When the child outgrows the changing table, it can be easily transformed into a spacious bookshelf, prolonging the lifespan of the piece of furniture.

So, Anne turned it into a bookshelf, but it wasn’t what they needed. Despite this, they didn’t want to get rid of it.

Enter their daughter’s wardrobe dilemma — their daughter needed a place to hang her dresses, and Anne’s mom had given them a bunch of cute children’s clothes hangers from her childhood. She wanted to use the hangers and found that the changing table was the perfect solution.

IKEA items used: 

IKEA SMÅGÖRA changing table and SMÅSTAD doors
Photo Credit:
  • SMÅGÖRA changing table
  • SMÅSTAD doors
  • BEGRIPA handles
  • HJÄLPA hinges
  • HJÄLPA clothes rail
  • PLUTT adhesive hooks
  • and a little SKUBB box that sits snugly in the bottom 

Other materials and tools:

  • Mirror foil for inside the door
  • Stickers

Repurpose Changing Table to Kids Wardrobe: 

Here are the steps Anne took to repurpose the IKEA changing table into a kids’ wardrobe:

SMÅGÖRA changing table repurposed into a kids wardrobe
Remove the changing table topper | Photo Credit: Anne

1. Firstly, she removed the top portion of the SMÅGÖRA changing table, leaving it in its “bookcase form.” You can also add doors at this stage and turn the changing table into a storage cabinet.

2. Anne wanted space to hang up her daughter’s dresses, so she removed the middle shelf. While at it, she removed the wavy, ornamental part at the bottom as it would be in the way of the hinges. (It also wouldn’t have much use on the inside of the doors.) 

add clothes rail
Installing the clothes rail | Photo Credit: Anne

3. With the space now cleared, she installed the clothes rail. (Tip: If you push the tiny washers out of the side connector pieces, you can screw the clothes rail straight into the cabinet without using the side supports it calls for).

4. Next, she covered the inside of one of the doors with mirror foil to mimic a mirror door.

5. Installed the door handles and hinges. 

hide the holes
Hide the holes with stickers | Photo Credit: Anne

6. She covered up all the unused holes with stickers. “Thankfully, my daughter has lots of stickers!” she says.

7. Added LED lights for a fancy touch and put mirror foil on the back of the closet to enhance the effect.

10. Lastly, she added the final touches and hung up all her pretty dresses. Done! 

repurpose changing table into a kids wardrobe IKEA hack
Hang up the dresses | Photo Credit: Anne
repurpose changing table into a kids wardrobe IKEA hack
Repurpose changing table into kids’ wardrobe | Photo Credit: Anne

Her 3-year-old daughter loves it so much. She loves playing dress up and was super excited to see the pictures of her little friends.

How long and how much did it cost?

This took about a day to install. The mirror foil was 14€, and the total cost of the IKEA items was 160€, considering I already owned some. 

What do you like most about the hack?

repurpose changing table into a kids wardrobe IKEA hack
Photo Credit: Anne

I love how little space it takes up in my daughter’s tiny room and how it’s like a grown-up’s wardrobe

What was the most challenging part about repurposing the changing table?

The hardest part was installing the hinges. It called for an impromptu trip to the IKEA showroom to measure where the screw holes are on a PLATSA wardrobe (they’re 3cm from the edge). 

What to pay special attention to?

repositioning the hinge
Repositioning the hinge | Photo Credit: Anne

When installing the hinges, I noticed that a plastic cam-lock nut blocks the exact position to drill into the cabinet, but I just offset it down a bit and compensated when adjusting the hinges. 

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

I wouldn’t have bothered with the LED lights because they’re not bright enough to stand out. 

So, the next time you encounter a piece of furniture that no longer serves its original purpose, don’t be quick to discard it. Instead, take a page from Anne’s book and consider how it can be repurposed, reimagined, and reintroduced into your life, weaving a new chapter into your own story and creating a more sustainable, personalized, and meaningful living space. The possibilities are as limitless as your creativity, and the results can be as surprising.

Jules Yap