40 Brilliant ways to hack the IKEA KALLAX bookcase

Photo: IKEA.com

The IKEA KALLAX is one of the most versatile piece of cube storage furniture in the Swedish blue and yellow store. Besides the obvious as a bookcase and storage unit, the KALLAX is popularly used for IKEA hacks and repurposing. 

The IKEA KALLAX can be turned into a beautiful TV stand, reading nook, platform bed and genius movable kitchen island.

Check out our tips on how to add legs to the KALLAX and close up the back of the KALLAX and bring your DIY project to the next level.

One thing to note is the hollow structure of the KALLAX bookshelf, so you’ll need to be careful when drilling or cutting the KALLAX. 

KALLAX details:

Size of cube: 13″x13″ (33cm x 33cm)
Materials: Particleboard, Fiberboard, Acrylic paint, Honeycomb structure paper filling (100% recycled), Plastic edging
Accessories: Drawer inserts, shelf inserts, door inserts, inserts with compartments, insert for bottles, baskets, boxes.

Browse our list of clever IKEA KALLAX hacks and get your project off the ground and running.

IKEA KALLAX hacks to bookmark and DIY

IKEA Platform Storage Bed Hacks – Easy DIY to store more

IKEA Platform Storage Bed Hacks – Easy DIY to store more

Long before it became popular on TikTok, we’ve been featuring IKEA platform bed hacks made from IKEA EXPEDIT shelving units, and later, KALLAX units.  Why an IKEA platform storage bed? It’s not surprising that it is one of the most enduring IKEA hacks and is replicated again and again. Firstly,…

This is how I made a waterbed frame from IKEA KALLAX

This is how I made a waterbed frame from IKEA KALLAX

This waterbed frame hack is very similar to the “A full-sized bed built from KALLAX shelves + a DIY headboard”, but was build to support a full-sized waterbed. This construction must be much more stable to support approximately 400 kg, but on the other hand, requires no ventilation for the…

5 easy ways to create a unique KALLAX TV Stand

5 easy ways to create a unique KALLAX TV Stand

Simple mods to create your one-of-a-kind KALLAX TV stand The KALLAX is one of the most versatile ranges in IKEA. And IKEA designers are constantly adding to the range; with new colors, door inserts, shelving and drawers introduced almost every year. This makes the KALLAX the perfect candidate for customisation.…

Cutting table (extra large) with lots of practical storage

Cutting table (extra large) with lots of practical storage

I’m really excited to share with you my new sewing room cutting table. Before we bought a house, I always did my sewing at the kitchen table. We didn’t have a formal dining area. So, this multi-purpose room (for sewing, breakfast/lunch/dinner, homework, crafting) got a little crowded at times. When…

KALLAX desk ideas: Four ways to set up a workstation

KALLAX desk ideas: Four ways to set up a workstation

Four great ideas for a KALLAX desk. Looking for ideas for a compact KALLAX desk and storage unit? We have just the one for you. #1 KALLAX combined storage and slide out computer desk IKEA item used: KALLAX 4×2 storage unit Other materials: 400mm sliding keyboard drawer runners660x400 contiboard, both…

Just 4 things to make this affordable IKEA Kitchen Island

Just 4 things to make this affordable IKEA Kitchen Island

HY (@yatt_azml) shared her compact IKEA kitchen island hack on Twitter and it caught my eye. She shows how easy it is to make a compact, and affordable kitchen island out of just 4 IKEA items. Her post has since gathered over 9,000 likes with 4600 retweets. She writes, “Wanted…

How to add doors to KALLAX Craft Cabinet

How to add doors to KALLAX Craft Cabinet

The configuration of the KALLAX system is perfect for as a craft cabinet for my craft supplies. But I didn’t like how messy it looked when not in use. Even with everything put away and tidy, the visual busy-ness was distracting in my otherwise minimal workspace. These lightly whitewashed plywood…

IKEA filing cabinet: At last, an easy, perfect solution

IKEA filing cabinet: At last, an easy, perfect solution

This has got to be the simplest IKEA hack ever. I did some online research and did not find any simple ways of using IKEA KALLAX shelves as a filing cabinet for hanging files. However I have the KALLAX in my home office and they are useful and better looking…

Full size bed frame with storage hack — no tools required!

Full size bed frame with storage hack — no tools required!

We hacked IKEA KALLAX units into a full size bed frame with storage to save space and money. Since we already had the KALLAX units, we wanted to use them up. The bed is the perfect height for sleep and everything, with plenty of storage. Related: This is how I…

1 big or 2 small units: This portable KALLAX kitchen island is so useful

1 big or 2 small units: This portable KALLAX kitchen island is so useful

I’ve always wanted to have a kitchen island and when moving into a new apartment, our small kitchen and limited countertop surfaces gave me the opportunity to create my dream kitchen island. I went for the KALLAX unit because I was looking for an affordable and easily DIYable solution. As…

Combining 2 KALLAX for a super useful hallway unit

Combining 2 KALLAX for a super useful hallway unit

We wanted a hallway unit to store coats, bags, gloves, hats and all the items we normally lose between seasons. IKEA item used: KALLAX 5×5 UnitKALLAX 4×2 UnitDRÖNA Box x 22 x KALLAX Door Insert2 x KALLAX Shelf insert5 x KARTOTEK Hooks Other materials and tools: 3.6mm single faced ply…

An IKEA DJ Booth completes this supercool hideaway

An IKEA DJ Booth completes this supercool hideaway

After completing the bar in my garage, I had planned on adding a DJ Booth using IKEA elements. Finally, it is finally complete. IKEA items used: 6 x KALLAX units 77x77cm (202.758.14)2 x packs of CAPITA stainless steel legs – 16cm (102.678.95)1 x LINNMON black-brown table top – 200cmx60cm (802.513.58)6…

KALLAX transformed into Media Console

KALLAX transformed into Media Console

We wanted a big media console for our 50″ TV, but we didn’t want a standard IKEA stand or a $1000 console from West Elm. So we decided to make our own! Here’s the end result. Related: 5 easy ways to create a KALLAX TV stand We were able to…

A simple hack elevates this office sideboard

A simple hack elevates this office sideboard

Plain IKEA KALLAX gets upgraded to office sideboard I wanted a side surface to my bay window desk which also had a lot of storage, so the KALLAX offered a blank canvas to work from. A few months earlier I had bought a second hand upcycled IKEA STOCKHOLM walnut veneer…

Cash wrap counter to die for. It’s massive!

Cash wrap counter to die for. It’s massive!

We used IKEA components to build a massive cash wrap counter for our petstore. Materials: 3 x KALLAX 4×2 shelving units (Art no: 202.758.85) 2 x KALLAX shelving units (Art no: 202.946.19) 1 x KALLAX 5×5 shelving unit (Art no. 703.015.42) Frames to cover the back of the 2×4 KALLAX…

KALLAX tall room divider with integrated desk

KALLAX tall room divider with integrated desk

We used the IKEA KALLAX modules to build a room divider with a desk. The main structure is a KALLAX 4×4 unit propped up by two 1×2 KALLAX units. Together they work perfectly as a room divider with an integrated desk. The materials we used: 1 KALLAX 4×42 KALLAX 2×12…

Twin boys’ custom closet — an IKEA KALLAX hack

Twin boys’ custom closet — an IKEA KALLAX hack

Katherine is an Architect turned SAHM and blogs at twinpickle.com about parenting and kid’s décor. She put together an IKEA KALLAX hack for her twin boys’ custom closet, and it looks amazing. Materials for a custom closet: KALLAX unit KALLAX insert with 2 drawers KALLAX insert with door CAPITA angled brackets KNIPSA…

TV unit and vinyl record storage in one KALLAX

TV unit and vinyl record storage in one KALLAX

I searched high and low for a TV unit as I wanted to put vinyl records and other stuff together in one media unit. After some research on the Internet and Pinterest I found some ideas with KALLAX and I wanted to make something with that. Related: 5 easy ways to…

IKEA KALLAX Wine Rack Insert for 9 – 12 bottles

IKEA KALLAX Wine Rack Insert for 9 – 12 bottles

Here’s a KALLAX wine rack insert I made to fit the dimensions of the KALLAX cube. It might seem like it’s hard to make as it needs a laser cutter or CNC, but thanks to the wonder of makerspaces, this is very achievable in most places within the reach of…

Large rabbit hutch: A simple DIY project for your bunny

Large rabbit hutch: A simple DIY project for your bunny

WARNING: Readers have commented that this set-up is UNSUITABLE for rabbits, due to its size and material. For rabbit habitat requirements, please check out the following link for indoor rabbit housing requirements. I made a 3-level indoor large rabbit hutch using a KALLAX storage unit from IKEA.  Materials:  KALLAX Shelving unit,…

A full-sized bed built from KALLAX shelves + a DIY headboard

A full-sized bed built from KALLAX shelves + a DIY headboard

I had been thinking about buying a harder mattress and bought one spontaneously one day. But I made a mistake in thinking that I had a full-sized bed, when in fact, my bed frame was a queen! This wasn’t a bad surprise as I didn’t like the bed frame I…

Transforming the KALLAX to a movable magazine stand

Transforming the KALLAX to a movable magazine stand

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) | IKEA.com The plan was to hack the more streamlined KALLAX to match the design of the BIRKELAND. The result is a matching movable magazine stand…

IKEA KALLAX electric fireplace: 2 ways to hack it

IKEA KALLAX electric fireplace: 2 ways to hack it

IKEA does not sell fireplace furniture, at least, I have yet to see one. But many IKEA hackers have made their own fireplaces — electric or faux — using IKEA items like the BILLY, kitchen cabinets and BESTÅ. And they do add all sorts of cozy vibes to the room.…

Good Old EXPEDIT with Plywood doors

Good Old EXPEDIT with Plywood doors

Old EXPEDIT gets a new fresh look with plywood doors. Since my kid is not yet one year old, he does not yet need a bigger wardrobe, I wanted to use two old EXPEDIT shelving units to put his toys and books, etc. Also, he can practice opening drawers, doors…

Sliding Bookcase Doors KALLAX hack to divide your rooms

Sliding Bookcase Doors KALLAX hack to divide your rooms

I replaced single-glazed sliding doors that divided the sitting room and dining room with a sliding KALLAX bookcase. For one “door”, I used two 2×2 cubes and one 2×1 unit. As we already owned 4 separate KALLAX 2×2 cubes and they seemed to be exactly the same width as the…

How to hack a store-like vinyl record storage cabinet

How to hack a store-like vinyl record storage cabinet

I collect vinyl records and I use the IKEA KALLAX as a vinyl record storage cabinet. They are inexpensive, look and work great but they have a limitation. I like the way record stores display their records on top, covers facing forward, so you can quickly flip through the records…

$40 KALLAX Shelf becomes upscale kitchen bench seating

$40 KALLAX Shelf becomes upscale kitchen bench seating

I wanted some built-in bench seating to save space and to add cosiness around our kitchen during breakfast and dinner times. And I wanted powerplugs in whatever piece of furniture was going to live here. This shows how to hack the IKEA KALLAX shelf and turn it into bench seating.…

Fantastic 4-storey gerbilarium from IKEA KALLAX

Fantastic 4-storey gerbilarium from IKEA KALLAX

Here’s how to DIY an extra large Gerbilarium I wanted a really big cage for my sweet gerbils. Now they look so much happier with so much more space. Materials: KALLAX 5×5 VARIERA shelf inserts (for air circulation)Glass panesAluminium profiles (as rails) to slide the glass panesWood board to cover…

KALLAX side table with storage is the perfect small nightstand

KALLAX side table with storage is the perfect small nightstand

For this simple yet effective hack we used a single 1×1 KALLAX unit and transformed it into a combination bedside table and daytime small side table by adding BJORLI legs and a drawer insert. The KALLAX unit is in my new home office and we needed it to work for…

Up the usefulness of the KALLAX with whiteboard doors

Up the usefulness of the KALLAX with whiteboard doors

I made this KALLAX with whiteboard doors for use in my work / study room. The doors hide the contents of the KALLAX and are useful for planning, designing, scribbling notes, etc. The storage and whiteboard doors are probably very useful for homeschooling too. If you have children using this,…

4 ways to hack an IKEA Craft Table with storage

4 ways to hack an IKEA Craft Table with storage

It’s very easy to make a large craft table with the IKEA KALLAX as the starting point. You can further customise it with IKEA KALLAX shelf inserts and drawers to fit your craft storage needs. For these 4 IKEA KALLAX hacks the basic materials are similar. You’ll need: the KALLAX…

DJ Booth with integrated turntables and mixer

DJ Booth with integrated turntables and mixer

The DJ booth project started with my turntables and mixer, since one turntable was black and the other silver. I wanted them to match. So I ordered some covers from 1200plates.com and an adhesive sticker for the mixer from 12inchskinz.com. And I always wanted to integrate the equipment into the…

How to add lighting to a KALLAX cube shelf

How to add lighting to a KALLAX cube shelf

I decided to make this change because I like to customize objects. Adding the cube shelf lighting to the KALLAX took me a couple of hours. The total cost is €67.73. IKEA item used: KALLAX shelf unit (42×147 cm) KALLAX Insert with door TRÅDFRI Dimmer kit E27 Other materials: Transparent synthetic glass…

This IKEA record storage bench stores 400 vinyls

This IKEA record storage bench stores 400 vinyls

Bench seating and record storage in one. Our new pool table room needed some seating that wouldn’t get in the way of a player trying to make the perfect shot! Our lone pub table only had two pub-height stools and the room didn’t offer much room for more tables. So…

Easiest fish tank stand ever and DIY room separator

Easiest fish tank stand ever and DIY room separator

I was wondering how to better separate the entrance (taking into account a fish tank stand with a large aquarium, 120L) from the other areas. Fish tank stand – before: Related: There’s something fishy about this EXPEDIT Materials: 2 units of KALLAX 2×2 MDF panels Wood slats (1200mm x 6mm) I…

Finally! The IKEA way to add legs to a KALLAX shelf

Finally! The IKEA way to add legs to a KALLAX shelf

After years of IKEA KALLAX hacks — with a lot of legs added to them — IKEA got it. They finally understood, we want a version of the IKEA KALLAX with legs. Years ago they offered caster wheels for the IKEA KALLAX but the design was, IMHO, not ideal. The…

Build a snazzy mudroom with IKEA BESTÅ cabinets

Build a snazzy mudroom with IKEA BESTÅ cabinets

I’m really proud of the mudroom I built in my entryway.  Though some of the items came from my local hardware store, a lot of it is from IKEA. IKEA items used: KALLAX bookshelves x 2BESTÅ storage units x 2LACK shelfRAMSHULT bracketsSVARTSJON hooks (discontinued, so purchased when heavily discounted -…

But Wifey Boss, I NEED a gaming table

But Wifey Boss, I NEED a gaming table

I love DnD, card games, and quick board games. However, with a 2-year-old, space is at a premium. Selling this “set-up” as a storage place and part-time gaming table is a good win with the Partner. The hack took a day, give or take a few hours. It costs around…

Dinged up KALLAX? Renew it wood wrapped style

Dinged up KALLAX? Renew it wood wrapped style

I just completed a makeover — turning the old unit into a wood wrapped KALLAX. A little bit of glueing, staining and screwing and the old dresser has a new rustic look.  Firstly, I have a really old KALLAX 2×2, rather it is an EXPEDIT. KALLAX 2×2 unit | IKEA.com It…

Saving a dinged-up As-is KALLAX with bamboo

Saving a dinged-up As-is KALLAX with bamboo

I bought a display model KALLAX from the IKEA As-is room. I didn’t notice until later that the plastic sleeve that held descriptive info had removed the top surface finish. To cover the problem, I decided to make a bamboo top for the KALLAX: What I used to save my…

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