We are partial to an Ikea hack at Real Homes: the Swedish furniture giant comes in useful for home improvement projects big and small time and time again, saving home owners money in the process. Clever DIY IKEA hacks are also a sure path to Instagram glory, with many a keen DIYer posting jaw-dropping before-and-after shots of whole rooms that have been completely transformed using Ikea furniture.
This time, it's our very own Laura Crombie (opens in new tab)'s turn to show off her DIY Ikea savvy with a genius IKEA closet hack. Laura wanted build-in wardrobes in the spare bedroom of her family home. Built-in wardrobes are easily the most coveted element for a new bedroom, but they're also very expensive, because of the intricate labour that goes into making them. As Laura explains, 'A carpenter quoted us £1,600 [...] but there was no way we could afford it. Instead, we made some IKEA Pax (opens in new tab) units look built in for just £409.'
DIY Ikea wardrobe hack
This was Laura's step-by-step method for making the Pax wardrobes look like a built-in piece. If you fancy giving it a go, here’s what she did. It’ll work if your ceilings are 240cm or under.
Laura began her project by buying three 50x58x236cm IKEA Pax wardrobes and assembling them using the instructions provided. Then, the units were attached to each other and the wall, leaving a 10cm gap between the final unit and the wall, where Laura then put a filler panel.
The next step was to get two 62x240cm IKEA Forbattra kitchen end panels. One for the side panel on the left and the other for the top panel and right-hand side panel. She used an offcut of wood and pencil to scribe the top and side panels. This is where you follow the line of your walls and ceiling so the panels fit perfectly. As Laura points out, 'no walls and ceilings are straight, so if you skip this you’ll have ugly gaps. It’s not the simplest DIY job so follow one of the millions of YouTube tutorials.'
A jigsaw was used to cut along the lines Laura had drawn. 'Lightly sand and check the pieces fit!', she advises.
To attach the slim panel at the top and the one to the right, you need to first stick a baton of wood in to attach the panels to. To complete this step of the project, use Sticks Like S**t (opens in new tab) - 'amazing actual product' – to stick the three panels in place.
Now, Caulk along the joints where the panels meet the walls and ceiling. Smooth off by running a damp finger along the caulk and wiping off any excess.
Attach your doors and handles. Laura says, 'we chose IKEA Bergsbo and gold handles from Amazon' – and what a gorgeous and refined combo these make.
You're almost there – add in whatever shelves and rails you fancy. Then, last but not least, 'Ram in all your belongings because it’s the only wardrobe in the house and you’ve lived out of a suitcase since July!'
We totally second the sentiment, but also – we think the result is absolutely stunning – elegant and classic-looking – and we'd never guess that these elegant wardrobes were from Ikea.