IKEA Hack involving the Kallax shelf unit

IKEA is a magical wonderland of fantastic finds. I have multiple Kallax cube units and use them to house my records and books. They look nice, you can put feet on the bottom, and even add bins to it so no one can see your mess. No this is not an ad for IKEA, I would love if they paid me, but they don’t.

I had an extra cube unit my mom was getting rid of since she also loves them for storage. So I thought why not turn it into more of a bar table kind of thing?

My kitchen is awful for storage. Just straight up the worst. So these cubes are perfect for my gadgets and other things I don’t want cluttering up pantry.

I put my blender, air-fryer, instant pot, and bread maker safely in the cubbies. Underneath I put little things in bins also from IKEA. This is where I put my bags, disposable plates, metal mixing bowls, and so on.

I liked the thought of having a table in that little area. However if I did then I would lose all my new storage I just gained. So then I thought I would just combine the two. If it sucked I would just take it apart and flip the thing over. Thankfully I didn’t have to do that because it came out awesome and I was super happy about it.

table top made into a shelf unit

That’s the final product! Very simple just a little time consuming waiting for the stain and spar urethane to dry. Freed up so much space for storage and now we have a little table area to use as a breakfast nook or whatever we need really!

To make this storage unit table top combo I simply gathered the following:

I was going to have multiple boards and glue them together but instead found a big plank of wood that was the width needed over at Lowes. I cut down the length to 58 inches (4ft and 10 inches) to fit the cube unit perfectly. If you don’t have a table saw or skill saw then hardware stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot will cut it for you when you buy it. That is the only cut you will need for this project.


Sanding is completely optional. My blade left little splinters on the side so I sanded that down and parts of the top. Afterwards I put two coats of stain on the top and sides because I wanted it to be a bit darker than just one coat. I waited an hour after the first coat dried then applied the second. Another hour past and then I decided to do the spar urethane.  I did a quick wipe of the stain on the surface to get rid of any wet spots first.

On my second coat of the spar urethane I noticed some rougher spots on the surface. The wood beneath wasn’t completely smooth in those areas so it transferred through the coating. I simply lightly sanded those areas with a 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out. Wiped the dust away and put on my third coat. After that I let it dry over night so it could be installed the next day.



The Cube unit was already assembled so there was nothing new I needed to do there. Simply lined it up on top and started with the I-brackets in the back. Screwed in four of them to the table top and then to the cube unit.


One on each end and the remaining two between that spaced out equally in the middle.



After that I moved around to the front and did the L-Brackets underneath the table top to the cube unit. I did four of those as well.



That’s it! 8 brackets, some stain, a little urethane, and you’re done! If you bought the stain, the brackets, and the wood it would be under 50 bucks!

The cube unit is around 100. So a perfectly good customized tabletop/storage combo for a decent price!

table top made into a shelf unit

If your confident in your wood building skills, check out this potting bench I made!

Potting Bench for The Plant Parents