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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! We started with an IKEA KALLAX 8 cube unit that we found for $40 on Facebook Marketplace and made our own doors, added legs, and new hardware. In no way was this project perfect, but we definitely achieved the look we were going for.
- IKEA KALLAX 8 cube unit- $40 (from Facebook, normal price is $70)
- 4 1x5x6 ft pine boards cut to 8 30.5 in pieces- $16
- 2 1x6x6 ft pine boards cut to 4 30.5 in pieces- $10
- 8 ft of 1×2 pine boards cut to 8 1 ft pieces- $6
- 4 bronze handles– $12
- Hinges or Z-clips– $20
- 7 in tapered legs with plates (set of 4)– $29
- Things we already had: Special Walnut Minwax stain, satin finish Minwax polyurethane, brushes, wood glue, clamps, sawhorses, wood screws
Total cost: $136
Step 1: Buy materials from Home Depot
We had the people at Home depot cut our wood to the desired length. Each door needs to be 14.5 inches in width and 30.5 inches in height, so that’s why we used both 1x5x6 and 1x6x6 doors, so no ripping would be required. When picking your wood, place them on the ground to make sure the pieces fit together and no warping has occurred. We also picked wood that didn’t have any huge knots that would stick out once stained. We used z-clips to attach the doors to the frame of the KALLAX unit so that we wouldn’t have to mess with hinges, but if you know how to attach hinges to have a full overlay with the frame, go for it! The z-clips allow the doors to just be picked up off the frame and easily put back on, so while it is a bit more work than just opening doors, we were able to get the look we wanted while storing things in the console that we wouldn’t need to access all the time.
Step 2: Glue the panels together to make each door
Take 2 of the 1×5 pieces and one of the 1×6 pieces, placing the 1×6 piece in the middle. Determine which side you like more and flip it over so that the bottom of each piece is facing up. Glue the pieces together using wood glue, clamp, and make sure to wipe the other side to make sure that no glue has dripped through. Attach a brace (1×2 piece) about 6 in from the top and bottom using wood glue and a few wood screws. Make sure it is centered so that it doesn’t hit the sides of the cubes when attached.
Step 3: Sand, stain, and polyurethane
Next you want to sand using 3 different types of sand paper. Use the heavier sand paper first to make sure each board is level with the next, and finish with extra fine to smooth out each door. We stained our doors with Special Walnut stain because we liked how it brings out the grain in the pine. We finished by applying two coats of satin polyurethane using a nice brush so that no hairs got stuck in those top coats.
Step 4: Attach legs to frame and flip over
Flip the KALLAX over and screw in your legs. Ours wobbled a little bit at first since the cubes are not solid wood, but when you flip the unit back over the weight prevents it from wobbling too much.
Step 5: Attach Z-clips
Since we didn’t want to mess with hinges and wanted the full-overlay look from the front, we used Z-clips, which you can find on Amazon or at Home Depot. You just screw one side into the middle divider on the cubes and the other side onto the door. Our clips came with a level, but if yours don’t you should make sure each side is level when you attach them.
Step 6: Add your handles
We picked out some bronze handles from Home Depot, but you could add any you want! Make sure you line them up on each side before screwing them in.
Here’s the final result! Hope this helps anyone with limited tools make their IKEA KALLAX look cuter!
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