I have been needing more storage for my craft room. Plus, I wanted something affordable that would perfectly fit in the room. I decided to do an IKEA Ivar hack since it’s a budget friendly cabinet. To help it match the existing furniture I added DIY bamboo trim and painted it in a high gloss white. This is a beginner friendly DIY and I’m so excited to show you how to make it!
how to make a IKEA Ivar hack
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an detailed walk through on how I made the IKEA Ivar hack. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. It’d mean so much if you’d watch the video! I’m trying to get better at my video skills so I can grow my YouTube channel! If you have a few minutes to watch this and/or subscribe, I’d so appreciate it.
- 2 IKEA Ivar Cabinets
- High Gloss Paint in Ultra Pure White
- 4- Half Round Molding (for the bamboo trim)
- Wood Filler (to create the bamboo detail)
- 2- 2×4 boards (for the base)
- 1 Baseboard 8′ long (to cover the base)
- 4 Wood Round Knobs
- 1-1/4″ Screws (4 for connecting the cabinets together and 6 for connecting the top to the cabinets))
- 2″ long Screws (10 for attaching the cabinet to the base)
- 2-1/2″ long Screws (8 for the base)
- 6′ Pine Board (for the top)
- Pink Stain (to stain the top)
- Finger Sander (to sand the wood filler)
- Construction Adhesive (to attach the bamboo trim on the doors)
step 1- assemble the cabinets
Start by assembling the Ivar cabinets. Use the instructions from IKEA to build each piece. This is a really simple build- essentially you attach the side to the top and bottom with a screw. The back slides on with a support piece. Note, if you wallpaper the inside, it’s best to have the flat/smooth side on the inside (rough side on the back).
The last side is screwed onto the piece. This makes up the frame of the cabinet.
Put the cabinet on it’s bottom, then inside the hinge plates need to be screwed in place. Next, the hinges need to be attached to the doors. Then the doors can be connected to the cabinet with screws from the hinge to the hinge plates. Inside the cabinet, shelf pins can be added for the two shelves. Note, there isn’t a top or bottom to the shelves.
how to close the gap on the Ivar-
The Ivar cabinet from Ikea is notorious for having a gap between the doors. It looks awful! But it’s actually really easy to fix. All that needs to be done is to adjust the hinges!
The back screw on the hinge needs to be loosened first. Then loosen the front screw on the hinge and from there, adjust the hinge by pulling it left or right. Once the door is in a good place, tighten both screws so it stays in place. Repeat for each hinge. Close the door and see where additional tweaks need to take place. By making adjustments, it’ll close the gap nicely.
step 2- cut all of the wood to size
Next, continue by cutting all the wood and trim to size. Here’s the cut list for making this exact cabinet-
Use the Miter Saw to cut the below. Do 90 degree straight cuts unless noted.
Here is my cut list-
- Half Round Molding– cut 8 pieces to 11″ long (miter both ends). Cut 8 pieces to 28-1/4″ (miter both ends).
- 6′ Pine Board– cut to 63-1/2″ long.
- 2×4 boards– cut 2 pieces to 61-1/2″ long. Cut 2 pieces to 7-3/4″ long.
- Baseboard– cut 2 pieces to 11 3/16″ long (miter one end). Cut 1 piece to 62 1/2″ long (miter both ends).
Note, before cutting the baseboard, use a table saw to rip it down to 3 1/2″ tall. That way it’ll perfectly cover up the 2×4 base.
step 3- build a base for the cabinet
And now, build a base for the cabinet. For this we’re using 2×4’s. Drill holes in the sides of the long 2×4’s (do two on each end).
Then use screws to attach the long boards to the short boards. Repeat for each end of both of the long 2×4’s. This creates a rectangle shape- the perfect base.
Once the base is built, put the Ivar cabinets on top of it so that they can be connected together. First, use 1-1/4″ long screws to attach the two cabinets together. It works great to use two screws on the upper section and two on the bottom portion of the cabinets.
Second, use 2″ long screws to connect the Ivar cabinets to the base. Use three in the front and three in the back of each cabinet for a total of 12 screws between the two cabinets. This creates one sturdy piece.
step 4- topper
Next, let’s work on the top! With the Ivar cabinets connected, the top doesn’t look really finished.
To remedy that, we bought a pine piece of wood. It came a little rough so that needed to be sanded smooth first.
Then, there were some areas with divots especially with the knots. For that, I like to fill with wood filler. Once that’s dry, it’s good to sand it smooth.
Now, the top is ready for stain. I used a pink stain so it’d match my table. To apply the stain, brush it on and then use a rag to remove the excess stain that didn’t soak in. I repeated with a total of 3 coats of stain to get the color I wanted.
step 5- make the bamboo trim
For this project, I’m most excited about the bamboo detail! I love the look of vintage furniture with bamboo trim. Bamboo trim is available to buy online, but it’s pretty expensive.
I thought I could make mine own! To start, I used an old card from my wallet. We used a drill with 5/32″ drill bit on it. I turned on the drill and my husband held the card up to it to create two small half circle indents next to each other. You could use scissors too, but this was more precise and round. This makes a little tool to create bamboo trim!
Mark the cut half round pieces of wood where the bamboo details will go. I found that it works better to mark the back (the flat area) so it’s visible. That way it’ll be consistent. It’s best to apply the bamboo detail onto the cut wood before attaching the trim onto the cabinet doors.
create the bamboo detail with wood filler
Next, use a spatula to smear wood filler on the wood trim where it’s marked.
Then, use the card to push against the wood filler to create the two grooves. It takes a few tries to get it right. You need to pull the card straight across the wood so it’s not crooked. Try to keep the card perpendicular to the trim. If it looks bad the first try, wipe it off and give it another shot. The wood filler has lots of workable time to get it looking good.
If the wood filler is too dry, it won’t stick to the wood. In that case, mix some water into the wood filler before applying it to the wood. It’s good to get the wood filler smooth to get a cleaner bamboo detail. But adding too much water will make it runny so it doesn’t hold its shape. So it’s all about finding that balance in the consistency.
This part is fun making the custom bamboo trim! I’m so thrilled with how it looks! It needs to dry overnight to get nice and hard/dry.
step 6- baseboards
For the bottom of the cabinet were we built a base out of 2×4’s, it was looking a little unfinished.
So we ripped down a baseboard to the same height as a 2×4 (3 1/2″) before cutting it to be the perfect fit around the front and sides of the base. To attach the trim to the base, use a nail gun.
step 7- doors
For the cabinet body and doors, I painted it a high gloss white. I’ve been liking the look of lacquered furniture and thought the high gloss will give a similar look. I used a roller to apply the paint so it’d go on smooth without brush marks (which the gloss will highlight). The cabinet needed 4 coats of paint to get the pure white color. After painting, let them dry for a few hours.
Once the bamboo detail has dried, use sandpaper to clean up the trim. I had excess wood filler above and below the ridges I added. So sanding those areas flat gave a better result.
On the front of the doors, use a pencil and a Speed Square to mark 2″ in from the sides. This line will be where the outside of where the trim will sit.
Place the bamboo trim on the inside of the pencil lines. Make sure the pieces fit nicely together. I had one long piece and one short piece on two fronts, so I just switched it so that both doors worked better.
Once everything is lined up, use construction adhesive to adhere the trim onto the front of the doors. If needed, use clamps to hold the trim flush onto the doors. I only had two areas where the trim wasn’t laying flat so I needed clamps. Placing a book on the trim to weigh it down would probably work too.
Keep a wet paper towel handy so that if construction adhesive seeps out under the trim, it can easily be wiped up.
Note, we also added Wood Round Knobs to the front of the doors at this point. I wanted to be able to paint the details at the same time. Knobs aren’t really necessary for this project since there’s a lip on the door that’s easy to grab. But it is a nice detail.
The glue takes 48 hours to fully set, but I found that after an hour it was set enough that I could fill the corners with wood filler and paint all the trim white.
step 8- attaching the top
The top of the cabinets weren’t quite flat, so we sanded them so the top would sit on them and be level. Then we used 1-1/4″ screws to attach the top to the cabinet. Screw them in from the inside of the cabinet so they don’t show through the top.
step 9- finishing touches
So I covered each backer board in wallpaper paste and then adhered on the rainbow stripe wallpaper. Like I mentioned above, the wallpaper went on easier on the smooth side. I tried both and the rough side resulted in more bubbles that were harder to get out.
Last, put the shelves in the inside of the Ivar. Then, put the doors back on the front of the cabinet.
after- IKEA Ivar hack
Here is how this craft room storage cabinet turned out! I’m so grateful to have storage AND a beautiful piece for this room.
I love the Ivar because it’s a blank slate that endless things could be done to it. I think the bamboo trim looks perfect in this room and it’s so chic.
For this IKEA Ivar hack I spent $250 on the Ivar cabinets. $20 on the high gloss paint. The half round molding cost $28. I already had the wood filler and screws on hand. Wood knobs cost $4. The other trim and wood (2×4’s and baseboard) cost $25. For the topper piece of wood, that was $16. In total I spent $343 on this IKEA Ivar hack.
So there you have it! My IKEA Ivar hack. I love how the bamboo trim turned out and can’t wait to use this method again. It’s going to be so nice to have more storage in this space. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments. Thank you so much for reading!
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