One thing I love about our home is that I have my own space. It’s actually a spare bedroom that I’ve turned into a getaway/office. One of the biggest additions to the room were these Ikea Kallax units. I turned two of these into a workspace, complete with a filing cabinet drawer. Here’s my hack:
First, I bought and assembled two Kallax units and laid them long ways on the floor. They spanned nearly the full width of the room. I knew I wanted to create some pull out drawers in this, so I left out the vertical spacer in one of the middle cubbies when assembling this to give me one large, open rectangle space to work with in each unit.
I used two pieces 1x16x8 pieces of common board and set them on the top across both units. The Ikea cabinet is 15 3/8 in wide so there was a slight overhang of the countertop, which I loved. These were fairly cheap, but if I would have known Ikea sells wood countertops for a decent price and they span long enough that you wouldn’t need a seam in the middle, I might have chosen those.
I nailed these down with a few pin nails to be sure it stays in place and to also even out the point where to two boards meet. Then, I used some Minwax stain in dark walnut to give it some richness! Is is me, or does adding a top and staining it make this look 1,000 times better?!
Ok so now for the filing cabinet hack. I took official measurements of each large cubby (on a sticky note). If you are doing this project, here is the rectangle size for the Kallax opening that equals two square cubbies.
For this, I bought some 1×14 lumber along with some 12 in soft close sliders for the drawers. I installed the sliders first. IMPORTANT: make sure these are in the exact same spot on either side of the opening. I measured about an inch from the front and used a spare piece of wood to hold these in place while I screwed them in. Using a piece of wood for this also ensures they were the same height from the bottom of the shelf on either side.
Then, I took a piece of wood that would be the drawer side and held it up to the slider to measure how much of the opening was remaining after taking the sliders in consideration. This gave me the final width of the drawer.
Once I got my final measurements, I cut the wood to size and used my handy dandy kreg jig to drill some pocket holes and build out the box frame with wood glue and screws.
I test fit the box in the opening. It should be a snug fit so the sliders can be screwed into the box with little wiggle room. Once I was happy with the fit, I screwed the sliders onto the box! You should have something like the below after this.
Next, I needed to create the face for the drawer. I stumble across the clearance section at Ikea one day and found this $3 panel. Yes.. $3. That’s 12 quarters people. If you haven’t seen the clearance section at your local Ikea, you need to check it out. They update it constantly with discounted things that are perfectly fine – and so amazing for DIY projects!
The panel was just a little too big for the drawer, so I trimmed down the sides to fit the space. I attached a gold handle for a little bling! Here’s a similar handle.
Next, I added drawer file frames into the drawer. These sit just on top of the wood box perfectly, with no need to attach them with anything else! I added in my hanging folders and got my office organized and pretty!
Don’t you love a good Ikea hack?!