Know How She Does It
DIY Tutorial

Turn Ikea cabinets into a sideboard

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There’s a first time for everything and I can now say that we’ve mastered an Ikea Hack! As you may all know by now, we live in a 1938 Miami house with roughly 1,300 sq feet; so space is very limited. I needed an area to store all my seasonal decor (because the mini garage is already cramped). I thought about finding a long and skinny sideboard to fit in our dining area, but couldn’t find one within our budget. In-comes-Ikea!

We bought three Eket cabinets and their birch underframe which are sold separately.

I found at Ikea the Eket cabinets with a depth of 9 7/8″. The only problem was that I needed more than one (three to be exact) and couldn’t take the idea of them seemed like individual modules. To remedy this situation I came with the idea of placing a wooden top over the cabinets to give them a sense of unity.

I wanted a piece of wood that would sort of grasp the three cabinets just like the top of a shoe box.

After discussing the project with my husband, we decided to built just that, and for this we bought at The Home Depot a Pressure Treated Lumber 2 in. x 12 in. x 8 ft. To start, we needed to hollow 1/2″ of this piece from the bottom part, which will allow it to perfectly sit on top of the cabinets without interfering with the door. We left a border of 3/4″ around the wood as you can see in the diagram above.

To start hollowing out the piece of lumber, my husband made a mold (or box) where the router would sit and that preserved the 3/4″ of the side borders. This box allowed him to move from side to side and upward.

After he finished working this area, he sanded the piece and cut the excess length to fit the area. We then stained the wood using Varathane Stain in Golden Oak.

The grain of this wood really added an additional level of texture to this cabinet, now a sideboard. The wood hurricane lantern adds the final touch. You can find similar ones here:

This top wood really fitted like a glove. Everything now looks like one piece and the color of the stain goes perfectly well with the rest of the space. To end up the look of the cabinets, I added some brass pulls from Target.

Now I can proudly say that we pulled an “Ikea Hack”! Have you upgraded the look of an Ikea piece?


  • Reply
    November 13, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Really like your dinning room. Where did you get the dinning table, chair and rug?


    • Reply
      Gloribell Lebron
      November 13, 2017 at 5:00 am

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by! The table is from Home Decorators, the chairs from HomeGoods and the rug from Better Homes and Gardens at Walmart. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    Amy Waraksa
    April 10, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Gloribel,
    I have been considering a similar storage solution, though with Ivar in the bedroom. (Sounds like a Clue game, haha!)
    Searched for two weeks with no luck whatsoever. But today, “Pouf!” Your brilliant project tops my feed! Eureka! Thank you! You have paved my way.

    • Reply
      Gloribell Lebron
      April 11, 2020 at 11:20 am

      Hi there Amy and I’m so glad you found this tutorial. Thanks again and keep healthy and safe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten Dykes
      September 14, 2023 at 1:00 pm

      How did you modify the bottom? I love it!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Did you do something to the bottom? Is it an added piece of woods or legs

  • Reply
    11 IKEA Hacks to Style up the EKET Cabinet Series – PushUP24
    September 23, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    […] of Know How She Does It needed an area to store all her seasonal decor, but the sideboards she liked weren’t […]

  • Reply
    October 23, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    I love this and think it will be a great option for us. I am having a hard time finding the birch underneath piece. Any suggestions or links? Thanks in advance.

  • Reply
    Gemma Louise
    March 7, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Hi, where did you get the plinths from at the bottom of the Eket units between the legs? Are the sold separately at Ikea? Or did they come with the units?

    • Reply
      Gloribell Lebron
      March 7, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      Hello there! The legs were part of each unit. While this is a very old post, I would advice you to check to see if Ikea still carries this model of unit.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2022 at 10:40 am

    Hi there! I know this is a very old post, but I’m recreating this in our home and have built the cabinets, but not sure how you connected them prior to adding the top. Did you screw or bolt them together from the inside? And when adding the wood top, did y’all screw it on? Thanks so much!

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