January 30, 2023


Delighting home maniacs

Six smart IKEA hacks for upcycling your furniture on a budget

Six smart IKEA hacks for upcycling your furniture on a budget

When it comes to kitting out our homes, a trip to IKEA is usually on the cards.

But this year – after spending more time in our houses than ever before – many people are trying their hands at DIY upcycling projects rather than buying brand new.

And when it comes to IKEA furniture – with its signature practical and inoffensive design – upcycling possibilities are endless.

Online, there is a community of interior-loving IKEA hackers who are revealing all on their DIY creations.

From showcasing how to gold-leaf a HOVET to making your MALM look ridiculously expensive – there are several accessible hacks that can be easily replicated no matter your skill level.

And there’s even a way to transform that iconic IKEA floor lamp we’ve definitely all owned at some point in time.

Here’s our round up of six smart IKEA hacks you need to know about if you’re planning on taking on a DIY project.

MALM upcycle

TikTok user @middo4789 shared her MALM upcycle video along with the caption: “So simple yet so effective.”

The clip begins with a shot of the handle-less MALM chest of drawers in white (the six-drawer version that costs £115 on the website).

The user then shows gold cupped handles that she purchased from eBay for £6.99 for 12.

After adding each of the new drawer handles, she dresses the top of the drawers with diffuser sticks, a lamp made from a light bulb in a wire mesh vase and a house plant on a gold tray to create the luxury new look.

KALLAX shelf transformation

Account @sovehome ‘s popular video received more than 38k likes.

The video begins with an old IKEA KALLAX shelf – which you’ll find on the website for £29-£35 – placed horizontally on plastic sheets.

The hacker starts to unscrew the unit then cuts one of the cubes off with a saw.

The pieces are then sprayed with white paint, legs are added, and two square door frames are created out of wood before they’re upholstered with burlap.

In the final clip, the new stylish unit – with the added legs – then stands almost double in height and has been dressed with a candle, diffuser, house plant and a leaning picture frame.

Bathroom towel rack hack

The Thrift Guru ( @thethriftguru ) posted her clever bathroom towel rack hack.

“OK, so I got this wooden ladder that was supposed to be a part of a bunk bed from IKEA for like $7 (approximately £5.39 in the UK).

“I was thinking it would probably be a cool decoration in my bathroom.

“So, what I’m planning on doing is putting the wooden ladder behind my toilet and adding some towels on the back of it.

“This was a super easy bathroom decor so you guys have got to give this a try.”

Several TikTok users in the comments suggested that to take the hack one step further, The Thrift Guru should paint it or stain it silver.

Gold leaf mirror upcycle

Staying with the gold aesthetics – which seems to be a popular choice with DIY hackers – TikTok user @jessiefinds uploaded and up-cycled mirror hack.

The mirror she is transforming appears to be the large aluminium HOVET wall mirror which can be found online for £90.

Captions in the video read: “I wanted it gold but the paint looked cheap.

“Second coat? Streaky. So I gold leafed it!”

Jessie then uses a dry brush to apply the thin gold leaf layers – before zooming out to reveal the transformation.

Rose gold bookshelf makeover

Erin Smith – owner of TikTok account @love.fromerin – shared with her followers her IKEA bookshelf makeover.

Captions in the video read: “Time for some DIY – let’s upgrade these IKEA bookshelves because who needs a ‘functional’ office?

“And the background of those Zoom calls needs to look like we have our life together.”

She uses dusty pink paint to transform the back panels of the bookshelf and a mixture of pink, metallic pink and metallic gold to paint the front in brush stroke patterns.

She continues her captions, writing: “TikTok is making me do some ridiculous things.”

Holding up a roll of metallic gold tape, she writes: “This is totally unnecessary but here we are.

And she presses gold tape into the corners of the front panels to create a border effect.

Her final caption reads: “More to come in my office.”

If you’re a Greater Manchester ‘IKEA Hacker’, interiors blogger or you’ve recently transformed your home or garden on a budget – we’d love to hear from you. Email [email protected] with your social media handle or home transformation pictures