Media Storage

Published on September 2nd, 2008 | by Jules Yap


Stowaway cable and router storage boxes

Alex finally had enough of ugly cables snaking under his new LCD TV and decided to put them in place, in a box.

He says, “A Mac Mini, Nintendo Wii, PS3, external hard drives, a router and a 5.1. surround system meant a lot of cables. So I decided to ‘pimp’ 2 Ikea Emu belonging to my girlfriend with my DremelDremel cordless drill.

Materials needed:
1 Dremel 3000
2 Ikea Emu
3 power strips
some zip ties

1. In the larger Emu I cut a little rectangle in the front for reaching the main on-off switch with the lid still closed. So after watching TV, DVD or playing PS 3 I can easily shut off all media units (red switch). No ‘stand-by’ all night and day. Saves me a lot of money due to no unnecessary energy consumption!


2. I cut a rectangle hole at the backs of each Emu for cable routing from the back.

3. The only ‘always-on’ unit is my router due to VOIP and WLAN for my notebook in another room.

In the smaller router Emu I also cut a little square in the lid so that the antenna is can work properly.

4. To help the boxes glide smoothly I glued some felt-gliders under each corner of the Emu.

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

17 Responses to Stowaway cable and router storage boxes

  1. Sait Alanyalı says:

    Good idea, I’m concerned about the heat though :/ You say you have no problems for now but some airholes or some kind of air ventilation would be better.

    I did a similar hack months ago, for my external drives, with fans. Check out the video if you like:

    or the photos:

  2. marie says:

    well if heat is a problem, why not just cut a big square out of the lid to provide ventilation? Since the metal boxes are sort of hidden from view by the shelves, removing part of the lid shouldn’t be a problem.

    This is a very clever hack! I think I will try it with those cardboard Ikea boxes. Thanks!

  3. wins says:


  4. Faye says:

    well im glad to hear no fire damage. lol

    i did something similiar with non ikea parts… but i covered my DVZZD player, with a cardboard gift type box but its really sturdy. i hated the look of the cables and the shiny metal and the lights when it didnt go with anything.

    good job on yours!

  5. Alex says:

    Thanks for your honest comments :)

    - The left big box is not warm at all (only cables & sockets)

    - The right little box (with the router inside) is not hot, it´s just a little warm (not even handwarm). Router doesn´t have direct contact with the metal box, because it´s placed almost upright into the box.

    The boxes are “running” now for over 6 months and no problems at all:

    - no router failure
    - no smoking cables etc…
    - no house burning by now :)

  6. l3utterfish says:

    For the love of god!

    Please add some HOLES to the botton of that oven!

  7. Anonymous says:

    granted this lovely individual didn’t realize the implications of what they were doing. fine.
    they can enjoy and babysit the hot metal boxes.
    is it really responsible to share this information with others?

  8. BM says:

    Soooo… In the bottom box are a router, power strip and a lot of power cables. What goes in the top, an E-Z-Bake brownie? Where’s the timer?

  9. hobnob says:

    my modem and router put off enough heat sitting on a shelf never mind a metal box

  10. Will Higgins says:

    I don’t mean to be rude, but one of the things that kills routers is heat. The best routers are designed with optimal cooling in mind. It might be the case that putting it in an enclosed space could damage it and shorten its life. I think your mod looks great though!

  11. Inga says:

    Is this safe? Kinda looks like a fire hazard.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know if that’s such a brilliant idea. Usually power cords and especially those pesky chargers and converters that are plugged into them create a lot of heat. Putting that in a closed box will in the worst case lead to a burning box full of cables. I have one of the routers myself and that thing overheats and thus crashes while it’s sitting well ventilated on top of my desk. So the idea is good, but the application in this case is maybe a bit inappropriate.

  13. Chris says:

    I imagine the heat generated by the electronics and stuck inside the metal box would be horrible for the router.

  14. Reg says:

    Can anyone say, “fire hazard?”

  15. Cyn W says:

    Do you have a problem with heat build-up at all?

  16. Anonymous says:

    ..or you could just burn down your house by yourself..
    all these cables in one box will sooner or later set themselves on fire!

  17. Katie says:

    Love the idea. I bet you could do the same thing with those cardboard picture boxes they have.

    My husband would have a fit if I tried to stuff all the cables in one box though. “You can’t run power and information together, messes things up!” LOL

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